Bristol Free School Teaching Staff
Senior Leadership Team
Mr B Sillince – Acting Headteacher
Mr Sillince graduated with an Honours degree in Biology from Cardiff University. He studied for his PGCE with the University of Wales, Institute Cardiff and gained QTS after placements in the South Wales’ Valleys.
He began his career at Southfields Community College in Wandsworth, London. He remained there for 9 years and had been a member of the school’s Senior Team as its Lead AST for 2 years before relocating to Bristol to become a founding AHT at Bristol Free School.
In his first year at Bristol Free School he made the public and most probably foolish promise to learn the names of every year 6 student joining the school before their induction day. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and with the school set to grow to over 900 students in 2016 he is regretting this pledge, although he remains determined to give it his best shot.
Outside of school, Mr Sillince claims to have a mysterious musical past. These claims have never been verified and they are seemingly at odds with the almost visceral and most certainly unmelodious passion with which he supports Gloucester Rugby. Considering its own unique rugby heritage, Bristol was not an easy choice of home however it is a very happy halfway house between Gloucester and Cardiff – the city of both Mrs Sillince and their son Joseph’s birth. Mr Sillince vividly remembers the day that Cardiff beat Gloucester in the European Cup with 14 men and is frequently told to “let it go”. He’s hoping that in the not too distant future, remembering 900 names and their faces will indeed help him displace that unpleasant memory.
Mrs S Jenkins – Assistant Headteacher
Mrs Jenkins graduated with a degree in Geography and American Studies from Swansea University – a course which involved spending a year studying at Ohio University in the United States. She gained QTS after completing her teaching placements in the valleys of mid Wales and Porthcawl.
On qualifying, Mrs Jenkins began her career in North Somerset and has taught at a range of schools in Bristol including Ashton Park, Fairfield – where she held the position of Head of Geography and most recently Redland Green School where she was in charge of the Humanities Faculty. Whilst at Redland Green the Humanities department went from strength to strength with both History and Geography being in the top 5% of schools nationally for their GCSE results.
Outside of school Mrs Jenkins tries to pursue a range of interests (when not taking her children to and from various evening and weekend activities) She is an enthusiastic (if rather accident prone mountain biker) as well as a fair weather, warm water surfer. Her other interests include running and swimming particularly once her local outdoor pool is open. In the near future she is running the Bristol 10k and might be persuaded to once again run the Bristol half marathon. The positive to being part of an active family is it enables Mrs Jenkins to experiment with variety of baking recipes!
Mr D Truan – Assistant Headteacher
Mr Truan graduated with a degree in Sports Science from The University of Wales Swansea, before gaining his QTS through a Graduate Teacher Programme based at The Ridings High School in Bristol.
Early in his teaching career Mr Truan achieved one of his long term ambitions to return to his old Secondary School and Sixth Form, The Castle School in Thornbury, to teach Physical Education where he studied for seven years. After becoming an outstanding school, taking over the role of Head of Department, and assisting the Senior Team on whole school Teaching and Learning initiatives he decided to accept a new challenge and join Bristol Free School as the Head of PE. In 2015 Mr Truan was appointed as Assistant Head Teacher at Bristol Free School, leading on Teaching and Learning and Professional Development.
In Mr Truan's leisure time he is heavily involved in sport and physical activity, with his main passion being football where he represented his county and the South-West of England before having England football trials as a schoolboy. At University Mr Truan won the BUSA Championship reaching three consecutive finals, and has since gone on to play semi-professional football in both England and Wales. Mr Truan has a VW campervan and regularly travels to different parts of the country to find waves to surf, beaches to walk and mountains to climb.
Mr J Fernandes – Assistant Headteacher
Mr Fernandes graduated with a degree in Biochemistry from Loughborough University and has a Masters in Science Education Research from the University of Bristol. He gained QTS, through the University of Bristol, after placements in Swindon and Bristol.
Mr Fernandes began his career at Bradley Stoke Community School helping to set up key areas of the curriculum during the schools early development. He held a variety of roles including Assistant Team Leader, Head of KS4 Science and held responsibility for Chemistry. He has led professional development courses to Science educators through the National Science Learning Centre Network and has contributed to published research on the use of ICT in Science Education in collaboration with the University of Bristol. He joined Bristol Free School in its third year to lead the Science Department.
Outside of school Mr Fernandes is a massive fan of Science Fiction movies and novels. He has an impressive collection of graphic novels!
Mr R Walker - Assistant Headteacher (Head of Sixth Form)
Mr Walker graduated with a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Science in Health Exercise and Sport from the University of Wales, Cardiff, followed by his Teacher Training in two of Wales’ best performing schools, Cardiff High School and Whitchurch Secondary School, where Gareth Bale and Sam Warburton both attended.
Mr Walker began his teaching career at Ashton Park School in Bristol where he specialised in Physical Education, quickly becoming an Assistant Head of Year, then Head of House before becoming the Head of Sixth Form. Being hugely passionate about sport, and working at a sports college, Mr Walker has organised sports tours to Australia and South Africa, as well as taking an active role in an expedition to Kenya to build a developing community school called ‘Inspirations School’ in Mombasa, which is in its tenth year.
Outside of school Mr Walker was a keen rugby player, playing regional rugby for Newport Gwent Dragons, before playing at Clifton for 6 seasons when he moved to Bristol. After starting a family and having 2 small children Mr Walker now enjoys taking part in Triathlons and cycling as well as outdoor pursuits, climbing and surfing.
Mrs K Conway – Acting Assistant Headteacher
Originally from Cardiff, Mrs Conway came to Bristol to study Mathematics at the University, followed by the PGCE which included placements in several schools in the former Avon area. She secured a position as mathematics teacher at a school in a neighbouring authority where she remained for a numbers of years, holding a number of posts including Deputy Head of Maths, Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Head of Maths, Line Manager for ICT and a member of the Extended Leadership Team. During this time Mrs Conway also served as an Associate Tutor for the Initial Teacher Training course at Bristol University School of Education and has mentored many newly qualified teachers through the first year of their career.
