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Welcome to St Mary's C.E. Middle School

Thank you for visiting the website for St. Mary's C.E. Middle School. We are a 9-13 middle school situated on the outskirts of Puddletown, a small village in the beautiful Dorset countryside. We are a church school with an ethos built on the core Christian values of respect, forgiveness, justice, uniqueness, equality, acceptance and kindness.

We look to inspire our school community and give them the tools to thrive in the modern world, summed up by our school aim of 'Inspire today to shape tomorrow'. We are proud to have been assessed as an outstanding church school in our last two Church of England inspections. We expect the highest standards in both academic work and behaviour and we place our children at the centre of everything we do.

The pupils, staff and governors are very proud of our school and we hope that this website will allow you to see why. We look forward to having the opportunity to meet you in person.


Welcome to the staff pages which will tell you all about the adults who are part of our school.  Please click on the links below to take you to a full staff list or a diagramatic representation of the staffing structure.  Scroll down the page to read the staff personality profiles.

Senior Leadership Team



Hello!  My name is Darren Ayling and I am proud to be the Head of School here at St. Mary’s Middle.  My favourite teacher at school was a science teacher called Wendy Sibley.  She made us prepare and teach small 5 minute segments of the lessons to help develop our confidence in speaking in front of people.  It was her teaching methods that made me decide to pursue a career in teaching.  My favourite children’s author is currently Anthony Horowitz and I am enjoying reading the Alex Rider series.  I also like the books by David Walliams because I really like his recurring character of the newsagent Raj and his special offers.  I am a great fan of Formula One. My secret skill would be singing (although not so secret in assemblies!) and a surprising fact is that I once appeared a television game show.




Mike Hilborne – I am the Deputy Head of School at St Mary’s.  I very much enjoy my job, working with others, getting to know the children and learning from them.

(Believe it or not!) I started life as a PE teacher in what seems quite a long time ago.  Outside of school I enjoy being a member of Wimborne Running Club.  At the moment I am aiming to lose some weight and find some fitness.  I really enjoy taking part in the weekly ParkRun in Poole Park and have completed 142 of them.  I can recommend ParkRun to everyone.  I am also hoping to return to playing some recreational tennis after back and Achilles injuries.

A favourite children’s book is “Stig of the Dump”, read to my class when I was at school and an enduring story of friendship.  I also much enjoyed  “the Goalkeeper’s Revenge” by Bill Naughton, again from my youth, which is actually one of several short stories, all interesting , some with humour and also, at times, sadness


Hello, I am Mel King and my current role is Inclusion lead/ SENCo at St. Mary’s. As part of this role I am on the Senior Leadership team and oversea the Education for All department and staff. 


My history teacher, Mr Edwards inspired me. I always found learning really difficult and would work very hard but seem to never really ‘get it’. But Mr Edwards way of teaching history really worked with the way I learnt and once I started ‘getting it’ my confidence grew and this started affecting my grades in all areas. My GCSE’s results were a great surprise to everyone - including me. And I went on to study History at A level and Degree level. 


My favourite children’s author is David Walliams, I just find him really funny and it is so important we enjoy what we are reading. I am currently reading the Subtle Knife from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman with my daughter. I would recommend any of these books and I really like books written as diary entries like Tom Gates.  


Outside of school I enjoy going to the cinema, spending time with my family and I love to go to the theatre. 




Hi……my name is Mr. Tubb and I am currently the Key Stage 3 Leader at St Mary’s and this is my second year at the school.  I have been fortunate enough to spend my entire career in middle schools and I think that they are a fantastic environment in which to learn and grow.

My main subject is English and I love it.  If I had to select my favourite children’s book it would be anything with Asterix in!  Otherwise, I enjoy everything by Roald Dahl, but you really can’t beat “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.

When I was at school, my favourite teacher was my A level French teacher, Mr Rushton.  Although I liked French, it wasn’t my favourite subject but he really cared about me and how I was doing and even now, if I go back to my hometown and see him, he’ll stop and ask how I’m doing.  He was what you could call a ‘firm but fair’ teacher and I really respected him for that.

