Headteacher: Raj Patel
Following his studies at London Guildhall University, obtaining a BA Hons degree in Business Communications, Raj’s teaching career started firstly as an IT and Business teacher in a secondary school in Westminster. Raj has always had a passion for trying new roles, meeting new people, and gaining life experiences that have shaped him as a leader – having travelled the world and worked in US summer camps in his youth.
After taking time away from teaching to work as an IT Project Manager for a merchant bank, Raj returned to his true passion of teaching as a Head of Department and senior leader in Camden. Since then, Raj has had many significant career achievements, including giving presentations to groups of international dignitaries about technology in education, to going on a study tour with other Headteachers to Apple headquarters to learn about innovation, culture and strategy. More recently, for the past 12 years, Raj’s career has centred around working at another Harrow secondary school, Bentley Wood, as the Deputy Headteacher and Head of School. Raj obtained his NPQH in 2017 and completed his MBA last year.
Raj lives in Harrow with his wife and two children, one at university and the other going in September, and his Bichon dog called Sky. In his free time, Raj has a passion for keeping fit and staying active, particularly learning to play Padel tennis and attending spin sessions. Raj’s extensive experience has meant he has learnt many valuable lessons that aid his leadership of Pinner High, namely that carrying passion and creativity alongside kindness and compassion can help improve the teaching, learning and, more importantly, the care provided to young people. Raj firmly believes that strong ethical values are essential in today’s modern society, alongside a sense of humour.
As Headteacher of Pinner High School, Raj has a simple vision that centres around sky-high expectations, creating a community that nurtures ambition and equality for all. A school with exceptional standards at every level.
Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of Food Technology: Emma Pacey
Emma graduated with a BSc Hons in Human Ecology from Bath Spa University where she also completed a PGCE in Design and Technology.
She started her teaching career at the school she attended as a pupil, Nower Hill High School, where she taught Food Technology for 2 years. Following this, Emma relocated to Walsall for 2 years, and worked as Teacher in Charge of Food Technology. She then returned to Nower Hill to work in various roles including Head of Food Technology, Head of Year and Head of Technology Faculty. Emma joined Pinner High School in September 2016 as Head of Year 7.
Emma lives locally with her husband and sons.
Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of History: Elizabeth Hindmarsh
Beth graduated with a BA (Hons) in History from Cambridge University, specialising in Class, Identity and Politics of Inter-War Britain.
After graduating she became a Head of House at a state school in Northampton, leading on the pastoral development of 150 students from years 7-13. Beth is a TeachFirst Ambassador. She completed her History PGCE at The Crest Academies with University College London, Institute of Education (UCL IOE) where she moved into a role driving the provision of University access for the more able. She then went on to train teachers in Harrow for TeachFirst, before completing her Masters in 'Education Leadership' in 2016 from UCL IOE. Beth joined Pinner High School in September 2017, as Head of Year 8, leading on the development of her year group and with a focus to bring history to life.
Beth loves to travel and explore different places to find out more about their history, and trying out new recipes from her travels when she gets home.
Assistant Headteacher (Head of Sixth Form) and Teacher of History: Hemal Pandya
Hemal completed his undergraduate degree at De Montfort University, achieving a BA (Hons) in History and Politics, prior to this he grew up in Kenton attending Harrow High School and then Harrow Weald College.
Following university, Hemal returned to Harrow and took on the role of Learning Support Assistant at Canons High School, this confirmed his passion for teaching. After achieving a PGCE at Middlesex University, Hemal began his teaching career at Bishop's Hatfield Girls' School in Hertfordshire. During his 11 years at Bishop's Hatfield Girls School, Hemal held multiple roles which included; Head of History, Head of Key Stage Four and Assistant Headteacher. In 2020 Hemal was nominated for the Oxford Inspirational Teacher award. Whilst holding the position of Assistant Headteacher, Hemal worked closely with GCSE and A Level cohorts to ensure that they were supported to meet the challenges of exams. He worked with colleagues to implement teaching and learning developments that met the needs of all students, these included developing academic intervention systems, monitoring assessment and designing approaches to stretch the most able.
Away from school Hemal plays football and cycles. Hemal and his family live in Harrow; he is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to his local community by ensuring that all students at Pinner High School are inspired to learn and achieve their very best.
Assistant Headteacher and Teacher of Economics and PE: Thomas Metcalfe
Tom graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BEd Business Education and has a National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH).
Tom joined us in April 2019 having previously worked in a variety of senior roles across three secondary schools in London including Head of Department at Evelyns Community School, in Hillingdon, for 5 years; Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher with pastoral responsibilities in both Key Stages 3 and at Aylward School, in Enfield, for over 7 years and more recently Deputy Headteacher at Raine’s Foundation School, in Tower Hamlets where he had worked since January 2006.
Assistant Headteacher (Inclusion) and Teacher of English: Ben Hobbs
Ben graduated with a BA Hons (QTS) in Physical Education and English from The University of Warwick.
