Michaela Community School | Michaela School teaching staff
Michaela School Wembley London
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Teaching Staff

Senior Team

Katharine Birbalsingh

Ms Birbalsingh
Headmistress

Ms Birbalsingh read French and Philosophy at Oxford University, followed by a PGCE at the Institute of Education. She later gained her NPQH qualification. Before coming to Michaela, Ms Birbalsingh spent her teaching career in London, moving through the ranks from teacher through middle management, to deputy headship. In various roles at other schools, she transformed behaviour systems and significantly raised achievement. Ms Birbalsingh is known for her belief in rigour and high standards. Now, as Headmistress at Michaela, she takes great pride in seeing the impact Michaela’s methods are having across the country. With several teacher guests visiting the school daily, Ms Birbalsingh is inspired by the regular feedback from teachers, senior leaders and other headteachers, who explain how they have implemented Michaela’s methods at their schools and in their classrooms. They want their pupils to be like Michaela’s pupils, progressing on average at twice the national rate.

Ms Birbalsingh has a wealth of experience in schools. She has visited and taught in schools abroad, from South Africa, to New York, to China. She has written two books and has published widely in national newspapers while also making countless television and radio appearances. Ms Birbalsingh most recently edited The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers, a book published by Michaela’s teachers on the values the school espouses. Ms Birbalsingh has also spoken at a variety of conferences on educational issues, always voicing the belief that children could achieve more, if only schools and families were to expect the very best of them.

“As a mother, I know what it is to want the best school and teachers for one’s child. As teachers and school leaders, we are honoured to be helping to shape children’s futures. It is our duty to enable every child to be the best that he or she can be. Success for every child is how we all succeed. And succeed we will.” – Ms Birbalsingh

Joe-Kirby

Mr Kirby
Deputy Head, English Teacher and Head of Year 10

Mr Kirby has a first class degree in English from the University of Warwick, where he was also elected President of the Students’ Union managing a £5 million turnover organisation and 16,000 students. He has a Masters in International Affairs from the University of Geneva, where he specialised in education. Mr Kirby has worked in the international public, non-profit and private sectors, with the United Nations, the Urology Foundation and emerging markets private equity firm Actis. Since beginning his teaching career at a primary school in 2004, Mr Kirby has taught at a London secondary school and, more recently, was a Teach First Ambassador* and has supervised 40 Teach First participants to publish three books on teaching. He has visited schools in South Africa, India, South America and London, climbed 6,000-metre mountains in Bolivia, Tanzania and Nepal, and run marathons in Athens, Berlin and Dublin. His passion for teaching English stems from seeing pupils learn to love great literature, from Julius Caesar to Oliver Twist. Mr Kirby writes weekly online about education, and speaks at national education research conferences. His vision is for teaching to become an evidence-based profession and to end educational inequality in England.

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Ms Ashford
Deputy Head, Director of Inclusion and English Teacher

Ms Ashford graduated from the University of Warwick. A Teach First Ambassador*, she previously worked as an English teacher and leader of SEN intervention in the West Midlands. Ms Ashford has spoken at national research and education conferences and has lectured PGCE students at the University of Birmingham. As SENCO, she has a particular interest in teaching reading in secondary school settings. She has written for various websites and the Times Education Supplement, and has co-authored two books about teaching. Ms Ashford is currently writing a book about SEN education.

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Mr Williams-Yale
Deputy Head and Maths Teacher

Mr Williams-Yale read Mathematics at Oxford University having been the first in his family to attend University. As an 18-year-old, Mr Williams-Yale saved up for weeks to buy a suit and a new pair of shoes, borrowed a suitcase and managed to travel to Oxford for his interview, never having been before because he couldn’t afford the journey. Mr Williams-Yale firmly believes that if you want to fulfil your potential you must work hard, and approached his own studies with this tough ethic by teaching himself A-Level Further Mathematics. He has always been immensely passionate about mathematics and relishes the opportunity to inspire and push pupils to become brilliant mathematicians.

Having been a teacher, a Head of Department and a Deputy Head across a range of London schools, Mr Williams-Yale has 15 years of experience in the education sector. In addition to his roles in schools Mr Williams-Yale is a Senior Examiner for the Pearson Edexcel exam board, and has extensive experience writing exam papers for GCSE and A-Level Mathematics.

