Mrs Riches – Headteacher
Mrs Riches joined Freegrounds Infant School in September 2011. This is her second Headship, previously she was the Headteacher at John Keble Church of England Primary School in Hursley for 4½ year which she led to becoming the highest performing primary school in the County and one of the top 10 performing schools nationally by 2009. She studied her teaching degree in Southampton and in 2006 was awarded her NPQH (National Professional Qualification for Headship). Prior to this she spent 10 years in leadership roles and teaching within Infant Schools in Southampton and the New Forest.
Mrs Riches ensures school improvement priorities are secured by working collaboratively with the Strategic Leadership Team, governors, staff and wider school community, facilitating high quality professional development opportunities, coaching and mentoring. She also ensures the schools budget is spent to best achieve school improvement priorities and the school meets its duties in relation to health and safety, safeguarding and the statutory requirements set out by the DFEE.
She is passionate about Infant Education and committed to working in partnership with parents and the local community, putting down firm foundations which allow pupils to achieve their best. In her spare time she enjoys cooking. gardening and spending time with her family and dogs.
Acting Assistant Headteacher / Inclusion Manager – Mrs WatkinsMrs Watkins is the Inclusion Manager at Freegrounds Infant School where she has worked for several years teaching in all year groups. She works with lots of different children, parents and external agencies to ensure the children who have specific needs receive the support and guidance they need. She taught in London and Shropshire before moving to Hampshire. When she is not in school she enjoys travelling and visiting new places in her campervan. She also enjoys reading good books and watching rugby and cricket.
Acting Assistant Headteacher – Mrs Jones
Mrs Jones is currently Acting Assistant Headteacher on a Thursday and Friday. She grew up in West End and studied at Chichester Institute of Higher education, where she gained her Science and Education degree with Qualified Teacher Status. She loves teaching and is dedicated to helping children achieve their potential – developing confident, happy, independent, successful and resourceful learners who want to do their very best. When she is not at school, Mrs Jones is a busy mother of 2 teenage boys. She also loves gardening, reading, sewing and baking.
ELSA - Mrs Humphry
Mrs Humphry joined us in June 2021 as our ELSA, having previously worked at a local primary school for 18 years as an LSA3/ELSA/Netball Coach.
She gained her NNEB in 1987 and after working as a private nanny for 2 years joined John Lewis for 12 years where she worked as an Assistant Editor for their in house magazine.
Hayley lives in Hedge End with her husband of 28 years, they have a daughter Olivia, now 22 who attended this school back in 2003.
Hayley enjoys family walks with their dog Archie and loves gardening and netball.
Pupil Premium Assistant - Mrs Jamieson
Acting Assistant Headteacher / EYFS & Year 1 Leader and Blue Class Teacher - Miss Webb
Miss Webb is the Early years leader and Blue Class Teacher. She also leads Maths across the school. This will be her fifth year at Freegrounds Infant School and she is so excited to welcome you and your children! She completed her teaching degree at Winchester University and has a specialism in Early Years. This was a dream she had since being at Infant School herself! She is passionate about teaching and enabling opportunities for children to explore, learn and grow as individuals in an environment that promotes discovery and inspires their curiosity. When she is not in the classroom, she enjoys visiting new places and spending days out exploring with her friends and family. She also really enjoy arts and crafts, particularly scrapbooking.
Blue Class Teacher - Mrs Caplen
Mrs Caplen is one of the teachers in Early Years. This is her third time teaching at Freegrounds - it's so good she keeps coming back! She particularly loves working within EYFS and specialised in it during her PGCE. The start of a child's education is so important to get right and Mrs Caplen loves to be there to welcome the children, get them settled and start them off on the right path.
When not at school she has a busy time with her 3 young boys and has lived in 4 countries since her oldest was born 9 years ago. The Caribbean was probably her favourite as she loves the sea and swimming with a humpback whale and her calf was definitely a highlight!
Marie White works in Blue Class as an Early Years Learning Support Assistant. She has studied STLS L2 and STLS L3 at Eastleigh college, and has been working at Freegrounds Infants school since 2014. Apparently she absolutely loves it! She thoroughly enjoys working with all the children and finds her role very rewarding.