After a short career as a Warfare Officer in HM Royal Navy, he started his teaching career at Northolt High School where he taught English, Physical Education and was an Assistant Head of Year. Following this Ben has fulfilled a number of pastoral and curriculum roles including Head of Year, Head of PE and Head of English mainly in Hillingdon Borough. Ben joined Pinner High School in September 2019 as Key Stage 4 Coordinator for English, was promoted to Head of English and then Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Inclusion.
Ben lives locally with his wife and two boys. He is a member of Ruislip Rugby Club and Ickenham Cricket Club and is actively involved in coaching at a variety of levels and still even plays very occasionally! Ben is a strong advocate of Literacy and Sport in young people and has been involved in a number initiatives aimed at getting local children reading and active.
Assistant Headteacher and Head of Science: Stefan Clarke
Stefan graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and a BEd in Intermediate and Senior Science Education.
He has experience working as a Key Stage 3 Coordinator, Head of Science and Head of Student Council spanning over 7 years.
Stefan used to work as a materials chemist for Blackberry and met the Queen on her visit.
His hobbies include practical applications of science and technology, reading, running marathons and half marathons, cooking and watching football.
Associate Assistant Headteacher and SENDCo : Hannah Walls
Hannah graduated from the University of Exeter with a LLB in Law, and went on to complete a PGDE in Secondary English at UCL's Institute of Education. Hannah has taught in Enfield and Essex with responsibilities for KS3 and KS5 in English. However Hannah realised that her passions lay elsewhere and soon the opportunity presented itself for Hannah to join the SEN faculty and train to become a qualified SENCo.
Head of Operations: Hilary Ford
Hilary studied law at the University of Oxford before working as a commercial solicitor for a large City law firm for 13 years. She then took a career break to look after her three children who are now at Sixth form and Secondary School.
Pinner High School, and all that it could and should be for its local community, first captured Hilary’s imagination at a public meeting in 2014. Hilary subsequently applied to be a community governor to help set up the school and later to return to the workplace as Pinner High’s Head of Operations.
Hilary’s aspirations for Pinner High School could not be higher and she is delighted to be part of the team striving to deliver a wonderful school of which we can all be proud.
Finance Director: Claire Tarling
Claire graduated from Hull University in French and German before joining EY and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2000. She worked as a finance professional in various industries including advertising, digital media and publishing before joining Pinner High School in September 2016.
Claire lives locally with her husband and two boys. Both boys attend Pinner High School. When not in school Claire enjoys running, family holidays and reading.
Head of Year 7 and Teacher of PE: Christina Moore
Christina graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in Secondary Physical Education.
Christina joined us in September 2019 from Burnham Park Academy where she worked as Head of Key Stage 3. Christina teaches a number of subjects including Maths, Dance and PSHE with a speciality in PE. Her previous responsibilities included pastoral support where she led Form Tutors and worked cross functionally to support and deliver academic and personal progress. She has previously worked as a Head of House at Upton Court Grammar School
Head of Year 8 and Teacher of Music: Luke Donnelly
Luke graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BMus Hons in Music and went on to complete a PGCE in Secondary Music and Masters in Education at Birmingham City University. He also has a PhD in Education from the University of Lincoln where he researched the support that can be offered to Looked After Children and other groups of vulnerable children in the mainstream secondary school environment.
Before qualifying as a teacher Luke worked as a brass tutor at a performing arts centre in New York. His first teaching role in the UK was at Catmose College in Oakham, Rutland, where he worked as a Teacher of Music and then Director of Music. Following this, he moved to the West Bridgford School in Nottingham, taking on the role of Head of Performing Arts.
For his work in supporting school staff and students, Luke was named the NASUWT Young Member of the Year in 2019. Luke joined Pinner High School in September 2021 as Head of Year 10.
In his personal life Luke enjoys music and theatre and performs in a number of bands and orchestras.
Head of Year 9 and Teacher of Maths: Kathryn Buchanan
Kat graduated from Cardiff University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering before joining the graduate training programme at Merril Lynch Investment Managers. As part of a City of London initiative she worked as a ‘Maths Partner’ in primary schools in Tower Hamlets, which inspired her to leave the City and retrain as a Maths Teacher.
Kat started as a Maths teacher at Mellow Lane in Hayes before spending 6 years at Park High as a Deputy Head of Year and then Head of PSCHE. She joined Pinner High School in September 2019 from Nower Hill, where she had been Second in Maths and Head of KS4 Mathematics for 7 ½ years. Kat has a passion for education outside the classroom and whilst at Park High set up and ran Activities Week, which saw all students in Years 7 – 9 involved in a variety of trips across the week. She has led numerous trips at Park High and Nower Hill, both day and residential, the highlights being taking 150 students on PGL and a Year 10 trip looking at Renaissance Maths in Florence.
Kat has also been an Examiner for GCSE and A Level Maths since 2015, working for both Edexcel and AQA.
Outside of school Kat is a keen football fan and a begrudging runner. She lives in Pinner with her husband and two children.
