Bristol Free School Teaching Staff
Senior Leadership Team
Mr P Jones – Headteacher
Mr Jones graduated with a degree in English Literature and has a Masters in Modernist and Postmodern Literature from Birkbeck College, University of London. He gained QTS after placements in Wokingham and North Devon.
On qualifying, Mr Jones began his career at ADT College, a large secondary school in Putney. From there, he moved to St Marylebone School in Westminster, an outstanding school and one of the highest performing schools nationally, to take up a position as Head of English. During this time he was also involved in the London Challenge, working with English departments across the capital to raise attainment and progress.
In 2008 he relocated back to the Westcountry as an Assistant Headteacher in North Somerset. He joined Bristol Free School at the outset and is the Headteacher.
Outside of school Mr Jones has a passion for literature, writing and cycling, often combining all three. He has written for the BBC, various music magazines and writes regularly for the Cycling Press, including Cycling Weekly magazine. He raced at an elite level for a number of years and was 28th in the National Time Trial Championships behind Sir Bradley Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and David Millar.
Mr B Sillince – Deputy 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 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.
Mr L Green – Year 7 Leader and Teacher 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 has started his career at Bristol Free School where he is a teacher of geography, year 9 tutor and coaches the sports academy as well.
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 M MacBlain – Year 8 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 9 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 10 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 and is currently leading year 9.
Outside of work Mr Parry enjoys surfing, golf, rugby and travelling.
Mr R Collis – Year 11 Leader and Teacher of English and Drama
Mr Collis graduated from Reading University with a degree in English, Film and Drama. He stayed at Reading to complete his teacher training before travelling in Europe for a few months, gaining some ‘cultural experience’.
On his return Mr Collis took up a post as an English, Drama and Media teacher at The Winston Churchill School in Woking; the school that he had attended as a teenager. Having taught at the school for a year and a half he relocated to central London, taking up a post as Subject Leader for Media Studies (and English teacher) at Lambeth Academy, a new start-up school in Lambeth. He spent 7 years at the school, gaining a lot of experience in pastoral care and curriculum management, becoming Head of Achievement for Yr10 along the way. In his final years there, the school became one of the top 10 most improved schools in London.
Having ‘served his time’ in London, Mr Collis (and the soon to be Mrs Collis) relocated to the Bristol area. For a year he worked as an English teacher at Somervale School in Midsummer Norton before becoming Year 9 Leader at Bristol Free School in 2014. Since then, as well as working alongside his year-group, Mr Collis has been a temporary Head of Drama and been seconded to the post of Assistant Headteacher.
Outside of school Mr Collis has many interests (reading, theatre, music, cooking) but has a huge passion for films and football. He is an avid fan of Southampton FC but concedes that his professional football career has finished before it ever began. Currently, however, he loves spending time with his family, having become a dad for the first time in 2015.
Mr R Walker – Head of Sixth Form
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!
Miss H West – Head of ADCT
Miss West graduated with a degree in Contemporary Crafts from Coventry University where she specialised in silver smithing and jewellery design. She gained QTS placement in Bridge Learning Campus and Churchill Academy.
On qualifying, Miss West continued her time at Churchill Academy where she taught Resistant Materials, Electronics, Graphics and Catering. She later went on to also teach Art and Art Textiles. In 2013 Miss West made the move to Bristol Free School and is the Head of Art Design and Computer Technology.
Outside of School Miss West has a passion for food. Whether it’s growing her own, foraging, shooting or fishing. She enjoys experimenting with different cooking techniques and catering for friends and family. Miss West also enjoys spending time furthering her understanding and interest in the Arts; often making products for her home and visiting galleries and open studios.
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 recently 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
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 now joins 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 B Turner – Teacher 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!
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.
Miss H McGrath – 2 i/c English
Miss McGrath graduated with a BA Hons in English Literature from the University of the West of England specialising in Dystopian literature. On leaving University, Miss McGrath worked for Natwest before returning to UWE to complete her PGCE in 2008. She gained QTS status after placements in Weston-Super-Mare and Bath. Miss McGrath joined Bristol Free School in September 2014 as the Second in Charge of English.