Mathematics 

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Ms Quinn
Head of Maths 

Ms Quinn read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford, where she worked with the charity Jacari (pairing EAL pupils with university students to help them develop their English as quickly as possible and to enjoy school) and was a trainer and volunteer for the university’s Nightline service, before working as a Vice-President of the Students’ Union. A Teach First Ambassador, she started by teaching at a school in Sheffield for three years before joining a free school in Bradford as Head of Department. Ms Quinn loves to teach maths as it was the subject she found most challenging (and most satisfying) as a secondary school student and, as a result, she hopes her own students will discover how wonderful maths can be when tackled with enthusiasm and perseverance. When not thinking about maths (which she does a lot!), Ms Quinn loves cooking for friends, discussing politics, climbing, and art.

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Mr Williams-Yale
Deputy Head and Maths Teacher

Mr Williams-Yale read Mathematics at Oxford University having been the first in his family to attend University. As an 18-year-old, Mr Williams-Yale saved up for weeks to buy a suit and a new pair of shoes, borrowed a suitcase and managed to travel to Oxford for his interview, never having been before because he couldn’t afford the journey. Mr Williams-Yale firmly believes that if you want to fulfil your potential you must work hard, and approached his own studies with this tough ethic by teaching himself A-Level Further Mathematics. He has always been immensely passionate about mathematics and relishes the opportunity to inspire and push pupils to become brilliant mathematicians.

Having been a teacher, a Head of Department and a Deputy Head across a range of London schools, Mr Williams-Yale has 15 years of experience in the education sector. In addition to his roles in schools Mr Williams-Yale is a Senior Examiner for the Pearson Edexcel exam board, and has extensive experience writing exam papers for GCSE and A-Level Mathematics.

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Mr Kendall
Maths Teacher

Mr Kendall has a first class degree in Maths and Philosophy from the University of Warwick. Throughout every year of his degree he attained the highest mark on his course. During his degree he spent a year studying Maths at the University of Geneva, giving him the chance to improve his French language skills too. He completed his teacher training in Nottingham through the Teach First programme and has moved down to London specifically to work at Michaela. Since training to be a teacher, he has worked in schools in South Africa, India, Guyana and Tanzania. He loves the buzz of solving an interesting Maths problem and wants to share his passion for Maths with every pupil he teaches. On top of this he enjoys reading, travelling and watching Manchester United.

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Mr Ting
Maths Teacher

Mr Ting graduated from Oxford University with a Double First in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. After spending several years in a Christian ministry, mentoring university students in Oxford and Beijing, he became a teacher out of a continued desire to see young people and communities flourish. Mr Ting is a Teach First Ambassador and taught for two years in East London before joining Michaela. A keen basketball player and former rower, he delights in teamwork, and is thrilled to be part of Michaela where every teacher is committed to ending social and educational inequality. Mr Ting has always loved maths: as a pupil, he achieved seven consecutive Gold Awards in the annual UKMT Maths Challenge, and was one of the top ten pupils nationally to achieve the highest overall marks in GCSE Mathematics. As a teacher, he hopes to inspire the same mathematical confidence, achievement and joy in his own pupils. Outside of the classroom, he loves browsing his local library, cooking for his wife and friends, and being at church.

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Ms Smith
Maths Teacher

Ms Smith studied Mathematics at University College London (UCL). She chose to become a teacher because she aims for other pupils to experience the same joy from educational success, in particular in Mathematics, as she. Ms Smith completed the Teach First programme whilst teaching Mathematics in Derbyshire and continued to teach in the region afterwards. She has relocated to London in order to teach at Michaela Community School, drawn by Michaela’s rigorous curriculum and high expectations for pupils. During her time at university, Ms Smith played an active role as Treasurer for the Dance Society and dance continues to be a great interest of hers. She is also a keen runner and theatregoer.

Ms Gazi
Maths Teacher

Ms Gazi graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Politics, Psychology and Sociology before qualifying as a Maths teacher through Teach First. She spent two years teaching at a school in East London, where she was responsible for coordinating extra-curricular clubs and trips for high attaining students. Ms Gazi has also spent time teaching English in South Korea. She joined Michaela because she strongly believes that everyone should receive an excellent academic education, so that prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge are accessible to all. Ms Gazi hopes to instil a love of Maths in every student, as well as the belief that with sustained effort and practice, everyone can be good at Maths.

