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Who's Who

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 Watkins

Mrs 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.

Mrs Sear - ELSA

Mrs Sear is the new Emotional Literacy Support Assistant at Freegronds Infant school, which means she can support children with developing skills such as managing feelings and emotions, and to help children through difficult periods such as anxiety and changes in circumstances at home. 

Mrs Sear lives in Hedge End with her cat, Chips, who looks very cute, but is very bad-tempered and sometimes seems to think he’s a crocodile.  It’s a very good thing that Mrs Sear’s favourite animal is a crocodile! 

When she is not working at school, Mrs Sear likes to go to jazz clubs and enjoys following her favourite football team. 

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!

Blue Class EYFS Learning Assistant – Mrs White

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.

She has been married for 14 years and has 2 children. When she is not at school she enjoys spending time with her family either at the beach or going on a bike ride in the forest. 

Red Class Teacher – Mrs Rigby

Mrs Rigby is one of the Red Class teachers at Freegrounds Infant School. She will be the teacher pm Thursday, Friday and every other Wednesday. She has been a teacher at Freegrounds Infant School for 14 years, many of them spent in EYFS. She moved to Southampton when she was 18 to go to university from Staffordshire which is where the rest of her family live. 

Away from school her time is mostly taken up by her 2 children. They keep her very busy! She is also committed to her yoga practise of 22 years which helps keep her fit! She enjoys swimming. gardening, vegetarian cooking and walks at the beach and in the forest.

Red Class Teacher – Miss Emery

Miss Emery is one of the class teachers in Red Class. She will be teaching your children at the start of the week and every other Wednesday.  She is also the school Leader of Art. She gained an English degree at university and then spent two years working as a teaching assistant before completing her PGCE. She loves teaching and is passionate about creating a happy and stimulating classroom in which children can achieve their full potential as she feels there is nothing more rewarding than watching the children grow and develop throughout the year.

When not working she is a busy Mummy. She enjoys all sorts of activities at home but especially outdoor and messy play. Any free time she gets to herself she loves to spend gardening and reading. She also enjoys arts and crafts including creating her own cards, felt making and cross stitch.

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 Teacher – Miss Hunt

Miss Hunt is very much looking forward to joining the EYFS team at Freegrounds Infant School. She has just finished her Primary Education with Maths Specialism degree at the University of Reading. She has interests in bringing Maths and other subjects to the outdoors and really ensuring the environment is key to help children learn. Miss Hunt looks forward to teaching and learning alongside your children in their first year here. When she is not in the classroom she enjoy exercising and trying to teach herself new skills such as knitting and crocheting. Miss hunt can also be found enjoying the sunshine outside and watching her 2 cats play.

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.

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 Spake. 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 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.

Orange Class Teacher - Mrs McGillivray

Mrs McGillivray teaches the end of the week in Orange Class. Her childhood was spent growing up in Singapore, she then went to University in Cardiff and has since taught in London, Chandler’s Ford, Southampton and Hampshire. She spent a long time in leadership in schools, has been a Governor, has coached other teachers to improve their practise, and most recently, has worked pastorally to support children emotionally. Now she is enjoying being back in the classroom and is passionate about enabling all children to make progress and thrives when seeing children getting excited by their learning. Away from teaching, she works for her husband’s company, and her two young children and Springer Spaniel keep her very busy. They all enjoy going out for the day on their boat to the Isle of Wight and travelling to new countries. 

Learning Support Assistant Orange Class - 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. She's very much looking forward to working with the children in Orange Class this year.

Green Class Teacher – Miss May

Miss 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.

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. 

Scarlet Class Teacher – Mrs Jones

Mrs Jones is currently one of the teachers in Scarlet 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. 

Scarlet Class Teacher - Mrs Hughes

Mrs Hughes teaches in Scarlet class on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. She has taught in Infant and Junior Schools for the past 8 years and loves working with children. Mrs Hughes enjoys all things book-related and is passionate about instilling a love of reading in all children. She has even tried writing her own books both for children and adults! She also loves Science and spending time outside with children exploring the natural world and being curious. She is Philosophy 4 Children Level 2 qualified so you’ll often find her asking children to think deeply about some challenging questions where there is no right or wrong answer - for example, is it better to be clever or kind? At home, Mrs Hughes is a busy mum to two teenagers but sometimes finds time to walk or run along her local beach and can even be tempted to do some sea swimming when the temperature is bearable (usually just in the Summer!). 

Scarlet 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. 

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.

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. 

Emerald 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. 

Emerald Class Learning Support Assistant / Pupil Premium Assistant - Miss Hirst

Miss Hirst joined Freegrounds Infant School in September 2019. She is going to be working as an LSA in Emerald Class each morning alongside being Pupil Premium Assistant 3 afternoons a week. She has a degree in PE and Sports Coaching and enjoys taking the Key Stage 1 classes for PE during PPA cover. In her free time she enjoys going to the cinema, out for dinner and on holidays as well as making her own cards. 

Special Needs Assistant - Mrs Pinks

Mrs Pinks has a varied employment history ranging from office based employment to running music workshops in pre-schools and even managing her own beauty business. She realised she had a love of teaching during her role as a music and movement workshop leader and looks forward to joining the school in September as a Special Needs Assistant. She completed her English degree at DeMontfort University Leicester and looks forward to learning more about the education system when she starts working within it. She has 3 children, all of which will be part of Freegrounds Infant School come September when her twins begin Year R, joining their older brother who starts in Year 2. In her spare time she loves reading and writing and has a real interest in crafting, trying her hand at crochet, cross stitch, quilling and even book folding.

Turquoise Class Teacher – Miss Wilson

Miss 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 Support Assistant - Mrs Dore

Mrs 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.

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 - Mrs Woodward


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.

Lunchtime Staff

Mrs Wetton


Mrs Darnton
Mrs Kotch
Mrs Lucas
Mrs Martin
Mrs Horsham
Mrs Jones
Mrs Weaver
Mrs Bunting
Mrs Marson
Kitchen Staff

Mrs Windsor - School Cook

Mrs Gopsil - Kitchen Assistant

Mrs Kemp - Kitchen Assistant