Outside of school, Miss McGrath writes journals, is a keen baker (at times with mixed results!) and enjoys attending the theatre. During the school holidays she volunteers at St Peter’s Hospice.
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 A Nowak - English Teacher and Primary Transition Lead
Miss Nowak completed an English Literature degree at University of Sussex in Brighton. She also volunteered with an organisation that aimed to empower adults who had learning difficulties on a cooperative organic garden. She joined Bristol Free School in 2013.
Outside of school, Miss Nowak loves to read, cook and do art, as well as more active pursuits like swimming, riding horses and her motorbike.
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 P.G.C.E and gained GTS 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 began at BFS as a teacher but was quickly given the responsibility of overviewing Key Stage 4 curriculum planning and Data Analysis. This year she was appointed Head of Languages and very much looks forward to realising her vision of inspiring a young generation of language learners.
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.
Last year, Mrs Paredes-Bartlett relocated to Bristol and 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 V Di Martino – Head of KS3 MFL
Miss Di Martino was born on the beautiful Amalfi Coast where she grew up and lived until the age of 27. She graduated in 2004 with a degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures from The University of Salerno. She taught Spanish and English part time while still working in the tourism industry in the summer. She moved to Bristol to start a job at Merchants' Academy but couldn't miss the opportunity to be part of the Founding Team at BFS in 2011.
She loves travelling, reading and going to the cinema but she hasn't got much time at the moment as she has a very cheeky 2 year old at home who keeps her very busy.
Dr A Bellafiore - Teacher of MFL
Dr Bellafiore, who grew up in the sunny Sicily, graduated in Communication Studies then achieved his PhD in Sociology at the University of Urbino. He has been involved in many research projects on media and environmental studies, with some papers published here and there.
In 2014, tired of the nice weather, he relocated to the UK looking for new experiences and got his PGCE at Bristol University as a Teacher of Foreign Languages. He has taught languages at Ridgeway School, Clevedon School, John Cabot Academy and has now joined BFS. His native language is Italian but he really loves Spanish, French and even Esperanto!
When not in school he unleashes his long-term passion for Argentine tango, both as a dancer and as one of the singers of “Cabaret Tango”. Always looking for ways to make his life more complicated, he recently started strumming on the baroque violin. He confesses that he is not particularly sporty… cooking looks much more interesting.
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.
Mr A Kinchin – Teacher of MFL
Mr Kinchin graduated from Cardiff University with a BA in Italian and Spanish, where his studies comprised of a year abroad in the sunnier climates of Spain and Sicily. He then returned to Cardiff and went on to attain a Master’s in Translation Theory. On completion of his Master’s Degree he worked as a certified freelance translator, predominantly in Italian and Spanish, before bringing his language skills into a career in teaching.
Having gained QTS with teaching placements in schools in Chepstow and Chippenham, Mr Kinchin began his career in Bristol with Bristol Free School in 2014, working within a dedicated and enthusiastic Modern Foreign Languages Department ever since.
Outside of the classroom Mr Kinchin has a passion for a variety of different sports, which he enjoys playing and spectating in equal measure. He is also a fervent traveller, and when he is not spending time with friends in his beloved Sicily, he spends much of his free-time planning and embarking on holidays across the world. It is this passion for travelling that Mr Kinchin has taken into his organising of this year’s Barcelona trip for Bristol Free School.
Mrs M Tamblyn – Head 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 as Head of Geography 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!
Mr M Bishop – 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 and is currently the Head of History.
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.
Mr R Hodgetts – Teacher of History (maternity cover)
Mr Hodgetts graduated with a degree in History and also has a Masters in Historical Research from the University of Kent. After university he worked in several management and Head Office roles for a major High Street Retailer in London and the South East before relocating to Bristol in 2010.
After discovering his calling as a teacher Mr Hodgetts completed his PGCE at the University of the West of England. He completed his training at placements in Wiltshire and North Somerset.