Mr Hurst
Maths Teacher

Mr Hurst studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. After graduating, he worked at the Economist Intelligence Unit on a variety of projects ranging from creating a database on Africa’s 27 largest cities to designing an app for the Prime Minister’s Office of an Arab State. Having always admired the great teachers he came across in school and life in general, Mr Hurst left the EIU in 2015 to be a part of Teach First in Barnsley. After two years of encouraging hard work and positive attitudes towards maths in Barnsley, Mr Hurst has come to Michaela because he believes in the importance of getting pupils to learn and remember the most powerful knowledge there is. When he is not at school, you’ll find him either reading, golfing or running.

 

Mr Hutton
Maths Teacher

Mr Hutton has a first class degree in Philosophy from the University of Southampton. Through studying Philosophy he became interested in social justice and creating an environment for people to flourish. Because of this, he joined the Teach First programme and taught in a deprived area of Kent for two years. When he witnessed the effect that Michaela was having on its pupils and the wider educational landscape, he felt compelled to join. Mr Hutton has always been passionate about Mathematics, having achieved 100% in his GCSE exam and pursuing Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic at university. He is also qualified as a ski instructor and loves all adventure and extreme sports.

Ms Jones
Maths Teacher

Ms Jones graduated from Aston University with a first class degree in Maths. She has loved Maths for as long as she can remember – choosing to study Additional Maths alongside her GCSEs and Maths and Further Maths at A-level.

Ms Jones is a keen sportswoman and competed with the swimming, netball and water polo teams during her time at university. Ms Jones is also a qualified swimming instructor.

Qualifying with a distinction, Ms Jones trained to teach Maths through Teach First and has previously worked in Kent as a Maths teacher. She has relocated to London specifically to work at Michaela because of her belief that all children should have the opportunity to access a knowledge-rich academic education.

English 

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Ms Martin
Head of English

Ms Martin read English at Cardiff University before working in the media industry, both as a PR professional for organisations including Comic Relief and a journalist for Harper’s Bazaar magazine. She was inspired to teach when realising her passion lay in inspiring young people to share her love for the art of communication and great story-telling. Ms Martin is interested in tackling social injustice from the bottom up and believes that Michaela Community School is unique in its unwavering commitment to this goal. In her spare time, she freelances for various publications, writes fiction and explores London’s food scene.

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Ms Ashford
Deputy Head, Director of Inclusion and English Teacher

Ms Ashford graduated from the University of Warwick. A Teach First Ambassador*, she previously worked as an English teacher and leader of SEN intervention in the West Midlands. Ms Ashford has spoken at national research and education conferences and has lectured PGCE students at the University of Birmingham. As SENCO, she has a particular interest in teaching reading in secondary school settings. She has written for various websites and the Times Education Supplement, and has co-authored two books about teaching. Ms Ashford is currently writing a book about SEN education.

Joe-Kirby

Mr Kirby
Deputy Head, English Teacher and Head of Year 10

Mr Kirby has a first class degree in English from the University of Warwick, where he was also elected President of the Students’ Union managing a £5 million turnover organisation and 16,000 students. He has a Masters in International Affairs from the University of Geneva, where he specialised in education. Mr Kirby has worked in the international public, non-profit and private sectors, with the United Nations, the Urology Foundation and emerging markets private equity firm Actis. Since beginning his teaching career at a primary school in 2004, Mr Kirby has taught at a London secondary school and, more recently, was a Teach First Ambassador* and has supervised 40 Teach First participants to publish three books on teaching. He has visited schools in South Africa, India, South America and London, climbed 6,000-metre mountains in Bolivia, Tanzania and Nepal, and run marathons in Athens, Berlin and Dublin. His passion for teaching English stems from seeing pupils learn to love great literature, from Julius Caesar to Oliver Twist. Mr Kirby writes weekly online about education, and speaks at national education research conferences. His vision is for teaching to become an evidence-based profession and to end educational inequality in England.

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Ms Facer
English Teacher

The first in her family to attend university, Ms Facer studied English at Trinity College Dublin, where she also gained her Masters in History. After graduation, she worked as a parliamentary researcher for an Irish Senator, and taught Drama and Creative Writing for four years with a youth programme in Dublin. She has taught English in London schools since 2010, working as an English teacher, Head of English and Assistant Head. Ms Facer helped to develop Michaela’s year 8 English curriculum in the summer of 2015 and was inspired to work in a school where she could teach all pupils such challenging and exciting literature. She has co-authored two books on education, and regularly speaks at education events. Ms Facer strongly believes in the importance of great literature and hopes to instil a lifelong love of reading in her pupils. When not teaching, Ms Facer is almost always reading.

