Ruckleigh Teaching Staff

Mr Smith read History at New College Oxford, where he won the Burden Griffith Prize (2005) for his work on the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Mr Smith has worked in both through and preparatory schools. Mr Smith has been Deputy Head of two Preparatory Schools' and has held Senior Leadership positions focused on GCSE aged pupils. Immediately prior to joining Ruckleigh, Mr Smith was Deputy Master at Westminster under School. 

Mrs Slatter BEd (honours) studied Geography at Newman College, Birmingham. She began her teaching career after many years working in a large national company. Since retraining as a teacher she has worked in both local authority and independent schools, teaching in both key stages. She joined Ruckleigh School in 2004 and is responsible for Health and Safety

Mr Whichello has been a class teacher of all 4-year groups across Key Stage 2 in 3 different schools in Birmingham and Solihull since graduating from Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education specialising in PE and Music in 1998. As a keen sports teacher, Level 3 FA qualified coach and Level 1 ECB qualified coach, Mr Whichello has led the PE and Games curriculum in all 3 schools ensuring that good quality physical sport and intra-school competition is high on the agenda. Mr Whichello especially revels in the challenge of taking his school representative teams into competition locally and nationally and watching the enjoyment that success brings the children. Mr Whichello is currently a Year 6 teacher and Sports co-ordinator.

Mrs. Finch holds a BSc.(Hons.) in Urban Estate Management and practised as a Chartered Surveyor for several years in London and Sheffield before relocating to the West Midlands where she attained her PGCE from Newman College.
Mrs. Finch taught in Birmingham's largest Catholic primary school for 14 years before taking up her teaching post at Ruckleigh School in 2004 where she specialised in Upper Years teaching and became Deputy Headmistress in 2006.

Mrs Russell graduated at Worcester Cathedral in 1995. During her 23 years of teaching, she has had the opportunity to undertake a variety of lead roles. In her previous school, she coordinated PE, Humanities and English. Mrs Russell also gained valuable experience as a member of the senior leadership team in which her role focused on teaching, learning and assessment throughout Key Stage 2.
Mrs Russell is now in her 5th year at Ruckleigh as a Year Five teacher and PSHE subject leader.

Mr Woodward graduated from The University of Wales in 1997 completing a four Year Bachelor of Education honours degree at Trinity, Carmarthen, specialising in Art and Design. He has taught in Early Years, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two in state and independent schools. In his previous school he was part of the schools Maths development team and co-ordinator for Design Technology. He has also been co-ordinator for Art and Design and Music.

Miss Nightingale gained her PGCE from the University of Birmingham, following 3 years
working in London. Since going into teaching, she has worked within different Key Stage 2
year groups. At her previous school, Miss Nightingale was the subject leader for Art due to her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design.

Mr MacLean has seven years of teaching experience in both mainstream and private settings, both in the UK and abroad. He is an enthusiastic teacher who encourages creative and inquisitive thinking inside and outside the classroom. As well as reading books, Mr MacLeans’ main hobbies include drumming and gardening.

Mrs. Bullard has a Bachelor of Humanities Honours Degree (English, Theology and Education) and Post Graduate Certificate of Education. Throughout her career, she has been a classroom teacher in both Key Stages 1 and 2; a Learning Support Teacher and an external marker for KS2 SATs in English and Mathematics. Mrs Bullard has been our English Coordinator for many years and now also serves as part of our Senior Leadership Team as Lower School Coordinator.

Mrs Chandler joined Ruckleigh in 2015 as the specialist Nursery teacher. Mrs Chandler previously taught in Year 2 and Nursery in a Birmingham Preparatory School. Mrs Chandler gained her primary teaching degree at the University of Worcester and is a qualified Paediatric first-aider. Mrs Chandler has competed in archery across the country and now teaches an introductory extra curricular archery club.

Mrs Colquhoun graduated with an honours degree in French and Russian from the University of Bradford. Prior to teaching, she worked in the import and export industry and in the food supply chain, including work on major government contracts.
Following a period in industry Mrs Colquhoun gained a PGCE in Primary Education with Modern Foreign Languages from Newman College in Birmingham. Mrs Colquhoun is a very experienced class teacher having taught in Worcestershire for over ten years before joining Ruckleigh School.
In addition, Mrs Colquhoun is a qualified Coach in Running Fitness with England Athletics.

