Headteacher: Chris Woolf
Chris's first steps as a teacher came at the University of the South Pacific during his gap year in Fiji. This experience gave him a glimpse of a future career, and further voluntary experience in classrooms in Romania and Beirut confirmed this decision. He trained as an English and Drama teacher at Homerton College, University of Cambridge, after graduating from the University of St. Andrews with an MA (Hons.) in English Literature and Language. He was awarded a scholarship to the University of California, Davis, where he twice featured on the Dean's Honour List.
Chris started his teaching career at Mill Hill County High School, Barnet, where he progressed from Newly Qualified Teacher to Head of English and Child Protection Officer. His wanderlust returned, and he moved to Dulwich College Beijing, initially as Head of English, then Deputy Head, and then Head of Senior School. The school was named 'British International School of the Year' in the Independent School Awards whilst he was Head of Senior School.
After five years in Beijing, Chris wanted to return to the UK, and he was appointed Vice Principal: Achievement and Standards at The Bushey Academy, Hertfordshire. The Bushey Academy won SSAT Awards for Educational Outcomes every year he was responsible for progress and standards, and has been used as a case study in school improvement three times over.
Chris lives in Pinner with his wife and two young daughters who attend Cannon Lane Primary School. He remembers that he used to go to the theatre and play tennis, and when family commitments allow it, he may one day do so again.
Chris is an Apple Distinguished Educator, a member of the Worshipful Company of Educators, and a Freeman of the City of London. He was awarded the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in 2012. He has written for the Times Educational Supplement, 'Sec Ed' Magazine, 'Teach Secondary' magazine, the Harrow Times and 'The Educator' magazine. His blogs have been featured by the New Schools Network. He was a speaker at the Beijing Learning Summit in 2010, the BETT conference at the Excel Arena in January 2017, a New Schools Network panel discussion member at The Academies Show at the NEC in March 2017, and spoke at the 'By Leaders For Leaders' conference in London in 2020.
Chris loves leading Pinner High School.
Deputy Headteacher (SLT) : Jennie Smyth
Jennie had her first taste of teaching as a volunteer with Raleigh International at a school in Ghana. She took up her place at Edinburgh University where she gained a First Class MA (Hons.) in English Literature. At university she was involved in volunteering programmes as part of 'Edinburgh Global Partnerships', a student led international development charity.
Keen to pursue a career in teaching, Jennie joined the TeachFirst programme and was placed at Rivers Academy as an English teacher. She completed her PGCE there with Canterbury Christ Church University. Jennie enjoyed developing her experience in a range of roles at Rivers Academy, part of the Aspirations Trust, before becoming the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), and Associate Assistant Principal. She had SEN leadership responsibilities across 4 schools in the Trust. Jennie completed the National Award for SEN qualification through the Institute of Education, with a focus on literacy support for secondary school students, before joining us in September 2016 as Assistant Head (Inclusion).
When she is not in school, Jennie loves reading, crafting and travelling.
Assistant Headteacher (SLT): 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 has 2 young boys who keep her on her toes and up to date with the most recent developments in the world of Lego! Emma is a keen netballer and is a member of the Breezers Netball Club.
Assistant Headteacher (SLT): 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!
Head of Operations (SLT): 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, two daughters and a son, who are presently 14, 12 and 7. 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 (SLT): 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. Her youngest son attends Cannon Lane Primary School where Claire was Treasurer of the PTA for several years. Her oldest son attends Pinner High School.
When not in school Claire enjoys running, family holidays and reading.
Head of Year 10 and Teacher of PE: Thomas Metcalfe
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. Tom graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a B.Ed Business Education and has a NPQH.
Head of Year 9 and Teacher of Maths: Kathryn Buchanan
Kathryn joined us in September 2019 from Nower Hill High School where she worked as second in Maths Faculty and Head of KS4 Mathematics since 2011. She has taught Maths for 16 years working in her previous school, Park High, as a Deputy Head of Year. Kathryn graduated from Cardiff University in Mechanical Engineering.
Head of Year 8 and Teacher of PE: Christina Moore
Christina joined us in September 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. Christina graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in Secondary Physical Education.
Head of Year and Teacher of PE: Amy Wild
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 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’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 in 2018 and hopes to continue training for further events in the U.K!
