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Oakfield Leadership Team

Garry Ratcliffe
Executive Headteacher, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Accounting Officer (AO)

I am delighted to continue my role as CEO of Oakfield Primary Academy, Temple Hill Primary Academy and West Hill Primary Academy – three wonderful schools that form The Galaxy Trust.  As I begin my twelfth year as Executive Head of Oakfield and my fourth year as CEO of The Galaxy Trust, I continue to be incredibly proud of our pupils and the many achievements they make on a daily basis whilst studying at our schools.

 

Many of you will already know that I have a very special family myself…  Myself and my husband have four children – three of them with complex health and learning needs.  They are an immense joy but I have to confess that our fourth child who others would call “mainstream” is the hardest work of all!  We have adopted our children and so I feel I have a good understanding of issues faced by children living in care or who have been adopted, as well as children with special educational needs.

 

One of the benefits of being CEO of The Galaxy Trust, is that I am able to make links with other partners right across the county, and beyond.  This means that I am able to learn from other professionals, taking on their ideas, and sharing them within The Galaxy Trust.

 

If I can achieve one thing during my time within The Galaxy Trust, it would be to instill our values of Respect, Responsibility and Equality in our staff, pupils and parents.  Of course it is our role to promote high standards of learning in maths and English, as well as the wider curriculum – but it is equally – if not more important, for us to ensure we are growing the best, most valuable citizens that our town, our county , our country and our world needs.   By learning about Respect, Responsibility and Equality, I hope we will be making our children’s world, a much better place.

 

Claire Misy
Director of Business, Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

I started my working life in the public sector in 1996 and quickly became interested in education, where I started at the bottom as a finance assistant and left in March 2011 as a Senior Accountant. I worked across the whole County, consulting and advising different schools regarding their finances, which gave me a great deal of knowledge and experience. I was appointed as School Business Manager for Oakfield in March 2011 where I have implemented my expertise.

I was also privileged enough to be selected on the second cohort of the CSBM (Certificate in School Business Management). It was the first time in years that I have done any work-related training, and have now successfully passed the programme.

I am very proud of our school: we are creative with resources and offer the children fun and enriching experiences!

 

 

Rajinder Kaur-Gill
Headteacher

Lively, enthusiastic and passionate is how I would describe myself. My name is Mrs KaurGill and I have been teaching at Oakfield since 2008.

I come from a large family of which many are also teachers.

As much as I love working with children, I also enjoy watching and playing sports such as netball, cricket, volley ball and football (I am a Man U supporter) as well as travelling and socialising with family and friends.

To find out more, come visit me in my classroom where you’ll see humour, happiness and hard-working children!

 

Jill Gosbee

Deputy Headteacher

I cannot believe that it has been 5 years since I made the journey over from Temple Hill (in 2014) to join the Oakfield team!

Since then, I have been fortunate enough to have had various roles and responsibilities – ranging from International Primary Curriculum leader, to Year 6 Leader of Learning, to Education Council teacher representative and Assistant Head for the Curriculum.

Now, I take on my biggest challenge yet – that of Deputy Headteacher!

I LOVE my job, and this school, and look forward to supporting staff and pupils in continuing to ensure that Oakfield is a dynamic, caring, inquisitive place to learn where EVERY pupil is valued and able to achieve their very best!

In my (limited!) spare time, I indulge in my favourite hobbies: going to the cinema, eating chocolate and enjoying the occasional glass of wine!

 

Marla England

Families Support Manager & Designated Safeguarding Lead/SPOC at Temple Hill, West Hill & Oakfield

My role involves providing home support. I have vast experience in a variety of areas with a specialism in working with children with disabilities and child or adult mental health. I also provide advice to parents and teachers to better understand the specific needs of children with complex behavioural or emotional difficulties. I am also a Designated Safeguarding Lead.  

 

Anna Meeks
Assistant Headteacher - Inclusion

Originally I'm from Poland and after gaining a Master's Degree in Special Needs Pedagogy I moved to the UK. In 2002 I completed PGCE teacher training and started teaching; my working career has been linked with Oakfield right from the beginning. Although I have been in the same school for many years, I have experience of teaching across all three key stages. Recently, I have taken on the responsibilities of the school Inclusion Manager. I'm particularly excited about this challenge as matters associated with supporting children with Special Educational Needs have always been close to my heart.