Miss Pearce completed a four-year teaching degree, specialising in English, at the University of Warwick, graduating with a first-class degree in 2006. She has been teaching full-time in Solihull primary schools since then in both Key Stage One and Lower and Upper Key Stage Two. Most recently, Miss Pearce has been a member of her previous school’s Senior Leadership Team as
the school’s English Subject Leader with responsibility for leading writing, grammar and handwriting for all year groups from nursery to Year 6. Prior to that, she was in charge of music and creative arts and as an enthusiastic advocate for the arts, she is very excited to be returning to lead in this area as Creative Arts Co-ordinator at Ruckleigh.

Mrs Burrell is now entering her 22nd year of teaching. She has a thorough knowledge and understanding of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and is passionate about delivering high quality teaching and learning in an engaging and creative style.
Prior to joining Ruckleigh, Mrs Burrell worked at another local primary school that was OFSTED rated ‘Outstanding’. There she held a Senior Leadership position coordinating Maths throughout the school. She joined Ruckleigh School four years ago and has thoroughly enjoyed teaching in Lower School. Mrs Burrell is the Schools First Aid co-ordinator.

Mrs Coleman joined Ruckleigh School in January 2018 as the Kindergarten Teacher and Early Years Coordinator having taught since 2001 in both Solihull and Wiltshire. Mrs Coleman was the Early Years Coordinator in a local school raising the Ofsted standard in Early Years to Outstanding and she has taught across all classes in Early Years and Lower School. Mrs Coleman graduated from the University of Liverpool with a science degree and, prior to teaching, worked as a Business Development Manager in WH Smith. Mrs Coleman completed a Diploma in Business Studies before retraining as a teacher at the University of Bath with an Early Years specialism.

Miss Tambs is currently studying to become an Early Years Teacher. Prior to joining
Ruckleigh, Miss Tambs worked in the preschool of a day nursery, where in two years she
worked her way up to Preschool Coordinator. Miss Tambs is passionate about learning
through play, outdoor learning and emergent reading and writing.

Mrs Sayer joined Ruckleigh School in September 2019 as the Nursery Teacher having taught since 2010 across Solihull and Birmingham. Mrs Sayer is passionate about Early Years and has 9 years’ teaching experience in both Nursery and Reception settings. Mrs Sayer graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Drama degree before studying for her Post Graduate Certificate in Education with an Early Years specialism. Mrs Sayer also gained a Psychology Masters degree from the University of Chester in 2015.

Mrs Brown gained an Honorary Bachelor of Science Degree with Qualified Teaching Status and has taught at Ruckleigh School since qualifying in 1998, firstly as a class teacher in Lower School, then Middle School before moving on to teach Science through years one to six.

Ms Moya read Classical Studies at Kings College London before teaching and leading in the Classics Department at a leading London Senior School. Ms Moya moved into Preparatory education when she joined Leaden Hall School in Salisbury in 2015. Ms Moya has taught on both sides of the Atlantic in a range of different educational settings. Ms Moya teaches Spanish to Years 1 -6 and runs the schools Latin Societies.

Mrs Wilson has taught in the independent sector since 1984 as a class teacher and since joining Ruckleigh in 2002 has taught music and more recently computing to all year groups. Mrs Wilson is an accomplished musician and plays Piano, violin, viola and timpani. Prior to teaching she worked as a session musician for orchestras and bands.

I am the Drama and Speech tutor here at Ruckleigh. I have been teaching Drama and English to all year groups and abilities since leaving university in 2008. I also teach group LAMDA sessions, specialising in speaking verse and prose, which I believe builds confidence in both public speaking and articulation. Outside of work, Mrs Banks loves all things retro and vintage, she says the children often comment on her inspired vintage outfits!

