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Our Staff

Senior Leadership Team

Mr D Webster - Headteacher

Qualifications: BA PE Education, MA Education and Leadership, NPQH

Mr Webster completed his undergraduate degree in Manchester and later completed his Masters degree in Education and Leadership from the University of Nottingham. He was awarded his National Professional Qualification in Headship in 2015. Before establishing Mercia School, Mr Webster spent his teaching career in two South Yorkshire schools, moving through the ranks from teacher, through middle management, deputy headship and eventually a headship of his own. In various roles, he transformed behaviour systems and significantly raised achievement. His first headship oversaw the remarkable turnaround of Newfield School, a school he left in the top 2% of schools nationally for progress measures. 

Mr Webster has a deep-rooted belief in high standards of discipline and exceptional quality of teaching – no exceptions. Now, as headteacher of Mercia School, he is determined to establish a world class school that can rival any, including those in the public sector. A keen sportsman, he relishes teamwork and is thrilled to lead Mercia School where every teacher is committed to ending social and educational inequality.

Mr J Fisher - Deputy Headteacher & SENCO

Qualifications: BA (Hons) History, PGCE Secondary History, MA Education and Leadership

Mr Fisher read History at the University of York, graduating in 2011. He gained his Masters degree in Education and Leadership from the University of Manchester in 2015. Mr Fisher has a particular passion for twentieth century history with his specialism being Germany 1918-45, alongside an enduring fascination with both the First and Second World Wars. He has always been immensely passionate about history and delights in the prospect of motivating and pushing pupils to become brilliant historians.

Mr Fisher steadfastly believes that to fulfil your potential you must work hard and embrace challenge. This has been shown by his tenacious and imaginative leadership of History, Geography and Humanities departments across South Yorkshire. Having been a teacher, a head of department, a head of faculty and an assistant headteacher across two South Yorkshire schools, Mr Fisher has eleven years of experience in the education sector. Mr Fisher is a Teach First Ambassador and has a huge passion for eradicating inequalities in the UK education system. In addition to his roles in schools, Mr Fisher is a senior examiner for the AQA exam board, and he has extensive experience assessing student performance at both GCSE and A-Level.

Mr Fisher is fully committed to ensuring all pupils, especially those who may be disadvantaged or have a special educational need (SEN), learn well and thrive at school. As the school's named SENCO, Mr Fisher holds responsibility for ensuring the  school meets the needs of pupils with SEN and takes this role very seriously. He believes a school's curriculum and teaching must make sure all pupils flourish and learn effectively. 

Ms R Hollingsworth - Deputy Headteacher

Qualifications: BA English Literature and Language, PGCE Secondary English, MA Education

Ms Hollingsworth read English Literature and Language at Newcastle University, graduating in 2003. Initially teaching in Newcastle upon Tyne, before relocating closer to home and joining the Mercia Learning Trust, Ms Hollingsworth has a range of experience across city secondary schools, as Head of English. A Specialist Leader in Education (SLE) for English,  Ms Hollingsworth has leadership experience across literacy, standards and curriculum design. Innovative in her approach to reading and creative writing, a love of learning is at the heart of her work and her lessons.

Particularly fond of 19th century literature and contemporary poetry, she can usually be caught reading or maybe even writing. As an exam marker for AQA GCSE Literature, Ms Hollingsworth has plenty of passion for English to keep her busy. She is always looking to further the quality of the Mercia English curriculum and ensuring there are special ‘Mercia moments’ for us all to share.

Miss J Green - Deputy Headteacher & Head of PE

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) in Physical Education with QTS

Miss Green completed her undergraduate studies in Physical Education in 2004, achieving a First Class honours degree from Sheffield Hallam University. Passionate about health and fitness, she has extensive expertise in the sport and leisure industry, notably as a fitness instructor and a coach specializing in gymnastics and trampolining. An artistic gymnast herself for over 14 years, Miss Green competed at local, regional and national levels in both individual and team events. She represented the East Midlands on numerous occasions and was once ranked second nationally. She continues to be a keen sportswoman, playing competitive netball in a range of local leagues and is eager to lead the school’s Physical Education department and contribute to the extra-curricular offer.

Before joining Mercia School, Miss Green spent 16 years in a local Sheffield school. She excelled in various roles including Teacher of PE, Head of Upper School and Assistant Headteacher. Miss Green provided exceptional leadership of assessment and data systems, which significantly contributed to the school's ‘Good’ judgement achieved in 2017. An outstanding teacher, Miss Green has a passion for ensuring that all pupils make exceptional progress. In March 2020, she became a specialist assessor in educational testing after completing the Certificate in Psychometric Testing, Assessment and Access Arrangements. She works closely with the school’s SENCO to make sure pupils who require additional support receive it.

Mathematics

Mr A Brown - Head of Mathematics

Qualifications: BA Economics and Management, PGCE Secondary Mathematics, MA Economics

Mr Brown studied Economics and Management at the University of Oxford and later gained his Masters in Economics from University College London. Prior to becoming a teacher, Mr Brown worked as a Government Economist for almost 9 years in various roles. These included carrying out economic analysis of the UK housing market during the financial crisis whilst at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and leading a team of economists providing advice to Ministers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Following his relocation to Sheffield, Mr Brown trained as a teacher through the Mercia Learning Trust’s ‘School Direct’ programme. His work at King Ecgbert School within the Trust has helped Mr. Brown become an exceptional practitioner. He has achieved nationally recognised results in GCSE and A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics, as well as regularly leading A Level Economics students to outcomes that rival the very best in England. Mr Brown believes strongly that all children are entitled to an excellent mathematical education and that deep mathematical learning will lead to young people being able to access exciting opportunities across the range of sciences and social sciences.

Mr J Jewell - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications: BSc Mathematics and Statistics, PGCE Secondary Mathematics

Mr Jewell read Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2016. After successful completion of his degree, he joined Teach First and was placed in a vibrant secondary school in Doncaster. Mr Jewell loved his work in Doncaster and continues to relish the opportunity to help gifted mathematicians realise their potential. He has enjoyed a wide variety of experiences including Teacher of Mathematics, Second in Mathematics and hopes to gain further leadership experience in the coming years. Mr Jewell has experience teaching A-Level Mathematics which he absolutely loves, indeed, he attributes his own passion for mathematics to the highly enjoyable A-level experiences he received at school. Mr Jewell enjoys teaching the problem-solving element of mathematics because of the challenge it can present – he loves to put Mercia pupils through their paces in a friendly and supportive way!

Away from teaching, Mr. Jewell is a keen sportsman and brings his enthusiasm to the extra-curricular elements of Mercia School’s longer school day, especially when it comes to rugby and cricket. He is really excited to ensure that pupils at Mercia receive the very best mathematics education possible, now and throughout their time at Mercia School. 

Mr S Campbell - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications: BA (MA Cantab) Natural Sciences (First class), PGCE Secondary Mathematics

Mr Campbell read Natural Science at Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, graduating in 2000. He then moved on to Linacre College, University of Oxford, to complete his PGCE in Mathematics. Exceptionally well qualified, Mr Campbell has an impressive track record as a teacher and head of department. Throughout 2010-2021, he worked at Sheffield High School for Girls, as Head of Mathematics for the last 5 years.

An avid researcher of best teaching practices, Mr Campbell is interested in how pupils learn Mathematics and he works tirelessly to ensure that every child in his classroom loves the subject.  Having a particular passion for teaching A Level Further Mathematics, he loves seeing the spark of understanding as pupils get to grips with a new idea, and the satisfaction of seeing them make more progress than they thought possible.

Mr Campbell is a very active individual who loves all sorts of outdoor pursuits. He is a skilled runner and cyclist. After graduating from Cambridge, he spent 6 months in France studying French. Before teaching, he worked in the City of London for four years as a derivatives analyst, latterly running a graduate training programme.

Mr S Chow - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications:  BSc Mathematics, QTS Secondary Mathematics

Mr Chow joins Mercia immediately after completing his degree in Mathematics, achieved from the University of Sheffield. Aspiring towards a career in teaching from a young age, Mr Chow Joined the Future Teaching Scholars programme to gain valuable teaching experience alongside his university studies. Throughout 2020-21, Mr Chow will be working towards Qualified Teacher Status.