Head of Year 10 and Teacher of PE: Amy Wild
Amy began her teaching career at Copthall Girls School in Mill Hill, London, after gaining her academic qualifications from the University of Liverpool, where she graduated with a BSc Hons in Sport and Exercise Science. She completed her PGCE at the University Wales Institute Cardiff before returning back to England to take up her first teaching post. During her 5 years at the school Amy was responsible for leading the schools Enrichment Programme which included implementation of the Duke of Edinburgh Programme, engaging hundreds of girls in outdoor activities and pursuits whilst leading a very successful PE team.
Amy joined Pinner High School in September 2018 having spent the last 4 years working at The British International School in Hanoi, Vietnam, where she worked as part of the PE department moving into the role of Head of Key Stage 3 in 2015. This role had seen Amy responsible for the pastoral wellbeing and academic development of a wide range of international students with a focus on supporting students for whom English is a second language.
Amy’s interest in sport and physical activity is also evident in her personal life. In her free time she enjoys playing competitive sport and has played both football and netball since childhood. During her time in Vietnam, Amy also found a new passion for triathlons and has been lucky enough to complete two 1/2 Ironman events and hopes to continue training for further events in the U.K!
Head of Year 11 and Teacher of PE: Jason Craig
Jason graduated with a BA Hons in Physical and Sport Education from St. Mary's University College of Twickenham. He then through his previous employment, gained his QTLS whilst teaching various outdoor skills and pursuits.
He started his career in education in 2012 at St Augustine's CE High School in Westminster, working through various support roles before taking up a position of teaching PE in 2015. Jason has since then been involved in teaching several subjects, including Food Technology, Health and Social Care and Child Play Learning Development. In 2018, Jason took on the role of Head of Physical Education, developing the vision and ethos of the department, whilst year on year developing sports day to become more of an inclusive and interactive day. Jason joined Pinner High School in September 2020 as Head of Year 8.
Jason lives locally with his wife and has 2 young daughters who keep him on his toes! Jason is a keen fitness enthusiast, who involves himself with community engagement for a more positive environment when he has free time.
Head of Maths: Harshini Selvendran
Harshini graduated with a First class BSc Mathematics Degree from the University of Greenwich. She based her dissertation on ‘teaching fractions through games’ which led immediately into teacher training. She trained at the Institute of Education, where she completed her MA diploma in Mathematics Education.
Harshini knows the local area well as she was a student at Stag Lane Primary School and Bentley Wood High School, and she joined us from Canons High School where she worked as a Key Stage 3 Maths Coordinator.
Aside from Maths, her other passion is learning the fine art Bharathanatiyam (South Indian classical dancing) in which she has successfully completed her Grade 8 teaching diploma.
Key Stage 3 Maths Coordinator: Laura Copeland
Laura graduated with a First class BSc Mathematics with Secondary Education degree from the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University.
Prior to completing her degree Laura had five years’ experience working as a Teaching Assistant at Meadow High School and Haydon School, both in the local area. Laura has also gained teaching experience working in a small Free School and an all-boys Grammar School teaching Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 Mathematics and is enjoying developing her career at Pinner High School.
Aside from teaching Laura enjoys participating in a variety of sports. She plays for a local netball team and is a qualified level 1 assistant gymnastics coach.
Teacher of Maths: Leena Shah
Leena graduated with a BSc Hons in Statistics with Business Management, then worked in insurance companies for many years before completing her teacher training.
She worked at Mill Hill County High School for over 5 years before joining Pinner High School in September 2019.
Leena has two children and loves climbing mountains and playing badminton.
Teacher of Maths: Stefanos Spyrou
Stefan graduated from Hellenic Naval Academy with a BA (Hon) in Naval Engineering. He served for 26 years as a navy officer, specialised in special and submarine operations. He has a PGC in International Relations and he was a submarine commander for many years before becoming NATO Plans Officer for relevant operations in Northwood HQ.
After his retirement from the Armed Forces, having completed two years at Luton airport as on-duty manager for ground operations, he realised that teaching young students is more fulfilling and closer to his new expectations for life. He graduated from Hillingdon SCITT and UCL, getting his PGCE in Mathematics and joined Pinner High School in September 2019.
Outside school, Stefan tries to spend time with his wife recovering time lost during his deployments as an officer and provides private tuition in Maths and Physics to his two children. Very recently since both of them are now University students he started catching up with his old passion: having been a former Greek champion for several years, he spends his free time sailing in Rickmansworth Aquadrome, where he lives.
Teacher of Maths: Jasmine Ali
Jasmine graduated with a BSc in Mathematics from Royal Holloway, University Of London. She then went on to work in private financial services before embarking on a career as teacher, completing her PGCE at St. Mary’s University.
She started her teaching career abroad, working for 5 years in Bangladesh, alongside her charity work there. After returning to the U.K., she once again worked in finance initially but missed working in a classroom, so relocated back to London to complete her PGCE. She had been teaching at a school in Greenford for 7 years before joining Pinner High School in 2021.
Jasmine enjoys spending her free time playing badminton, cycling, and spending many hours on sudoku puzzles and crosswords.
