Head of School | SENDCO | Designated Safeguarding Lead
I am delighted to hold the post of Head of School at Connor Downs Academy. I completed a BA (Hons) degree in English and Education Studies, obtained from the University of Worcester in 1990. I then went on to achieve a Post Graduate Certificate of Education, awarded by the University of Exeter, in 1991. In 2017-2018, through Plymouth University, I completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination at Masters level.
My teaching career has spanned over thirty years. Teaching has always been a passion for me and it has been wonderful to see so many children make progress both academically and socially.
I started my teaching career in 1991, first taking on the post of a Key Stage 2 teacher in a large Cornish primary school. I taught all year groups and held various coordinator roles, including English coordinator. This was a particularly exciting role for me as English has always been a strong interest of mine.
In 2000, I became an Assistant Head teacher. I found being a part of the leadership team both exciting and rewarding.
In 2015, I was delighted to become Head of School at Penryn Primary Academy. During my two years in post here, Penryn Primary Academy linked with Connor Downs Academy and St Uny Academy, as part of the Aspire Academy Trust. This collaboration enabled me to work very closely with the staff and children of Connor Downs Academy therefore I was thrilled to take up the post of Head of School at Connor Downs Academy in September 2017.
I am incredibly happy to have been a part of the Connor Downs family for the past four years and am proud of the strong community links which have been established to collectively support our children. I look forward to continuing to build on our success.
Lead Teacher KS2 | Year 5 Teacher | Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
I am delighted to join Connor Downs Academy as Lead Teacher for KS2. I completed a BSc (Hons) degree in Genetics at Cardiff University. I then completed my Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Cambridge University.
I have worked at Penryn Primary Academy for many years where I predominantly taught Year 6. I have had a variety of coordinator roles and I have a particular interest in maths. Therefore, I was delighted to be offered the role of KS2 Lead Teacher and Maths Lead at Connor Downs Academy.
In my spare time, I enjoy running. If you see me out and about on my training runs, give me a friendly wave as this always spurs me on.
I look forward to working with you all.
EYFS and KS1 Lead | Reception Teacher
My name is Mr Masters and I am the Reception teacher and EYFS and KS1 Lead at Connor Downs Academy. In class, I am supported by my fantastic TAs, Miss Pedley and Miss Blewett. Professionally, I hold a first-class Bachelor's degree in Early Years and Key Stage 1 Education, with Qualified Teacher Status, obtained from Newman University.
Across the Academy, I coordinate RE, PSHE, Phonics and English for EYFS and KS1. Across the wider Aspire Academy Trust, as part of a core group of EYFS leaders, I am responsible for providing specialist support and guidance to Early Years settings across Cornwall. In June 2021, during the G7 Summit, it was my honour and privilege to host both Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge and Dr Jill Biden, First Lady of the United States in my EYFS setting, during a historic visit focusing on the importance of early childhood education.
Prior to joining Connor Downs Academy, I gained invaluable experience across both the EYFS and KS1, working as a nursery and pre-school educator and, following this, as a teaching assistant across a number of Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 settings. These experiences inspired me to take the next step in my career and train to become a teacher, specialising in Early Years.
I am extremely proud to be a part of such a fantastic and vibrant school community.
Year 1 Teacher
Hello, my name is Miss Bryant and I am delighted to be the Year 1 teacher at Connor Downs Academy. In Year 1, we are supported by the wonderful Mrs Hackett.
This is my first teaching post after gaining a first-class honours degree in Early Childhood studies and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education. I have completed a range of teaching placements where I specialised in the early years, so I feel confident to teach in Year 1. I pride myself in creating a welcoming, friendly and respectful classroom environment where the children are at the heart of my teaching.
Teaching Art and Design is particularly special as I am always blown away by the children's creativity. After a disruptive couple of years, I will prioritise the children's well-being and happiness by ensuring that the Trauma Informed Schools approach, which is so well established here at Connor Downs, underpins all teaching and learning in Year 1. I look forward to supporting the children and watching them flourish.