Throughout her career Mrs Conway has been involved with local and national organisations which promote maths, including the local Masterclasses at UWE and the UK Mathematics Trust. She is currently an examiner for EDEXCEL and serves on the advisory group for the development of the new GCSE Statistics specification.
Outside of school Mrs Conway’s three secondary school age children ensure that her life is very busy. When time allows she enjoys baking, gardening and walking. She is a member of a local Church and serves as a Governor at Stoke Bishop Primary School, where she chairs the Standards Committee.
Mr J Tolman – Acting Head of Year 7 and Teacher of PE
Mr Tolman graduated with a degree in Sports Coaching from University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC). He studied for his PGCE at Bath Spa University and gained QTS after placements in Downend School and Gordano High School. On qualifying, Mr Tolman began his teaching career at Bristol Free School. He has since been given the responsibility of running both the Rugby and Cricket 1st teams and has enjoyed seeing them through a number of successes.
Outside of school Mr Tolman competes in a variety of sports and currently plays rugby for Old Colstonians in Bristol. He has played cricket in both India and Australia, and was more recently given the opportunity to visit Australia as an overseas player at a club on the Gold Coast. After some good performances he was asked to Represent Queensland Bulls in a number of limited over games.
Mr L Green – Year 8 Leader and Head of Geography
Mr Green graduated from the University West of England with a first class degree in human geography. At present he is undertaking a Masters in teaching and learning from the University of Bristol, specialising in coaching, mentoring and neuroscience in education. He gained QTS after completing placements at Abbeywood community school and Ashton park school. On qualifying, Mr Green started his career at Bristol Free School.
Outside of school, Mr Green attempts to be as active as possible, often taking on endurance challenges in running or cycling as well as Olympic weightlifting.
Mr R Mitchell – Assistant Head of Year 8 and Teacher of Science
Mr Mitchell graduated with a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Leeds before going on to complete a MRes in Earth System Sciences at Bristol University. He later returned to Bristol to complete his PGCE (Science). Bristol Free School is Mr Mitchell's first teaching post. Before teaching Mr Mitchell worked in environmental research for the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Edinburgh, focusing on air quality and in particular the effects of nitrogen emissions on biodiversity. This was followed by work as an Air Quality Consultant in Oxfordshire including tasks such as writing the UK air quality forecast for the Met Office.
Mr Mitchell is heavily involved with the Pahar trust, a charity that builds schools in remote mountainous regions of Nepal. Having visited as a pupil aged 10 in the first trip to go from Westbury-On-Trym primary school he has kept the involvement up. Currently he runs New Pals for Nepal at BFS to help foster a strong relationship with our Partner school in Singdi Village, and is looking at ways to embed the link further.
Mr M MacBlain – Year 9 Leader and Teacher of History
Mr MacBlain graduated with a degree in Politics from the University of East Anglia and has a Masters in Education from UWE. He gained QTS during a PGCE at the University of Exeter after placements in Exeter and North Devon. He joined Bristol Free School in 2015.
Outside of school Mr MacBlain has a passion for hockey and has coached in the National League since 2003. Particular highlights included reaching Indoor Finals in 2004, the England Hockey Cup Final in 2005 and winning the National Indoor Division One in 2007. Additionally he has also been involved with the Welsh U21 team notably going on to win a Gold Medal at the European Championships in 2004. He takes particular pride in developing junior players, with one such player currently in the Great Britain team and set to represent her nation in the Rio Olympics.
Mrs R Hill – Year 10 Leader and Teacher of Maths
Mrs Hill graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Sociology and Education and followed a Post Graduate Course in Mathematics with Bath Spa University. She gained QTS after placements in Chepstow and Radstock. Bristol Free School was Mrs Hill’s first job as a mathematics teacher joining at the beginning of its fourth year. Whilst at Bristol Free School, Mrs Hill has shared in the responsibility of planning STEM days and has also helped to set up the new school stationery shop after her group won BFS Social Enterprise Day.
Outside of school Mrs Hill enjoys yoga, swimming and the great outdoors. A bike ride along the Avon Gorge to the rockslides with her family and a picnic is in Mrs Hill’s eyes the perfect day out.
Mr R Parry –Year 11 Leader and Teacher of Geography
Mr Parry was born and raised in the local area and attended a local secondary school. In 2005 he graduated from Reading University. Following graduation he worked in the finance sector which allowed him to live in Australia for a year. He was also fortunate enough to travel around the world visiting South America and Asia.
Mr Parry commenced his teaching career at St Laurence School, which is located in Bradford on Avon. He taught at the school for 5 years and his roles included being the Able Gifted Coordinator and also the Head of Business Studies and Economics. He was appointed at Bristol Free School as a Year Leader.
Outside of work Mr Parry enjoys surfing, golf, rugby and travelling.
Mrs E Barley – Year 12 Leader and Teacher of Science
Mrs Barley graduated with a MCHEM degree from the University of Wales, Swansea. During her degree she studied in Boulder, Colorado and taught Chemistry to undergraduate students which is where her passion for teaching stemmed from. She obtained her PGCE from the University of Bristol. She has taught at a school in South Gloucestershire for 12 years and has held a variety of roles from KS3 Co-ordinator, KS5 Co-ordinator and Lead Teacher for Chemistry in South Gloucestershire.
Her interests outside of school are running, keeping fit and going to the cinema which she tries to fit in around a young family.
Mr M Bishop – Year 13 Leader and Head of History
Mr Bishop graduated with a degree in History from the University of the West of England. He gained QTS after placements in Bradley Stoke Community School and Brislington Enterprise College. On qualifying, Mr Bishop began his career at Brislington Enterprise College, a large secondary school in South Bristol. Whilst there he progressed to become Team Leader for Health across the school, overseeing the development of a new PSHE curriculum. He joined Bristol Free School in September 2014.