Head of English: Julie Tidd
Julie graduated from the University of Brighton with a BA Hons in English Literature and Language and completed a PGCE in English, Media and Drama.
Her teaching career began at Bentley Wood High School as a Teaching Assistant and after completing her PGCE, she joined Alec Reed Academy as an English Teacher for two years. Julie then travelled abroad to Brazil to work at St. Paul’s School in Sao Paulo and from there to The British International School of Cracow in Poland. She returned to London in 2017 where she was an English Teacher at St. Helen’s School in Northwood. Julie joined Pinner High School in September 2020.
Julie lives locally and aside from travelling when she can, she enjoys playing music, reading and cycling.
Teacher of English: Matthew Knowles
Matthew graduated from The University of Leeds with a BA in Theatre Performance, after which he worked as a writer, composer, musical director and workshop leader in London and across the U.K. A passion for reading and frequent work with young people (including several large-scale arts projects for Children in Need) led him to complete a Graduate Teacher Programme in secondary English with the Cambridge Teaching Partnership.
Matthew started his formal teaching career at Ilford Grammar School, where he led on building a new English Department from Year 7 to GCSE. Moving on to Isaac Newton Academy in Seven Kings, he was responsible for the development and delivery of the school’s new KS4 programme, as well as managing resources and digital media for the whole English department, before joining Pinner High school in September 2017.
Outside school Matthew still tries to stay involved with the arts: writing, singing and performing when time allows. For the last two years he has been running Summer Schools for Leeds Youth Opera and for 5 years he was Musical Director for Note-Orious Community Choir in Dulwich. Recently he has been back on the stage in various amateur productions.
Teacher of English: Marie Woolford
Marie achieved a BA Hons in English Literature and Language with a strong focus on both Shakespeare and Children's Literature. Her love of storytelling through young adult fiction means she is full of great recommendations to keep any child's love of reading alive.
She began working in schools in 2011 where she worked with some of the most vulnerable students in the Wembley area to build up their confidence and achieve excellent GCSE results. Joining Pinner High School in 2020 as an English Teacher, Marie is thrilled to have joined a team with such a great sense of community.
She lives in the local area with her family and dog Thor; loves playing Dungeons and Dragons in her spare time and is a trained Mental Health First Aider.
Teacher of English: Maisie Whiting
Maisie completed her undergraduate BA Hons degree in English Language and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Swansea University. After a year working, she then completed a PGCE in English at UWE Bristol.
She started her teaching career in TESOL, first as a private tutor, specialising in Academic English. Subsequently, she began working as an EFL teacher for Oxford International, during their summer camp programmes for children and young people in 2018 and 2019. Whilst training for her PGCE, Maisie completed a 7 month placement at Kingsdown School in Swindon, as a teacher of English. Maisie is a recent graduate of the PGCE, and is thrilled to be beginning her NQT journey at Pinner High School in September 2021.
Maisie has just recently moved to the London area with her partner. She has a keen interest in amateur dramatics and singing, and loves getting out into nature.
Teacher of English: Nicola Taylor
Nicki graduated with a BA (Hons) from Oxford University, and then completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education.
Before joining Pinner High, Nicki taught English in Brent for twenty years. During her time there, she took on various curriculum responsibilities, including Writing Intervention Coordinator, Head of English, and Staff Editor of the School Magazine.
Nicki lives locally with her husband, two children and two cats. As well as curling up with a good book, she enjoys sailing, running and visiting the theatre.
Head of Science / Associate Assistant Headteacher: Nazim Hayyan
Nazim graduated from Brunel University with a BSc Hons in Biomedical Science and began his teaching career at Claremont High school, where he quickly took on the role of KS3 science lead and developed a passion for Digital Learning. Nazim then moved on to become the founding Head of Science at Whitefriars school, he has also more recently held roles in local schools as Associate Assistant Headteacher and Raising Standards Leader, helping students make the most progress possible.
Outside of school Nazim enjoys spending time with his family and playing with his young daughter. He also enjoys racquet sports, learning languages, and travelling to far away places.
Head of Biology: Lauren Buss
Lauren graduated with a BSc Hons in Biology from The University of Nottingham where she also completed her science PGCE.
Following this, Lauren began her teaching career at Queens' School in Hertfordshire. She then went on to become an Assistant head of House, before taking on the role of Head of Biology. After 5 successful years at Queens', Lauren moved to San Diego where she lived for a year. Since returning back the UK, Lauren is thrilled at the opportunity to develop her career further at Pinner High School.
Lauren is a keen traveller - one of her fondest trips to date involved teaching at a local school in Zambia! She is also a professionally trained dancer, and loves going to see shows in London's West End.
Head of Chemistry: Gillian Munir
Gillian received a BSc (Hons) in Genetics and Microbiology, trained as Secondary School Science Teacher and taught for several years. Ever a lifelong learner, she returned to full time education herself completing a MSc in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering followed by a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, both at UCL. Her research focused on controlling the growth of bone cells on chemically engineered patterns. She returned to teaching in 2016 in a Secondary School setting and continues to lecture at UCL.