My secret skill is that I’m pretty good on a surfboard – I love anything to do with being on or in water, and I have been surfing since I was about 7 years old.  A surprising fact about me is that I have sung on stage at Wembley Arena with Metallica.  Thanks for reading!


I am Mrs Westgate and I am happy to be the Key Stage 2 Leader of Teaching and Learning, the Head of Year 5 and Head of Maths in Key Stage 2. I have been teaching for 15 years, both in the UK and internationally in a British School in Slovenia.

Growing up, my favourite books were the Famous Five and Secret Seven series written by Enid Blyton. As an adult, I have absolutely loved reading the Harry Potter books, and was very disappointed when the last book finished the story. I am also a big fan of John Grisham and Dan Brown books, which often bring action and intrigue into their stories.

When I was at school, my favourite teacher was a music teacher (though I have forgotten her name).  I really liked her because she gave me the opportunity to play different instruments, my favourite being the tenor recorder.  As an 8 – 9 year old, it felt a very big instrument to play!!

A surprising fact about me may be that I started my working career in the Royal Air Force, where I spent 6 years proudly serving my country.


Safeguarding Team
 Mr Ayling

Hola!  My name is Becca Ross and I have probably the longest job title in school – Pupil Premium Lead/Deputy Safeguarding Lead/Pastoral Co-ordinator.  I have worked at St Mary’s for 5 years and I am kept very busy supporting our more vulnerable pupils and their families.  I work closely with the Senior Leadership Team and teachers to ensure that pupils are achieving their full potential and are safe and happy.  I love my job as no two days are ever the same.  My favourite teacher at school was Mr Williams who had the most wonderful welsh accent and made his lessons so much fun.  He also introduced me to the cello which I played throughout my school years and beyond.  My favourite book was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  The magical story completely captured my imagination and it was the first book that I read over and over again.  My secret skill is that I can ride a horse bareback, backwards and a surprising fact is that I lived in Mallorca for 6 years and ran my own restaurant. 


Mrs A Taylor

Year 5 Team

Miss Young – I am a part-time teacher in Year 5 so am around school Monday to Wednesday.  I love reading and am part of a book club, this means I read books by authors that I wouldn’t know and I find that really exciting.  My favourite book is, The One and Only Ivan”, it is a really powerful story written in the voice of the main character….Ivan a Gorilla!!

I live in Dorchester with my family and my gorgeous dog Daisy.  I also have a Guinea Pig called Scuttles who we think might be Houdini as he can escape is cage in ways we cannot figure out!  My favourite teacher at school was Miss Jenkins who taught me that the world was an interesting place that I could discover.


My name is Sophie Foot and I am a class teacher in  my eleventh year at St Mary’s and I am the co-tutor for class 5Y.

 My favourite book is the “BFG” by Roald Dahl.  This is because Roald Dahl is amazing and the protagonist is called Sophie, perhaps after me, (or maybe after Sophie Dahl, Roald’s granddaughter).

My favourite teacher was Mr Strange who taught me Latin and once wrote in my book “Sophie, you are a very clever girl and are capable of more than this.  You are a DONKEY”

My interesting fact is I have abseiled down Hardy’s Monument and I have kissed the King of Spain (but not on the same day…!)

Greetings! My name is Mr Aspinall and I teach English and Humanities at St. Mary’s Middle School. In addition to this I am also the form tutor to the amazing 5A tutor group.

I moved to Dorset from Liverpool two years ago and haven’t looked back since! In my spare time I like to explore the savage beauty of the Jurassic coast and marvel at the majesty that is Durdle Door! My hobbies include reading, theatre, films, sixties pop music, boxing, running, walking and cooking- though not necessarily in that order.

