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Specialist Leaders of Education

Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs) are middle and senior leaders from within our Alliance that have particular areas of expertise.

  • Russell Brentnall - Assistant Head Teacher at West Blatchington Primary and Nursery School, KS1 and EYFS lead

    As an inclusive primary practitioner, I value the importance of high standards to enable all children to achieve their potential. I am committed to ensuring that children are provided with inspiring learning experiences which allow them to progress and achieve.

    As a role model within my school, I am highly motivated and enjoy collaborating with colleagues to improve the outcomes for children within my own class, my year group and the wider school community. I also have experience of working with other schools to help train and build leadership capacity.

    Having been part of a leadership that has moved a school from RI to Good with Outstanding features, I have developed my leadership knowledge and skills as well as developing my understanding of successful strategic leadership.

    As an outstanding practitioner, I have led both English and Maths on a whole school level. Driving whole school approaches to improve the attainment and progress in core subjects. I am currently an English lead for my school, with a focus on KS1 and phonics. I have also been trained as a KS1 moderator.

    I am currently involved with our local Schools Partnership Programme as an Improvement Champion, whereby a liaise with schools to tailor CPD, linked to the School’s improvement plans.

  • Lauren Clowes - Downs Junior School, Maths Coordinator. MaST trained, Mastery Specialist, SLE.

    Whilst developing the mastery approach to maths teaching, I have led training on bar models; the CPA approach and conceptual understanding; making the calculations simpler through the distributive and associative laws; ‘Active Maths’; lesson structures and tasks, including ‘anchor tasks’; variation theory; mental calculation strategies;and the effective use of stem sentences, maths journals and live working walls in supporting the mastery approach.  I provide planning support to teachers to ensure lessons are in line with the 5 big ideas on mastery.

    As part of cohort three of the NCETM maths hubs Primary Mastery Specialist Programme, I lead a Teaching for Mastery Work Group for Sussex Maths Hub. This involves leading regular Teacher Research Group meetings, carrying out termly support visits to each of my link schools to observe teaching, support in-school TRGs, and work with the lead teachers and head teacher.

  • Kim Fryer - Benfield Primary School, English specialist

    My role as a year 6 teacher, English Curriculum lead, Mentor and NQT Induction

    Tutor has equipped me with expertise in assessment, feedback and coaching, including training for newly and recently qualified teachers.

    I have a strong understanding of the end of Key Stage expectations, particularly KS2, including the moderation of writing. I have enormous passion for the teaching and learning of writing and reading and harnessing children’s enthusiasm for developing these skills.

    I consider reading for pleasure as a cornerstone for developing children’s innate love of language and that stories, storytelling, performing and oracy, is central to children becoming confident speakers and writers.

    Our school’s journey from a Special Measures category towards Outstanding and ‘Teaching School’ status, over the last few years means that I understand the huge challenges a school and a teaching staff can go through when looking to illicit change on a big scale.

    My biggest motivation is, above all, the children themselves, who in my current school often come from disadvantaged backgrounds; offering them the best possible opportunities to progress as learners and as individuals is something that is inherent to my teaching philosophy.

    I am excited that my role as an SLE will allow me to have a greater opportunity to influence this on a wider scale, to empower each other collectively and to ultimately enhance our children’s life chances.

  • Emma Gale - Coldean Primary School, Assistant Headteacher/Mastery Specialist Teacher/NCETM PD lead

    As a key leader within a National Support School and a Mastery Specialist Teacher, I have been fortunate enough to support many schools/teachers in different settings and regularly deliver professional development through staff meetings, INSET days, twilights, team-teaching and leading Teacher Research Groups (TRGs) throughout Sussex.

    I have experience of embedding robust assessment procedures and curriculum mapping. Further experiences have included:

    • A mastery approach to teaching mathematics – embedding the ‘5 Big Ideas’
    • Differentiation through support and challenge
    • Maths subject knowledge enhancement
    • Concrete -Pictorial – Abstract (CPA) approach – use of key concrete apparatus and structures including part-part whole, bar model and tens frames to enable children to construct a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
    • Intervention – Timely, effective intervention, including the delivery of a successful ‘Same Day Intervention’ approach.
    • Subject leader development – aiding new leaders in developing specific curriculum areas and successfully driving sustainable change within their setting. 
    • Experience in EYFS/KS1/KS2

    My enthusiasm and drive has been commented on by every colleague I have been fortunate enough to work with.
    I am wholly committed to raising standards in education.  I look forward to working with schools in the Sussex Coast Teaching School Alliance.

  • Emma Pallot - Benfield Primary School, KS1 Literacy/ PSHE Lead and KS1 Teacher

    As Literacy leader at Stanford Infant School, I supported the establishment of the phonics curriculum as well as leading staff on creative text-led planning for writing. I have led literacy focussed INSET, both in school and at other schools, from handwriting and reading to bookmaking. I have also facilitated training with parents and other community groups, such as local foster carers, in early literacy, phonics and reading.

    While Assistant Head at Benfield I led on teaching and learning and supported staff to develop new approaches to provision for more able pupils. As professional tutor I collaborated with another professional tutor to develop an effective professional studies programme that student teachers from both schools could access. I have led sessions on our ‘Early Professional Development’ course on subject leadership, building confidence in teachers nearer the beginning of their careers. Throughout my time at both schools I have been involved in school to school support.

    I continue to be interested in early literacy and am currently doing an MA in SpLD (dyslexia) at UCL. This is giving me a deeper level of professional knowledge and a greater understanding of how children learn to read and what we can do to facilitate this process.

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