A talented teacher already, he has extensive experience working with young people in a range of settings. Before beginning his degree, he was a Mathematics tutor for schools across Manchester. At university, he specialised in exploratory data analysis. Much of his work involved incorporating computer programming techniques to support data analysis in different contexts such as COVID-19 cases and classifying radiation showers in space.

Mr Chow is an active field hockey player and currently coaches two hockey teams for the University of Sheffield Hockey Club. He is excited to contribute to the sporting life of Mercia School. Away from sport, he is a keen musician and plays the French Horn at Grade 7 level.

Mr P Bowen - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications: BSc Mathematics, PGCE in Secondary Mathematics

Mr Bowen has joined Mercia after spending five years as a Head of Mathematics at the International School @ ParkCity, Kuala Lumpur. Receiving his degree in Mathematics from the University of Sheffield, he specialises in Mechanics and has been teaching A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics over the last five years.

Mr Bowen is excited to join Mercia School and looks forward to contributing to the sustained development of the Mathematics department. He is a keen advocate for healthy competition and has coached pupils in a number of competitions, such as the World Mathematics Championships and the UKMT Maths Challenge. Mr Bowen looks forward to contributing to Mercia’s already flourishing reputation in intra-school Mathematics competitions.

Away from teaching, Mr Bowen is an avid runner. He has completed a number of marathons and recently ran the equivalent to the height of Everest for a team charity event. He also enjoys road cycling and mountain biking, something he is excited to continue as he and his family relocate to Sheffield.

Mr F Wright - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications: BA Mathematics

Mr Wright began his teaching career whilst he was studying his Mathematics degree from the University of York. As a Future Teaching Scholar, he has honed his teaching skills throughout his degree and began his position at Mercia after completion of his degree in 2022. During his first year at Mercia, Mr Wright will be working towards his teaching qualification, a goal he has been chasing for a considerable time.

Mr Wright specialises in pure mathematics, taking a special interest in number theory and the maths behind maths – what theoretical rules underpin our mathematical understanding and why? This curiosity into deeper understanding is something Mr Wright hopes to bring in to his teaching at Mercia. He wants to challenge the pupils at Mercia so they continue to be highly-challenged mathematicians who are encouraging to think deeply about the subject.

Outside of the classroom, Mr Wright is passionate about dramatic performance and theatre. He is commonly be found in the audience at Sheffield’s Crucible or Lyceum Theatre. He also occasionally supports amateur dramatic productions in the role of Director, something he enjoys enormously. Mr Wright is keen to use his theatrical side to enthuse his pupils to find the joy in Mathematics, just as he has.

Mr J Wilmhurst - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications: BA Criminology & Psychology, PGCE Secondary Mathematics

Mr Wilmshurst joins Mercia from an Outstanding school in South Yorkshire and is looking forward to playing a full part in the continued development of Mercia School. He has taught for over 18 years in a wide variety of schools, including state schools in England and international schools in both India and Spain. He brings a wealth of knowledge and looks forward to sharing his experiences with the pupils at Mercia School.

Mr Wilmshurst feels very fortunate to have enjoyed a successful career in education, however, teaching was not always the path he hoped to follow. He studied Criminology & Psychology whilst at university, with his intention to support work rehabilitating offenders. He has always had a passion for helping those in need, especially young people. He is excited about supporting Mercia pupils through the inevitably challenging waters of school life and public examinations.

Away from the classroom, Mr Wilmshurst is very passionate about sport. He holds a particular passion for football and cycling. He hopes to involve himself in the extra-curricular life of Mercia School and looks forward to supporting the school’s pupils in whatever ways he can.

Miss E Farnell - Teacher of Mathematics

Qualifications: MEng Mechanical Engineering, PGDE Secondary Mathematics

Miss Farnell read Mechanical Engineering (MEng) at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2019. Following this, she joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme to start her teaching career. Miss Farnell believes all students deserve an outstanding education, an opportunity to thrive, and is excited by what Mercia offers its pupils. She looks forward to supporting the continued development of Mercia's committed mathematicians. 

From a young age, Miss Farnell has held a passion for mathematics. In her view, it is hard not to be fascinated by the subject due to its prevalence within our society. Maths is everywhere and it takes many forms - from spotting patterns to rocket science (a module she studied at University). Miss Farnell firmly believes all pupils should leave school numerate, confident in their mathematical abilities, and ready for life in the 'real world'. 

Away from the classroom, Miss Farnell enjoys staying active by climbing, walking, and playing netball - she loves a friendly competition! She is very excited to bring her passion for the outdoors to pupils at Mercia!

English

Miss D Harvey - Head of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, PGDE Secondary English, MA Education

Miss Harvey read English Literature at Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating in 2013. She completed her MA in Education at The University of Sheffield, with her dissertation focussing closely on reading and developing pupil vocabulary. Miss Harvey has a relentless passion for academic study and has already had some of her written work published, she hopes to inspire Mercia pupils to love scholarship and strive for excellence in English and beyond. Miss Harvey believes that teachers are the experts in the room and advocates knowledge-rich teaching in English lessons. Miss Harvey has extensive experience in designing high quality curricula, as well as delivering impactful intervention that accelerates pupils’ rates of progress.

Away from schooling, she has been involved in scouting for many years where she has encouraged the physical, intellectual, character, emotional, and social development of young people so that they may become accomplished members of society. With her undoubted knowledge and expertise, Miss Harvey is a tremendous asset to Mercia School’s drive to ensure that all pupils make exceptional progress from their starting points. Miss Harvey believes every pupil is unique and deserves the very best in education and beyond.

Ms C Bolton - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, MA English Literature, PGCE Secondary English

Before being awarded a scholarship to study her Masters degree in English Literature with the University of Sheffield, Ms Bolton graduated from the university with her undergraduate degree in 2012. Having worked within the Mercia Learning Trust since her teacher training year, Ms Bolton is an advocate for knowledge-based learning and using research to inform practice to ensure significant progress for every pupil that she teaches. Ms Bolton is passionate about social mobility for all, hoping to mobilise education and academia as tools to unlock the greatest possible opportunities for the youth of Sheffield.In addition to promoting reading for pleasure as well as learning, Ms Bolton immerses herself within the extracurricular provision that thrives at Mercia School. When not indulging her interests in Romanticism, modern American literature and cinema, Ms Bolton is likely to be found humouring the Steel City Striders as an amateur runner.

Mr M Timms - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, PGDE Secondary English

Having achieved success in English at school in Oxford, Mr Timms’ fascination with how literature constructs a rich and valuable lens through which to understand and question the world led him to read English Literature at the University of Sheffield. There, he developed a special interest in the fields of Ecocriticism, African-American Literature, and the Theatre of the Absurd, and graduated in 2020 with a First Class Degree and three academic awards, including ‘The Gibbons Prize’ for best overall performance out of pupils in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. 

After graduating, Mr Timms decided to yoke his passion for literature with his extensive experience working with young people in school and youth work settings, and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Sheffield to qualify as a teacher of English. Mr Timms is excited to forge his career at Mercia School: an institution that shares his belief in a knowledge-rich curriculum, strong community, unapologetically high standards, and access to opportunity in order to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds. Having accrued valuable teaching experience across various settings, such as an ‘Outstanding’ mainstream Secondary School and a SEMH Special School, he is excited to continue his development at Mercia School. 

Mr Timms is an avid sportsman happy to turn his hand, or foot, to anything that comes his way, and particularly enjoys summer holidays spent cycling through Europe. He hopes to support young people to thrive during their own journey through education to become rounded and respectful individuals equipped to take their place in society.  

Miss M Smith - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, PGCE Secondary English

Miss Smith graduated from The University of York in 2014 with a 2.1 in English Literature (BA Hons). After her successful time in York, she studied at St Hugh's College, The University of Oxford and completed her PGCE in Secondary English. During her academic studies, Miss Smith developed an avid interest in Gothic literature, American literature and feminist literary theory. She is excited to bring her knowledge and expertise to Mercia School and support the evolution of Mercia’s English curriculum.