Red Class Teacher – Mrs Rigby
Red Class EYFS Learning Assistant – Mrs Taylor
Mrs Taylor has had a long and happy career at Freegrounds Infants, firstly as a SNA, then as an LSA in Year 1 and 2 and then her current position of EYFS LSA, making a grand total of 30 years! She lives locally, has been married for 35 years, has 2 sons, 5 granddaughters. In her spare time she organises a family swim club session at Wildern Pool. She enjoys Pilates, big family holidays and cruising on the high seas whenever she can. One of her favourite pastimes is attending concerts especially Celine Dion and Donny Osmond!
Yellow Class EYFS Learning Assistant – Mrs Giles
Angela Giles has lived in Hedge End for 39 years and has been a teaching assistant in Early Years for 29 years. She is married with 2 grown up children and 2 granddaughters. She really enjoys her role in school, seeing the transformation from when the children start compared to where they finish in Early Years. She is very committed and doesn’t tend to stop until she has finished what she’s started. She enjoys reading, shopping, catching up with friends and seeing her granddaughters.
Special Needs Assistant - Mrs Z Carr
Mrs Carr joined Freegrounds Infant School in February 2020. Her role is a Special Needs 1:1 Assistant and a Lunchtime Assistant. Before joining Freegrounds she had some time out of work to have here son who is now in year 1 at another local school. Before having her son Mrs Carr worked in the Dental Industry, with qualifications in Dental Nursing , Radiography & Implantoligy, so joining a school was a totally new adventure and one that has been thoroughly enjoyable .
Whilst not at school she enjoys lots of time with her son and husband, exploring adventure holidays in the UK along with their dog Bentley, as well as trips to London to find nice food, restaurants and boutique hotels.
Purple Class Teacher - Miss Moors
Miss Moors is the Purple Class teacher who joined in December 2020. She completed her Early Childhood Studies degree at the University of Chichester in 2017, and later returned in 2019 to complete her PGCE (5-11yrs) degree. She has also obtained her Makaton qualification. Miss Moors believes outdoor education is key within children's holistic learning and well-being and learning through play at any age is vital for children's successes, as her background lies within Early Years. She is also a mother to a two year old little girl, who keeps her very busy when she is not teaching. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter exploring and traveling to new places together, going to theme parks and being outdoors - we love to be out and about!. She is very excited to complete her NQT year in Purple Class this year at Freegrounds.
Purple Class Learning Assistant – Mrs Sims
Beckie Sims has worked at Freegrounds Infant school since 2013 and is the Learning Support Assistant in Purple Class. She has completed Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools whilst volunteering here since 2011. She also has a Psychology degree and Makaton Foundation level. She is married with three little girls and in her free time she enjoys days out, going on holiday with her family, visiting the theatre and eating at new restaurants. She is really looking forward to working with Purple Class, Miss Moors. Besides being an LSA in the mornings, she also works two afternoons a week with groups and individual children doing Speech and Language Therapy.
Orange Class Teacher - Mrs Jones
Mrs Jones joined Freegrounds in 2017. After returning from Maternity leave, she is now working three days a week as Year One Year leader and teacher in Orange Class. She completed her degree in teaching and learning with the University of Worcester and her PGCE with Cornwall SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). She is passionate about how children learn and bringing the learning to life. Mrs Jones is a keen computing lead and likes to explore how technology can enhance learning whilst also teaching the children the importance of using it safely. When she is not at school, she enjoys spending time walking, and exploring with her husband, daughter and two dogs!
Orange Class Teacher – Mrs Matthews
Mrs Matthews is one of the teachers working in Year One Orange Class. She is the class teacher working on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday alongside Mrs McGillivray. She recently joined the school in January in a more permanent role after doing supply across the school for the past year. She is very much looking forward to getting to know the children at Freegrounds Infant School further. Mrs Matthews studied education at King Alfreds University Winchester and has been teaching for 20 years in schools across Southampton.
