Having trained as a primary school teacher at Bede College, Durham University, qualifying with a BEd in History and Geography in 1974 I worked as a class teacher at Dean Bank Junior School, Ferryhill, Co Durham and remained there following the reorganisation which created Dean Bank Primary school in County Durham. Teaching mainly in Upper Key Stage 2, I acted a subject leader for Science, History and CDT with middle management responsibilities. Always committed to ongoing professional development I had undertaken several courses of evening study, predominantly in the fields of Natural and Physical Science, Environmental Education and CDT, most of which were award bearing.
I was fortunate to be selected to take the DFE Science Coordinators Course in 1988 and the following year was seconded to the Science Support Team of Durham LEA as an advisory teacher to assist with the implementation of Primary Science following the launch of the National Curriculum During my two year secondment I gained experience of teaching across the entire Primary age range from 3-11 and worked in a large number of different schools gaining valuable knowledge and experience of different management and organisational strategies and approaches as well as planning and delivering centre based INSET and bespoke school based training and rose to become team leader and took an Advanced Diploma in Primary Education.
Whilst seconded I was appointed as Deputy Headteacher at Gurney Pease, Primary School, Darlington and took up post in February 1991 with class teaching responsibilities for a mixed Y1-2 class but continued to fulfil responsibilities for the Science team on a part time basis for the remainder of the academic year. Fortunate to be heavily involved in school management I had responsibility for staff development, Curriculum planning and assessment, educational enhancement and pupil pastoral care and wellbeing. I had the experience of working alongside a skilled TA and of administering the first KS1 SATs before tasking the class on to a mixed phase Y2-3 class before team teaching a class of 73 mixed Y4-6 children. Such wide teaching and management experience was ideal preparation for the next stage of my career which came in 1993 with my appointment as headteacher of Chilton Primary School, Co Durham, a position which enabled me to combine my wider educational interests with my profession as it was a successful shared use scheme with the school sharing it's facilities with the local Community association and the Headteacher providing professional support and guidance to the association. I had already worked as a part-time Youth Leader for a number of years, served as a Committee member of the Durham County branch of NAPE as secretary, served three terms of office as an elected parent Governor at my children's Comprehensive school and acted as a Trustee for a different Community Centre. Having always had an interest in Environmental Education I served, for several years, as a member of the LEA Environmental Education Curriculum Study Group acting as chair for the last three years of it's existence. The main function of this body was to provide support materials to assist classroom teachers with delivering high quality Environmental Education with strong cross curricular links to Science, History, Geography and English in particular. I contributed to many publications distributed to the LEA schools and one, ' A History of Coal Mining in County Durham' which was published for general circulation by the Northern Echo in 1993 Always interested in Curriculum and Staff development I sat as a member of several LEA working parties to produce policy and guidance documentation on Science, Environmental Education and PSHCE as well as induction material for newly appointed Deputy and Headteachers
Experience of school amalgamation gained as a teacher in Ferryhill served me well when in 2002 I was appointed Head of the newly formed Chilton Primary School following amalgamation of the separate Infant and Junior Schools providing me with first hand knowledge of the Foundation Stage as well as KS 1 and 2 and the opportunity to act as as SENDCO. After 18 years of Headship I took early retirement in 2011 and started part-time work at the School of Education the following year.