Miss Smith began her teaching career in 2016-17, working in an 'Outstanding' Secondary School in Oxfordshire. She has worked in two independent schools, collecting invaluable experience in academic institutions at both GCSE and A-Level. Miss Smith has precious experience teaching English Literature at A-Level and she particularly enjoys modernist and post-modernist literature, in particular modernist poetry and the works of poets such as E.E. Cummings and William Carlos Williams.

Miss Smith is a keen netballer and tennis player, as well as an enthusiastic theatre goer! She is very excited to support pupils with their academic performance, alongside helping to create polite, kind and respectful individuals that have a thirst for knowledge.

Miss T Hopkin - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, PGDE Secondary English

Miss Hopkin graduated from The University of Birmingham with a 1st in English Literature and Language before completing her PGDE at The University of Sheffield. Throughout her time at University, Miss Hopkin has worked in schools across Birmingham alongside organizations such as Action Tutoring and Brightside Mentoring in an effort to raise the literacy levels of GCSE and A level pupils in the West Midlands. She has also worked extensively with the National Literacy Trust on a number of projects, ranging from teaching adults Shakespeare to working with the Booker Prize Foundation and donating books to the poorest schools in Birmingham.  

Miss Hopkin’s specialist interests include sociolinguistics, investigating the effectiveness of various EAL approaches and the exploration of metaphorical blackness and race in Shakespeare’s Tragedies. She discussed this concept alongside its relationship with the human senses: sight, smell and taste in Shakespeare’s Othello for her Undergraduate dissertation, and is currently conducting further research into hearing and touch.  

Miss Hopkin is incredibly excited to be starting at Mercia School, holding the belief that a strong and meaningful education can pave the way for a future where ‘many more doors are open’, and every child has the opportunity to flourish and succeed. She is also enthusiastic about teaching in a culturally diverse setting, where she hopes to learn from the pupils as well as sharing her own cultural background.  

Outside of teaching, Miss Hopkin enjoys sport, particularly long-distance running and swimming, having previously been a lifeguard and competitive swimmer. She also adores singing, having been part of a choir, and can be found baking the perfect cheesecake!  

Miss N Hurt - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, MA English Literature, PGDE Secondary English

Miss Hurt graduated with a first class Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from The University of Sheffield in 2020. After receiving a scholarship for a Master of Arts degree, she graduated with a Masters in English Literature with distinction the following year. Her specialist topics include the life and writings of Sylvia Plath, as well as the writing of letters. Whilst completing her prize-winning dissertation, Miss Hurt did archival research at Cambridge University Library, where she worked with unpublished material. Following this success, she also went on to present this dissertation at the Sylvia Plath Across the Century conference in March 2022.

Miss Hurt is excited about a future working at Mercia because she is passionate about academia and teaching outstanding literature. The ethos of upward social mobility resonates with her on a deeply personal level, and she is proud to be a part of a school that champions academic excellence regardless of social background. 

In her spare time, Miss Hurt is an avid reader, and she also enjoys going to the theatre at any possible opportunity. Miss Hunt also loves to go hiking in the Peak District, whilst also travelling whenever she gets the chance.  

Ms C Barrett - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA Sociology and English, MA English Education

Ms Barrett graduated from Binghamton University in New York with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and English, concentrating in Literature and Rhetoric. Her literature and rhetoric studies ranged from Black Women’s Writing to Shakespeare, Russian Literature, Plato and Aristotle, respectively. She began her career as part of an international law firm in Manhattan, with the aim of becoming a corporate attorney. However, after being an integral part of her church’s Sunday school, she developed a passion for teaching grounded in the belief that education emancipates the young mind. In her pursuit of becoming an Educator, Ms Barrett completed her Master of Arts degree in English Education from New York University in 2012, earning a 4.0 grade point average. 

Ms Barrett taught in an inner-city school for three years before relocating to the UK in 2015 to teach at a local school. In the following year, she utilised her experience with curriculum design and development in order to elevate the challenge of the Key Stage 3 English education at that school. She brings to Mercia School an exceptional combined experience of the American and British curriculum, with proven results for GCSE-level English. Ms Barrett’s philosophy of education is that young people thrive best in knowledge-rich environments rooted in high expectations. She believes that a challenging English education develops scholars who, do not merely regurgitate information, but become creative, critical and moral thinkers effecting change as 21st century leaders. 

Ms Barrett is an active member of her community: she leads weekly youth group meetings at her church, choreographs a team of praise dancers and organises summer retreats for young people. She is passionate about developing young people’s oracy skills through speech and debating and to this end, coordinates parliamentary style debate competitions. Ms Barrett looks forward to inspiring Mercia pupils in every aspect of their academic career. 

Miss H Simpson - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English, PGDE Secondary English 

After studying English at the University of Liverpool, Miss Simpson relocated back home to complete her PGDE in Secondary English at the University of Sheffield in 2021. During her academic studies, she grew her love of Shakespeare’s works and developed interests in literature and film, forensic linguistics and the history of the English language. Having spent her first year of teaching at a school in Rotherham, she is delighted to be joining the Mercia family.  

Miss Simpson is looking forward to working hard to ensure that all her Mercia pupils strive for excellence both in and outside the classroom. Additionally, she holds a passion for instilling confidence into her pupils so that they can all realise their full potential, regardless of possible barriers to education. In English, she believes it is imperative to teach pupils to use texts as a way of understanding the cultural environments of both past and present. 

Away from teaching, Miss Simpson is a keen theatre goer, and loves cinema and walking in the Peak District. She is thrilled to start teaching at Mercia and hopes to inspire her pupils to be aspirant, dedicated and curious learners.  

Miss A Harcourt - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English, PGCE in Secondary English, MA in Education

Miss Harcourt read English at the University of York, before qualifying as an English teacher. She also holds a MA in Education from the University of Manchester. She has always wanted to be a teacher and looks forward to bringing her expertise and experience to Mercia School. A Teach First Ambassador, Miss Harcourt brings a successful track record to Mercia. She has served as a teacher, Key Stage 3 co-ordinator and a Head of Faculty, with responsibility for English and languages. Her experience of curriculum design, mentoring (both staff and pupils) and assessment will be prized assets at Mercia School. She is also an examiner for GCSE English Language.

In terms of subject specialism, Miss Harcourt adores Renaissance Literature. She wrote her undergraduate dissertation on the use of figurative language to create structures of meaning in Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queene. She absolutely loves the dramas of Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, as well as the poetry of Phillip Sidney. She is also passionate about the works of Jane Austen and Lord Byron.

Outside of school, Miss Harcourt is a keen horse-rider and enjoy spending time at the stables. She is also a keen (but less talented!) skier, and very much enjoy keeping fit for both her mental and physical health. A lover of theatre, she can often be found taking in a show or the ballet! She looks forward to developing a special bond with all pupils, especially those in her Mastery Group!

Ms N Lever - Teacher of English

Qualifications: BA English Literature, PGCE Secondary English, MA Education

Ms Lever graduated from the University of Manchester, with a year spent at the University of Amsterdam. Her dissertation investigated racial hybridity in the poetry of Derek Walcott and Ronaldo V. Wilson. After training to become a teacher at the University of Cambridge, she completed a Master's degree in Education at Homerton College researching pupil grouping. Before her PGCE Ms Lever worked with two educational non-profits and taught in India for the British Council.

As a previous Head of Department at an Outstanding school, Ms Lever has experience leading KS4 and 5 students to GCSE and International Baccalaureate examinations, as well as in developing the curriculum across all Key Stages. She looks forward to supporting the growth of Mercia's English curriculum into the sixth form. As a result of working in schools in Manchester, London, and Cambridgeshire, she is driven to promote educational equity and progress for all, by informing practice through research and putting the needs of pupils first in the classroom. She has a growing interest in American Literature, particularly in landscape narratives and coming-of-age writing.

Ms Lever is also a freelance writer. As well as travel writing and poetry, she continues to have work published on topics such as exams, mental health, and neurodiversity. In her spare time, she loves live music, adventure trips, and film photography.

