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St John's Catholic Primary School

Meet SLT

Jonathan Shields, Headteacher

Committed to making a difference to young learners’ lives and providing them with the highest quality education and pupil experience, Jonathan credits the supportive staff body for inspiring pupils with a passion for learning and enabling them to discover their talents.

Jonathan proudly discusses the school’s long-standing reputation, Catholic ethos and unique sense of community that places St John’s as a school where pupils flourish; and looks forward to continuing and building upon this in the future to provide pupils with the best possible primary school career.

“I am extremely proud of our school, our inquisitive pupils and committed team of staff. It is incredibly rewarding to know that pupils enjoy their experience of St John’s and love to come to school. St John’s is a school where pupils achieve beyond their expectations and are nurtured, supported and challenged to fulfil their potential”.

Paula Cooneyhan, Deputy Headteacher

For Paula, working at St John’s has been an ambition since she walked through the door on her first day at Primary School. As an ex-pupil, Paula felt strongly about joining our school for its high standards, the Catholic ethos that underpins all that we do – and because she wanted to share her love for the school.

In any one day, Paula witnesses many children enjoying their learning and this mirrors her favourite aspect of working at St John’s: seeing the generations pass through. Paula puts this down to a learning environment that encourages every child to achieve and develop at their own pace and an understanding that every member of staff wants the best for them.

My ambition is that every child enjoys the beginning of their educational journey and as Designated Safeguarding Lead that they all feel safe, secure and happy every day that they are with us. I love to see pupils journey with us, developing into confident, hardworking and energetic young people with enquiring minds and aspiring futures”.

Caroline Barron, Deputy Headteacher

Motivated by her own positive experience at school, Caroline wanted to offer young learners the same experience she had – to be able to influence and shape children’s lives and support them to get the very best outcomes was an honour she wanted to be a part of.

When asked her favourite aspect of teaching at the school, Caroline takes pride in the variety of experiences offered to pupils and its growth to a 4FE school that she is supporting. As the school expands, Caroline looks forward to welcoming more pupils to the St John’s family, ensuring they are happy, safe and feel cared for.

“St John’s truly value all of their staff – the NQT programme and support offered to new teachers and many opportunities for staff to develop their career paths and learn from one another allow pupils to benefit from the highest standard of teaching”.

Jonathan Gambell, Assistant Headteacher

With a passion for making a difference to young learners’ lives, Jon is dedicated to helping every pupil achieve their potential and having a positive impact on their learning and well-being. Motivated to join St Johns over 3 years ago for its strong Catholic ethos, Jon prides the school for it supportive staff network and the endless prospects for professional development.

For Jon, the pupil experience is a key part of the St John’s offer; commenting that pupils have an array of leadership opportunities including school council, peer mediators, prefects and much more, alongside an enriching extra-curricular programme and subject specialists to lead in teaching. His ambition is to continue building on these successes and the children’s academic achievements to ensure every child leaves St John’s ready for the next stage of their educational career.

“I was inspired, and still am, to have a career where I would continue to learn every day and be a part of an educational setting that continues to strive to improve and develop for both staff and pupils. It is incredibly rewarding to know that pupils love coming to school because of the engaging and supportive nature of staff – and this is reflected in the teaching experience too.”

 Lisa Lambourne, Assistant Headteacher

A longstanding member of the St John’s community, Lisa has worked at the school for 14 years. As both Assistant Headteacher and a Class Teacher, Lisa’s role offers the unique opportunity to develop leadership skills, effect change as a Senior Leader and witness the whole school impact first-hand; and she hopes to build upon this with ambitions to expand her skill set in KS2 in the future.

When asked what defines the St John’s experience, Lisa praised the staff community and their shared vision, which motivates all staff to provide all pupils with high quality teaching and an enriching experience, alongside a tailored CPD and NQT programme that enables all staff flourish.

Seeing pupils achieving milestones and celebrating their successes with them is truly inspiring. I love that every day within my role I have the opportunity to work with children and support their growth and develop both inside and out of the classroom; challenging them to fulfil their potential everyday”.


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