Passionate about teaching and research as well as increasing science capital, she splits her time between Pinner High and UCL.
Teacher of Science and Professional Mentor: Shreena Amrania
Shreena graduated from Queen Mary University of London, with a BA in Geography where she based her dissertation on the architecture of schools and student identity. Her interest in teaching lead her to join a graduate programme and went on to complete her teacher training in Science at Springwest Academy. Here, she took on the role of KS3 Science Coordinator and taught both Science and Geography.
Shreena has a keen interest in education and development and spends her time outside of school working for the charity Husti. She is also an avid dancer and enjoys travelling, walking and reading
Teacher of Science: Chrpa Azad
Chrpa completed her BSc in Biomedical Science at St George's Medical School University of London. After graduating, Chrpa went straight into studying for her PGCE and obtained a distinction in her PGCE in Secondary Education with Biology. Before moving to Pinner High, Chrpa spent several years teaching at other schools in NW London. Although Chrpa is a science fanatic, she is also extremely passionate about poetry, art and music.
Chrpa lives locally and loves to lift heavy weights in the gym, go on shopping sprees and dine at swanky restaurants in her free time.
Teacher of Science: Sukaina Hussein
After graduating with a BSc in Optometry from City University London, Sukaina worked for five years in the optical industry, promoting the educational, professional and personal development of her colleagues. Subsequently she completed a PGCE in Science at the University of Hertfordshire.
Sukaina is thrilled to teach at Pinner High School and to bring to life Pinner High School’s motto ‘Inspiring Learning’. Sukaina has a great appreciation for the way the science national curriculum links to practical applications of science outside the classroom.
Sukaina lives locally with her husband and loves travelling. She is undecided which is her favourite destination as there are still many places she would like to visit. In her spare time she enjoys networking and socialising with friends and family and playing netball.
Teacher of Science: Jennie Anderson
On graduating from the University of St Andrews with a BSc (hons) in Biological Sciences, Jennie undertook a PGCE at the University of Bristol, in Science with SEN as a second teaching subject. An early interest in Education was sparked by voluntary work within organisations in Romania and Tanzania. A number of teaching posts have followed alongside areas of responsibility including Subject Leader (Vocational A -Level) and Assistant Head of Year at Ivybridge Community College, Pastoral Assistant at St John's College, Southsea and most recently Aspiration Coordinator at Springwest Academy, Feltham.
Jennie lives locally with her husband, 3 sons and their dog. Her interests include sailing, fencing and yoga.
Head of Computer Science and Whole School IT: Rakhee Jotangia
Rakhee completed her BSc Multimedia Computing at the University of Glamorgan and PGCE at the Institute of Education. Her first placement was in Camden and the second at an international school in Bangkok. Rakhee started her teaching career as an ICT teacher at Haydon School, where she worked for nine years. During this time, Rakhee made the transition from ICT to Computing and Maths, progressing to Head of KS5 ICT and Computing, successfully leading her students to excellent exam results.
Rakhee joined Pinner High School in September 2017 as Teacher of Computer Science, where she enjoyed undertaking the various roles of being both a Form Tutor and class teacher. In September 2018, Rakhee took on a pastoral role of Head of Year 7 whilst continuing to teach Computer Science.
From September 2020 Rakhee has moved into the academic role of Head of Computer Science and Whole School IT and is excited to be leading a team of both teaching and support staff to ensure Pinner High’s Computer Science and IT provisions are at their best.
Outside of school, Rakhee enjoys spending time with her family, as well as reading and training for triathlons.
Teacher of Computer Science: Sairah Khan
Sairah graduated with a BA in Computing and Education before going on to complete her PGCE at Kings College, London.
She started her teaching career at John F Kennedy Catholic School in Hemel Hempstead, was there for 10 years teaching Computing and Maths. Sairah went on to work at Haydon School and started at Pinner High School in September 2020.
Sairah enjoys trying out new recipes, especially cakes. During the holidays, she volunteers with different charities and is a black belt in martial arts.
Head of History and Politics: Victoria Bloss
Vicky graduated with a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Nottingham, specialising in political and cultural modern British history and identity.
After graduation, Vicky worked as a paralegal in a city law firm where she gained an informative insight into court proceedings. Keen to pursue her love of History, Vicky went on to complete her PGCE at UCL Institute of Education, where she was awarded a distinction in teaching practice. After working in two inner city London comprehensives, she moved to Pinner High School.
Vicky embarked on a five and half month solo travel trip around Asia, where she was fortunate enough to experience a wide range of culture and traditions that she wants to bring into the classroom through historical enquiry.
Teacher of History/Assistant Head of Sixth Form: Rebecca Nelson
Rebecca attended the University of York where she graduated with a BA in History and a MA in Modern history; specialising in transnational history and contemporary international politics.