Science

Mrs C McKenna - Head of Science

Qualifications:  BSc in Medical Biochemistry, PGCE Chemistry

Miss McKenna graduated from Swansea University in 2016 with a degree in Medical Biochemistry. She quickly consolidated this success by completing her PGCE in Chemistry in 2017. Miss McKenna, although still early in her career, has significant experience in delivering exceptional science lessons across the secondary age range. She has held positions as a KS3 Science Coordinator and Second in Science at a secondary school in Coventry.

Although hugely passionate about teaching GCSE and A-Level Chemistry, Miss McKenna is very much looking forward to deploying her experience to help develop a rich, scientific curriculum that will challenge and enthuse Mercia pupils. She is totally committed to guaranteeing every child has a truly exceptional experience within the science department and beyond.

Away from the science classroom, Miss McKenna is committed to assisting in raising the aspirations of pupils. Having previously worked on a programme to prepare students to study STEM at top universities, Miss McKenna is hungry to ensure all Mercia pupils are prepared for and aspiring to the very best universities in the land. 

Mr J Berry - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: MSci (ARCS) Chemistry, PGCE Secondary Science

Mr Berry studied Chemistry at Imperial College, London, where he completed a Masters project in Organometallic Chemistry. Studying at Imperial College led Mr Berry to meet a wide variety of students, including those from many different countries and backgrounds, and he gained an insight into what is needed to succeed in the most competitive universities, and in the most sought after scientific careers. 

After completing his PGCE at the University of Leicester, he relocated to Sheffield, where for the last 15 years has taught in a diverse secondary school, gaining extensive experience teaching GCSE and A -level Chemistry. In addition, he has played a vital role in teaching and mentoring many students in order to allow them to gain places at top universities, including students who went on to study Medicine and Dentistry.

Mr Berry loves asking his pupils to consider how the theories he teaches are supported by evidence, and how scientific ideas have developed over time. Mr Berry is excited to put his experience of science teaching to good use in building an exciting and challenging curriculum for Mercia's pupils.

Miss M Chapman - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science, PGDE in Secondary Science

Miss Chapman completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science in 2019, achieving a First-Class classification. During her degree, she primarily specialised in Biology and holds a PGDE in Secondary Science, awarded in 2020. During her teacher-training, Miss Chapman completed placements in two schools in Rotherham and is tremendously excited to begin her teaching career at Mercia School. A passionate biologist, Miss Chapman is also a keen advocate for the environment and teaches pupils the significance of pro-environmental values in our lives.

Impressively, Miss Chapman is also a highly qualified and talented musician. She has eight years of experience as a classically trained private music teacher and is a highly accomplished pianist in her own right. She is highly engaged in the musical enrichment offered by the school and looks to contribute wherever she can. Miss Chapman is delighted to be a part of the Mercia family and looks to inspire confidence, self-belief and ambition in the pupils she teaches.

Mr E Rees - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: MSci Natural Sciences in Chemistry and Physics, PGCE in Secondary Science

Having conducted his teacher training in the north-east, Mr Rees relocated to Sheffield in August 2020 to begin his teaching career. Completing his undergraduate studies at Durham University, he achieved a 2:1 MSci Natural Sciences in Chemistry and Physics in 2019. Mr Rees specialises predominantly in Chemistry, with his Masters thesis focusing on inorganic/physical chemistry. A proud Welshman, Mr Rees served as a Curriculum Support Technician at Ysgol Gyfun Gŵyr and is a fluent Welsh speaker. He is delighted to be joining Mercia School’s science team at this vital moment in its development.

Like many who settle in Sheffield, Mr Rees is a keen rock climber. He regularly journeys in to the Peak District to sample the exceptional beauty and outstanding opportunities for climbing. Mr Rees fervently believes in teamwork and is clear of the need to develop and provide the highest standard of scientific education to the school’s pupils and wider community. He recognizes the importance of the science curriculum in the wider development of Mercia School, but also enjoys offering his support to the wider enrichment programme at the school. Mr Rees plays the guitar and is a talented photographer – these are both skills he hopes to share with Mercia’s pupils throughout his time at the school.

Miss Z Hamill - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: BSc Biology, PGCE in Secondary Science

Miss Hamill is a passionate and successful biologist. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Sheffield. With a passion for entomology, Miss Hamill is interested in research pertaining to any of the 1 million species of insect on this planet! Following her degree, she completed her PGCE in Secondary Science at The University of Hull in 2020.

Miss Hamill has made a very promising start to her teaching career. She successfully taught up to Key Stage 4 in a large academy in Hull. Miss Hamill is very excited to develop the science curriculum at Mercia. She is really passionate about conservation and helping the environment, including growing her own fruit and vegetables. Miss Hamill looks forward to sharing her enthusiasm for sustainability with the pupils at Mercia School.

Whilst studying in Sheffield, Miss Hamill fell in love with the steel city and is delighted to move back to begin her work at Mercia School. Sheffield, the outdoor city, is the perfect location for Miss Hamill who has a love of trail walking. She looks forward to spending hours in the Peak District, taking advantage of the outstanding natural beauty on Sheffield’s doorstep.

Mr J Crewe - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: MPhys (Master in Physics), PGCE in Secondary Science (Physics)

After spending much of his training year at Mercia School, Mr Crewe is delighted to be joining as a Teacher of Science. He read Physics at the University of Manchester, achieving a first-class degree. After completing his highly prestigious degree, Mr Crewe successfully completed his PGCE in Secondary Science in 2021. He has an affinity with Mercia pupils and looks forward to further developing their love and interest of physics and science generally.

Before training to teach, Mr Crewe gained valuable experience teaching English as a Foreign Language in Spain. He has travelled extensively, perhaps most notably enjoying an extended stay in New Zealand. After returning from travelling, he began his degree and specialised in nuclear physics and radiometric physics. Through his degree, he gained industrial experience at Sellafield, a company responsible for the safe and secure operation and clean-up of the Sellafield nuclear site.

A keen sportsperson, Mr Crewe is a talented climber. He can regularly be found scaling a rock face in the Peak District. Closer to home, he is an avid reader of educational research journals and enjoys chess. He looks forward to continuing and growing the Mercia School Chess Club, entering regional and national competition where possible.

Mr J Wells - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: MPhys (Master in Physics), PGCE in Secondary Science (Physics)

A talented physicist, Mr Wells attended the University of Sheffield, gaining a Masters degree in Physics. With his first-class degree, Mr Wells continued his studies at the university, gaining a PGCE in Physics in 2021. He completed much of his training at Mercia School and is very excited about joining the school. He is looking forward to continuing to work with Mercia’s wonderful pupils, holding an ambition to make physics a subject for all at the school.

Mr Wells holds a particular interest in the physics of music and semiconductor physics. He is very keen to bring his love for physics to Mercia School, working with colleagues to deliver a first-class GCSE and A Level curriculum that inspires pupils towards scientific degree courses and careers. He has developed a strong rapport with Mercia’s pupils and is passionate about their academic success and general wellbeing.

Away from school, Mr Wells plays the trumpet and was on the committee of the Big Band and Wind Orchestra at the University of Sheffield. Like many of Mercia’s staff, he enjoys going for walks in the Peak District and is a very keen cyclist.

Dr C Oakland - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science, PhD Nanoscience, PGCE Secondary Science

Dr Oakland studied Pharmaceutical Science at Sheffield Hallam University where she completed a final year project working with nanoparticles. This research motivated her to undertake a PhD in Nanoscience at The University of Manchester, where she published two academic papers on her work.  

Passionate about inspiring young people in science, Dr Oakland set up a company that ran science themed birthday parties and community events from 2012–2017. She decided to make this her full-time focus and successfully completed her PGCE in Secondary Science, specialising in Chemistry in 2022. She is excited about joining the Mercia family, delivering a highly academic curriculum and demonstrating that science is a career for anyone with enthusiasm for the subject.  

Dr Oakland is an avid reader and loves the outdoors. She is constantly setting herself challenges including travelling to all 7 continents, hiking the highest peaks in the UK in 24 hours, and is currently one book away from completing the BBC Top 100 Big Read List.   

