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.
During the academic year 2019-2020 Mrs Riches will also be the Acting Executive Headteacher at Netley Abbey Infant School. This is an exciting opportunity for both schools to celebrate and share best infant practice and build on the strengths and leadership of the Strategic Leadership Teams within both schools.
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.
Head of Teaching and Learning, Deputy Headteacher and Year 2 Leader – Miss SeedMiss Seed joined the school in September 2015. She is the Year 2 Leader and also leads English across the school. She studied Law at University and then gained her PGCE, specialising in EYFS education and development. During the academic year 2019-2020 Miss Seed will also be the Acting Head of Teaching and Learning at Freegrounds Infant School as Mrs Riches will be taking on the role of Acting Executive Headteacher across Freegrounds Infants and Netley Abbey Infant School. She is passionate about children’s education and strives to ensure that each child’s uniqueness is cherished and nurtured to enable them to flourish. In her free time she enjoys cooking. travelling around the world and exploring new places. She also has a weakness for nice shoes! She comes from a small close family, so family time is very important to her.
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.
EYFS Leader and Blue Class Teacher - Mrs Jones
Mrs Jones is currently the EYFS Leader and the teacher of Blue class at Freegrounds Infant School. She is a member of the Strategic Leadership Team and will also be leading Computing across the school in September. She completed her degree in Teaching and Learning with the University of Worcester and her PGCE with Cornwall SCITT. She is looking forward to the opportunity of teaching and learning alongside the children in her class next year. She has a particular interest in outdoor learning and Phonics . When not in the classroom she can be found enjoying her time off with her husband and their 2 dogs and 2 cats or watching, singing, talking about Disney!
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 TaylorMrs 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.
Year 1 Leader and Purple Class Teacher - Miss Webb
Miss Webb joined Freegrounds Infant School in September 2016. She is currently the Purple class teacher in Year 1 and has been the Year 1 Leader since September 2018. She is also the Leader of Maths. Miss Webb is an exemplary practitioner who loves teaching and enabling opportunities for children to explore, learn and grow as individuals in an environment that promotes discovery and inspires their curiosity. She went to The University of Winchester to study her teaching degree, a dream she had since being in Year One herself! In her free time she loves visiting new places and spending days out exploring with friends and family. She also enjoys baking, trying new recipes, and reading.
Purple Class Learning Support Assistant – Mrs TuohyMrs Emma Tuohy who joined us last September will be working alongside Miss Webb in Purple Class. She is currently our FEIPS practitioner and runs a regular Lego Group once a week. Mrs Tuohy will also be taking on the ELSA role. Previously she worked as a breakfast show presenter on the radio before becoming a music therapist for adults with learning difficulties. She is also a children’s entertainer at the weekend and often dresses as various characters. She loves making imagination come to life and she is very passionate about children being able to learn from their experiences and encouraged to reach for the stars and achieve their dreams. She has two small children and loves spending time with them at the beach or going for picnics on the south coast
Orange Class Teacher – Mrs du PreezMrs du Preez is one of the class teachers in Orange class. She will be teaching on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. She studied teaching in her home country, South Africa, loves teaching and strives to create a classroom environment that is exciting and inviting, providing a range of opportunities for hands on learning as well as promoting the school values. Outside of school most of her time is taken up looking after her very busy 4 year old. They especially enjoy spending as much time outdoors, investigating, as they can. Mrs Du Preez enjoys good company, loves to cook and try out new recipes. She is looking forward to working with the children in her class next year and making it the best possible year in Year 1.
Orange Class Teacher – Mrs JonesMrs Jones is currently one of the teachers in Orange class 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. Her husband has a love of classic cars, so she often goes on adventures in one of them at the weekend.
Orange Class Learning Assistant – Mrs Sims
Beckie Sims has worked at Freegrounds Infant school since 2013 and is the Learning Support Assistant in Orange 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 Orange Class, Mrs Jones and Mrs Dupreez next year. Besides being an LSA in the mornings, she also works two afternoons a week with groups and individual children doing Speech and Language Therapy.
Green Class Teacher – Miss MayMiss May will be the teacher in Green 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.
Scarlet Class Teacher – Miss NaylorMiss Naylor is extremely excited to be supporting Miss Seed with some of the Year 2 Leader responsibilities at Freegrounds Infant School and is looking forward to getting to know her new class. She strongly believes in developing the whole child and will supporting each and every child through the year so they can achieve their best. Prior to completing her PGCE she completed a degree in Equine Science and worked as a groom and horse riding instructor. Outside of school she still enjoys horse riding with friends and going for walks with her dog, exploring new places.
Special Needs Assistant – Miss ThorneMiss 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.
Emerald Class Teacher – Miss KennardMiss Kennard is a Newly Qualified Teacher who has just completed three years of teacher training at The University of Brighton. She is excited to finally have the responsibility for her own class and ensuring the progress of all children. 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 four dogs. She also loves a day out shopping!! At the moment, during her holidays she enjoys travelling to different parts of the world with her boyfriend.
Emerald 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.
Turquoise Class Teacher – Miss WilsonMiss Wilson has been involved in teaching in many forms for her entire career, beginning as a tennis instructor. Most recently, Miss Wilson worked for a local Children’s Charity, where she delivered respite breaks for young carers and vulnerable children. She is still heavily involved here, and volunteers her time to run activities and look after the garden. She works on the belief that success stems from a love of learning and she inspires this by nurturing the children’s own interests. Her interests outside of teaching include: Yoga, reading and gardening. She is very much looking forward to having her own class in September.
Turquoise Class Learning Assistant – Mrs KotchMrs 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.
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 and going on family holidays and camping trips in her tent when it is not too cold.
Mrs Cunliffe - Administration Assistant
Mrs Cunliffe joined the admin team here at Freegrounds Infant school in January 2019. After graduating from Exeter University with a degree in Sports Science, she worked in marketing before settling down with her husband and three boys. In her free time she enjoys cycling, running, going to the gym and volunteering at a local sea scout & kayak club, but often spends most of it at the side of a football pitch watching her boys play. She is enjoying learning the diverse role of Administration Assistant especially as each day is different.
Administration Assistant - Dawn Belcher
Mrs Belcher started working in the school office as an Administration Assistant in November 2018 and has previously helped on many school trips. After taking a break from working in an office since having her eldest child she is excited to get back in the office and looking forward to helping everyone. Mrs Belcher is married with 3 children and enjoys running and baking in her spare time.
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.