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Ms Cullen
English Teacher

Ms Cullen graduated with a first class degree in English from the University of Exeter, where she was also the president of the drama society. Keen to continue with her subject, she went on to complete a Masters degree in English with a focus on Criticism and Theory. She became a teacher in order to pass on her love of literature and instil in pupils an appreciation of the power of well-chosen words.

Ms Cullen completed the Teach First Leadership Development Programme with distinction whilst teaching in Essex, and has also taught English in Oslo and Bangalore. She was drawn to Michaela by the school’s focus on lasting literature and its unique challenge to social inequality.

When not reading (which she considers akin to breathing) she enjoys cooking, travelling and writing.

Ms Baidoun
English Teacher

Ms Baidoun studied French and Arabic at University College London, graduating with a first class degree. Realising her passion lay more with the literature modules of her undergraduate course, she went on to complete an MA in English and Comparative Literature at the University of York.

She obtained her PGCE in English from King’s College London and has spent the last four years teaching in inner city London, holding positions of responsibility from KS5 coordinator to Deputy Head of Department. She was drawn to Michaela for its exceptionally high aspirations and shares Michaela’s belief that perseverance and hard work are the lynch pins of success.

Mr Ashton
English Teacher

Mr Ashton has a first class degree from the University of Exeter and a master’s degree from University College London, both in Philosophy. Both his dissertations were on ethics and led him to the conclusion that he should stop writing about making the world a better place and start doing it. He therefore qualified as a teacher through the Teach First programme, spending two years teaching in a school in Brent. He has also gained experience outside education, working for IBM and the Liberal Democrats.

Mr Ashton became an English teacher because he believes literature teaches us invaluable lessons about life, the world and humanity. He was drawn to Michaela because rather than merely teaching to the test, Michaela is committed to genuinely enriching lives. He is inspired by the school’s success in empowering young people to understand “elite” subject matter (often the reserve of top private schools) regardless of background.

Ms Cowley
English Teacher

Ms Cowley read English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Leeds. As part of her degree she also spent a year teaching English and learning Italian in Turin, which was such a rewarding experience that on leaving university she was inspired to start a career in teaching.

A Teach First Ambassador, Ms Cowley has taught English at schools in Bradford, Uganda, London, and Madrid, where she taught herself to speak fluent Spanish. During this time she also completed a Masters degree in Education, for which she received a Distinction, and travelled through Mexico and Central America to further develop her language skills.

Ms Cowley loves her subject because it gives pupils the opportunity to explore the incredible variety of cultures and characters found in great literature, as well as the chance to appreciate how remarkably empowering a skilful command of vocabulary and grammar can be. She works at Michaela because it means that every minute spent teaching is a fruitful one, where a rigorous curriculum ensures that all pupils make astounding progress in an atmosphere which is purposeful, supportive and rewarding.

Humanities 


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Mr Porter
Head of Humanities

Mr Porter graduated with one of the top firsts in his year from the University of Cambridge and won the University Theological Studies Prize. He has a range of academic and co-curricular interests: he played for the University U21 rugby team, enjoys debating about politics and current affairs, and is an unrepentant fan of musical theatre. After some time in Cairo in the aftermath of the ‘Arab Spring’ and, later, teaching debating in China, he qualified as a teacher through the Teach First programme* and spent two years teaching in central Birmingham. He believes in empowering his pupils by passing on the best of what human beings know about the world so that they can grow up to lead purposeful lives. He hopes to foster a love of learning that stays with his pupils forever.

Teach First Ambassadors are qualified teachers who have undertaken a highly competitive two-year leadership development programme which transforms exceptional graduates into effective, inspirational teachers and leaders.