Mrs Matthews is a busy mum of three children and when not in the classroom her time is spent mostly with her family on days out in the country park. In her spare time she likes to sew and create new and exciting things with fabric and enjoys reading.
Learning Support Assistant Orange Class - Mrs Emery
Mrs Emery joined Freegrounds in September 2021, before this she worked in a Nursery as a practitioner in Whiteley for just over 4 and half years. She really enjoyed helping children with the start of their development journey but now wants to help children with the school journey so decided she would start doing her Teaching assistant course alongside working at Freegrounds. She is really looking forward to working in Orange Class alongside Mrs Jones and Mrs Matthews! She is married with two young daughters and a dog! When they can they like going on walks, eating out and spending quality time together. In her free time she loves being arty crafty by creating pieces in resin, vinyl and flowers too!
Green Class Teacher - Miss Bodkin
Green Class Learning Support Assistant - Mrs Martin
Mrs Martin joined Freegrounds Infant School in September 2019 as the LSA in Green class. Mrs Martin studied childcare at Chichester college and has since then spent 12 years working in various nursery and pre-school settings. Mrs Martin has always loved working with children and is now very excited about a new challenge, working within a school, supporting the children to learn and flourish. Mrs Martin is married with two young children of her own. Most of her spare time is spent enjoying time with her family and friends. She also enjoys running, reading and listening to music.
Turquoise Class Teacher – Miss May
Miss May will be the teacher in Turquoise Class in September. She studied for her Primary Education degree at Canterbury Christ Church University and she enjoys working with children in the EYFS and KS1. Teaching is something she has always been passionate about, and she is dedicated to supporting children with their development and creating an environment that gets them excited about their learning. She believes that all children should be given the opportunity to grow as individuals, and as part of a class. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, as well as reading books and watching films. She also likes to travel when she can and has a general love of animals, particularly cats.
Turquoise Class Learning Support Assistant - Mrs DoreMrs Sue Dore has worked at Freegrounds Infant School since 2003. She started as a parent helper before becoming a Lunchtime Assistant and then a Learning Support Assistant working in Year One and Two. She gained HLTA Status in 2006 and achieved a BA (Hons) in Education and Training in 2013. She has several roles in the school including School Librarian, Lunchtime Co-Ordinator and she also works as a Speech and Language Teaching Assistant. She has been married for 30 years and has a daughter and two sons. Outside of school she enjoys baking cakes and reading. She thoroughly enjoys working with all the children and sharing their awe and wonder moments when they learn something new.
Special Needs Assistant - Mrs Lucas
Mrs Lucas has been working at Freegrounds Infant school since 2017 as a Lunchtime Supervisory Assistant and Special Needs Assistant. She is married with two boys. When she is not in school she loves spending time with her family and friends and being outdoors. With 2 boys a lot of her weekend is spent at the side of a football pitch come rain or shine.
Special Needs Assistant - Mrs Weaver
Mrs Weaver joined Freegrounds Infant School in January 2021. Her role is a Special Needs 1:1 Assistant and a Lunchtime Assistant. Before joining Freegrounds she had some time out of work to have her children, her daughter is at the Juniors and her son is starting the school this year. Before having her children Mrs Weaver worked in Recruitment with qualifications in Administration and Customer Service. Joining a school has been an enjoyable adventure.
Whilst not at school she enjoys lots of time with her children, husband and dog Abby, as well as holidays to Cyprus!
Emerald Class Teacher - Miss Booth
Miss Booth is the class teacher in Emerald Class. She loves working with children in key stage 1 and is passionate about ensuring every child feels valued as an individual with the opportunity to take part in fun, engaging learning. In her spare time, Miss Booth enjoys reading, holidays abroad, going to the cinema and exploring new places.
Emerald Class Learning Assistant – Mrs Kotch
Mrs Jenny Kotch has worked at Freegrounds Infant School for nearly two years as a Lunchtime Assistant, Pupil Premium Support Assistant and a Learning Support Assistant in year 2. Previously she was a Paediatric Nurse at Southampton General Hospital. She has three children and enjoys family days out to the beach or a country park. She also helps run a kids club at her local church which is lots of fun. She thoroughly enjoys supporting the children at Freegrounds Infant School with their learning, seeing them progress and take on new challenges.