Outside of school Mr Bishop has a passion for rugby, squash, fitness and cooking. Mr Bishop currently coaches with the academy at Bristol Rugby Club working with the under 15 age group in the DPP. Alongside this, he also plays squash regularly in the local leagues.
Teachers by Subject
Miss G Dawson – Head of Art
Miss Dawson undertook a foundation course in Art and Design, and an HND in Fashion Design and Technology. Upon completion of this course Miss Dawson worked for Levi jeans as a Design Assistant in Levis’ customisation studio in London’s flagship store on Regent Street. After a year in the industry she relocated to Italy and qualified to teach English as a foreign language, whilst returning to her studies part time through the Open University. She achieved a degree in Art History and decided it was time to pick up the paintbrushes.
Upon returning to England she began to paint on a regular basis, mainly abstract works that were sold in local galleries. Missing teaching and with a renewed passion for Art she applied to do a PGCE in Art and Design, securing a place at the University of the West of England. In 2010 she began her teaching career at Redland Green school where she was employed as an Art and Design technology teacher. After a successful year she applied to Bristol Free School and secured a place to set up the Art and Design Technology department. She is now in the position as the Head of Art.
Outside of school Miss Dawson continues to work on her Art practice, combining her love of Acrylics and mixed media and exhibiting her work on local Art trails. She has a passion for travel and languages; speaking Italian fluently and currently learning Spanish.
Miss R Marsh – Teacher of Art & Design
Miss Marsh graduated with a degree in Interdisciplinary Textiles Design from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2009. On graduating she took part in the prestigious New Designers awards at the Design Museum in London. Alongside a small group of fellow course mates she was awarded the prize for ‘Best Stand in Show’. She decided to take her passion for making into the classroom and gained QTS whilst working in schools in and around Winchester and Southampton.
On qualifying Miss Marsh began teaching at Kings’ School in Winchester, an outstanding school with 1500 students on role. Here she led the GCSE Photography course for several years, with pupils consistently achieving 100% A*-C grades. In 2015 she relocated back to Bristol to join Bristol Free School’s exciting ADCT department.
Outside of school Miss Marsh continues to make and sell her own textiles work. She enjoys regularly visiting local galleries and art trails to discover new artists and sources of inspiration.
Mrs C Sherman – Head of Computer Science & ICTAC
Mrs Sherman graduated with a degree in French and European Studies from Nottingham Trent University. As well as spending a year teaching English in France, Mrs Sherman enrolled in additional courses in website design and programming as an area of interest. Mrs Sherman completed her PGCE in Modern Languages at the University of the West of England where she delivered workshops to fellow PGCE students and lecturers about using technology in lessons to enhance learning.
On qualifying, Mrs Sherman completed her NQT year at Park Hall School in Birmingham as a Teacher of ICT and French before relocating home to Bristol and continuing her career as a Teacher of ICT and French at Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College in Weston-super-Mare. Whilst there, Mrs Sherman was promoted to Director of ICT and introduced Business Studies and Computing as GCSE options. During her time at Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College, Mrs Sherman led the development of the IT Diploma across North Somerset and delivered Level 3 ICT and computing courses at Weston College. Mrs Sherman joined Bristol Free School in September 2016 and is Head of Computing and ICT across the Curriculum.
Outside of school, Mrs Sherman has a passion for a number of activities. She owns a 1969 VW campervan (called Ethel!) and along with her husband and daughter, they travel the country and continent to different VW shows and enjoy going on holidays with her. Mrs Sherman enjoys running, cycling and swimming and has taken part in numerous events including 10ks (road, trail and night time), half marathons and triathlons. In fact Mrs Sherman completed an Event a Month for 10 months prior to becoming pregnant! Since having her daughter, Mrs Sherman has started training again and is keen to be taking part in events again. As part of her training, Mrs Sherman joined the ever expanding ‘This Mum Runs’ group (find us on Facebook!) and started her own branch of the group where she lives as she struggled to attend the sessions available. Mrs Sherman also enjoys reading, watching films, listening to music and attending the many amazing events and festivals that Bristol offers with family and friends.
Miss C Clifton – Head of Drama
Miss Clifton graduated with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts from The University of Birmingham. After graduating, she acquired a job as a Runner at BBC Bristol where she worked for two years before leaving to pursue a career in education. She gained QTS after two years working as a Cover Supervisor and placements in Bristol and Dursley. She joined Bristol Free School in 2015.
Outside of school Miss Clifton enjoys going to the theatre and has a love/hate relationship with running. She completed the Bristol half marathon in 2015 and aspires to run the London Marathon one day!
Mr B Turner – Head of ADCT
Mr Turner originally qualified as an Electronic Engineer at Oxford Brookes University. After deciding to go into teaching he completed a PGCE at UWE in Bristol before starting work teaching Electronics and D&T at Churchill Academy in 2004. He moved to Bristol Free School in 2016 from the BTE Academy in Stoke Gifford.
Outside of school Mr Turner enjoys going on holidays and playing golf. His favourite holidays involve Skiing and SCUBA diving although he doesn’t get to go as often as he’d like!
Miss K Burman - Teacher of ADCT
Miss Burman graduated with a first class honours degree in Costume Construction for Screen and Stage from the University of South Wales. She has since worked on TV programmes and stage productions creating the costumes for various characters, which included working back-stage and on set. Miss Burman also spent time working in bridal alterations and tailoring.
Miss Burman went on to complete her PGCE through GITEP and the University of Gloucestershire, before joining Bristol Free School as an NQT in 2017.
Outside of school Miss Burman has a keen interest in travelling to exciting new countries and spending time with family and friends. She also likes to visit the cinema and theatre.