Outside of school, I am a very active person and I love spending my free time walking across lovely Cornish beaches. When the sun shines, my favourite thing to do is to snorkel! On rainy days, I love to bake.
I am so excited for all the adventures we will have in Year 1!
Year 2 Teacher
My name is Mrs Kitching and I am the Year 2 teacher, as well as History and Geography coordinator, here at Connor Downs Academy. I have been teaching since 1989 since qualifying with a BE’d Honours degree in English from the College of St Paul and St Mary in Cheltenham. After teaching in a number of schools in Gloucestershire, I returned to Cornwall to teach for 9 years at St Columb Major Community Primary School, a move that enabled me to be closer to my family. Since then I have worked in a number of schools throughout the county, teaching children of all age groups. I joined Connor Downs in 2011 and I am delighted to be a permanent teacher at this academy.
Whilst my upmost priority remains the support & teaching of my class, I have also organised many events throughout the school year aimed to reinforce the teaching of History and Geography over all year groups. I was delighted by the enthusiasm of the pupil’s in response to Historical Fun Fridays and World Aims Week, both succeeding to broaden the children’s knowledge of the subjects whilst proving equally entertaining, particularly when all the teachers transformed into different historical characters once a week. I run a KS1 reading club weekly as I am an avid reader and I am keen to support children to become confident, enthusiastic and capable readers. I am registered to take part in standard setting for the new 2016 national curriculum tests.
I look forward to continuing to work with such a dedicated and talented team to ensure that every child is able to make the most of their time here at Connor Downs Academy.
Year 3 Teacher
I am currently teaching in Year 3, alongside Mrs Bartaby, supported by Mrs Ridge as teaching assistant.
I have a Post Graduate Certificate in Primary Teaching and also a BA Honours Degree in Fine Art. At Connor Downs Academy, I am the Art and Design and also Design Technology Coordinator for the school. Extra-curricular wise, I am responsible for running an Art club for children from Year R to Year 3. I began teaching in 1994 and have had the pleasure of working in a range of different schools in West Cornwall. I have experience of teaching across all year groups from Early Years to Year 6.
I am really proud of Connor Downs School especially our children’s excellent behaviour. Cultivating Futures has made our learning and play so exciting. Now working outside the school grounds is a real thrill whatever the lesson might be. I enjoy creating artwork with the children and also growing flowers and vegetables (not to mention eating them). It is important to enable children to take risks and learn independent skills every day. I enjoy seeing children’s happy faces when they have persevered and succeeded in learning a new skill in writing or hitting the ball in cricket …. The list is endless
Year 3 Teacher
I am absolutely delighted to be back at Connor Downs Academy teaching in Year 3, alongside Ms Speight and Mrs Ridge. I will be teaching the foundation curriculum each afternoon.
Over the past two years I have been teaching at Nansledan School, this school is also part of the Aspire Academy Trust. During my time at Nansledan School, l was Maths lead and taught in a Year 2 class.
I have completed a BA hons with QTS at Scarborough University and over the years have taught in all year groups from Reception to Year 6.
Outside of school I like to spend time with my daughters, family and friends. We now live in Hayle and thoroughly enjoy walking and exploring the beautiful town we live in.
I am thrilled to part of the Connor Downs community again. I am looking forward to working, teaching and sharing exciting new adventures with the children at Connor Downs Academy.
Year 4 Teacher
I am excited to be returning to live in Cornwall and work at Connor Downs Academy as the Year 4 teacher as well as Music and Languages subject leader.
I obtained a BA (Hons) degree in Education Studies and Geography from University College Worcester in 2000. Then, I completed my Post Graduate Certificate of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, in 2002.
After spending a year in Los Angeles, I began my teaching career in 2003. I taught in junior and primary schools in Sunbury for 14 years and have spent the last 4 years working at a primary school in Sandhurst. I have held a range of subject leader roles (Computing, Geography, History, Reading, RE and DT) as well as being year leader and Key Stage 1 lead.
