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.
For details of the school safeguarding team, please click HERE.
The links below will take to the profile pieces for each of the staff that work at St. Mary's C.E. Middle School.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
My hobbies now of course include; visiting play parks, baking elaborate birthday cakes and hosting playdates for little ones.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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
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!