Attempting to disclose my favourite book has proved difficult as there are many. As a child I enjoyed reading the complete stories of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. The character’s ability to solve a case, using a variety of his acquired skills, impressed me no end. Other authors whose work moved me include George Orwell, Charles Dickens, C.S. Lewis, Roald Dahl and more recently Harlan Coben. As a child the magic of these authors’ colourful, fictitious worlds truly enraptured me; now, as I reluctantly shuffle into middle age, they enrapture me still.

When I was young I wanted to be a successful actor. This ambition was never fully achieved. However, I was praised for having an expressive face and superb comic timing. Such transferable skills have equipped me well in my teaching career.  My favourite teacher was Mr. Morris. He was huge in stature and huge in compassion.

One interesting fact about me is that I once had an all too close encounter with a shark; I have the scars to prove it.


Hi, my name is Mrs Moore and I am a Year 5 form tutor and teach English in year 7&8 and some French across the school. I am new to the school, having taught in Poole for the last 12 years. I haven’t always been a teacher – having worked in Finance, Marketing and Law previously. I changed careers 13 years ago and love teaching, especially English, Hums and French. I’m not sure I have a favourite children’s author but I love the rhyming Lynley Dodd books like Slinky Malinki, Charlie Higson and any Greek Mythology. My secret addiction is detective, crime and thriller stories. My figure shows my love of all things foodie and I love to cook. When I was at school my favourite teacher was my Geography teacher, Miss Blake, who had been a missionary and had driven the  Trans Amazonian Highway in her Morris Minor! She was fascinating.  A surprising thing about me? I love to race and have competed in rowing, sailing and even raced a Ferrari around a track. I love all music from - classical to rock, opera to dance and am even a secret heavy metal fan. I look forward to meeting you!

Year 6 Team

Hello! I’m Laura Knight, the Head of Year 6 and RE Leader at St Mary’s.  I love teaching many different subjects but particularly enjoy music and drama.

One of my favourite teachers at junior school gave me the freedom to explore my ideas. I decided we should be able to have school pets so, after raising money for this venture through a tuck-shop, my friend and I went to buy suitable animals. Rats. We chose a male and a female rat to see what would happen. 13 babies is what happened! Our class had great fun looking after them. As for me, I decided to study them: I weighed them, measured them, recorded how much they ate, timed how fast they ran in races, and drew graphs of the results. It is no surprise that I went on to study science at university. School gave me a love of learning, and in return I probably gave them a rat infestation. J

Have you read any of the Tom Gates books by Liz Pichon? They are popular with the children in my class. A favourite read of mine is Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman. I like the way it is set in a world that is similar to ours but with imaginative differences: every person has a daemon - an animal friend that reflects their character.

A surprising fact is that I have taught children in Spain, the Ukraine and the USA, and my secret skill is photography – I’ve won two competitions this year with action shots of my dog! J


Hello! My name is Mrs Welch and I’m the KS2 English leader at St Mary’s Middle School. I teach English across the school and a variety of other curriculum subjects. Whilst I was at school, there was one specific person who inspired me: Mr Thornton. He was my Maths teacher and he was absolutely amazing; his homework tasks were alphabet themed and so funny. I aspire to add humour and different learning styles to my lessons for this reason. As a child and teenager, I really enjoyed reading books such as the Harry Potter books, The Hunger Games set and the Divergent series. My favourite book was, and still is, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: I love getting lost in the magical lands and the lives of these fantastical creatures. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone to read. Outside of school, I’m busy looking after my two young children, Robyn (aged 1) and Jack (aged 3). We love to spend time outside- Moreton Walled Gardens are a favourite. Jack and I share a love of superheroes; even my wedding was superhero themed! Which table would you prefer to sit at: The Bat-cave with Bruce Wayne or The Daily Planet with Clark Kent?


Hi my name is  Mrs O'Brien and I am Head of Computing at St Mary’s Middle School.

My favourite teacher was Mrs Grey as she loved reading and writing poetry, which is something I still like to do to this day. I think when a teacher is passionate about a subject then pupils see that and enjoy the lesson even more.