I count myself so lucky to be able to do a job that I love. I enjoy teaching all aspects of the primary curriculum and particularly relish seeing children blossom as they gain confidence in their abilities. I agree wholeheartedly with the ethos of Connor Downs Academy that puts children's needs as the main priority of the school. I am looking forward to sharing my enthusiasm and love of learning with the pupils at Connor Downs Academy.
Year 6 Teacher
I am thrilled to be the teacher of Year 6 at Connor Downs. I like to ensure all the children in my class feel included, love what they are learning and know what success feels like.
I went to The University of Glasgow and graduated in 2006 with a degree in History. I completed my teacher training in York, which is close to my hometown. Since qualifying, I have taught in schools in Luton and Leeds before relocating to Cornwall in 2015. Most recently, I have been teaching in Upper Key Stage 2 at Probus Primary School, leading Maths and Science.
I am passionate about the arts, language and stories; to me, these all contribute towards developing children’s ability to communicate orally and through their writing. As a result, I am thrilled to be leading English across KS2, as well as guiding the support of our Pupil Premium children in school.
I love going to the theatre and seeing big Westend shows, as well as cooking and reading as many books as I can find the time…and bookshelf space… for.
Outdoor Learning Leader
I love my job as the outdoor learning leader at Connor Downs Academy. I have a Bachelor of Science degree from my studies in core science, environmental science and design for the environment. I am also a qualified teaching assistant and have a Diploma in Horticulture. Before moving to education, I used my chemistry background by working in a pharmacy, dispensing medication and I was a trained health-care advisor. I have a special interest in atmospheric science, especially meteorology and climate change. I am also very interested in zoology and use this in my work every day.
My role at Connor Downs involves me planning learning activities to enrich the science national curriculum from Year 1 to Year 6. I work with small groups of pupils, carrying out practical investigations to support their scientific knowledge and understanding. I teach all pupils across the school and focus on environmental studies, science, sociology and geography themes such as globalisation, weather and climate change, living things and habitats, plants science and horticulture. I work with Reception children each week in 'Muddy Mondays' where I support the EYFS curriculum and help pupils develop their their early scientific awareness through fun, practical activities.
I also run an outdoor learning themed 'nurture group' over lunchtimes and an after school club called Nature Detectives. We are very active in our aim to reduce, reuse and recycle. We make our own water filters from recycled materials and create habitats for visiting wildlife, including in our large pond. We grow our own vegetables and fruit from seed and then the children use their produce in their food technology sessions with Mrs Pedley.
Finance Officer/School Secretary
I began working at Connor Downs Academy in January 2015 in the office as Finance Officer/secretary. Previously I had worked for fourteen years at a firm of chartered accountants and qualified as an Accounting Technician, dealing with accounts preparation and payroll, amongst other duties.
My current role on a morning encompasses dealing with the school finances basis, involving ordering, paying suppliers and liaising with members of staff and outside agencies. I am also in charge of all personnel and payroll within the academy and the Single Central Record, a key part of safeguarding. I am front of house dealing with telephone calls, visitors to school and the general running of the school office.
I really enjoy the challenges that this very busy and varied role brings every day and love the fact that I can get to know the children and will see them grow and progress during their time at school.
EYFS Teaching Assistant
Hello, my name is Miss Blewett and I am the teaching assistant in Reception, working alongside Mr Masters and Miss Pedley.
Before joining Connor Downs Academy, I worked and trained in a local EYFS setting, where I obtained a Level 3 qualification in Early Years Education. I am excited to be part of the fantastic team at Connor Downs Academy and to continue developing my knowledge and understanding of Early Years.
EYFS Teaching Assistant / Outdoor Learning Practitioner
I am delighted to hold the postion of teaching assistant at Connor Downs Academy. I support pupils in the class setting, to enable them to flourish and to access all areas of the curriuculum. This is a very rewarding postion to hold and I greatly value working in partnership with the parents to support their children.