After graduating, Rebecca joined Wembley High Technology College as the Year Leader for Year 13 where she played an integral part in the functioning of one of the country’s most successful sixth forms. After one year, Rebecca moved into the position of History teacher, in which she completed a PGCE through Ark Teacher training scheme and Goldsmiths University of London alongside her teaching responsibilities. After three years in this position, Rebecca was thrilled to join Pinner High School in September 2021.
In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys playing strategic board games, cooking and reading. She also enjoys travelling – particularly to places with beautiful coral reefs for snorkelling – in order to explore different foods, cultures and, of course, to find out more about the local history.
Teacher of History: Humera Dehzad
Humera graduated with a BA (Hons) in History, from Queen Mary University of London, where she focused her dissertation on the impacts of post-war propaganda on the increased rates of marriage. She then graduated from Hillingdon SCITT and UCL, getting her PGCE in History.
After working at an inner-city London federated school for two years, Humera joined Pinner High school in September 2021.
Outside of work, Humera enjoys cooking and experimenting with new recipes.
Teacher of History: Lewis Henderson
Lewis graduated from Lancaster University with a BA in History, where he specialised in resistance to Nazis occupiers and the development of the Cold War. After graduating he worked as a Tour Guide at the Museum of London, as well as a teaching assistant in a SEN school in Slough.
Lewis joined Pinner High School in 2020 initially as a Teaching Assistant, before going through his teacher training at Pinner High via the Hillingdon SCITT and a PGCE from Brunel University. He was delighted to have been offered a permanent position in 2021.
When he is not at Pinner High School Lewis enjoys guiding his quiz team to victory every week or can be found at Loftus Road where he experiences a wide range of emotions.
Head of Art: Amanda Green
Amanda graduated from The University of Leeds with a BA Hons in Fine Art Painting and Printmaking. During this time she also gained her first experience of teaching whilst working as an Art instructor for the charity The Fresh Air fund in New York. She then went on to complete her PGCE at The UCL Institute of Education.
Amanda joined us from Villiers High School in Southall where she worked for 14 years building her Art and Design career from NQT through to experienced teacher of A-Level and GCSE. She had a range of responsibilities during this time including Head of Art, and worked closely with several London galleries and museums to offer her students opportunities beyond the curriculum.
Passionate about her subject, Amanda believes that Art is for everyone. She is on an important mission to build confidence in all students that she works with. Her enthusiasm for Art continues outside of the classroom whether it’s sketching, painting, gardening, having woodland adventures or visiting galleries with her family.
Teacher of Design and Technology: Seetal Arrowsmith
Seetal graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BEd in Design & Technology and has dedicated her working life to teaching Design & Technology, a subject about which she is extremely passionate.
Having worked at Quintin Kynaston School in Central London for 4 years and Haydon School in Hillingdon for 10 years, Pinner High is Seetal’s 3rd school in her 15 year career- 1 year was spent exploring the world with a backpack!
Seetal is passionate about helping children unleash and maximise their creative potential. Her enthusiasm for the creative continues in her home life where she is constantly bringing to life the imaginations of her 3 young boys, be it building rocket ships and robots or digitally illustrating made up stories.
Seetal lives locally with her family and enjoys working and educating in a community she grew up in.
Teacher of Design and Technology: Ayesha Munir
Ayesha Studied at London South Bank University and graduated with a BSc Hons in Industrial Design. She then further studied a PGCE in Design Technology with her main specialism being Resistant Materials.
Ayesha started teaching in a school in Ealing and spent 12 years teaching Design Technology. Here she was a teacher mentor as well as the Second in Charge of the D&T department. Ayesha started at Pinner High School in September 2019 after moving into the area with her family.
Ayesha lives close to the school with her husband and three girls. Ayesha loves to bake and create new recipes. She is also passionate about interior design and is always finding new ways to decorate her home.
Teacher of Geography: Tasneem Walji
Tasneem joined Pinner High School in September 2018 after graduating with a degree in BA Geography at King’s College London where she also completed her dissertation on the effects of student debt on the new generation. Tasneem studied her PGCE at the Institute of Education and completed her placements in two neighbouring outstanding schools. Her passion to learn more made her research and contribute to a journal article on the future of Geography which was published for the Geographical Association and she has also been an AQA GCSE examiner.
While teaching, she completed her Masters in Development Education and Global Learning from UCL. She is currently the interim head of department and is looking into furthering her understanding of Geography education by pursuing a PhD at UCL.
Outside of work Tasneem thoroughly enjoys learning languages, travelling abroad and spending time with her family and friends.
Teacher of Geography/Assistant Head of Year 9: Zaynah Bhatti
Zaynah graduated with a BSc in Human and Physical Geography from the University of Reading, where she completed her dissertation on the consumption of alternative diets in the UK.
She started her teaching career at Pinner High School soon after, and completed her placements in contrasting schools in and around London.
Head of PE: Ryan Surridge
Ryan graduated from Brunel University with a BSc in Sports and Exercise Science, before completing his teacher training qualification at the Institute of Education.