Mr J Dayment – Teacher of ADCT
Mr Dayment graduated with a first class honours degree in Hospitality Management from Cardiff Metropolitan University. He has since gained extensive experience within the Hotel sector including Duty Management, Front of House Manager and Head Housekeeper. Mr Dayment gained QTS with Cardiff Metropolitan University after placements in Pontypool and Crickhowell. His combination of College and University qualifications and extensive industry experience means he has a wealth of Food and Nutrition Knowledge to pass onto eager Bristol Free School pupils.
Outside of school Mr Dayment has a keen interest in food and where it comes from, and he regularly cooks for family and friends. He grows his own vegetables in two greenhouses and also keeps chickens. Mr Dayment likes to spend most of his time outdoors be it gardening, walking or cycling.
Mrs S Gordon – Teacher of ADCT (maternity leave)
Mrs Gordon studied Furniture Design & Manufacture at Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College. Whilst there she honed her skills in working with traditional joinery methods in timber and experimented with various steel fabrications and upholstery. Following graduation, a career blossomed designing bespoke kitchens and managing their installation for the 'well-heeled' in London.
A move towards teaching began after moving back to her west-country roots and taking on a job role as a technical design trainer. This sparked a fire which led to enrolment on a PGCE course at UWE as a mature student, qualifying after placements at schools in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. On qualifying, Mrs Gordon accepted a post at The Blue School, Wells, in an outstanding Design & Technology department and joined Bristol Free School for her first term in Autumn 2016.
Hobbies include cycling - more specifically fully-loaded 'kitchen-sink' style cycle touring - and a keen love of nature which sees many different tactics employed to attract as many insects and birds to the garden as possible.
Mr E Keen – Teacher of ADCT
Mr Keen graduated in 2008 with a degree in Building Surveying from the University of the West of England before going on to train as a Design and Technology teacher. His first post was at Bedminster Down School. He then moved to the John of Gaunt School in Trowbridge, becoming head of department in 2012.
In previous lives he has worked in outdoor education in France, Italy and the USA as both a sailing and snowboarding instructor. Following the 2004 Tsunami in Asia he worked with the local community co-ordinating a house rebuilding project in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka.
Outside of teaching Mr Keen is passionate about the outdoors. He grew up climbing in the Peak District and continues this passion in the West Country. His most memorable routes include the Cuilin Ridge on Skye and a winter ascent of Dow Crag in the Lake District. He also enjoys mountain biking, surfing and a spot of gardening.
Mr I Thomas - Head of English
Mr Thomas graduated from Manchester University with a First in English and American Literature. He has worked in a variety of educational establishments in the wider Bristol area, including a Pupil Referral Unit, a Further Education College, and several secondary schools. He has worked as a Head of Year, and on top of English Language and Literature, he has taught Philosophy and Critical Thinking at A Level.
His interests (unsurprisingly) include reading.
Ms P Procter - 2 i/c English
Ms Procter grew up in Northumberland, before moving to the south west to study English at the University of Bristol. After graduating, she spent five years working at the BBC on radio programmes such as Any Questions?, Word of Mouth and Farming Today. However, a career change beckoned and Ms Procter completed her teacher training at the University of Bristol, gaining a Distinction in her PGCE. Ms Procter joined Bristol Free School after spending three years teaching English at The Castle School in Thornbury.
Outside of school, Ms Procter enjoys going to the cinema, the theatre and seeing live music. Her other interests include reading, particularly crime fiction, and going on long walks.
Miss E Ford – Teacher of English
Miss Ford was educated at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School in Marlow and graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Bristol. She gained her QTS following training with Bath Spa University and placements in Bristol, Trowbridge and Bath. These ranged from a private girls' school to an inner-city academy and a rural comprehensive.
Once qualified, she joined Bristol Free School in 2016 as an NQT English teacher, having spent time in a variety of institutions including a Pupil Referral Unit and a hospital school.
Outside of school life, Miss Ford enjoys reading and writing as well as playing the violin. She also has a passion for climbing, mountaineering, and long distance fell-running (which involves racing up and down mountains, often over marathon distances!)
Ms H Monsell – Teacher of English
Ms Monsell graduated with a degree in English Literature and Linguistics and has a Masters in Victorian Literature and Critical Analysis from the University of Exeter. She completed her teacher training locally at the University of Bristol, after placements at outstanding schools in North Somerset and Wiltshire.
Ms Monsell's interest in language, literature and learning doesn't stop at the classroom door. She often finds herself reading to relax or studying a foreign language for pleasure. She enjoys travelling to far-flung places, listening to live music - and despite her self-confessed failings - she still loves gardening!
Ms H Williams – Teacher of English
Ms Williams grew up in South Wales, moving to London after leaving school. She graduated with a degree in English Literature and Communication Studies and has a Masters in Television Production from Middlesex University.
She came to teaching after a career in network television, based in London and Hong Kong but working around the world. In 2014 Ms Williams moved to Bristol and joined Bristol Free School in September 2015.
Outside of school Ms Williams has put on hold a love of travelling, focusing instead on her young family but still finds time to enjoy music, theatre and, of course, literature.
Miss K Ryan – Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Miss Ryan graduated with a degree in European Treaty Law with French and Spanish from the University of Limerick and has completed her first year in a Masters of Education from the University of the West of England – where she also completed her PGCE and gained QTS through placements in schools in Dawlish and Almondsbury.
Since moving to Bristol Miss Ryan has taught at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, an all-boys independent school where she taught years 4 to 13, before making the move to Bristol Free School. Miss Ryan strives to take part in all aspects of school life and always tries to get involved in any musical or dramatic club, most notably assisting in the Dynamics Choir.
Miss Ryan loves to travel and takes every opportunity to see a new place and experience a new culture. Through studying languages she has had the opportunity to live and work in several countries, doing a range of jobs from; being an interpreter on live radio in Asturias, Spain, to being a live-in nanny in Barcelona, to teaching English in an English institute in Salto, Argentina. She is currently planning a trip to Iceland for this summer alongside her mandatory trips home to see family in Tipperary, Ireland.