I also work as an Outdoor Learning Assistant, supporting Mr Costello, in delivering exciting and engaging lessons in our outdoor space; 'Cultivating Futures.' I have a strong passion for caing for animals and understand the important benefits that working with animals can bring to childrens development. I am currently studying to achieve the Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management, through Duchy College.
Outside of school, I am a qualifed Community First Responder and support South West Ambulance Service to provide first aid care to the local community. I am able to use knowledge learnt in this role, to support First Aid teaching and learning in school.
Year 1 Teaching Assistant
Hello my name is Mrs Hackett and I have recently joined the team at Connor Downs Academy. I am a teaching assistant and a lunchtime supervisor in Year 1 working alongside Mrs Patterson. I hold a Level 2 certificate in the Children and Young People’s workforce.
Before joining Connor Downs Academy I worked at a GP’s surgery for 14 years. I knew I wanted to work within a school setting for a long time so when my children started at Connor Downs Academy I attended the parents sessions to see the topics the class were learning and I also volunteered for school trips and the school disco’s. I loved being in the school setting which gave me the motivation to start a career in Early Years. Whilst studying at Cornwall College, I gained my work experience at a local nursery and this is where I discovered my passion to work with Early Years.
I feel very privileged to be part of an amazing team.
SEND Teaching Assistant
My choice of profession was mainly influenced by my desire to help support and develop children’s skills and encourage them to learn new things.
Before I had my own children, I discovered my love for helping and supporting others. Therefore I studied the CACHE Diploma (NVQ level 3) in Child Care and Education. In addition, I then completed a period of teaching experience by completing a work experience placement within Connor Downs academy. I shadowed various teaching staff, observing their teaching techniques and the ways in which they support the children. I found each day a new challenge as new faces, new personalities were emerging which brought various obstacles my way as different methods of teaching were needed. The most enjoyable aspect of this work environment is that no day is ever the same - new lessons, new people. It was exciting to know I had the opportunity to assist in someone’s learning, gaining satisfaction from seeing the new skill acquired.
I have had experience in working as a Special Educational Needs teaching assistant for Key Stage 1 within the academy and I also gained a distinction on a sensory processing disorder awareness diploma. I am very committed with a strong awareness and passion for children’s learning and development. I enjoy being part of and encouraging inclusive education and promoting good positive learning techniques. I have always had a passion for primary teaching and geared my studies and career in this direction as I feel it is extremely valuable to be helping children develop skills they can continue to use throughout their lives.
Y2 Teaching Assistant | Lunchtime Supervisor
My name is Mrs Smith and I work in Class 2 alongside Mrs Kitching as a Teaching Assistant and as a Lunchtime Supervisor. Previously to this I have worked across KS 1 as SEN support and delivering Fun Fit activities at Connor Downs Academy, and as a 1 to 1 Assistant in KS2 at another local Primary School.
I have a BTEC National Diploma in Childhood Studies, a Level 3 in Teaching and Learning and a desire to continue to develop my professional development, which Connor Downs Academy are always very supportive in doing.
I am relatively new to the staff at Connor Downs Academy, but have felt warmly welcomed and included by staff and children alike since day one. It is this sense of inclusion and acceptance that gives the school a lovely atmosphere to attend and such a pleasure to work in.
As a Teaching Assistant I feel very strongly about inclusion, one which mirrors the school's own ethos. Whilst every child is unique and individual, they should be given the same opportunities in the same environments so they can integrate and learn from peers as well as teaching staff. The children at Connor Downs follow this ethos and are encouraged to support each other in class and in play.
Every day is varied as a Teaching Assistant with different challenges and rewards, but the mutual respect and outstanding level of behaviour from the children enables us to all work together with a smile.
Year 3 Teaching Assistant
My name is Mrs Ridge and I work as a teaching assistant in Year 3, alongside Ms Speight and Mrs Bartaby.