He started his teaching career at Canons High School in Edgware as a PE Teacher, before moving to Harris Academy Aspire, part of the Harris Federation. There he rose quickly to lead the Physical Education department. He created a successful and well-rounded PE curriculum in a brand new school giving his students access to a wide range of sports and physical activities. He was an independent verifier for externally assessed examination marking and was in charge of all vocational courses for Harris Aspire.
Ryan’s enthusiasm for physical education is contagious. At Pinner High School he has developed an inclusive, safe and enjoyable atmosphere in PE and always aims to provide students with the physical, social and psychological skills to develop their own life-long relationship with sports. Ryan has been a successful youth football coach in the local community and currently plays competitively for a local club in the Middlesex County Leagues. He also has a young son, who takes up the rest of his free time.
Inclusion Manager: Maran Dhannie
Maran graduated with a BSc Hons in Psychology from the University of East London. He was keen to move into education and work with children who have special educational needs.
Maran has trained in supporting students with autism and worked in several special schools, including Phoenix Primary and Secondary School and Priory Lodge School. He has also worked in mainstream schools; as the Deputy SENCo at Rivers Academy West London before joining Pinner High in June 2017.
When not in school, Maran loves reading, learning about new places and travelling.
Head of Economics and Business Studies: Yasmin Burhan
Yasmin graduated from Sheffield Hallam University where she completed a PGCE in Business Education. She started her teaching career working in a special measures school in Sheffield and was part of a successful team in turning the school’s performance around.
Before moving to London, Yasmin worked with vulnerable primary children and their families as a Learning Mentor, Education Welfare Officer and Home School Link Worker. She supported them to deal with emotional, behavioural and learning difficulties so that they could access education and integrate more effectively to do well at school. This has given her a wealth of experience which she applies to her day to day teaching in the classroom.
Yasmin is also an A Level examiner and has taught Business for 13 years and Economics for 4 years both in Secondary and Further Education.
In her spare time, she likes cycling, swimming and cooking. She joined Pinner High School in September 2018.
Teacher of Economics: Sonal Patel
Sonal is a passionate teacher of Economics; describing it as a fascinating and dynamic subject which explores a diverse range of issues affecting society, from housing bubbles to global inequality. Sonal graduated with a BSc in Economics from City University, London and has a special interest in economic development. She completed an MSc in Globalisation and Development, at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Sonal has spent many years teaching Economics in a variety of contexts. Seven of these have included A-level, two of these teaching GCSE, and most recently the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Sonal’s first teaching post was at Watford Grammar school for Boys where she enjoyed challenging students academically and facilitating extra-curricular engagement in the subject. Most recently, Sonal taught in two international schools in Shanghai, China, which she describes as a priceless experience in which she was able to learn first-hand about China’s unique role in the global economy and unprecedented development experience, which she feels has enriched students’ learning and which brings the subject to life!
Outside of education, Sonal enjoys live music events and being out in nature, hiking and travel and tries to combine these when possible to learn about different cultures.
Head of MFL: Kirsten Daley
Kirsten graduated from Southampton University with a 2:1 BA Combined honours in Iberian and Latin American Studies.
Kirsten joined us in April 2019 from Haydon School where she worked as Head of MFL managing a faculty that offered four foreign languages to A level including Mandarin since 2017 but had worked in the school as Head of Spanish since 2004.
Teacher in Charge of Spanish: Una Vandra-Sen
Una joined Pinner High School in September 2019 as a Spanish Teacher having spent the last 5 years working at Brentford School for Girls in the MFL department. Una graduated with a BA (Hons) French and Spanish with Management from the University of Hull.
She had her first taste of teaching in Chile where she taught university students English. Prior to her PGCE at the UCL IOE she taught EAL at a school in Brixton and various English language schools. Una also has a keen interest in international development and has worked in India for Raleigh International and in Switzerland at the World Conservation Union.
In her free time she enjoys travelling, cooking and spending time with her family.
Teacher in Charge of Mandarin and MEP Coordinator: Lydia Hargreaves-March
Lydia obtained a first class degree in Chinese Studies and English from the University of Durham, with a particular interest in postcolonial literature. She qualified as a teacher of Mandarin and English as an Additional Language through the UCL Institute of Education.
Alongside her work at Pinner High School, Lydia is completing a doctorate on the Teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language at UCL on a part-time basis.
Teacher of Mandarin: Cecilia Cinquina
Cecilia graduated in Foreign Languages for International Communication (Mandarin and English) at Milan Catholic University of the Sacred Heart where she cultivated her passion for languages and where she discovered her interest in China.
After spending almost nine years in different cities in China for study and work she moved to the UK with her family and qualified as teacher of Mandarin and EAL at UCL IOE in 2020. She joined Pinner High School in September 2020 after spending her PGCE year at Highdown School and Sixth Form Centre and at Hampton School where she had the opportunity to be involved in different programmes that support the study of Mandarin at Secondary Schools in England.
She is very fond of cinema, literature (including Chinese) and good food (especially Italian!)