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.
Head of Design & Technology: Seetal Arrowsmith
Seetal graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BAEd 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 4yrs and Haydon School in Hillingdon for 10yrs, Pinner High is Seetal’s 3rd school in her 15 year career- 1yr 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.
Head of Geography: Philip Smith
Phil joined us in September 2019 from Queen’s School where he had worked as Teacher of Geography since 2016, responsible for A level Physical Geography and intervention strategies for level 7-9 GCSE students. He has held various appointments over his 25 year teaching career, including Head of Geography at St John’s Senior School, Enfield. Phil graduated from University West of England Bristol in Humanities.
Head of History: 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 Instiute of Education, where she was awarded a distinction in teaching practice. After working in two inner city London comprehensives, she is looking forward to continuing her teaching career at Pinner High.
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.
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.
Head of MFL: Kirsten Daley
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. Kirsten graduated from Southampton University with a 2:1 BA Combined honours in Iberian and Latin American Studies.
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.
Head of PRE: Helen Stern
Helen joined us in September 2019 from Hatch End High School where she worked as Head of Religion and Ethics and PCSHE Coordinator for the last 3 years and previously held an acting Head of RE role at Knights Templar School in Hertfordshire. Helen graduated from Kings College after studying Religion, Philosophy and Ethics and later went on to study for her Masters, graduating from the University of Cambridge. Helen has
Head of Science: Stefan Clarke
Head of SENCO and Teacher of Humanities: Hannah Lowder
Hannah graduated from Nottingham University with BA Hons in Theology. She then went on to gain QTS at St Mary's University and has been teaching ever since. Hannah taught Religious Studies and History at Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, and had the responsibility of developing new, inclusive and inspiring schemes of learning for her students. As well as teaching Humanities, Hannah was Deputy Head of Year 9.
Hannah joined Pinner High School in September 2016 using her wealth of experience to immerse herself in the wider community and support every student she encounters leading 'mindfulness' activities providing strong pastoral support.
Hannah is a keen traveller and uses this as an opportunity to further explore different traditions, cultures and religions around the world. She also has a keen interest in the arts and uses many musical and artistic influences in her teaching.
Leader of the Autistic Provision: 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 & 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.
Teacher of Art/Cover Supervisor: Gemma Walters
Gemma graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Hons in Fine Art. She specialised in photography and media in her last year, which led her to become a documentary editor. Following on from this she completed a PGCE in Art and Design at Hertfordshire University.
Working for several years as an Art teacher at a secondary school in Hayes, she progressed her career as Head of Art across two small private schools. She has also worked with primary age students at Buckingham Preparatory School.
Gemma has a toddler who keeps her very busy and she enjoys taking him to groups and watching him develop. When she gets the occasional free time away from her son she enjoys yoga, walking and swimming.
Teacher of Economics: 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 is excited about starting at Pinner High School and looking forward to introducing and shaping the Economics courses.
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: Lowri Belfield
Lowri is a passionate teacher with a BA (Hons.) in English from the University of Southampton. Whilst at university, she volunteered for a children’s charity which sought to bridge the gap in cultural experiences between privileged and underprivileged children. She also spent a summer working as a full-time live-in Au Pair for two children in Battersea, building on skills acquired babysitting her own five younger siblings. Together, these experiences confirmed Lowri’s desire to make a career working with children, encouraging children to seek and fulfil their potential.
After graduating from the University of Southampton, Lowri moved to Brighton to complete her School Direct year at Dorothy Stringer School in partnership with the University of Susssex. Whilst training, she worked intensively with a specific focus on current pedagogy for teaching English Literature at Key Stage 3 and 4. Whilst training, Lowri began work towards a MA in Education and hopes to complete this in coming years with a focus on pastoral procedures in education.
Pinner High School will be her first school, chosen for its central values and alignment with her own principles as a teacher. Lowri is looking forward to centralising speaking and listening and reading whole texts in her practice whilst adapting to the individual needs of her students, supporting and challenging them adequately.
Lowri recently moved to the area after growing up in a small industrial town in South Wales. In the holidays, she loves to travel with her boyfriend and her family; they are currently planning a round-the-world trip for the next summer.