Gemma Rutherford
Assistant Headteacher

Hello again! My name is Mrs Rutherford and I am very excited to be returning to Oakfield after teaching at a school in Bexley. In 2011, I joined Oakfield as Miss Hemsley and thoroughly enjoyed my two years teaching in year 3 and 4. Whilst I’ve been away, I have led history and geography in a large primary school and I am very excited to return as an Assistant Headteacher in charge of the Curriculum!

I am passionate about Oakfield’s Learning Journey: I cannot wait to see the growth of our historians, geographers, scientists, musicians, athletes, artists, designers, linguists, computer engineers, sociologists and provide experiences that unearth the talents that the children didn’t even realise that they possess!

Claire Jenkins
Assistant Headteacher

I can safely say Oakfield Primary has been a big part of my life for many years now – please feel free to come and ask me how and I will bore you with all the history! But for now, I would like to say I am very excited to have joined the school as Assistant Head for Early Years.

I have worked supporting Families and their children for over 15 years now since completing a Bsc Psychology Hons degree; specialising in Early Years since 2008.

I gained a National Qualification in Integrated Centre Leadership before being awarded Early Years Qualified Teacher Status and then Early Years and Key stage 1 Qualified Teacher Status.

I love learning myself and enjoy sharing this love and enthusiasm for learning with our children in the Early Years classes.

I have two daughters who attend Oakfield and so I really do have an invested interest in supporting the whole school to grow and develop to provide excellent provision for all children.

In my spare time I love horse riding, especially jumping, and looking after our pets with my girls. We have horses, dogs, sheep, cats, ducks and a chicken. Oh and some gold fish too! I love being outdoors and am a trained Forest School Leader.

I come to Oakfield with my animal companions…. Winnie and Fig – the Guinea Pigs and three Giant African Land Snails, Buster, Gary and Carla. I have to say the names were given to them by my previous class long before I came to Oakfield so no reference to Mr Ratcliffe!

I look forward to getting to know all the children and parents/ carers, over my first year here!

Layla Priddy

Assistant Headteacher

I have been working at Oakfield for six years now, and you will currently find me working in Year 2.

I graduated from the University of Kent in 2010 with a degree in English Language and Literature. Before joining Oakfield I was lucky enough to work in a variety of different industries, such as retail, advertising, TV production and journalism. However it was my experience working within a primary school that I enjoyed the most. I wanted a career that had meaning and purpose, which is why I decided to complete my School Direct teacher training.

Matt Brooker

Assistant Headteacher

When asked by friends and family, "why teaching?" My response is always: I am passionate about learning. No matter how young or mature (old) you are, you can always learn. Taking an alternative route into teaching, through many career paths; working within the watch/jewellery industry being a personal favourite I, eventually, found myself training to become a teacher. I have finally found my calling. My experiences are something that I try to use to inspire the children I teach, that it is never to late to make THAT difference and become a success. 

 

I look forward to supporting many children to become the successful future sports personalities, doctors, mechanics and who knows, maybe even a sprinkling of teachers. 

Vikki Coombes

Assistant Headteacher

Before joining Oakfield, I worked within the Inclusion Department in a secondary school in Gravesend whilst completing my degree with the Open University.

I joined Oakfield in 2013 and in September joined the year 5 team as a School Direct Teacher with Mrs Malone. Since joining the Oakfield team, I have taught in years 2, 5 and 6 and loved the variety of challenges I have faced, and the experiences and memories I have made. This year you will find me in year 4 and I can't wait to be creating more memories with the children.

This year, I will be continuing my role as Maths Leader but also starting my new role as Assistant Head for Lower Key Stage 2. I am passionate in continuing to create a safe and stimulating learning environment where the children can enjoy learning.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending quality time with my family which usually involves my husband and I supporting our two sons from the edge of a cricket or football pitch or long walks in the woods with my dog Obi.

Karen Thomas
Assistant Headteacher

I started my teaching career in 1996 in the rolling hills of Wales working in a residential school with children with severe challenging behaviour and learning difficulties.  It was there that I developed my passion for working with pupils who respond to a more creative way of thinking.  My interest in behaviour and my passion for championing those whose voices are not always heard, or understood, has led me on a very interesting and fulfilling path during my career. Creativity and compassion are my strengths, and in times away from school, I can be found either in the kitchen baking and decorating celebration cakes for willing recipients, bringing my vision to life in my garden and rooms of my first owned home, or spending time enjoying all that Kent has to offer either with friends, family or supporting a special young man with SEN.  

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