Teacher of Mandarin: Qing Li
Having graduated from Hunan University of Science and Technology in China, Qing became a Mandarin teacher in Thailand for around ten months, where she was awarded Excellent Mandarin Teacher. She then came to the UK to teach Mandarin at secondary schools in Kent and London between 2013 and 2017. Her students are now all over the world. Some of them received scholarships to study in China; and some of them went to Oxford and Cambridge and still carry on learning Chinese, while some of them are using Mandarin at their workplaces. Before joining Pinner High School she gained an MSc in Linguistics, with distinction, at UCL. It always encourages her to hear from her students about their achievements and progress which is her motivation for serving in this job. It is this motivation that she would like to bring to Pinner High School!
Apart from work, she likes Chinese ink painting, calligraphy and she used to play the Erhu (2 string musical instrument). She found them all calming and peaceful. She also goes to the gym to keep fit.
Teacher of Spanish: Paula Novo
Paula was born in a small town on the northwest coast of Spain. Her passion for learning foreign languages led her to London, where she pursued a degree in English Literature and Art History, followed by a PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages at the UCL Institute of Education.
Paula joined Pinner High School in September 2022 as a teacher of Spanish.
As a polyglot who speaks five languages, Paula is eager to share her passion for foreign languages and cultures. Her love for MFL extends beyond teaching grammar and vocabulary, and she is very interested in creating culturally diverse and inclusive lessons that enable students to explore the different cultures of Spanish-speaking countries.
In her free time, Paula enjoys reading, eating good food and travelling the world.
Teacher of Mandarin: Wenjie Wu
Wenjie completed his teacher training programme at UCL Institute of Education in 2022 and holds a master’s degree in language teaching from King’s College London. As a native Mandarin speaker, he aims to help students to gain deep and connected knowledge and skills related to Mandarin while exploring the culture with a range of authentic materials selected, including Chinese classic and award-winning films and music. He makes sure that students’ Mandarin learning is enjoyable and happens in a natural way with logically sequenced and effectively implemented content.
In his free time, Wenjie enjoys watching movies, travelling, and exploring London.
Teacher of Mandarin: Jiayu Liu
Born and raised in Beijing and having developed a passion for language, culture and history during her teenage years, Jiayu moved to London when she was 18. Jiayu studied BA Linguistics in University College London (UCL) and MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the University of Edinburgh. During her postgraduate studies, Jiayu found her interest in Heritage Language learning and bilingual identity studies and conducted an in-depth case study of the identity and language trajectory of a French and English Third Culture Individual. With the Linguistics and Second Language Education knowledge, Jiayu returned to UCL and completed her training as a Secondary MFL and EAL teacher.
Jiayu is very fond of 18th and 19th century English history and literature and a frequent visitor of the London museums and galleries.
Head of Drama: Katrine Stewart
Katrine trained at the Arts University Bournemouth where she gained professional credits in Film, Theatre and TV. Katrine then went on to study with the Hillingdon SCITT teacher training program, and gained a PGCE from the Institute of Education at UCL. Before joining Pinner, Katrine worked as an English and Drama HLTA where she built and maintains strong working relationships, sharing her specialist knowledge across the borough. Once her ITT was complete, Katrine worked part time at both schools for 4 years before joining Pinner full time as the HOD.
Head of Psychology: Anita Valji
Anita graduated with a BSc in Psychology where she also completed a MSc in Health Psychology from University of Central Lancashire. She then went on to study a PGCE in the Social Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University.
She started her teaching career at The Cherwell School in Oxford where she taught Psychology and Sociology. Completing her NQT year, she then took on the position of Head of Psychology. Anita continued this role for five years as well as taking on the opportunity to be an AQA examiner and a professional mentor for trainee teachers. Anita joined Pinner High School in September 2021.
In her spare time, Anita enjoys travelling, hiking and badminton. Anita is also a keen baker, often experimenting with Indian flavours and fusing them with traditional desserts. She lives locally with her husband who is also keen on taste testing her creative baked goodies.
Head of Music: Elena Gonata
Elena graduated from Charles University Prague with an Integrated Masters Degree in Music Education and Choir Conducting (QTS), before moving on to a second Masters degree in Orchestral Conducting with the University of York. Elena also has a Ph.D. in Music Theory and Education from Charles University Prague. Throughout the years, Elena has attended numerous conferences, seminars, and masterclasses related to music, and has completed multiple courses in Counselling, Psychology, and Life Coaching.
Elena has worked as a choir and ensemble conductor for ten years, in the Czech Republic and Cyprus, and has led many performances and workshops, including televised performances and CD recordings with the British Military Wives Choirs. She worked as a music tutor at various Music Schools in Cyprus, before working as a choir conductor for the English School Nicosia. Elena later moved to Prague, where she worked at the Meridian International School Prague as a Music teacher for four years. For the last two years, Elena took on the additional roles of School Counsellor and Designated Safeguarding Lead, building and promoting a safe and healthy school environment.
Elena Joined Pinner High School in September 2023 as the Head of Music.
In her personal life, Elena enjoys composing piano and choral pieces, going to the theatre, and exploring nature.