Mrs R Paredes-Bartlett - Head of KS4 and KS5 Spanish
Mrs Paredes-Bartlett graduated with a 2:1 in French and Spanish from the University of Exeter. As part of her languages degree, she spent eight months teaching English to primary school children with the British Council in La Rioja, Northern Spain. She then spent a month in Montpellier, France, where she undertook an intensive French course. After graduating, she completed the CELTA qualification and spent a further year teaching English to students aged between eight and eighty in Spain as well as various language schools in Sussex.
Mrs Paredes-Bartlett trained to be a Modern Foreign Languages teacher at UCL Institute of Education and gained QTS after placements in Tower Hamlets and Southwark. On qualifying, she moved to St. Paul's Way Trust School, an outstanding inner city London school. As well as teaching French and Spanish there, she became the Lead Investigator for the Fetch Me a Pen project, which aimed to increase knowledge, skills and confidence around the teaching of literacy.
On relocating to Bristol, Mrs Paredes-Bartlett took up a role teaching French and Spanish at Bristol Brunel Academy. She has also been leading the teacher trainee programme for eight Beginning Teachers. She joined Bristol Free School in 2016.
Outside of school, Mrs Paredes-Bartlett is a keen tennis player and loves to travel. She also loves cooking, especially baking.
Miss A Burrell – Teacher of MFL
Miss Burrell graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a degree in French and Spanish. As part of the degree she spent a year studying French linguistics and literature in Paris, France and Santiago, Chile. She also attained the TEFL qualification.
After university, Miss Burrell lived in Laval, France for two years working as a language assistant in a school. Discovering a love for teaching, she then trained to be a teacher through the Teach First programme and taught at Bedminster Down School for three years. Whilst there, she undertook leadership responsibility for High Attaining Pupils and as Assistant Head of House. She joined Bristol Free School in September 2016.
Outside of school Miss Burrell loves swimming, baking, travelling, and reading. She has obtained the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold awards and went to Buckingham Palace to receive the Gold award. She is a governor at Cheddar Grove Primary School.
Miss E Pearson- Teacher of MFL
Miss Pearson graduated with a BA Honours degree in French and Spanish from Cardiff University. During her degree, she undertook a ‘Practicas Externas’ course, teaching English to Spanish university students of Tourism alongside her studies in Valencia, Spain. She also spent six months studying in Chambery, France and tutored English to 3-year-old French twin boys.
After graduating, she completed her PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages and gained QTS from the University of Bristol.
Miss Pearson enjoys travelling and makes every effort to visit friends and/or visit French and Spanish speaking countries in the holidays. She also loves all sports, namely netball and represented Wales aged 15 and 16 years in the 1500m in National athletics championships in Antrim and in the UK School Games in Cardiff. She has also obtained county and regional representation in netball, hockey, athletics, tennis and cross-country and is passionate about skiing.
Miss H Southall- Teacher of MFL
Originally from Leeds, Miss Southall completed her undergraduate degree in French and Spanish Language at the University of York. During her degree, she completed Erasmus+ Placements studying at Aix-Marseille Université and teaching at Colegio SEK Catalunya, a trilingual school in La Garriga, Barcelona. Whilst abroad, she also gained TEFL experience, later working as an au pair in both Catalonia and Madrid. Since completing her studies, Miss Southall has relocated to Bristol and gained QTS status from the University of Bristol. She previously taught at Abbeywood Community School before joining Bristol Free School in January 2016.
Outside of work, Miss Southall loves dancing, playing violin in ensembles and watching her favourite rugby league team, the Leeds Rhinos, when she can. She also has a passion for travel and hopes one day to explore Latin America.
Mrs M Tamblyn – Teacher of Geography
Mrs Tamblyn graduated with a degree in Geography from Cambridge University. She then worked in Human Resources for a number of years before deciding to retrain as a teacher. She gained QTS through a teacher training scheme in London.
On qualifying Mrs Tamblyn worked at Darrick Wood School, a large mixed school, in South London. Whilst there she was lucky enough to organise and participate in a range of trips to places as diverse as Iceland and India. Following this she worked part-time at a smaller school, James Allen’s Girls’ School, whilst bringing up her young family. In summer 2016 she relocated to Bristol to commence her role at Bristol Free School.
Throughout her teaching career Mrs Tamblyn has worked as an examiner for both GCSE and A-Level Geography. Working in these roles has given her a good understanding of how to support students effectively in these important examinations.
Outside of school Mrs Tamblyn is a keen swimmer and walker. She also enjoys spending time with her family, especially taking them to places of geographical interest!
Miss A Davies – Teacher of Geography
Miss Davies’ graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies BA Hons from the University of Kent in Canterbury in 2011. Prior to starting in Kent she spent two years travelling, living in Canada for the first year and New Zealand for the second.
Upon graduating she went on to do some work for the Gaia Foundation, an international environmental NGO, where she helped coordinate their Seeds of Freedom campaign. Alongside this she worked as a teaching assistant at Ark Putney Academy in London, quickly realising that teaching was the job for her. She completed her PGCE at the University of the West of England, with placement schools in St Julian’s Newport and Bristol Cathedral School.
Outside of work Miss Davies spends time with her horse Ginge, she also enjoys walking, cooking and planning her next school holiday adventure!
Miss F Barnes - Teacher of History
Miss Barnes grew up in North Devon, before moving 'up North' and graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree in History. After graduating, she moved to Bristol to train as a teacher, gaining QTS after completing a PGCE at the University of Bristol and placements at Chipping Sodbury, and The Castle School in South Gloucestershire.
Out of school she enjoys walking and cycling, reading as many books as possible, and exploring the city of Bristol.
Mrs L Sillince - Teacher of History
Mrs Sillince graduated from King’s College London in 2005 with a BA Honors in War Studies. Following university she worked for the Daily Mail as a researcher for the Defence Correspondent. She moved to the Weekend magazine where she worked as the Deputy Picture Editor until 2009. Having always toyed with the idea of becoming a teacher she eventually took the leap and gained QTS following a GTP at Southfields Community College in Wandsworth.