Scarlet Class Teacher – Miss Kennard
Miss Kennard is a Recently Qualified Teacher who has just completed her first year at Freegrounds Infant School! Within teaching a passion of hers is Science and in particular outdoor learning. This interest in the outdoors has been life-long, since she grew up on a Fish Farm. For her, the most rewarding thing about teaching is being able to watch all children confidently embark on a learning journey, through which they achieve and accomplish their goals. She is very excited to become a part of this, as a class teacher, at Freegrounds Infant School. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time exploring the countryside with her family and their dogs. She also loves a day out shopping!! At the moment, during her holidays she enjoys a glamping trip to different parts of the UK with her boyfriend.
Scarlet Class Learning Support Assistant - Mrs Knight
Lindsey Knight joined Freegrounds Infant School in September 2021 as an LSA in Scarlet Class as well as a Lunchtime Assistant. Previous to this role, she was a Senior Admin Officer for another local infant school. She has over 20 years’ experience working in education including the SEN department and School transport and training. This is her first LSA role and she relishes being in Scarlet Class! Lindsey lives locally with her husband, 3 children, dog and cat. They enjoy long walks on the beach or in the woods, going on holiday and taking their RIB out on the Solent.
Special Needs Assistant – Miss Thorne
Miss Thorne joined Freegrounds Infant school in September 2018 as a Lunchtime Assistant and then was appointment as a Special Needs Assistant working one to one with a child in Year 1 in January 2019. She has 1 son who is currently at the Junior School. Prior to this Miss Thorne worked with vulnerable adults and was trained in Makaton up to Level 3. She has really enjoyed learning lots of new skills such as phonics and is keen to continue supporting the children as they move into Year 2. In her spare time she likes going to the cinema, reading and spending time with her family.
Special Needs Assistant - Mrs Darnton
Mrs Darnton has been working at Freegrounds Infant School since 2017 as a Lunchtime Supervisory Assistant, Learning Support Assistant & Special Needs Assistant. She is married with three boys and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. In her spare time she enjoys cycling, kayaking and helping at beach cleans with her children.
Administration Officer – Mrs Haines
Mrs Haines joined Freegrounds Infant School in January 2018. Prior to this she has worked in an office environment. She is responsible for the administration of several areas including HR, Finance, procurement whilst also managing the welfare needs of pupils with the odd plaster or two when required. Mrs Haines is married with two children. A lot of her spare time is taken up with spending time with her family, running, going on family holidays and gardening.
Administration Assistant - Mrs Woodward
Administration Assistant - Mrs Harris
Mrs Harris joined the Freegrounds team in September 2021. Having worked at a local preschool for 4 years before this, she regularly sees familiar little faces around the school. She lives with her husband and two children, and in her spare time enjoys art, paddleboarding and camping, and is currently trying to teach herself how to play the ukulele.
Site Manager – Mr Southern
Mr Southern joined the school in 2013. Prior to this he worked as Operations Manager at Fawley Marine terminal overseeing 50 operators in the day to day management of the facility. His areas of expertise lay in Health and Safety, project planning and facilities management. In his spare time he enjoys DIY, gardening and especially wood work.
Mr Southern does a fantastic job of keeping our school grounds safe and tidy. He feels the school grounds should be a bright and attractive place for children to and learn and he has planted and nurtured the plants that grow here. His personal favourites are the dahlias.
Lunchtime Co-ordinator/Play Leader - Mrs Dore
Mrs Dore oversees the team of Lunchtime Staff who support the children with the mid-day meal service and activities to promote play in the playground and on the school field. She is keen to promote the children to be physically active and make healthy choices in relation to the food they eat to promote a healthy lifestyle. Mrs Dore is also the Learning Support Assistant in Turquoise Class.
Mrs Windsor - School Cook
Mrs Gopsil - Kitchen Assistant
Mrs Kemp - Kitchen Assistant