I love fantasy novels so anything by Eoin Colfer and Garth Nix.


Hello!  My name is Clare Evans and I am a Food Teacher at St.  Mary’s Middle School.  I wanted to teach Food ever since secondary school.  Mrs Phillips, my Home Economics teacher (that’s what cooking lessons were called in those days), inspired a love of food and cooking in me and even though my Victoria sandwich cake ended up on the classroom floor once, she still believed in me! 

My favourite children’s book are; The Tiger That Came To Tea, I love the way that everyone is so ‘matter-of-fact’ about having a tiger in the house and although it’s for young children, it still makes me chuckle; Roald Dahl’s- Danny The Champion of The World, I remember a teacher reading it to us at school, I was captivated by it and still love it today! 

One of my proudest moments was reaching the summit of Mount Kinabalu – the highest peak in South East Asia, it was hard work but breath-taking- literally as the air was quite thin up there!

I love travelling, singing and dancing, theatre and acting and even do the ‘Park Run’ every Saturday but I’m still searching for my secret skill.


Hello, my name is Beccy Doak and I teach mostly Yr6 with some History and science thrown in for good measure. I moved to Dorset nearly 2 years ago from London where I spent 10 years studying and teaching. My favourite teacher at school had to be my History teacher Mr Podesta. Being dyslexic, I really struggled at school and Mr P made sure lessons were fun and engaging. He got us to make podcasts on subject areas to help us revise and helped me get the grades I needed for university. 


Anyone who knows me knows about my love of all things Harry Potter. I was obsessed with the books growing up! Obviously, I am a Hufflepuff and if I were to teach at Hogwarts (I’m still waiting for my letter) I would teach History of Magic. My partner and I spend our weekends strolling the Dorset countryside, eating cake and binge watching Star Treck. We have two fluffy ginger cats called Ginny and Hendrix who are very spoilt! 

Salutations, my name is Christie Dunn and I am the KS3 English leader.  Selecting one, favourite children’s book is really tough for me as books are kinda’ my thing!  One series I read over and over again as a young girl was Little Women (there’s also Good Wives, Little Men and Jo’s Boys) by Louisa M Alcott.  The Harry Potter books also spring to mind as a favourite – I have always loved what I like to call ‘blended fantasy’ because I like the idea that there really might be magic and mystery all around us in the real world.  Hilary Over was my favourite teacher at school; she taught me A Level English.  She is the kind of teacher I have always aspired to be.  Her favourite trick was simply to say, ‘And?’ when you gave an answer and it had an incredible power to make you think deeper.  In November 2019, I became a mummy for the first time and I have already started reading lots of books to my little boy so I hope he’ll grow up loving to read, just like me.  You might be interested to learn that I fancy myself as a bit of a dog whisperer.  I adore all dogs and when I walk past them in the street, they strain against their owner’s leads as they try to get near me – sometimes this even happens when I am in the car!  My favourite breed is whippets as I love their gorgeous, long snouts and one day, I plan to have two of my very own and I have even chosen their names already.


Year 7 Team

Hello, my name is Miss Osborne and I teach PE and science at St Marys Middle School. Additionally, I am the head of Year 7 and run the school residential trip to Pencelli. I am in my fourth year here and this is my first teaching job. I always wanted to be a teacher and was inspired by my PE teachers when I was at school: Mr Godbold, Mr Kinsey, Mrs Read and Miss Box. 

I like adventures and have skydived in Australia and would love to travel to more places around the world. A dream is to travel across America. I have already falling in love with New York and would love to go back one day.

Something you may not know about me is that I’m a little (very) competitive, I like to think in a healthy way, but my tutor group may disagree. I also have a very sweet tooth and will never turn down a sweet. In my spare time I play netball in the local premier league. I play in GD and have managed to win many awards as a player and as part of a team. 