In spite of a great affection for the big smoke, in 2011 she moved back to the South West to work as the humanities teacher at BFS. Bristol is, unfortunately, the wrong side of the bridge for her but this is much to Mr Sillince’s delight. The birth of Joseph in September 2012 however saw a temporary move back to Cardiff, ensuring that her first born son was born in Wales. This is testament to her astute planning skills and organisational ability. As a founding member of staff it has been a privilege for her to see the founding year group through their GCSE year and she is looking forward to seeing them return for their sixth form studies.
Mr N Cousins - Head of Mathematics
Mr Cousins graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in Business Commerce. After sailing round Britain in a two man boat and working in the conference industry for a number of years, he discovered his calling as a teacher, taking with him all his experience from the private sector. He trained at Southfields Academy, gaining QTS and then securing his first position as a maths teacher at the then outstanding institution.
After a number of years building his experience at a diverse and multicultural school where over 70 different languages are spoken, Mr Cousins relocated to the West Country. He worked in South Bristol before joining Bristol Free School and becoming Head of Maths.
Away from the workplace Mr Cousins spends most of his time with his family – having recently become a father – and enjoys cycling, running, surfing, swimming and anything else which involves being in natural outdoor spaces. He has taken part in many triathlons over the years and has taught Wing Chun Kung Fu – an ancient Chinese martial art – for over 15 years.
Mr P Aldridge – Teacher of Mathematics
Mr Aldridge graduated with a degree in Mathematics at the University of Birmingham before completing his Teaching Degree at Edge Hill University. After qualifying, Mr Aldridge completed his NQT training year of teaching at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Bristol. Since then he remained in Bristol, working in Ralph Allen School followed by St. Brendan's Sixth Form College. He joined Bristol Free School in 2014.
Outside of school, Mr Aldridge enjoys cycling, computer programming, playing guitar and piano, rock climbing and learning Bulgarian.
Miss H Case – Teacher of Mathematics
Miss Case studied the International Baccalaureate at Truro College, Cornwall before going to university. She graduated with a first class honours Masters’ degree in Mathematics with Spanish from the University of Sheffield. This degree gave her the opportunity to study mathematics in Spanish for a year at Universidad de Carlos III, Madrid.
After graduating, Miss Case relocated to Bristol where she worked as a teaching assistant at Bristol Free School. After completing her PGCE at the University of Bristol, she returned to Bristol Free School as a maths teacher.
Outside of school Miss Case has interests in climbing, music and dancing.
Mrs R Gibbs – Teacher of Mathematics
Mrs Gibbs studied a joint degree in Mathematics and Music at Cardiff University, and after working for a year in a music shop, went on to gain a Masters degree in Composition of Music for Film and Television.
Whilst continuing to compose music as a hobby, she then went on to work at Bristol Free School for a year as a Teaching Assistant in the Maths department. This resulted in her deciding to do a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics at the University of the West of England.
Outside of school, Mrs Gibbs enjoys running, composing, playing the saxophone and piano, knitting and leading a church small group.
Mr R Ladley - Teacher of Mathematics
Mr Ladley came to teaching late having spent 25 years in the Army. His previous teaching post was 8 years at Wells Cathedral School, in Somerset. Between Wells and BFS he and his wife had a career break touring Europe in a motorhome. As well as maths his interests are running and writing novels.
Mr W Warne - Teacher of Mathematics
Mr Warne joined Bristol Free School after a stint teaching in Auckland, New Zealand. Prior to that he has taught Mathematics in a number of secondary schools in the UK in a variety of roles. Before becoming a teacher, Mr Warne worked in commercial property, advising on the asset management of large town centre shopping centres.
Outside of school, Mr Warne enjoys surfing, sailing and snowboarding as often as possible. He used to be a keen footballer and cricketer, but an aversion to training has led to an irreversible decline of skill.
Mr D Pate – Head of Music
Mr Pate graduated with a degree in Sound Technology from The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. He gained QTS after training in Oxordshire. He moved to Bristol working in a North Somerset School, before joining Bristol Free School in it's second year in 2012.
Mr Pate enjoys composing and performing music outside of school, as well as regularly going to concerts. He sings in a local Bristol choir, and infrequently plays in bands. He also enjoys reading comics (unsurprising to anyone who has visited his classroom).
Mrs B Wynne-Jones - Head of PE
Mrs Wynne-Jones graduated with a degree in Sport Psychology from the University of South Wales. She completed her PGCE at Cardiff Metropolitan University with placements in Cardiff High School and Caerleon Comprehensive School. On qualifying, Mrs Wynne-Jones began her first job at St John's School, Porthcawl. This was an independent school for children aged from 2 to 16. Here she taught PE, Music and Science and was Head of Year 5. Her next job was at St Martin's School in Caerphilly, South Wales. She worked here until she began her current job at Bristol Free School and relocated to Bristol.
When not at school Mrs Wynne-Jones plays for a recreational netball team and runs for a running club (and has just completed her first Marathon). She is a member of a Big Band in which she plays alto saxophone (they mainly play weddings at the moment) and a choir (along with 120+ others) in Cardiff.
Mrs L Ballard – Teacher of PE (maternity leave)
Mrs Ballard studied her joint honours undergraduate degree at University of Gloucestershire in Sports Education and Sport Development. She then went on to Bath Spa University to complete her PGCE qualification. Mrs Ballard started her teaching career at Sir Bernard Lovell School and joined BFS in September 2013.
Mrs Ballard has completed several half marathons and has always been a keen football player. She has represented Somerset County and played semi - professional football for Keynsham Town Ladies Football Club.
Mrs C Bennett - Teacher of PE
Mrs Bennett graduated with a degree in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Bath. She completed her Secondary PGCE at Bath Spa University and has worked internationally in Hong Kong for a number of years. She joined Bristol Free School in January 2018 after working at Hartpury College in Gloucester.
