Mr James Pilgrim
After leaving University I began working for Barclays Bank, eventually working my way up to manage branches in and around Leicester. Although successful, it was rather unfulfilling, so I made the decision to return to Nottingham University to complete a PGCE in History.
I began my teaching career as an NQT at Shenley Brook End School in Milton Keynes, so it feels like I have come full circle by returning. This was a great time to join, and as the school developed I was able to take many opportunities to broaden my experience and knowledge.
I then moved to Icknield High School in Luton as Head of Humanities, and was later promoted to Assistant Headteacher; firstly with responsibility for Assessment for Learning, and then more widely with Teaching and Learning.
After several successful years at Icknield I moved to Burford School in Oxfordshire as Deputy Headteacher. Burford is a state boarding school in the Cotswolds, and I had a fantastic time there, experiencing all sorts of different aspects of education, both pastoral through the Boarding House, and academic through the day school. My initial responsibilities were for Curriculum and Standards, but I also took on the responsibility of Director of Boarding, and in September 2016 I took over Teaching and Learning.
In November 2017 I was appointed as Headteacher Designate for Kents Hill Park School – a fabulous and rare opportunity. I took up my full time post at Easter 2018 and can’t wait to open the brand new school and its buildings, and welcome the first cohort of pupils into Year 3 and Year 7.
Outside of school, I am an avid cricket and rugby fan, and a slow runner. I am married to Emma, also a teacher; and have a six-year-old son, Freddie.
Mr Mark McGarvie
Assistant Headteacher (Curriculum and Timetabling)
Designated Safeguarding Lead
I have been a secondary school teacher for 25 years. Originally a Design and Technology teacher, I now teach ICT and Computing. I have been an Assistant Headteacher in a large secondary school in Buckinghamshire for the last 15 years. During that time, I have had responsibilities in both pastoral and curriculum areas; these have included safeguarding and behaviour management as well as timetable construction and curriculum design.
I am passionate about supporting young people to achieve their potential, academic and personal goals, and to help them realise the opportunities presented to them through education both in and outside of the classroom.
The opportunity to be involved in establishing a new school in Milton Keynes is an exciting prospect. I am looking forward to meeting every new student and staff member at Kents Hill Park School and working together to build a thriving learning community.
Outside of the classroom I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I am married and have a teenage son. I enjoy Skiing and I have recently gained a second degree blackbelt in Taekwondo.
Miss Katy Atkinson
Assistant Headteacher (Primary Lead)
I am extremely excited to join the brand new Kents Hill Park team as the Assistant Head Teacher of the Primary School. Being the first teacher in a school is such a unique experience and I can’t wait to share the journey with my new class.
I have taught across both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, most recently teaching in Year 2, as well as being Key Stage One Assistant Head Teacher and Maths lead. Since studying Physical Geography at Durham University, I have continued to love learning about the world and travelling to different countries. I adore teaching as no day is ever the same and I very much enjoy making learning as creative and engaging as possible. I strongly believe in developing the whole child so that everybody has the opportunity to grow their talents no matter where they lie.
I live with my partner, Ben, and our blue and white budgie, Charlie, who loves to fly around the house and take showers under our kitchen tap. We are getting married during the summer holiday so I will begin the new term as Mrs Tough.
I’m very much looking forward to meeting the children and parents as we begin Kents Hill Park School’s journey together.
Mr Adam Baxter
Assistant Headteacher (Pastoral & Head of Year 7)
I have taught in Milton Keynes for over 12 years, although it seems like only yesterday that I finished University eager to embark on a career as a PE Teacher. During those years I have taught PE, Art and Science and had many different roles from being Head of House to Head of PE, until my most recent position as Assistant Principal with responsibility for tracking progress, student behaviour and welfare.
During my career I have always immersed myself in all aspects of school life, dedicated to the primary purpose of supporting students to be the best that they can be in all areas of their lives. I have always believed that all students are entitled to the very best education; an education that meets their needs and enables them to fulfil their potential. I have always striven to ensure that students are valued, respected, challenged and guided effectively throughout their time at school.
I am excited to be a part of the Senior Leadership Team at Kents Hill Park School as we build an exceptional learning environment for all students. The opportunity to become part of that journey, to ensure academic achievement whilst maintaining the idea that education can be an experience that is rich and of high quality, is incredibly exciting both professionally and personally. My enthusiasm and commitment to the students, staff and the wider community will be applied to make sure that we quickly establish an excellent school that we can all be proud of.
When I am not at school I enjoy travelling, cooking, watching Northampton Saints (when they’re winning) and spending time with my family.