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. She studied her PGCE at UCL, Institute of Education and completed her placements in two neighbouring outstanding schools. Tasneem contributed to a journal article on the future of Geography which was published for the Geographical Association and had the opportunity to be an AQA examiner over summer.
Outside of work she thoroughly enjoys learning languages, travelling abroad and spending time with her family and friends.
Teacher of Mandarin: Yen-Chiao Fang
Yen-Chiao graduated with a BA in English from Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan, where he gained an interest in linguistics and further qualified as a language teacher at a Junior High School in East Asia. Having developed a passion for supporting young people in school, and a desire to see more of the world, Yen-Chiao attended Bristol University and gained an MSc in Education (Distinction).
After completing his PGCE in Mandarin and EAL at the Institute of Education, Yen-Chiao joined Pinner High School in September 2016 and has enjoyed creating a vibrant and inspiring learning atmosphere through the introduction of the culture and history of China, as well as the Chinese language.
As a linguist, Yen-Chiao enjoys travelling, learning to communicate with local people and exploring the culture in many countries. He is also a big fan of Japan and Korea where he enjoys the food the most!
Teacher of Mandarin and English: 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
Lydia lived in Shanghai for four years from the age of eleven, and has returned subsequently for work and study in the neighbouring provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu.
In her teaching career to date, Lydia has cycled through the early morning streets of Hangzhou on a rent-a-bike to teach English to Chinese children, and has strolled past the Georgian townhouses of Bath to teach Japanese university students. She has worked in numerous residential summer camps, at locations as varied as a Chinese factory, a lakeside hotel, and a British boarding school. She has squelched through the muddy fields each morning while teaching in rural Cambridgeshire, and hurried through the bustling Brixton market to teach Chinese at a diverse inner city school. She now lives in the south-east of England with her husband, and enjoys a much more straightforward commute down the motorway!
Teacher of Maths: Kiran Eddy
Mrs Eddy completed a degree in Law before spending time working in the legal profession and retail banking at Barclays. Whilst working in banking she completed a Maths diploma with the Open University so she could qualify as a Maths teacher.
Mrs Eddy has now been a dedicated classroom practitioner for 11 years. She particularly likes seeing children being challenged, whilst enjoying problem-solving in Mathematics. She has worked at both Haydon and Douay Martyrs schools in Hillingdon, holding responsibilities for Key stages 3 and 5 as well as 2nd in Department.
Mrs Eddy’s two young children, husband and dog keep her on her toes outside of the classroom!
Teacher of Maths: 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 looking forward to the next chapter of 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 Science: 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.
Science Key Stage Coordinator: Riddhi Kunchwar
Riddhi has a MSc Masters degree in Electronics and Communication and joins us from Canons High School, where she began her secondary school teaching career. She previously worked as a university lecturer in physics for 5 years, before her passion to work with young students motivated her to train at UCL as a Science Teacher. She was inspired to teach physics by her father who is a retired Professor of Physics.
Riddhi is also passionate about gender equality and ran a whole school gender equality project to create awareness among staff and students of common gender stereotypes and how to overcome these barriers, which can impact students learning in the classroom.
Riddhi lives locally with her husband. She loves travelling and reading inspirational books. Her favourite book is ‘Wings of fire’ by A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.
Teacher of Spanish: Priscilla Hylton
Priscilla is a hard-working, optimistic and experienced Spanish teacher. She believes in challenging the ability of her students and increasing their confidence by equipping them with the resources needed to promote independence. This encourages them to take ownership of their learning.
She fell in love with languages at the age of 11 when she was taught by an inspiring MFL teacher. Thus with a love for languages and teaching, combining the two made sense and, over two decades later, she still loves learning languages.
Her love for teaching, learning new languages and travelling has given her opportunities to teach in Marseille, Paris, Mexico and South Korea.
When she is not teaching, she enjoys cooking, baking, travelling, learning more languages, eating out and fitness. This has led to her completing a 5K& 10K Cancer Research Race for Life, London Duathalon and a Half Marathon in the last 5 years.
Priscilla has organised Educational trips to France and most recently into London to attend a GCSE MFL Student Conference where her students learnt more ways to boost their grades in the external exams from experienced Senior examiners. This impacted her students’ GCSE results positively. She is not only looking forward to teaching the students at Pinner High School, but also learning from them.