Prior to joining Connor Downs Academy, I worked for a Building Society for 17 years and, once I had my children, I became the Chairperson of Hayle Pre School Playgroup until my children joined Connor Downs Academy. My passion for this school, the children and staff is very strong and I am extremely proud of what has been achieved here.
All that we do at Connor Downs Academy is for the children, so that they can learn in a happy, safe and encouraging environment. Coming to work every day is a pleasure and I think we are so lucky to have the best job in the whole world, watching the children grow and develop as lifelong learners.
Year 4 Teaching Assistant
Hello, my name is Miss Brownlee and I am a teaching assistant in Year 4, supporting Mrs Crease. I am also a lunchtime supervisor, supporting the children outside of the classroom. I hold Level 3 qualifications in Support Work in Schools and in Children's Counselling.
For about 3 years, I was lucky enough to gain school experience, volunteering at Connor Downs Academy whilst completing my qualifications. This experience then lead to the exciting role that I now hold.
Before joining Connor Downs Academy, I worked in medicine but now feel that I have found my true passion in working with children. I love working with the children inside and outside of the classroom and believe that all children deserve the opportunity to grow as learners and to be happy.
I absolutely love being part of the Connor Downs Academy family and seeing the children grow, as individuals and as learners.
Trauma Informed Schools Practitioner
I have worked at Connor Downs Academy since 2009. My journey at the school began as a classroom volunteer and, in time, I was fortunate enough to become a teaching assistant, supporting children across both KS1 and KS2.
During my time at Connor Downs Academy, in my capacity as the Trauma Informed School's practitioner, I have successfully led a number of intervention groups including FunFit, Nurture and additional phonics support. I support the children by planning and delivering bespoke, play-based activities; these activities support our children's personal, social and emotional development. In addition to this, I am also a lunch time supervisor.
Professionally, I have completed a Level 2 qualification in Teaching and Learning and also been awarded Accreditation in Language for Learning and Behaviour Therapy. In additional to this, I hold both a Certificate of Higher Education and a Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning. I am also first aid trained.
I am proud to work alongside such a great team and with the children, watching them develop in all areas, especially seeing them grow more confident and develop their own individual personalities.
Year 5 Teaching Assistant
My name is Miss Reed and I have been working at Connor Downs since 2014. I am the Teaching Assistant for year 5, supporting Mr Pascoe. I have worked across all classes in KS1 and KS2, which has given me the skills, knowledge and experience to be able to support the children in our Academy.
I hold a BA (Hons) in Professional Practice, and I aim to complete my teacher training in the very near future. Also, I have completed a ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management, which supports me to use Restorative Practice methods within our school environment.
I have three children of my own, which ignited my passion for working with children. I feel that it is important for children to feel safe, and to be taught everyday skills to help support them in their future. I am extremely passionate about inclusion, and that every child should be given every chance to have an education. I really do love the "family feel" of Connor Downs Academy, and I thoroughly enjoy coming to work everyday!
The atmosphere between the child and staff is really special - I am lucky to be a part of such an incredible academy
Year 6 Teaching Assistant
Currently, I am the teaching assistant working in Year 6. I have held this passion for the past 7 years. I also hold the position of, SENDCo and Academy Administrator. Professionally, I hold a Foundation Degree in Teaching and Learning as well as an ILM Level 3 in Leadership and Management.
I began my career in education 19 years ago at Connor Downs Academy as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant, supporting several pupils throughout their academic journey. After 4 years, I became a general teaching assistant, gathering experience working within both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
Throughout my time at Connor Downs Academy, I have also held the position of lunchtime supervisor, supporting pupils within their play and enabling them to develop socially as well as emotionally. Building bonds with fellow peers that they will always remember.
As a parent and a professional, I am a strong believer that children should be taught skills that they can use within their day to day lives as well as within their chosen career paths. This is something that we strongly encourage at Connor Downs Academy and an achievement that I am very proud of.