I have many years experience of teaching sport and am in fact the longest serving member of staff at Ruckleigh! Nothing pleases me more than seeing children develop an enthusiasm and passion for sport irrespective of their level of ability.
I am a FA registered Level 2 coach and in recent years as part of my CPD I have completed the separate modules of the FA Youth Award, a new initiative from the Football Association for coaches working within specific age groups, in my case 'The Foundation Stage' for 5-11 year olds.  I also hold FA qualifications in Futsal, coaching disabled footballers plus additional qualifications from the governing bodies in hockey and cricket.

Miss Smirles studied Primary Initial Teacher Education (with QTS) at the University of
Worcester, graduating in 2021. Following her graduation she has chosen to specialise in
physical education. Miss Smirles is responsible for delivering the games curriculum to both lower and upper school, as well as coaching middle and upper school extra curricular
activities. As well as teaching, Miss Smirles has coached for a sports coaching company and football development centre since leaving secondary school, and through this has delivered extra curricular activities to a range of primary schools in the borough.

Since graduating in 2000 from the University of Reading with BA (Hons) History QTS, Mrs Harrison has taught across all years of Primary education within schools in Solihull. Prior to starting at Ruckleigh in 2015, she led the subjects of Maths and History. Mrs Harrison has also been a member of the Senior Leadership Team with a variety of roles which include Assessment Leader, Key Stage One Leader and Assistant Head Teacher.

After completing her BEd Hons degree in Primary Education at Northampton University, Rachael initially taught in the state sector before taking a career break and working with pre-school children in France and then Southern Spain. Upon her return to the UK, Rachael wanted to widen her experience of teaching and taught in a number of schools in the Warwickshire area as a supply teacher. Rachael joined Ruckleigh in January 2004 as a year 5 class teacher, she now works part-time teaching maths intervention lessons for Key Stage 2 and delivering the nationally recognised Maths Catch-up programme, offering 1:1 lessons for children that require maths support. Rachael became Maths Co-ordinator at Ruckleigh in April 2017.

Prior to attending the University of Warwick, Mrs Draper worked in banking and foreign exchange. Once qualified she worked in state education for a number of years teaching both Key Stage One and Two in Birmingham and Somerset. Mrs Draper also spent a month teaching English in Cambodia for Grace House NGO. Mrs Draper’s roles have included class teacher, literacy lead, NQT and GTP mentor, Assistant Head Teacher and Acting Deputy Head Teacher. As a member of the Ruckleigh team, Mrs Draper is a Learning Support Teacher and Religious Education and Geography subject co-ordinator.

Mrs Lynch is the Ruckleigh School Librarian. Mrs Lynch graduated from University of North Wales Bangor with a degree in Linguistics and the English Language. She went on to complete her TESOL Certificate and taught English to speakers of other languages in China and Greece. Following this, Victoria completed qualifications in both Mentoring and Learning Support and has worked with pupils from Nursery up to Year 11.

Mrs Collins joined Ruckleigh in 2015 as a Early Years Practitioner. Prior to this she worked as a pre-school assistant for 15 years and holds a level 3 in Early Years Childcare and Education. Prior to working in education she studied Art and Design at college before working in the exhibtion trade for several years.

Mrs Cartwright graduated from Southampton University with a psychology degree before studying for her Post Graduate Certificate of Education. Once qualified she taught across Key Stage 2 for several years in a primary school in Birmingham. Prior to joining Ruckleigh School in 2018, Mrs Cartwright spent 5 years working in an international school in Shanghai.

Mrs Read graduated in 2005 from Lancaster University with a secondary PGCE in French
after acquiring a DESS degree in Didactics and Linguistics of Foreign Languages at Lyon
Lumiere University in 2003 and a Maitrise in French at Besancon University in 2001, as well as a Bachelor of Education in French at Warsaw University in 2000. Mrs Read joined
Ruckleigh in September 2020, as a Teaching Assistant supporting French speaking
newcomers across the upper school.

Ms Sultan joined Ruckleigh School in 2021 as a Teaching Assistant. Prior to this, she worked as a Deputy Manager of a childcare company in Solihull for 5 years. Ms Sultan holds a Level 3 Certificate in Early Years Childcare and Education.