Mrs Sapna Sewell
Head of Science
I am currently in my twelfth year of teaching Science. Kents Hill Park School is the fourth school that I have worked at since starting my teaching career.
During my teaching career I have taught Chemistry, Biology and Physics up to GCSE and have specialised in teaching AS and A level Biology. At Shenley Brook End School I was Head of Biology and led Teacher Training programmes including; advising, mentoring and supporting trainee teachers in their new careers.
Prior to being a science teacher, I completed my Masters of Immunology at Birmingham University and spent 2 years working in a pharmaceutical company as Study Manager of clinical projects.
I decided to become a teacher as I am passionate about my subject and strive to instil a love for learning by using a variety of teaching and learning strategies to ensure every student is enjoying and is engaged by their learning.
I feel very fortunate to be working at Kents Hill Park School as it is a great opportunity. I am excited to be involved in developing a creative and fun science curriculum for our students. My focus and aim will be to make learning personalised, enjoyable and to maintain the enthusiasm of our students all the way through their time at school. I love those ‘WOW!’ moments, let there be plenty.
When I’m not at school I am mummy to my two young children. My son is seven years old and my daughter is three years old. They keep me busy as we go to lots of after school clubs such as Jiujitsu, swimming, football and Junior park runs. We love exploring the outside world and talking about the science all around us by going on lots of walks and visiting museums.
Mrs Amanda Swain
I have worked in laboratories for nearly 30 years,7 of which have been within Milton Keynes schools. I started my career as an analytical chemist where I gained much knowledge and experience in quantitative techniques and learned a lot in safety regulations.
I then went on to be a teaching assistant, where I learned that I enjoyed the teaching aspect and the satisfaction of children understanding and enjoying lessons. It was then that I decided that by becoming a science technician within a school, I could unite science and teaching together and pass on my knowledge of science of which I have always been very passionate about.
I am very excited to be part of the team at Kents Hill Park School and I am looking forward to helping to deliver some great science lessons and watch the students’ progress as they pass through the school.
When I’m not at school I am a member of a local choir where I sing as a soprano, we do many concerts for charity especially Willen Hospice.
I enjoy spending time with my family where we like to go on camping breaks, enjoying the walks, taking in the views and eating good food.
Miss Susanne Riley
Head of English
From September, I will be in my fifth year of teaching. Kents Hill Park will be my third school since starting my career and I am extremely excited to get started.
So far in my career, I have been a classroom teacher and more recently, Head of KS3 in a local school. I am now eager to get started creating an engaging and exciting curriculum in my new role as Head of English.
Prior to teaching English, I studied a degree in the Performing Arts and I try to bring a lot of that creativity to my performance in the classroom. I chose to teach English to help spread and promote a passion and enjoyment of the subject; discovering new texts and immersing ourselves in the words we read.
Kents Hill Park has provided me with a fantastic opportunity. It gives me a chance to be part of something new and exciting and I will be able to create something incredible for the students. To be a part of the school from its infancy is something I am already extremely proud of and I look forward to meeting all of the students in our first cohort.
When I am not at school, I enjoy exercising and I spend a lot of my time in classes at the gym.
Miss Emily Yates
Head of Maths
I started my teaching career at the secondary school I attended. This is where I first discovered my passion for maths and encountered the teachers that inspired me. As I now enter my fifth year of teaching I am excited to start a new challenge, and am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to do this at Kents Hill Park School.
I studied to become a maths teacher due to my desire to change young people’s attitudes towards maths, which many of them find difficult. Maths is very much seen as something you can or can’t do, and I have regularly heard from people that “their dad/mum can’t do maths either” or “they are better with words”. I don’t feel that either of these stances is true; everyone can do maths and I feel it is my responsibility to provide creative, exciting lessons which will stimulate and engage all our students to ensure they reach their full potential whilst they are with us, allowing them to access anything they want in the future.
Outside of my school life I volunteer with the Scout Association, which I have been part of since I was a child, and I am currently a Cub Scout Leader. I enjoy the outdoors and being active and am involved in supporting students completing their Duke of Edinburgh Awards and regularly go to the gym.
Mrs Claire Hailstone
PA to the Headteacher
I have previously worked within the banking and data sector gaining a wide variety of administration and organisational experience and skills. My career in schools has allowed me to develop those skills while working with children, families and the wider community.
Every day at school is different and I love being part of school life. School is such an important and precious part of children’s and their family’s lives, and I feel very fortunate to be part of their journey.
I am very excited to be part of the Kents Hill Park School Team and look forward to meeting all the pupils and their families.