Mr Taylor
Humanities Teacher and Head of History 

Mr Taylor read Modern History at the University of St Andrews. Whilst at university, he focused on diplomatic history and in particular, Britain’s relationship with Iran and British foreign policy before the First World War. He was also president of the university’s history society and was on the university’s debating team. A keen hillwalker and golfer, he is also passionate about current affairs and has worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, based at the British Embassy to the Holy See in Rome. He has also spent time working as a researcher for an MP in the House of Commons. After graduating, he moved to France and worked as a battlefield guide for the centenary of the First World War, before qualifying as a teacher through the Teach First programme. His teaching is driven by the necessity for all pupils to access the rich cultural literacy that is too often the preserve of the few.

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Mr Eastment
Humanities Teacher and Head of Year 8 

Mr Eastment studied History at the University of Manchester, including a semester at the University of Missouri, before going on to complete an MA in International Relations at King’s College, London for which he achieved a Distinction.

After working for a number of private and third-sector organisations he decided that his passion lay in education and teaching. He spent three years at a school in East London before returning to his roots in North-West London. He was attracted to Michaela’s ethos of high standards and its rigorous, knowledge-based curriculum that he believes will empower the young people of Wembley to live rich and fulfilling lives.

In his spare time he likes to collect classic Soul records and is an avid follower of Barnet F.C.

Mr Allan
Humanities Teacher

After moving from his native Shropshire, Mr Allan graduated from the University of Sheffield with one of the top firsts in Politics and was awarded the Stuart Walkland Prize for achievement in the subject. He has been with the Humanities department since Michaela opened in 2014. He has a keen interest in politics, history, and sport. In his spare time he is a keen musician, walker and runner. He is at Michaela because of a strong belief that knowledge empowers and that it should be available to all children- regardless of background.

Ms James
Humanities Teacher

Ms James read Theology at the University of Oxford, before going on to teach Religion in Birmingham, as part of the Teach First programme. Whilst at University, she played an active role in the college boat club, coxing the first boat for two seasons. She also sat on the JCR executive committee as Welfare Officer and was chair of the college ball. When possible, she particularly enjoys scuba diving, attending Church and is an enthusiastic (but not very good) salsa dancer. Her teaching is inspired by the belief that high expectations, a rigorous curriculum and an unrepentant love for one’s subject can be life changing.

Ms Stockley
English Teacher

Ms Stockley studied History at Warwick, graduating with a first class degree. She taught for two years in Coventry as part of Teach First. For Ms Stockley, the potentially transformative role of education became obvious whilst volunteering in Tamil Nadu: she is thrilled to be working at a school where all pupils are exposed to academic rigour and all are able to develop intellectual confidence. Interests, when not pontificating about politics, include learning the saxophone, reading history and playing sport (badly).

Science 

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Ms Dyer
Head of Science

Ms Dyer read Human Sciences at University College London (UCL). Her decision to devote her career to education was inspired by her time volunteering as a teaching assistant at Nash College, an independent specialist college for learners with moderate to profound learning disabilities. This was a humbling experience for Ms Dyer, who was enthused to see individuals with complex medical needs and disabilities achieve their maximum level of independence through the setting of high expectations. This inspired her to complete a PGCE at King’s College London and a Masters in Educational Leadership. Ms Dyer is a Teach First Ambassador*. The thing that she loves about teaching the most is the opportunity to share her love for science. Ms Dyer was the first person in her extended family to attend university and wishes to inspire many Michaela pupils to attend university, and hopefully, pursue a career in science.

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Mr Plastow
Science Teacher and Head of Year 9

Mr Plastow is a chemistry graduate from the University of Manchester where he specialised in practical chemistry. Alongside studying he gained invaluable experience working with underprivileged children in challenging social situations. Immediately after graduating he began his career in teaching with Teach First and has since taught science at both secondary and primary school level. He is firmly of the belief that science should not be ‘dumbed-down’ and that even the youngest pupils are capable of understanding advanced scientific concepts. Mr Plastow is keen to dispel the stigma attached to science, that it is ‘too hard’, and wishes to inspire a host of young people into studying science at some of the world’s best universities with the hope that this leads them onto a scientific careers. A background in the London restaurant industry has made him a food and drink fanatic, whilst other hobbies include playing various sports, travelling and collecting music.

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Ms Cheng
Science Teacher

Ms Cheng graduated with a first class degree in Biochemistry from University College London (UCL). Whilst at university she volunteered for the Francis Crick Institute, popularising science to members of the public. She qualified as a teacher through the Teach First programme and obtained her Masters degree from the Institute of Education where her research focused on behaviour management philosophy.