Outside of school, Mrs Bennett plays Basketball and Squash at a local level. She has previously represented Hockey and Athletics clubs at a National Level. Mrs Bennett has also completed half marathons and adventure races where she won the Asia event.
Miss E Hammond - Teacher of PE (maternity cover)
Miss Hammond graduated with a degree in Sport and Physical Education from Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2014. She completed her Secondary PGCE at Cardiff Metropolitan University in 2016, with placements at Hawthorn High School and Blackwood Comprehensive School (both situated in South Wales). Miss Hammond started her career teaching Physical Education at Llanwern High School in Newport, and joined Bristol Free School for maternity cover in September 2017.
Outside of school, Miss Hammond teaches Ballroom, Latin and Sequence dancing at a local dance school and instructs a dance fitness class known as ‘FitSteps’ to people in her community. Miss Hammond enjoys hockey having represented South Wales at Under 16 and Under 18. She currently plays for a recreational netball team and has a keen interest in fitness and running, completing the Cardiff Half Marathon both last year and this year.
Mr M Pugsley - Teacher of PE
Mr Pugsley qualified with honours in Sports Coaching at UWIC and completed his PGCE the following year, also at UWIC. Following his PGCE he worked for the Welsh Rugby Union and Gwent Dragons for three years overseeing Coach Education and Development. He also coached the U18's Dragons Academy and representative sides in the Gwent Region.
In 2011, Mr Pugsley moved to Dubai where he worked at the English College for 6 years as a PE Teacher. He held Head of Year and Head of Department positions at the English College before moving home to Newport in July 2017 for the birth of his first child before joining BFS.
Many student believe Mr Pugsley is related to Mr Walker. This is not the case however they did attend the same school and play for the same rugby team from the age of 10!
Miss A Roberts - Head of RE
Miss Roberts graduated with a BA in the Study of Religions from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2014. She then went on to complete her PGCE in Religious Education at the University of Exeter in 2015. Miss Roberts found her passion for religion when she was just 14 and knew she wanted her future career to involve sharing this enthusiasm with young people.
Her first teaching job was at Ivybridge Community College in her home county of Devon. After just two years at ICC, Miss Roberts discovered a move to Bristol was on the cards due to a change in her partner’s career. Miss Roberts secured the position of Head of Religion and Philosophy here at Bristol Free School and is now settling into life in the South Gloucestershire countryside.
Outside of school Miss Roberts enjoys supporting Exeter Chiefs, long countryside walks, travelling as much as possible and knitting Icelandic jumpers.
Miss F Melville – Teacher of RE
Miss Melville graduated with a degree in History from Bath Spa University. She was awarded QTS from Bath Spa University after placements in Bath and Weston-Super-Mare.
Miss Melville knew she wanted to become a teacher from a very young age and has worked throughout her schooling life to achieve this goal. After several placements in Dorset, with great enthusiasm, she decided that it was within the Humanities department where her passion came to life.
Outside of school Miss Melville has a passion for singing and baking, and often the two come hand in hand. Miss Melville is very enthusiastic about the creative arts and carries out many activities at home, her favourite is scrapbooking various experiences from her travels.
Mrs R Parry - Teacher of RE
Mrs Parry graduated with a degree in Philosophy, Religion and Ethics from Heythrop College, University of London. She gained QTS after placements in Bristol and Bradford on Avon.
On qualifying, Mrs Parry began her career at an outstanding secondary school in the Wiltshire area. Whilst there she lead Religious Studies and was then promoted to Second in PSHE. In September 2015, she was appointed as Head of Religion & Philosophy and Bristol Free School. After the birth of her daughter, Mrs Parry is now returning from a fun filled maternity leave to life in the classroom.
Outside of school Mrs Parry lives up to the stereotype of a Philosophy teacher attending yoga lessons, walking her vizsla in the countryside and trying to travel as much as she can.
Mr A Mabey – Head of Science
Mr Mabey graduated from Bristol University in 2002 with a degree in Physics. This was the same year in which Bristol Zoo announced the birth of a rare albino penguin as a result of their captive breeding program for African Penguins - an achievement Mr Mabey is proud to claim the credit for, having spent the final year of his degree working with the zoo to design and build incubators which mimic the exact conditions of temperature, humidity and movement, that eggs would experience in the wild.
After graduation Mr Mabey returned to Bristol University to complete his PGCE, training at Bristol Cathedral School and St Mary Redcliffe. Since qualification, he has worked at Norton Hill School, in Midsomer Norton where among many highlights, his proudest achievement was coaching a team of budding robotics engineers to reach the national finals of the First Lego League robotics competition.
Mrs C Lavis – 2 i/c Science
Mrs Lavis graduated with a degree in Genetics and a Masters in Journalism from University of Wales Swansea. On qualifying with a Masters she worked in various media outlets to gain experience in Science Communication. After working with a Science Communication based at Cardiff University she decided teaching is the best way to communicate Science. She gained QTS after graduating from Bristol University. Since starting work as a qualified teacher she has gained a diploma in Education from Gloucester University. In 2011 she relocated back to North Bristol and joined Bristol Free School at the outset and is second in charge of Science.
Outside of school Mrs Lavis enjoys reading, cooking and dancing. She enjoys reading the Science Fiction writing of Isaac Asimov and historical drama novels, when the opportunity arises. She particularly enjoys entertaining and cooking for family and friends.
Dr D Cooper – Teacher of Science
Dr Cooper graduated with a Masters degree in Chemistry at Cardiff University and continued his research to eventually gain a PhD in biological inorganic chemistry. His favourite element is Manganese for its wide range of oxidation states and the fact that without it photosynthesis would not be possible. He then left academia and worked as an applications chemist for ALMSCO International, a manufacturer of high end mass spectrometry equipment. Dr Cooper gained QTS status after training at Bristol University and has worked at Bristol Free School since 2013 where he pursues his passion for projectiles and is the manager of the school’s Duke of Edinburgh's Award.