Miss C Hostler - Teacher of Science

Qualifications: BSc Biochemistry, PGDE Secondary Science

Miss Hostler graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2017 with a BSc in Natural Sciences (Chemistry, Biology and Maths). Following this, she had a career in risk management at an insurance broker in London. Although successful, she found that she ultimately missed working with young people and wanted to impact their lives by teaching them about a subject for which she was passionate – science. 

Miss Hostler completed her PGDE at the University of Sheffield in 2021, winning the prestigious Turnbull-Halloran Prize for being ‘the most outstanding PGDE student’. Her first placement was at Mercia School and Miss Hostler was astounded by how outstanding the pupils, staff and science education was. She is excited to return to Mercia with an additional year’s teaching experience at an Academy in Rotherham, where she taught science to a range of pupils with diverse backgrounds and experiences. 

Outside of School, Miss Hostler loves to be active – walking or climbing in the Peak District, swimming, attending yoga class or dancing. An experienced dancer, Miss Hostler has completed her Grade 8 in ballet and looks forward to sharing this passion for activity with her pupils through enrichment. Whilst Miss Hostler has relocated to Sheffield from London, she cares deeply about her community and wants to be involved in charity work and supporting local people. 

Miss L Averill- Teacher of Science

Qualifications: BSc Biology, PGCE Secondary Science

Miss Averill graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2015 with a first-class degree in Biology. During her time at the University of Sheffield, Miss Averill took a particular interest in studying Human Genetics and the scientific processes through which life and Evolution occur. Since completing her PGCE in Secondary Science in 2017, Miss Averill has gained considerable experience in the position of Head of Biology at a school in Rotherham. 

She is thrilled to be a part of the science team at Mercia School and looks forward to sharing her experience and passion for science academia with the pupils. Miss Averill believes that science education is an essential part of any high-quality school, she thinks that scientific knowledge and understanding can foster a passion for the world around us. She is very excited to help pupils in their science lessons and looks forward to helping them reach their potential.

Miss Averill is a keen painter and has studied Renaissance art in Tuscany. She spends her free time painting portraits of animals and walking in the Peak District with her dog.  

French

Mr B Drury - Head of French

Qualifications: BA Journalism and French, PGCE Secondary French

Mr Drury read Journalism and French at the University of Sheffield. Before his teaching career, he was a football commentator and radio journalist around the country and was nominated for a national radio award for his reporting. Mr Drury maintains a passion for radio journalism and will support the young students of Mercia School should they show a passion for the discipline. Mr Drury entered the teaching profession in 2011 and he has seven years’ experience within the sector. Mr Drury has led Modern Foreign Language departments in schools in the West Country, East Anglia and Sheffield. A passionate advocate of the French language, he holds a particular interest in the city of Bordeaux, modern French cinema and 20th century French history.

Mr Drury believes that students must have a dedication to positive behaviour and a willingness to achieve if they are to succeed in language learning. Mr Drury is totally convinced that all students, whatever their ability, can become highly proficient in the French language and is incredibly excited to get started. A visitor to Mr Drury’s French lessons will hear a class in good voice and see students who are able to manipulate and adapt the French language to any context.

Miss L Heritage - Teacher of French

Qualifications: BA (Hons) in Modern Foreign Languages, MA in Conference Interpreting and Translation Studies, PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages, MEd in Research in Second Language Education

Miss Heritage read Modern Foreign Languages (French and Italian) at the University of Durham. After studying a module in Interpreting and Translation during her final year, she chose to continue this aspect of her linguistic studies. The following year she completed her Master of Arts in the same discipline at the University of Leeds and went on to have some of her translated poetry published.

Miss Heritage’s teaching career began in 2013 and she has six years of experience in the sector, teaching French and Italian in a school in Hertfordshire alongside responsibilities in pastoral care. Grammar and linguistics have always been a particular passion for Miss Heritage, and as such, whilst undertaking her Master of Education at the University of Cambridge in 2015, she chose to write a thesis on the importance of grammatical terminology in second language acquisition. Miss Heritage believes her responsibility as a teacher of MFL extends far beyond preparing students for GCSE and A-level studies; her role is to foster a genuine appreciation for the value of language and foreign cultures and to equip students with a toolkit of grammar and vocabulary which allows them to communicate confidently and independently in their future endeavours.

Miss V Kennedy - Teacher of French

Qualifications: LLB (hons) Law (with French Law and French Language), PGD Legal Practice, PGCE Secondary French

Miss Kennedy read Law with French Law and French Language at the University of Leicester. She spent a year in Paris attending Université Paris Sud where she obtained her Diplôme Universitaire d’études Juridiques Françaises. Following this, she attended the University of Sheffield where she completed her LPC and was awarded her Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Commendation). Miss Kennedy spent several years in private practice in leading regional law firms as a solicitor, where she specialized in Private Client. She was the ‘go to’ specialist for her solicitor colleagues relating to all matters of French law. Miss Kennedy remains on the Roll of Solicitors. 

With a passion for education and a keen desire to ensure outstanding learning opportunities for all, Miss Kennedy embarked upon obtaining her PGCE in Secondary Modern Foreign Languages at Sheffield Hallam University. Miss Kennedy has gained a wealth of experience working in Manchester and Salford where she was a key driving force of teaching and learning and was awarded the role of Teaching and Learning Pedagogy and Research Lead. At her previous school, she led the GM Aim Higher University Project which inspires pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to broaden their horizons towards further education and significantly impact on the improvement of their outcomes.. Miss Kennedy believes it the role of educators to enlighten pupils to reach their potential and she passionately endorses this. She is excited to promote the benefits of learning French to all pupils at Mercia school.

In her spare time, Miss Kennedy enjoys foreign adventures, reading, cooking and trips to the theatre. She looks forward to supporting the Mercia School enrichment programme.

Miss I Monteiro - Teacher of French

Qualifications: BA English Studies, MA International Studies, PGDE French and German

Miss Monteiro completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin in France, gaining a BA (Hons) in English Studies. She also holds a Masters in International Studies from the Sorbonne Nouvelle University, which she completed alongside her PGDE in French and German at the University of Sheffield in 2016. She previously taught French for 3 years at a Sheffield school and went on to work at a local college, teaching pupils about the value of Higher Education and supporting them with their post-16 and post-18 choices. 

Miss Monteiro is delighted to join Mercia, a school that helps pupils develop the knowledge and values that will make them successful in the future. She is also delighted to be joining a department that sees language learning as more than just a GCSE qualification and supports learners in becoming great linguists and open-minded citizens of the world. Miss Monteiro is very passionate about languages in general. She is a native speaker of French and Portuguese; learnt German, Italian and Latin at school; and just passed her Spanish GCSE this summer. She strives to make languages lessons accessible to everyone and has focused her university research and teacher development on supporting learners with SEND so they can thrive and progress in her classroom and beyond. She is also a trained Mental Health First Aider. 

In her spare time, Miss Monteiro likes to try out new activities, most recently she started sewing and lino-printing. She also loves singing and playing board games. 

Ms A Kirby - Teacher of French

Qualifications: BA (Hons) French Studies, PGCE Modern Foreign Languages

Ms Kirby read French Studies at the University of Warwick. She gained her PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages from Queen's College, University of Oxford. A passionate linguist, she has 5 years teaching experience and specialises in teaching French and German. Ms Kirby is very excited to contribute to the love of language learning already in place at Mercia School.

A lover of the French language, Ms Kirby looks forward to supporting the French department to develop a nation-leading curriculum. She is determined to make sure that all pupils access an inspiring language offer. Her experience in delivering Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 in previous schools makes her a strong addition to the already talented French team. She is especially excited to introduce Mercia pupils to the delights of Québécois - Canadian French, something she is tremendously passionate about.

An active individual, Ms Kirby enjoys spending time in the outdoors. She is a skilled hiker, wild swimmer and cyclist. Moreover, she is a passionate environmentalist with a fervent enthusiasm for insects and birds. She is looking forward to contributing to the enrichment programme at Mercia and will offer anything she holds a passion for - Eurovision or David Bowie, to name just two!