My favourite author when I was a child was Jaqueline Wilson. I loved all her books, but my favorite has to be the Dustbin Baby. I also loved Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl. This was a book we read as a class when I was at school and has been one of my favourites ever since

Jim Houldey - I grew up in a small village called Gaunts Common near Wimborne, and having taught in Inner and Greater London for 16 years, I moved back to a similarly sized village a mile away from where I lived as a child. I am married; and have four children. Their names are: Ellen (who is 4), Emma and Isaac (who are twins and are 9), and Milly (who is 16).

My favourite children's book is Terry Pratchett's "The Truth". My Dad introduced me to Terry Pratchett's books and I have a signed copy of "The Truth". Terry
wrote: "To Jim.  The truth shall make ye Fred."  Interestingly (although he doesn't go by it) my dad's first name is Fred.

I have played many different sports; and still play cricket and golf. My favourite pastime is spending time with my children.

Not many people know that I reached Grade 5 trumpet when I was at school before I sold my trumpet to buy a guitar.


Hi, my name is Mr. Moss. I am the Art and Design Technology Subject Leader. I teach all the Art in the school and also teach Graphics as part of Year 8 Design Technology.

My favourite children’s book is James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. I love his use of characters.

I am very interested in all Art forms, but especially like making things. Some of my favourite Artists and Designers are: Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Goldsworthy, Antoni Gaudi, Sir Norman Foster, the Impressionists, Aardman Animation, Giacometti, Vincent Van Gogh, Pixar and Banksy. 

I also have a weakness for superhero comics, animations, robots and old science fiction films.

I am married, with 2 lively little boys and a scruffy dog.  I like nothing better than a muddy tramp through the woods- the environment is important to me. I also play badminton and enjoy watching Rugby.

A little known fact about me is that I once had a piece of Artwork published in the Beano (I was 6 and it was a picture of my cat, Pinky!)


Hi, my name is Tom Evans and I teach Resistant Materials in the school.

When I was at school, my most memorable teacher was a science teacher called Mr Baker who was always passionate about his subject and loved using the fume cupboard to demonstrate volatile chemical reactions!

My favourite children’s author has to Paul Jennings who writes very amusing story stories. I particularly like his short story called ‘Little Squirt’ from his book called ‘Unmentionable’ it has the funniest opening sentence that I have ever read.

When I’m not teaching I run my own business restoring antique and vintage furniture. I also enjoy kayaking, fishing and walking my Cocker Spaniel called Flotsam


I am Nancy Chantrell and I teach French at St Mary’s.


I was inspired to learn French by my teacher in Edinburgh, Miss MacDonald, with whom I kept in touch after leaving school.  I was also inspired by my grandfather, Donald Brown, who travelled Britain and France as a golf club salesman and spoke fluent French.  My mother’s French was good, though confined to cookery terminology since she was a Cordon Bleu cook, but she was always encouraging.


My favourite children’s author?  Gosh! There have been many. Arthur Ransome’s books are delightful.  I enjoy Richmael Crompton – William still makes me laugh. I’d recommend their books, along with the Biggles and Worrals books by Captain W.E. Johns (showing my age now).  And, of course, there is J.R.R. Tolkien, whom I discovered young. For more recent writing, you can’t go far wrong with Michael Morpurgo.  


I have practised and taught Yoga and meditation for many years and they are a foundation to my life.  I am a member of the Quangle Wangle Choir and enjoy singing. I love my garden, walking, photography, reading, knitting and sewing, my cats and, of course, languages.  Recently, I’ve been learning Italian and have been working on reviving my German.


Mrs Welsby  - I didn’t always want to be a teacher.  I was an actress, worked for the BBC and organised castings for films, TV and adverts.  Sounds really quite glamorous, eh?  It’s not.  After being covered in poop during a nappy casting; frozen to the bone on set at 4am and being disillusioned by the lack of actual shampoo in a shampoo advert (I can’t tell you which one, even though  I’m sure you’re worth it!), I began to question the importance of my work.  When, finally a colleague asked if I would be an Oompa Lumpa before measuring me and deciding I was too tall, it was time for a change!