Outside of school Dr Cooper is a keen climber and can often be seen on the Avon Gorge contemplating the perfect cam placement. An active environmentalist and RSPB member, his favourite animals are the ring tailed lemur and the three toed sloth.
Mr E Evans – Teacher of Science and Maths
Mr Evans graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Studies from the University of Plymouth before starting work at the Calvert Trust Exmoor as an Activities Instructor. Here, he took clients with an entire range of disabilities through adventurous challenges such as climbing, sailing, canoeing, bushcraft and archery, which enthused him to study for his PGCE at Bristol University. He then worked in schools in Dorset, North Devon and Somerset before joining Bristol Free School.
Outside of school Mr Evans spends his weekends trying not to injure himself, or any equipment, while racing sailing dinghies in competitions across the region, surfing, climbing and maintaining cars and boats at home - not always successfully but almost always with a grin.
Mr A Lewis – Teacher of Science
Mr Lewis graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Anatomy and Physiology from the University of Bristol. Following this, he gained QTS during his time at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff after placements in the Rhondda Cynon Taff local authority of South Wales. Mr Lewis completed his NQT year here in BFS in 2014 and has continued to become a valued member of the science teaching staff. Currently Mr Lewis co-runs the BFS science club and is responsible for mentoring PGCE students wishing to pursue a career in science teaching.
Outside of school Mr Lewis enjoys playing sport, particularly badminton and taking part in endurance exercises; most recently completing the Cardiff Half Marathon in a sub 2 hour time frame and is currently in training for the Cardiff Triathlon.
Miss C Smith - Teacher of Science
Miss Smith graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences from Swansea University. She then worked for a year as a learning support assistant in her home town of Llanelli. While studying for her PGCE at Bristol University, Miss Smith spent some time teaching in The Gambia, where the odd snake paid a visit to the classroom, this was a bit much even for a Biology teacher. She gained QTS after placements in Chew Valley and Bradley Stoke Community School. On qualifying, Miss Smith spent her NQT year in Y Pant, a large comprehensive school in Cardiff. From here, She went back to Bradley Stoke Community school for two years before starting at Bristol Free School in September 2014.
Outside of school Miss Smith enjoys gardening and has successful kept most of her plants alive. She also enjoys going on Nano walks with her micro pig Molly.
Mr M Vincent - SENCO
Mr Vincent graduated with an honours degree in Geography with ICT and Applied Sports Science and Coaching from Marjons (College of St Mark & St John). He completed his PGCE at Bath Spa University and gained QTS after various placements within Bristol and North Somerset.
Mr Vincent started his career teaching at St Ursula’s before moving to Robert Blake Science College in Bridgwater. He then decided he wanted a shift in direction and took a job at Westhaven Special school. He was there for 8 years as Assistant Headteacher and had spells as Acting Deputy.
Outside of school Mr Vincent is a keen swimmer and water polo player. In the summer months he can often be found swimming kilometre after kilometre in a river, lake or sea and has completed a number of 10,000m swimming races. He is also the captain of Weston-super-Mare's water polo team.
Mrs B Collis – Alternative Curriculum Coordinator
Mrs Collis’ degree is in French and Spanish from Manchester University, via a year working and studying in France and Cuba. She spent three years in business; European HR for a global IT company before ‘wanting to make a difference’ lured her into teaching.
Mrs Collis began her career at Crookhorn College of Technology in a suburb of Portsmouth. Three years and a development project in Mexico later she studied a Masters in Area Studies (Latin America) at the Institute of the Americas, University of London and joined Lambeth Academy when their foundation year went into Y9. Over her four years there she worked as Head of Year, Head of Languages, Head of House and Associate Headteacher. She used this experience to set up and lead a Hackney school sixth form as Assistant Vice Principal before joining us. She now relishes working particularly with our Pathway Three students to ensure each one leaves Bristol Free School on the appropriate course or career path to secure a fulfilling future.
Outside of school Mrs Collis loves cooking, films, socialising with friends but mostly spending time with her young son (and Mr Collis of course), especially on sunny adventures in their VW campervan.
Ms J Huzzey – Enrichment and Extension Studies Co-ordinator
Ms Huzzey graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Portsmouth and after a brief flirtation with HR and Fashion Design and a post-graduate diploma in Religious Studies at Kings College, London, she trained as an RE teacher at the University of Brighton. She has always taught A-level Psychology alongside RE until joining Bristol Free School, where there haven’t been any A-level students to teach until now. Her first teaching job was in a large leafy comprehensive in West Sussex, which she left to relocate back to her home town of Bristol and take up a Head of Subject role at what is now Abbey Wood. Another job in a leafy comprehensive school (this time in North Somerset) and two children later, she joined BFS as Subject Co-ordinator of Humanities.
In January 2015, Ms Huzzey joined the Senior Team on a secondment as Senior Teacher in charge of the 6 Degrees programme. She is now ‘Enrichment and Extension Studies Co-ordinator’, which puts her in charge of STEM day, Enterprise Day, Curriculum Enrichment Week and lots of other fun stuff which keeps staff extra busy and students looking forward to school and contemplating their futures beyond BFS.
Miss S Morgan - BTEC Coordinator
Miss Morgan graduated with a degree in Sport and PE from The University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC). She gained QTS after teaching placements in a Newport School and a Welsh Valley School.
On qualifying, Miss Morgan began her career at The Grange School and Sports College, where she remained for a number of years, holding a range of posts including Head of Year, Head of PE, BTEC Coordinator and a member of the Extended Leadership Team. Following closure of the school she had a brief spell at Digitech Studio School supporting the Senior Leadership Team. Miss Morgan joined Bristol Free School in September 2017 as BTEC Coordinator.
Outside of school, Miss Morgan enjoys baking, reading and taking long walks with her Cockerpoo called Charlie.