Outside of school Mr Hodgetts loves sport and is an avid football, rugby and cricket fan. At home a combination of his 6-month old baby son, pet dog, pet cat and Mrs Hodgetts make sure that he is always kept on his toes.
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 K Conway – Head of Post 16 Mathematics
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.
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.
Miss L Kirkham – Teacher of Mathematics
Miss Kirkham graduated with an Honours degree in mathematics from Cardiff University. She studied for her PGCE at The University of the West of England after placements in Weston Super Mare and Cardiff.
Outside of school, Miss Kirkham enjoys kickboxing, horse riding and walks in the countryside.
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).
Miss B McInnes – Head of PE
Miss McInnes graduated with a degree in Sport and Physical Education from University of Wales in Cardiff. She gained QTS after placements in a Welsh valley school and then a city school.
On qualifying, Miss McInnes began her career at St Katherine’s, a medium sized secondary school in Pill, North Somerset. In 2011 she joined Bristol Free School from the beginning, initially as the sole PE teacher and also responsible for the PSHE curriculum. In her time at BFS, Miss McInnes took on the role of year leader, in charge of year 7 for two years, leading on the primary transition, before then moving up with her second cohort taking them into year 8. Alongside this she became 2ic PE leading on the health and fitness lessons and GCSE. From September 2016, Miss McInnes will become head of PE.
Outside of school, Miss McInnes has a passion for sport and outdoor activities. Her favourite sports are netball, hockey, swimming and waterpolo. Her sporting accolade is that at university she represented the Welsh universities waterpolo squad two years in a row in the Celtic Nations competition. Miss McInnes’s ambition is to run the London Marathon and swim the English Channel.
Miss B Collins - Teacher of PE
Miss Collins 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, Miss Collins 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 Miss Collins 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
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.
Mr J Tolman – 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.
Mrs C Anderton - Teacher of RE (maternity cover)
Mrs Anderton joined the RE team at Bristol free School after 17 years at Cotham School. For the first 7 years there Mrs Anderton managed the department, introducing GCSE RE for all students and building the A level course. After the birth of her daughter Mrs Anderton reduced her commitment to a part-time teaching position and has enjoyed supporting her 2 children in their progress through primary school. Mrs Anderton is now ready again for the challenge of full-time teaching, and has passed on the baton of doing the school run to her husband. She is under no illusions as to where the real work is done and is enjoying the change to routine!
Mrs Anderton loves living and working in such a multi-cultural city and enjoys getting involved in community events, but having grown up by the seaside in Bournemouth she does try to escape to the coast at every opportunity. When not in school she enjoys running, family bike rides and country rambles. She is also trying to keep up with her daughter by reading the Harry Potter novels.
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.
Mr J Fernandes – Head of Science
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 A Mabey – Head of Physics
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.
Mrs C Barkway - Teacher of Science (maternity cover)
Mrs Barkway graduated with an Honours degree in Environmental Science from Southampton University in 2006 and studied for her PGCE there the following year.
She began her teaching career in 2007 at Priestlands School in the New Forest, Hampshire and remained there for 3 years before moving on to an Academy in Bournemouth. She relocated to New Zealand in 2011 and took up a post at a prestigious school in Auckland. After returning to the UK in 2013 she moved back to her home town – Portsmouth. She taught for three years at Bay House School playing a key role in mentoring PGCE students, Schools Direct trainees and newly qualified teachers. She was part of a successful team that saw the school achieve the best progress 8 scores in the county in 2016 and the Sixth Form results exceeding any other state school or college in Hampshire.
Outside of school Mrs Barkway enjoys spending her time baking and perfecting the art of sugar craft, with her skills regularly being called upon to produce a number of extravagant wedding, christening and birthday cakes for friends and family. She loves hiking and camping and has most recently taken up cycling-with the hills in Bristol proving to be one of her biggest challenges to date!
Mrs E Barley – 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.
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 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.
Mr R Mitchell – 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 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 (Maternity leave)
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.