Ms C Césaire - Teacher of French

Qualifications: BA (Hons) in French Literature and Linguistics, MA in Teaching French as a Second/Foreign Language, PGCE in French and Spanish

Ms Césaire completed her undergraduate studies at Sorbonne Nouvelle University, gaining a BA (Hons) in French Literature and Linguistics. A passionate teacher, she holds a Masters in Teaching French as a Second/Foreign Language from the University of Valencia. Whilst completing her studies, she accumulated valuable teaching experience in Spain, France and the UK. In July 2020, Ms Césaire completed her PGCE in French and Spanish at Suffolk University. She is delighted to be joining Mercia School.

An avid reader, Ms Césaire is looking forward to sharing her expertise of French film and literature with Mercia's pupils, especially within the school's Sixth Form. She is very familiar with the literary and artistic works pupils will encounter during the A Level, having studied many of them throughout her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. In addition to her outstanding experience in French teaching at all Key Stages, Ms Césaire is very enthusiastic about teaching Spanish - something she hopes to offer at Mercia School in the future.

She brings a wealth of experience to Mercia School. Before entering the teaching profession, Ms Césaire was an Architect. She hopes that her experience will be invaluable to the many pupils considering Architecture as a possible degree and career. Away from her professional life, Ms Césaire has a varied and rich set of interests - art history, hiking and world travel. Creative and artistic, she is a lover of classical music and has played the piano for over 15 years. Eager to work hard and support the development of Mercia School, she looks forward to helping the pupils thrive - both in her French lessons and beyond.

History

Mr T Bannan - Head of History

Qualifications: BA (Hons) History, MA History, PGCE Secondary History

Mr Bannan studied history at Royal Holloway University of London, achieving the History Department’s highest grade in both his undergraduate and master’s degrees. He specialised in twentieth century history, receiving a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council for his postgraduate research project on religion, war and genocide in the former Yugoslavia.

After gaining some experience working in the charity sector, Mr Bannan spent several years overseas, pursuing his interest in the Balkans through an internship with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and subsequently teaching English as a foreign language to young and adult learners in Hungary, Spain and Russia.

He started his teacher training through Teach First in 2014, spending two years as a Teacher of History in an academy in Leeds, before returning to Hungary where he was Head of Humanities in a British international school in Budapest. As a Teach First Ambassador who has taught in both UK academy and international private school settings, Mr Bannan passionately believes that a challenging and academically rigorous historical education is the entitlement of every pupil. He is determined to ensure that all Mercia pupils gain the rich historical knowledge and understanding that will instil a lifelong fascination with the past.

Mr C Smith - Teacher of History

Qualifications: BA (Hons) History, PGCE Secondary History

Mr Smith read History at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 2015 with First Class honours. He has a particular interest in 19th century British history, including the Industrial Revolution and the British Empire, the latter topic being his specialism in his final year at university; during which time he completed a dissertation on the topic of British informal imperialism in South America.

Seeking to gain a greater understanding of the education sector, beginning in 2013, Mr Smith undertook voluntary roles in schools in Sheffield and Birmingham before starting his teacher training with Teach First in 2016. Since then, Mr Smith has worked as a Teacher of History at an academy in Stoke-on-Trent. In this role he strengthened the history curriculum markedly, whilst also working diligently to improve behavioural and academic standards across the humanities department.

As a Teach First Ambassador, Mr Smith strongly believes that no child’s education should be limited by their economic background and that a knowledge-rich history curriculum, centred on the principles of challenge and outstanding teaching, guarantees that all pupils will have the best opportunity achieve academic excellence in this subject. Mr Smith strives to develop his pupils’ inquisitiveness about past events, and works diligently to ensure that all pupils develop and thrive in his classroom.

Mr N Sherwin - Teacher of History

Qualifications: BA History, MA Applied Professional Studies, PGCE Secondary History

Mr Sherwin studied History at the University of Sheffield and graduated in 2017 with First Class Honours. During his time at university, he had an interest in 20th century American history, particularly the Civil Rights Movement and the war in Vietnam. During his final year he completed his dissertation on cultural representations of the US President, Lyndon B. Johnson.

After gaining experience in the private sector, Mr Sherwin started teacher training through the University of Sheffield in 2020. Since then, he has worked within schools across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire, before joining the team at Mercia. He has just successfully completed his Masters in Applied Professional Studies in Education at the University of Sheffield. Mr Sherwin is very excited to bring his passion for academia to Mercia School’s pupils.

Mr Sherwin strongly believes in high-quality education for all pupils and that this should never be limited by their economic background or geographical location. He fervently believes that a stimulating and knowledge-rich historical education is the right of every child. As such, he is determined to ensure that all Mercia pupils thrive in his classroom, develop inquisitiveness and foster a fascination with our past.

Geography

Mr D Dunn - Head of Geography

Qualifications: BA Geography, MA Applied Professional Studies Education, PGCE Secondary Geography

Mr Dunn read Geography at the University of Sheffield and graduated with First Class Honours in 2007. Throughout his time at university, his major research pieces centred upon social inequalities, identities and urban space. Mr Dunn’s degree was varied and complex, it enhanced the insatiable passion for geography he takes in to every lesson he teaches. After his degree, Mr Dunn completed his Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the university, later flourishing whilst studying his Master of Arts Degree in Applied Professional Studies Education. He completed his Masters whilst teaching in Sheffield and Rotherham schools, a feat showing his commitment to hard work and perseverance – both crucial values of Mercia School.

Mr Dunn believes in hard work and emphasises this virtue to all of his pupils. He is a passionate advocate of a knowledge-based geographical education and is excited at the prospect of designing and delivering a first-class geography curriculum from Year 7, right up until A-level study. 

Mr D Ridler - Teacher of Geography

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Geography, MA Applied Professional Studies in Education, PGDE in Secondary Geography

Mr Ridler read Geography at The University of Sheffield, achieving a 2:1 (Hons) classification in 2015. Whilst studying, he was particularly interested in socio-cultural geographies and the geographies of elections in the UK. After his undergraduate degree, in 2017, he completed his Masters in Applied Professional Studies in Education. He began his career as a Teacher of Geography in Rotherham, before becoming a Head of Geography at his previous school. Mr Ridler has always been passionate about designing and delivering an outstanding geography curriculum to his pupils, continuing this passion with Mercia’s pupils.

A talented individual, Mr Ridler is a capable Musician who specialises in drumming and percussion. A member of a wide variety of ensembles and bands in Sheffield, he believes vehemently in musical education and he supports the music department in any way he can. Mr Ridler also holds a Private Pilot’s License, although he doesn’t expect to be offering a flying club for pupils just yet! He feels very lucky to have secured a position at Mercia School, believing it is a once-in-a-career opportunity to work in a school with traditional values and a rich, knowledge-based curriculum.

Miss S Murphy - Teacher of Geography

Qualifications: BA Geography, PGDE Secondary Geography

Miss Murphy read Geography at the University of Leicester, graduating in 2018. Whilst completing her degree she specialised in environmental geography, with a particular interest in climate change, sustainability and global ecosystems. As a keen environmentalist, Miss Murphy advocates for sustainable practices in her lessons. Miss Murphy joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in 2019, and was placed at a school in Doncaster, where she spent 3 years. During her time in Doncaster she gained valuable experience and knowledge of the geography curriculum and pedagogical approaches. In 2021, she was awarded with a distinction in her PGDE in Secondary Geography.

Throughout her studies, Miss Murphy was particularly interested in the relationship between literacy and attainment, as well as researching techniques to enhance geographic literacy in her lessons. Through her experience in the classroom and her studies, Miss Murphy realised the pivotal role that a knowledge rich curriculum plays in closing educational inequalities.

Miss Murphy has a wide-range of hobbies and is hoping to apply some of these hobbies to Mercia's enrichment offer. She is a keen reader and writer, having completed communications internships within the environmental and NGO sectors. She is a keen

traveller who particularly enjoys exploring national parks across Asia and America; most recently returning from a trip to Thailand where she gained her Open Water Diving qualifications. Since moving to Sheffield from her hometown of Bristol, Miss Murphy has established a love of hiking, swimming and running in the Peak District.