I wanted to educate and inspire children about the world around them.  So, I became an English teacher and then a Head of English and now run the Literacy Intervention programme at St Mary’s which is a cool job; My students tell me what they want to learn and I get to think up fun ways to teach them so they achieve their goals.  That’s the best bit about teaching; you have a chance to light a spark that turns into fire of knowledge, confidence and independence.

When I’m not in school, I am Mum to Eddie.  If you read “Quick Let’s Get Out of Here!” by Michael Rosen – my favourite book when I was little (well, younger, as I am still quite little!) I bet you can work out who he is named after.

If you see me around the school, please feel free to come and say hello; tell me a story; ask me anything about English or share your chocolate!

Natalia Rogers – I am head of music at St Marys Middle School. My favourite teacher at school was not surprisingly the music teacher Miss Aldis. I was always inspired by how many instruments she could play. My favourite children's author was Enid Blyton. My brothers and I loved reading his Famous Five books and had many adventures of our own exploring Poole harbour and neighbouring countryside.

I trained to be a teacher at the London Institute of Education as a secondary school music teacher and worked in many schools of the East end as part of my training before taking my first job in the West end of London. I left to be a full time professional harpist travelling the world performing on Cruise Ships and in hotels.

I am now content living in Dorchester with my two adorable girls Carmen aged 5 and Caprice aged 4.  I continue to play for weddings and corporate events where possible and teach flute and harp to pupils in the DASP pyramid. 


My hobbies now of course include; visiting play parks, baking elaborate birthday cakes and hosting playdates for little ones. 


Hello, My name is Mr Stow and I teach maths at St Mary's.  I've been teaching for 20 years.  I've worked in schools as far apart as London and Barcelona and learned so much from all the children I've shared a classroom with.  A person that has inspired me is a man called Hans Rosling, his job was to help keep people healthy all around the world.  I first came across him when he did a speech telling us that we knew less about the world around us than chimpanzees.  He used numbers, statistics and graphs in a beautiful way to inform us about the truth of how wonderful the world we live in is.  

When I was a child, I especially enjoyed reading Roald Dahl.  Now I have my own children, my favourite author is Cressida Cowell and the 'How to Train a Dragon' books.  I loved reading them to my children as they were growing up and, as the sagas continued, the books got better and better.  As well as being funny, they contain many truths about growing up and finding your way in the world.  I love them.  

Outside of school, I enjoy sport, especially cricket, NFL and of course my hometown football team, Pompey.  I played rugby for many years in the second row but now I'm mainly a spectator.  I enjoy taking my sons to their cricket matches all around Dorset and going to the Rose Bowl to watch Hampshire play.  

Year 8 Team

Hello, I am Miss Sellers. I teach Textiles, Art and History here at St Mary's.


I like to learn new things. I think that is why I like teaching so much. Everyday is different and students ask some great, off the wall questions. At school, I had a wonderful English teacher who was so patient and kind. She has inspired me to want to teach children and clarify their learning.


I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I am pleased to see children are still as excited as I was when I read them. If you are a fan and haven't read the books - what are you waiting for? They include so much more detail that the films were not able to capture. Even if you don't think you are a fan, give it a go!


At home, I love to sew. Surface manipulation is so much fun! I like exploring different decorative techniques and combining them to create unique effects. 


Mr L Mitchem - Year 8 Tutor

 Jo Hammett - Head of History and Geography


I've always loved my sport and as a child was inspired by a bare-foot runner called Zola Budd. I tried long-distance running but discovered I was a better sprinter and hurdler; I also preferred running in spikes than bare-foot!

I've recently read 'The Further Adventures of the 100-year-old Man' by Jonas Jonasson but my current favourite children's author is Phillip Pullman- clearly I like an adventure. Read the Dark materials trilogy, for example.

it's no secret that I love swimming- particularly in open water. I swam around Brownsesa Island but, although asked, have bo intention of swimming across the Channel. Something you may not know though is that I have had a swim in the world's highest lake. Know where that is?