Ms Cheng grew up in Wembley and served as the Brent Member of UK Youth Parliament. Brent Council has recognised her as a ‘Community Champion’ for her voluntary work in the local community. Ms Cheng has achieved grade 8 in piano and ballet and enjoys cooking and musicals in her spare time.

Ms Cheng is proud to work at Michaela Community School and is particularly drawn to the knowledge-based curriculum and seeing pupils rise to such high standards.

Mr Phelan
Science Teacher and Head of Year 7

Mr Phelan graduated from Imperial College London with a 1st class degree in theoretical physics. During his time at university, Mr Phelan worked as a volunteer reader in a London primary school. Ever since, he has had a passionate belief in the power of education to transform the lives of those living in disadvantage. Mr Phelan has a strong belief that the ethos and values at Michaela are exactly what is needed to ensure that all young people receive the education that they deserve.

On graduating, Mr Phelan trained as a teacher on the INSPIRE scheme at Imperial College and has worked in a number of London schools. Throughout his teaching career Mr Phelan has been a keen advocate of public speaking and debating, coaching students at a variety of competitions at both a national and international level.

In his spare time Mr Phelan enjoys playing a range of sports, none more so than his beloved football. He also enjoys reading and going to the theatre.

Ms Affi
Science Teacher

Ms Affi graduated from the University of Sheffield with a first class degree in biochemistry and microbiology. After taking a year out to work at a summer camp in New York as a camp counsellor, Ms Affi moved to Bradford to train as a science teacher as part of the Teach First programme. She has recently move to London to teach science at Michaela and in her spare time enjoys travelling, cooking and being outdoors.

Mr Bale
Science Teacher

Mr Bale read Zoology at the University of Bristol. After completing his degree, he relocated to the East coast to teach in Grimsby for 2 years on the Teach First programme, gaining a greater understanding of how educational inequality deeply affects those living in other parts of the country.

Now, Mr. Bale has moved back to London to teach at Michaela Community School, drawn by the pupils’ exceptional knowledge and the school’s unique ethos. He believes that when pupils are successful in science (as anyone can be) they will understand and be inspired by the many options it gives them for their future. Outside of the classroom, he enjoys travel, running and cycling.

Mr Hind
Science Teacher

Mr Hind was the first person in his family to attend university. After working for a few years in a factory and a DIY shop, he decided he wanted something different for himself. So, a little bit later than most, he began a biomedical science degree at London Metropolitan University. Mr Hind graduated with his dissertation being published in The Journal of Biomedical and Biophysical Research Communications.

Following graduation, Mr Hind started the Teach First program and began teaching science in a comprehensive school in Camberwell. He taught there for four years and became Key Stage 3 Curriculum Coordinator.

Mr Hind joined Michaela in order to provide young people with a life-changing academic education that is too often the preserve of the privileged. Mr Hind is currently studying for an MA in science education at King’s College London and in his spare time loves reading on a range of topics from bodybuilding to politics and is a fan of football and boxing.

 

Mr Raichura
Science Teacher

Mr Raichura grew up in Brent and attended a local comprehensive school, before reading Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. After graduating, he trained to become a science teacher and worked in a secondary school in East London for three years where he was also Head of Biology and a staff governor.

Mr Raichura became a teacher to inspire wonder, curiosity and a love of the natural sciences in his pupils. He particularly enjoys teaching the marvels of evolutionary and developmental biology. Mr Raichura wishes to see all pupils equipped with the knowledge, skills and experiences that will enable them to pursue any future of their choosing.

Mr Raichura takes delight in experiencing new things, which has led to him singing in a Hindi-English fusion a cappella group; trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal; and diving in Malaysia.

Modern Foreign Languages

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Ms Lund
Head of Languages

Ms Lund has worked in schools and with young people for over ten years. She began as a debating coach with the English-Speaking Union, and worked with numerous schools in London to prepare pupils for the London Debate Challenge. Ms Lund was the first person from her school to achieve a place at Christ Church, Oxford, and represented Oxford in international debate competitions, theatrical and musical productions, and was part of the Oxford Access Scheme. After graduating with a degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics), Ms Lund spent three years raising money for schools, colleges and universities throughout the UK, training and managing students. She became involved with the steering group which established the Greenwich Free School, and came back to the educational coalface as an administrator before training as a teacher. Ms Lund believes in giving pupils every resource they need to succeed in language learning, and engaging them through their own sense of mastery.