Miss C Wise - Teacher of Geography

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Education and Psychology, PGDE Secondary Geography

Miss Wise read Education and Psychology at Durham University, graduating in 2018. Throughout her time at Durham her major research interests were in educational policy, specifically access to higher education. During her psychology component of her degree she became deeply interested in memory and cognitive science. The combination of both Education and Psychology inspired her to train to become a teacher and Miss Wise gained her PGCE in Secondary Geography in 2021 through the Teach First Leadership Development Programme. She studied Geography at school up until A-Level and is a keen traveller, her love of the subject has always been present and this is why she chose to train to be a Geography subject specialist. Miss Wise has worked in a school close to Middlesbrough for the last three years and has taught Year 11 Geography from the beginning of her career, teaching the entire cohort of Year 11 geography pupils for the last two years. This is a testament to her excellent subject knowledge, something she looks forward to using within the school’s sixth form.

As a Teach First Ambassador, Miss Wise wholeheartedly believes in eliminating educational inequality, she does this through delivering high quality lessons to her pupils and having the highest expectations of them. She maintains that no matter what a pupil’s background they can achieve amazing things if they are willing to show commitment, determination and of course work hard. After visiting Mercia School, Miss Wise decided this would be an ideal school for her as these are values that all pupils at Mercia hold.

Aside from school life, Miss Wise tries to travel as much as possible. She is a keen cook, having been inspired by her father who works as a chef. She is also an enthusiastic film photographer and will often be found taking photos of the areas she has lived in and is hoping to put together exhibitions in the near future.

Religious Studies

Mrs E Allsop - Head of Religious Studies

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Religion, Theology and the Bible, MA Law, PGCE in Secondary Religious Education

Completing her degree at The University of Sheffield, Mrs Allsop has experience of working in two secondary schools in South Yorkshire and a secondary school in Derbyshire. This experience, alongside her highly regarded degree, will be essential is delivering a first-class Religious Studies curriculum to all pupils at Mercia School. Mrs Allsop especially enjoys teaching the Abrahamic Religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and considering the role religion and non-religious worldviews play in society and the lives of individuals today.

Prior to entering the teaching profession, Mrs Allsop worked as a Legal Advisor and Executive, specialising in Wills & Probate and Contentious Probate matters at local, regional and national law firms. After a successful career, she turned her attention to teaching in 2019. She is delighted to be Mercia’s first Head of Religious Studies. Mrs Allsop’s great passion is religious education, but she is excited to bring her passion for professional training and work in the legal sector to Mercia School in addition. She hopes to inspire the next generation of brilliant legal minds, as well as the next great theologians!

Away from teaching, Mrs Allsop is a lover of live music, regularly attending events up and down the country (when possible). A passionate musician in her own right, she plays the drums at Grade 4 standard and looks forward to contributing to the musical life at Mercia School.

Physical Education

Miss C Rothery - Teacher of PE

Qualifications: BA (Hons) in Dance, Sport and Physical Education, PGCE in Secondary Physical Education

Miss Rothery graduated from Liverpool Hope University with a First Class degree in Dance, Sport and Physical Education in 2016. She is a passionate PE teacher who strongly believes in every child’s ability to enjoy and perform well in a wide range of sports and games. In 2018, Miss Rothery completed her PGCE in Secondary Physical Education from Manchester Metropolitan University. Alongside qualifying to teach, she gained valuable experience in a Doncaster secondary school teaching PE and choreographing a wide range of large-scale dance pieces. Miss Rothery gives all pupils the opportunity to perform, compete and gain confidence in dance and sport. Miss Rothery strongly believes that pupils can thrive in a competitive environment and is totally committed to offering a wide range of clubs to the pupils of Mercia School.

Miss Rothery is a very talented sportswoman in her own right. She has trialled for the England Netball Team and has been coached at the highest standard of the game. In dance, she has performed for the BBC, working alongside Strictly Come Dancing choreographer Jason Gilkison and has even been a backing dancer for the Backstreet Boys! Miss Rothery is looking forward to producing a varied extra-curricular programme at Mercia School which gives all pupils the opportunity to shine in a range of sporting activities.

Mr M Godden - Teacher of PE

Qualifications: BA (Hons) History, PGDip in Advanced Sports Coaching Practice, PGCE in Secondary History

Mr Godden is both a specialist in history education and physical education. He achieved a First-Class degree in History from the University of Sheffield in 2013, later achieving his PGCE in Secondary History. Mr Godden was a highly effective Teacher of History and Head of Humanities for five years. In 2019, he decided to focus on Physical Education rather than History and completed his Masters in Advanced Sports Coaching Practice at Sheffield Hallam University in August 2020. Specialising in hockey, he has worked professionally as a coach in a number of posts at Sheffield Hockey Club, Sheffield Hallam University and in the England Hockey Player Pathway.

A talented sportsman, Mr Godden is passionate about the vital role sport plays in daily life. He continues to play National League Hockey for Sheffield Hockey Club and cricket for Whitley Hall CC in the Yorkshire Premier League South. Mr Godden is hugely enthusiastic about physical education with a particular interest in knowledge/skill acquisition and long term athlete development through childhood and adolescence. He believes the values of Mercia School are completely applicable to the sports field: working hard, taking responsibility for your actions, as well as being passionate and respectful, are outstanding values to hold in sport. Mr Godden plays a key role in the planning and delivering of a wide range of sporting opportunities as part of the school’s enrichment and extra-curricular programme.

Mr S Tomlinson - Teacher of PE

Qualifications: BSc Sport and Exercise Science, PGCE in Secondary Physical Education

Training with the Mercia Learning Trust, Mr Tomlinson joins us with strong experience of the Trust ethos and excellent knowledge of Mercia School. He gained a first-class degree from Sheffield Hallam University in Sport and Exercise Science in 2020, before completing his teacher training in 2021. He is exceptionally passionate about physical education and looks forward to supporting Mercia’s thriving sporting scene.

Mr Tomlinson is a very talented sportsperson in his own right, with a particular specialism in hockey. He has played to a very high standard, most notably National League Hockey for Sheffield Hockey Club. Moreover, he has also represented English Universities Hockey and captained Sheffield Hallam University Men’s First XI in 2019. Mr Tomlinson looks forward to pushing Mercia School pupils towards exceptional sporting performance in a supportive and encouraging manner

Mr Tomlinson spent much of his training at Mercia School and looks forward to developing strong relationships with all pupils. He is fully committed to delivering exceptional sporting enrichment for all pupils, with a focus on access for pupils with additional needs and friendly competition. Away from school, he is a keen runner and supports Norwich City FC. He is also an ardent supporter of the charity Help for Heroes.

Miss E Johnson - Teacher of PE

Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Sport Development with Coaching, PGCE Secondary Physical Education

Miss Johnson received a First-Class degree in Sport Development with Coaching from Sheffield Hallam University in 2021, subsequently completing a PGCE in Secondary Physical Education in 2022. Miss Johnson has undertaken extensive research relating to teaching and learning. She understands the importance of putting pupils at the heart of teaching and can’t wait to share her passion for learning with Mercia’s pupils. She is particularly interested in how sport can develop a person holistically and make a positive contribution to their life.

An active sportswoman, Miss Johnson currently plays competitive netball and competes in long distance running events. Whilst at University, Miss Johnson was a vital component of the Netball Club. She competed in the prestigious BUCS league throughout her time at university, and was voted the Club's Chairperson in her final year. Under her leadership, the club won the coveted Sports Club of the Year Award 2020-21. Furthermore, Miss Johnson has represented Derbyshire in regional level athletics competitions.

As well as a keen sports woman, she has acquired 6 years of industry experience, delivering lessons in sport in local primary schools and high performance netball clubs such as SHU Netball Club. Miss Johnson is also a passionate activator for disability sport and regularly volunteers for Goalball UK, which is a sport played by visually impaired athletes. Miss Johnson has a high energy approach to teaching and is dedicated to achieving excellent progress outcomes for all pupils. At Mercia, she is very much looking forward to providing pupils with additional sporting opportunities through the enrichment programme.

Computing

Mr L Berry - Co-Head of Computing

Qualifications: MMath (Hons) Mathematics, QTS Secondary Mathematics

Mr Berry received his First-Class Masters degree in Mathematics from the University of Sheffield and joined Mercia School in 2020 as a Teacher of Mathematics. Part of the Future Teaching Scholars programme, Mr Berry has a wealth of in-school training and teaching experience. He has supported sixth-form pupils with their applications to Russell Group and Oxbridge Universities and will help Mercia pupils to access courses in Mathematics and Computer Science as the school grows.