My role at St Mary’s is department lead for KS3 Maths and am a Year 7 or 8 Tutor.

I started here at St Mary's in September 2016, when I relocated to Puddletown with my daughter, and over the past 4 years I have seen lots of changes at the school. We have a Cocker Spaniel and you might see us walking around Puddletown village or Puddletown Forest. Bailey loves climbing up on the table when I am marking your work to look at what you have been learning. Often she attempts to move my pen away with her paw and I  am not sure if she is trying to help or telling me that it is play- time!


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” ― Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

I really enjoy reading especially if a book enables me to time travel or visit other places in the world. One of my favourite books as a child was 'The Magic Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton and I loved reading it to my daughter when she was little; it inspired our imaginations.

I would recommend the Murderous Maths series to discover the darkest and deadliest mathematical secrets, including: a sure-fire way how to make birthdays last twice as long, how the number 1 starts fights, how triangles lead to murder, and much more. Put an end to maths misery, once and for all. I have met Kjartan Poskitt (Author) and  he certainly changed the way I looked at maths. Why don't you give his books a try!


Hi!  My name is Justin Bingham and I am the P.E. leader at St Mary’s Middle School.  My favourite teacher at school was a maths teacher called Mr Dobbs.  He looked like Father Christmas and would love to share stories with us, he made all pupils look forward to going to maths!

I am currently out of touch with current children’s books however, as a Dad-to-Be I’m sure I will come across them soon enough!

My secret skill is I’m an ex-chef so can cook!  I am a huge Manchester United fan and my hobbies include football, golf and water colour painting. 


Pupil Support Team

Nicola Burridge – my role as Senior Learning Assistant at St Mary’s is to assist the management team and tutors in encouraging and maintaining positive behaviour in all aspects of school life.

When I was at school I had many favourite teacher including Mr Townsend, who told us many stories about competing in the 1948 Olympic Games and Miss Cox, my Tutor and Geography teacher in 1st Form (Year 7).

Some of my favourite children’s books are the Harry Potter series which I read once my daughter had finished them as they came out.  As  a child I enjoyed reading “The Magic Far Away Tree”  books by Enid Blyton.

My not so secret skill is that I love to bake and make a mean Coffee Sponge!

My name is Linda Lane and I am a Senior Learning Assistant (Pastoral)

My favourite children’s book was “Shadow the Sheepdog” by Enid Blyton, because it started my love of reading.  My favourite teacher was a biology teacher, because she made me realise that by working hard I could achieve good GCSE results.  My secret skill is a love of natural history, and being able to identify different animals and birds.

A surprising fact is that I have been an extra in a film (The Mayor of Casterbridge) and an advert.  I also love singing and hope to join a choir.


My name is Mrs Caroline Leeming and I am a Senior Teaching Assistant at St Mary’s.  I have worked at the school for over 15 years!  I was inspired by one of my teachers at the middle school I attended.  His name was Mr Barfoot and he had a fabulous gift for getting the best out of the pupils he taught.  He had a saying (which he frequently reminded us of) “Only my best is good enough for me!”


My favourite book is The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. Although it was first published over 100 years ago, the adventures of its characters: Mr Toad, Ratty, Badger and Mole can still today teach us a great deal about friendships.

Outside of school, I am the proud owner of two rescue dogs. I am also a qualified dog trainer and also a member of and trainer at a local dog agility club. My dog, Finn, is an approved Pets as Therapy dog and has come into school as part of the READ2DOGS programme.



My name is Mrs Mair and I am a Teaching Assistant.  I started working at St Mary’s in February 2006 and I had helped in Year 5 as a parent volunteer two years before then, so I have been in the school a long time now!

My mother was an English teacher (even though she was Scottish!) and she instilled a love of reading in both me and my brother which has been passed on to my three children as well.  One of our favourite authors (who writes books for children as well as adults) is Terry Pratchett.   I particularly like his Discworld books.

My secret skill is spelling and a surprising fact is that I enjoy solving cryptic crossword puzzles as well as “Killer” Sudoko puzzles.


