Upper School Teachers

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.

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 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.