During his degree, he completed his dissertation with the School of Health and Related Research investigating the use of statistics to make the best decisions in a healthcare context. His work required extensive coding in a mathematical context, working primarily with the programming languages R and Python. This makes him well placed to share knowledge with computer science classes throughout the school. Mr Berry recognises how interconnected mathematics and computer science are and is excited to demonstrate these links to pupils through to A-Level.

Mr Berry is an ardent believer that a deep knowledge-based curriculum will lead to developing outstanding young people at Mercia. Knowing the importance of enrichment at Mercia School, Mr Berry is passionate about contributing widely to the pupil experience at Mercia School. especially through musical education. He plays several instruments himself and is involved with the many musical ensembles that Mercia School offers. He is also heavily involved with the school’s Duke of Edinburgh scheme, training and leading expeditions for pupils completing their Bronze, Silver and Gold awards

Mr B Jennings - Co-Head of Computing

Qualifications: MMath (Hons) Mathematics, PCGE in Secondary Mathematics

Mr Jennings studied mathematics at the University of Warwick, graduating with a Masters degree (MMath) in 2013. Following this, he spent time as a researcher in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, investigating topics related to mathematics and computer science.

While a researcher, Mr Jennings spent time teaching both secondary students and undergraduates. The challenge of communicating the beautiful and important ideas of mathematics, alongside a belief that all children should receive an education that can improve their future, lead him to take up a teacher training place at the University of Sheffield and then a job at Mercia school.

Since joining Mercia, Mr Jennings has enjoyed taking part in all aspects of school life: from teaching about advanced mathematics to playing football with students during lunch break. He has been incredibly impressed by how dedicated Mercia students are to their learning and the high standard of work that this effort produces.

Mr Jennings is excited to be part of both the Mathematics and Computer Science departments, allowing him to make connections between the two subjects and share the knowledge he gained through his research with the next generation of mathematicians and programmers.

 

Art

Miss A Roberts - Head of Art

Qualifications: BA (hons) Fine Art, PGCE Art and Design

Miss Roberts is a passionate Teacher of Art who gives Mercia pupils the opportunity to experience a broad and diverse range of the Fine Arts. Miss Roberts undertook her studies at Lancaster University in 2015, and completed a Fine Art degree. Miss Roberts’ favourite movement is Pop Art, and she has gained knowledge in a wide variety of Art disciplines, including drawing, painting, sculpting, animation, sound and film. On numerous occasions during her degree, Miss Roberts worked closely with local organisations and works hard to involve Mercia School in Sheffield’s local Art community. 

After completing her undergraduate degree, Miss Roberts worked as an Art Technician in a Lancashire school, where she gained insight into teaching and thus went on to train as a teacher in 2016. Miss Roberts completed a PGCE in Art and Design, and worked as a cover supervisor in a Lancaster school, teaching both Art and Technology. Miss Roberts offers a wide range of extra-curricular art activities to Mercia pupils and is constantly looking to widen the artistic opportunities available to pupils.

Aside from school life, Miss Roberts completes commissions on a regular basis, and has sold art work in local shops. She loves seeking out the latest Art exhibitions, reading, visiting the Lake District and is interested in nature photography.

Miss T Aleaxander - Teacher of Art

Qualifications: BFA Fine Art, PGDip Art History and Theory of Art, MFA Fine Art, PGCE Secondary Art

Miss Alexander received a First-Class Honours in Fine Art from the University of Oxford in 2013. Whilst there, she won numerous awards for her work and has a drawing in the Ashmolean Museum. She has since gone on to work as a practicing artist, participating in exhibitions and artist residencies both abroad and in the UK, including in Japan where she stayed for three months.

Since her undergraduate, she has remained a passionate academic, and went on to study Art History and Theory at the University of Essex before receiving a Distinction in her MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths University in 2020. During her time at Goldsmiths, she became engrossed in research into human relationships with virtual spaces and AI. As a result, she has expanded her skillset from traditional art into digital technologies which would allow her to better express her ideas. She is excited to pass on her skills in drawing and painting as well as in software.

Miss Alexander has worked as a freelance art tutor since 2013, including at the University of Oxford where she taught Life Drawing for many years. In 2021, she made the decision to turn teaching into her full-time career in order to inspire self-belief and creativity in the greatest number of students. In her spare time, she will almost certainly be found at the climbing wall; her home away from home for the last 7 years.

Music

Mrs R Jarvis - Head of Music

Qualifications: BA Music, PGCE in Secondary Music

Mrs Jarvis graduated from Manchester University in 2011 with an honours degree in Music. After working with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra helping organise concerts she decided to peruse a career in Music Education. After completing her PGCE at Birmingham City University in 2014, she went on to work in two schools in Birmingham before relocating to Sheffield. She is hugely passionate about teaching music and believes that every child has the right to an outstanding musical education. She is hugely excited to be taking on the role of Head of Music at Mercia and is looking forward to teaching its talented students and to building the role of music as a central part of the life of the school.

Having studied cello from a young age, Mrs Jarvis is a strings specialist, and has also taught herself to play a number of instruments including the double bass and violin. She is also hugely passionate about the benefits of singing having grown up as a church chorister. She continues to enjoy being inquisitive about music, and loves discovering new music and listening to a wide variety of musical styles from folk, to jazz, rock and pop. When it comes to classical music, her favourite composer is Shostakovich. Mrs Jarvis is excited about setting up lots of ensembles in Mercia where all students can benefit from performing together, learning instruments and challenging themselves musically.

Outside of Music and Education Mrs Jarvis has a strong love of elephants, is a keen baker and enjoys sewing.

Drama

Mr R Flowers - Head of Drama

Qualifications: BA (Hons) Performance, QTS Secondary Drama

Mr Flowers trained at a professional actor at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before working extensively in television, film, radio and on the stage. After a successful career he decided to move into teaching wanting to inspire the next generation. He possesses a BA(Hons) in Performance from The Guildford School of Acting. He gained his teaching GTP through Hertfordshire University before going on to become an Advanced Skills Teacher of Drama and a Lead Practitioner of Performing Arts. He has been a teacher for over twenty years and has been a Head of Year, Head of Department and Head of Faculty at his previous schools. He has also been an examiner for both AQA and Edexcel exam boards.

Mr Flowers has directed numerous professional, school and youth productions. These range from full-scale musicals with orchestral accompaniment to physical theatre and mime performances. One of his youth groups was invited to participate in the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the group performed for the Queen outside Buckingham Palace! His proudest moments as a teacher came this year when one of his ex-pupils won the Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Mr Flowers is also a keen playwright and has been awarded two writing commissions.

Mr Flowers is passionate about drama and believes that the subject offers an opportunity for everyone to enrich their cultural capital. He is very much looking forward to meeting and working with the pupils and staff at Mercia School.

Miss S Ward - Teacher of Drama

Qualifications: BA Performing Arts, PGCE in Secondary Drama

Miss Ward read Performing Arts at the University of Salford and graduated in 2011. After graduating she joined the Manchester based Theatre in Education Company ‘Theatre Bus’ and facilitated workshops for children between the ages of 5 and 16, covering personal, social and emotional topics. This is where she found a passion for using theatre to teach and inspire students. She gained her PGCE in Secondary Drama from Leeds Trinity University in 2014.

Miss Ward has five years’ experience in the education sector and has worked for three years in a Sheffield school as a Teacher of Drama. Whilst in post, Miss Ward also served as the school’s Acting Subject Leader for Drama where she gained invaluable leadership experience taking pupils through their GCSE and A-level examinations successfully. She directed and choreographed the school’s production of ‘Grease’ and ran the extracurricular Theatre and Musical Theatre Companies. Tapton Theatre Company also performed ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Shakespeare’s Schools Festival in 2018.

Miss Ward has a passion for Physical and Musical Theatre. She is a trained singer and has a keen interest in sports, whether it be watching or participating. She is excited about giving the pupils at Mercia the opportunity to explore the history and world of Theatre.