Hello, my name is Mrs Matthews, I am a Learning Assistant and a Food Technician.  I have worked at St Mary’s for about 15 years.

My favourite children’s books were Enid Blyton’s Famous Five because they were so exciting and adventurous which meant you had to keep reading to see what happened to them in the end.

My favourite teacher at school was Mr Donovan, who was a science teacher.  He always made the lesson fun and exciting which kept all of us interested in what we were doing.

My surprising fact is that I can knit and sew.  My secret skill is that I knit and sew left handed but have taught pupils how to do it right handed.

In my spare time I like spending time with my dog who is energetic and full of fun.

Miss L Llewellyn - Teaching Assistant

Miss J Cluskey - Teaching Assistant

Miss D L'Oiseau - Teaching Assistant

Mrs L Street - Teaching Assistant

Mrs T Dutton - Teaching Assistant

Mr D Gedge - Teaching Assistant



Support Staff


Hello, I'm Lynne Rainford, and I'm the Science Lab Technician. I have a prep room between the Science Labs where I prepare and tidy away all the various science experiments and equipment the teaching staff require.

I love making things- anything from building brick walls in my garden to sewing patchwork quilts, so I love my job as it is so varied and practical! My hobbies include sewing, gardening, walking my 3 legged Golden Retriever dog Amber, and I'm passionate about photography.

My favourite book when I was young was 'Goodnight Mr Tom' by Michelle Magorian. Now I love ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ by Thomas Hardy. My favourite teachers at school were both Maths teachers, Mr MacGuire my Middle School Maths teacher, and Mr Hazell my 'A'Level Maths teacher- they believed in me when I found the work hard going!

I used to be a Navigating Officer in the Merchant Navy, and my interesting facts are that I have sailed on ( at that time), the world’s largest and most powerful containership, have been through the Suez Canal 36 times and circumnavigated the globe by the time I was 19!


Miss J Warder - 

Office Team

Mrs W Alcock - Office and Data Manager & Admissions

Mrs K Gaughan - Office Administrator

Mrs C Newman - Office Administrator and PA to Headmaster

Mrs T Galloway - HR Administrator

Miss J Cluskey - Office Administrator

St Mary's School Association

Hello and welcome to a quick introduction to the School Association - the name given to our PTA here at St Mary’s CE Middle School.


My name is Geoff Sagar and I’m a year 8 parent. As current Chair of the Association, it’s my primary role to coordinate the fundraising activities that we undertake for the school, aided and supported by a core team of volunteers and committee members. We operate in a very informal manner and we are more than happy for parents to get involved with what we do in a very casual way, as and when they can fit it around their own commitments.


We try to keep parents updated with our plans and events with a few newsletters each term, these are also posted in the blue noticeboard outside the main school office and you can also follow us on Facebook to see what’s going on.


Our main aim is to raise funds for the school by organising events that are both fun and that allow us to engage with the community or local business. 


Our annual fundraisers include the Christmas Market, a Summer Fair and the hosting of the Puddletown Plod Half Marathon in June. Added to this, we try and drop in additional events throughout the year, such as quiz nights, sponsored events our ever-popular school discos.


The money we raise is then used to enrich and add to the pupils learning, by funding school trips, special visitors and presentations to the whole school, library subscriptions and anything else the teaching staff identify as having educational value.


We have an ongoing aim to raise enough to provide an all-weather cover for the swimming pool and we will consider any request for funding on a case by case basis.


I have a full time job as a Business Development Manager for an advanced engineering company in Poole, so I am really keen on supporting the science and technology opportunities which we can offer our pupils. This is also supported as promoted as part of the Invest in Dorset initiative, for which I am a voluntary ambassador, which gives us access to a number of free career events and workshops that Year 8s and others can take part in if they wish.


Please contact me via the school office or the Association Facebook page if you have any suggestions for how we can improve what we do, or if you would like to get involved, thanks!


Geoff Sagar

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