When I’m not at school I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, eating out or going to the Theatre – especially for a musical. As a family we also enjoy walking and cycling.
Mrs Ellie Horton
Head of Humanities
I began my career as a new teacher at The Hazeley Academy and left after six years as Head of Geography. I then moved to an established school in Northamptonshire where I worked as Head of department, and now I am excited be starting my tenth year of teaching at Kents Hill Park this September. The chance to join Kents Hill Park is an amazing opportunity and I am looking forward to getting to know all the new staff and students.
I gained my BSc (hons) Geography at Northumbria University and stayed in the North East to attend Newcastle University for my teaching qualification. After a long period in Newcastle I chose to move closer to family in Milton Keynes. Throughout my teaching career I have taught all three humanities subjects, specialising in geography but teaching RE and History at KS3 and GCSE level. For me, humanities is an amazing group of subjects that allows students to see how people have lived, why they live this way and the interactions between people and the earth. I specialise in Geography as it is always changing and is present in everyone’s lives.
Outside of school I like to use holidays to travel (next trip is Costa Rica) and baking cakes for friends and family. I also enjoy taking my two retired greyhounds out for a good run at the weekend.
Mrs Lucy Holland
I am currently in my sixth year of teaching modern foreign languages.
During my teaching career I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to teach both French and Spanish up to A-level, and also to teach French to Primary age children through an outreach programme. I have been both a classroom teacher in two secondary schools, and Head of Spanish in two small middle schools and am excited for my next challenge.
I was inspired to become a teacher, both by some wonderful teachers of my own who left a lasting impression on me, and to share my passion for other cultures and languages with others. I have always loved to travel, and the magic of being able to communicate with someone across cultural and linguistic boundaries is something extremely special which I would love my students to experience. Foreign languages opens so many doors to new friendships, horizons and experiences, and I hope to instill in my students some of the passion I have for my subject.
I am very excited to have the opportunity to be a part of Kents Hill Park School from the very beginning of the story and look forward to developing a strong and happy school community as we grow. I look forward to meeting out first students when they begin.
Outside of school I love to travel and explore new places, cook for friends and family, and go to the gym.
I moved to Milton Keynes from Cardiff 17 years ago and have watched the town grow into the busy and diverse community it is today. For the past 4 years I have been working as a Teaching Assistant at a local school.
I am very excited to be joining the team at Kents Hill Park School and starting the journey with your children. It is a very exciting time for us all and I will endeavour to support your children in achieving their very best.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family going for walks and bike rides around the local area, and socialising with friends both here in Milton Keynes and in Cardiff.
After completing my degree in Sport, Physical Education and Coaching Science, I went on to work in a health and fitness club teaching swimming, delivering sports, fitness classes and active games to young individuals. From this I then went on to fulfil my goal of becoming a teacher, completing my training year at Oakgrove Secondary School. I will be joining Kents Hill Park School as a newly qualified teacher – which I am thrilled about!
I am extremely excited to be part of the team at Kents Hill Park and I look forward to welcoming our brand new cohort of pupils into year 3 and year 7 in September. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to transfer my love of sport and physical activity onto our pupils and give them a fantastic experience of sport and physical education that will provide them with the stepping stones for lifelong participation sport and physical activity.
When I am not teaching, I enjoy anything cycling related! I take part in many different cycling events across varying distances. One of my recent events being the London to Brighton Cycle raising money for the British Heart Foundation. I also play Netball for a team called the ‘Bright Ballers’ and go to the gym as much as I can! I also enjoy spending time with my family, travelling and exploring new places.
Mrs Janet Bunce
I have worked in education admin for 14 years and have previous accounts and banking experience. I moved to Milton Keynes from London 7 years ago.
I love working in the school office as every day is different and I enjoy the different interactions, professional challenges and, most importantly, the children. Each child comes with a different story and I really enjoy being part of their journey.
I am very excited to become part of the team at Kents Hill Park and to get to know all the children, parents and staff. I am very much looking forward to starting with a new school and seeing all the new faces in September.
When I am not at work, my time is spent watching my son play football and spending time with my family and friends.
Mrs Melissa McDonald
I have worked at Oakgrove Secondary School for the last 2 years as a Student Services Administrator. I have previously worked within Housing, Medical and Hospitality.
Outside of school, my husband, our son and I go out and about with our rescue dog Jade. We also like to try and visit friends and family throughout the year as they live in various parts of the UK.
I am very much looking forward to joining Kents Hill Park School, especially as we will all be starting our journey together; this is a very exciting time for all of us.