Ms Staw
Languages Teacher

Ms Staw studied French and German at the University of Oxford, working at an educational charity in Berlin during her year abroad. It was while teaching in Nepal at the end of her degree that she decided to embark on a career in education and so began the Teach First programme the following year. Having taught in a number of schools across London, Ms Staw was drawn to Michaela’s ethos of rigour and high standards. She is thrilled to be a part of the school and believes that it is only through adopting Michaela’s approach that we will begin to reduce educational inequality. Outside of work, Ms Staw is a keen reader and theatregoer and also sings in a choir.

Ms Bocquet
Languages Teacher

Ms Bocquet was born and educated in Northern France where she studied Modern Foreign languages at University. She came to England to improve her English by working as an au-pair and enjoyed this experience so much, she decided to stay and share her passion for languages with others.

After a few years working for Eurostar as an International Train Manager, Ms Bocquet turned her attention to Education. She initially gave a few part-time courses in French and became a governor in a primary school in Wembley. She quickly joined a secondary school in Acton where she worked for 6 years, qualifying as a teacher.

Ms Bocquet’s daughter joined Michaela at the very start as she felt it showed many similarities with her own traditional French education and was confident Michaela would bring her daughter’s knowledge, curiosity and drive amongst many other attributes.

Ms Bocquet is delighted to be joining Michaela and is hoping to inspire pupils to always want to achieve higher and develop an undying love for the French language.

Music 

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Ms Clear
Head of Music, Science Teacher and Head of Year 9

Ms Clear grew up in Birmingham where she started learning the flute, bassoon and piano, performing in world-class venues across the UK both as a soloist and with a variety of choirs, chamber ensembles and orchestras. Ms Clear later graduated with a first class degree in Music, Philosophy and Education from Durham University. Whilst at Durham she received a Music Scholarship Award following her first year results, achieving one of the highest results for performance in the year. Before going to university, Ms Clear spent a year volunteering in Malawi where she lived and worked in a small orphanage, alongside running a nursery school for the local village. Ms Clear has worked for a variety of education charities, exploring different approaches to tackling educational inequality, and gaining experience working with a wide range of young people in different contexts. Outside of work, Ms Clear enjoys climbing and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

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Ms McTaggart
Music Teacher

Ms McTaggart graduated summa cum laude from Berklee College of Music, with a major in Songwriting. She has since been working as a professional musician in both the Boston area and in Zimbabwe, where her original material has gained wide popularity in the region. Ms McTaggart was inspired to begin a career in education after spending years teaching music in various arts programs and youth development organizations in the U.S. Deeply moved by the positive impact that a music program has on youth, she moved to the UK in order to pursue teaching full time. Ms McTaggart is thrilled to be starting off in a focused and warm environment that models and values high moral standards, and impeccable behaviour.

Art

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Ms Speller
Head of Art

Ms Speller studied Fine Art at Middlesex University followed by a PGCE at the Institute of Education. She has always had a love and passion for art and the thoughts and feeling it can evoke. She is very interested in Art history and loves learning (still) about different periods of art and how they have developed over time. Ms Speller’s talent in art meant that she was selected by the Art co-ordinator of her borough, Essex, to study Fine Art in Italy. Whilst there her experience of learning such traditional drawing techniques would change her future and inspire her to want to teach art herself. Ms Speller believes in order for a pupil to be able to demonstrate their ideas in a highly skilful way they must first learn the traditional skills and techniques necessary and have an understanding of the history of art.

Teaching Fellows 

Ms Ting
Teaching Fellow

Ms Ting has a First Class degree in Law from the London School of Economics and a Masters in Law from Oxford University, specialising in human rights law and constitutional theory. Before joining Michaela she was a financial crime consultant at Deloitte where she advised clients in the banking sector on money laundering and terrorist financing prevention.

Ms Ting was a Music Scholar at school and has achieved Grade 8 on piano, violin, organ and voice. At 16 she won the Cathcart Young Composer of the Year award – her original composition, “Toccata for Organ and Orchestra”, was officially dedicated to the Queen for Her Majesty’s 80th birthday, and was performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Spring Proms.

Ms Ting is currently training at Michaela to be a humanities and music teacher, and hopes to bring her passion for these subjects to the school.