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Meet the Staff

Senior Leadership Team

Headteacher - Jonathan Cursley

School - My Journey:

I fully remember starting school when I was 5 years old. I attended Castles First School in Bletchley and I remember thinking how big the playground was. It was an extremely happy time for me. I had lovely teachers who cared for me when I was nervous, but also reminded me how to behave as I used to get a bit excited…especially at lunch times! Sadly, the school isn’t there anymore. It has now been replaced by housing with only a fallen tree (turned into a piece of play equipment) marking the spot where the school field once was. I’m actually quite pleased that the tree remains as this was my lasting memory of my time at first school. Every lunchtime, my friends and I would turn the tree into a pirate ship and pretend to have battles against each other…fun times!

My most amazing time that hold my most vivid memories, is my time spent at junior school between the age of 7 and 12. (we stayed until Year 7 in those days!) I attended Alex Campbell Middle School in Bletchley, which is now called Chestnuts. All I can seem to remember is having fun in lessons and spending the most amazing lunch times playing football and playing running games with my friends. In every memory I have it seems to be sunny! I also remember loving my school dinners at Alex Campbell, my favourite being the now banned ‘Turkey Twizzlers!!’ Now that I can properly reflect on my time at junior school, the best part of this school was my teacher in Year 5, 6 and 7. (yes, the poor lady taught me for three years in a row!) My teacher’s name was Mrs Milson. She taught in such a fun way but at the same time, you knew that you had to behave! I saw her quite recently and we recognised each other straight away…you never forget a good teacher (or an excitable child!)

When moving to Secondary School (Lord Grey in Bletchley), I found it really hard to settle in. It was so big and I remember never really feeling supported. I actually started to hate school and as a result, my grades went down leading to me having to re-sit many exams. Through a lot of hard work and perseverance, I finally made it into 6th Form and from there, on to University (Nene University – Northampton). Here, I trained to be a teacher.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

My own experiences at school have really shaped me as a person and now leader of Shepherdswell Academy. I want every child to experience the excitement and fun that a school can provide. I want the children to wake up and be excited about the day ahead. I want them to see smiling faces when they come onto the playground and step foot inside the school building. The children at Shepherdswell must have experiences that engage them, interest them and inspire them to achieve great things. At the same time, I never want a child to feel unsupported or alone. Children make mistakes and as a school, we are here to guide them through occasional choppy waters, in order for them to reach their destination and achieve their personal goals. ‘A skilled sailor was never made on a calm sea.’

I can honestly say that I have never been at a school as rewarding as Shepherdswell. The staff are so hard-working and supportive of any whole-school initiatives that are implemented and work tirelessly every day to give the children the best possible experience they can have. When walking around the school, I continually see and hear children achieve new things. The teachers and all staff at Shepherdswell layer our children with fantastic experiences that not only will allow them to be the young people they want to be but also grow wonderful citizens of the future. I also love the way our parents fully trust us and support everyone at Shepherdswell, not only in educating their child but also in keeping them safe. By having this partnership, the school continues to provide outstanding provision for all of the children. This brings me to my main reason as to why Shepherdswell Academy is the most amazing place – the children. What can I say! They brighten up my day, they inspire me to do better, they amaze me continually and most of all, by seeing them achieve and at the same time feeling happy and safe…they prove to me that Shepherdswell has become the place that myself and all the staff within its walls have works so hard for.

A heart-felt thank you to everyone for making Shepherdswell Academy the most special place I know.

Key Stage 1 Manager - Rachel Marguerite

When I was at school:

When I was starting school, I was confident and excited. New uniform, shoes and school bag, ready to embark on the new adventure of ‘big school.’ When speaking to my mum about my time at school, and what I was like, she used a number of adjectives to describe me; confident, friendly, happy, caring, helpful, well behaved and creative. All the things I encourage the children I teach today to be. I remember I loved my reception teacher Mrs Diggle and teaching assistant Mrs Yates. One of our topics was about animals and we had some one bring in baby lambs and had an incubator with chicks hatching. It was very exciting! I enjoyed moving into Year 1 and developing my story writing and enjoyed reading books and bringing books and word cards to read at home. Biff, Chip and Kipper stories were my favourite and it makes me smile to know children even today are still enjoying the adventures with the magic key! I enjoyed being creative; whether it was through acting, in school productions, when playing Angel Garbiel in the nativity or singing and dancing or making things. Mum said I used to come home all the time with pictures, crafts and models with glitter and sticky things…and lots and lots of glue! Sports day was also a happy memory at school, taking part in events, and especially enjoying the egg and spoon race and the obstacle courses. School was a happy memory and I loved being part of the school community and loved my teachers, of whom I can still remember 25 years later.

Teaching today:

When I think of what Shepherdswell Academy School is, and what the definition of school is, the two don’t marry up…The definition of school is ‘an institution for educating children’ and ‘the pupils and staff of a school.’ I do believe this, but Shepherdswell is much more than just an ‘institution’ and ‘pupils and staff.’ What makes Shepherdswell unique is the staff, parents and children who work together to ensure Shepherdswell is a safe and happy place to be. The core reason it has such a positive atmosphere is because everyone at our school has the passion and self-belief in our children. I come to school every day, knowing I am making a difference and that these children in our care have a thirst for learning and are like sponges, soaking all their new knowledge and applying it in their learning. To be part of a child’s education journey and seeing them develop into independent, confident, happy, well behaved individuals who have a love of learning, shows me I am succeeding as a teacher. I love teaching; it is my life, and something I have always wanted to do since I was a little girl. Teaching at Shepherdswell allows me to share my passion, because of the amazing children we teach!

EYFS Manager - Steph Hartwell

My journey through education:

I feel very fortunate to have thoroughly enjoyed all of my time through education and this is down to the inspirational teachers and great friends I had.

I started school in my local village and I spent my time here from foundation up to year 8. It was here that my love of sport started and my favourite lesson was always PE.

When I joined upper school in Year 9 I was always excited to learn in all the subjects that I took but I always found Maths the most difficult. This is why I am so keen to enforce the Mastery approach that we use at Shepherdswell, as I love the ethos that no child is left behind. At upper school I was fortunate enough to be able to continue my love of sport and I competed in Athletics for the county. I took on PE as one of my A-levels as well as English, Sociology and Psychology.

When I left school I was unsure still of what I wanted to be “when I grew up” and I got a job as a nursery assistant and I loved it. While working in the nursery I gained my qualifications as a nursery nurse and teaching assistant and then I moved up into the main school to be a teaching assistant in Foundation. While working here I completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies and received my Early Years Teacher Status.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

I believe that our school has a certain magic, when you walk through the doors you get a feeling of awe and wonder about the school- which was certainly my feelings on my first visit to Shepherdswell.

Our ethos underpins all the learning that takes place throughout the school and this is why it is such a wonderful place for the children to learn, be curious and have fun. What I feel most passionate about is that Shepherdswell gives children the opportunity to be themselves and allows their individual characters to establish and flourish. We encourage the children to take on their learning independently and to be curious and creative and this is one of the reasons why we make such fantastic progress.

I want all the children who come through Shepherdswell to have happy memories of school. I want each day to be filled with adventures, challenges and achievements and for each child to be given opportunities to develop confidence, curiosity and a life long love of learning.

Teaching Staff

Year 1 Teacher - Chloe Brackenbury

My Journey Through Education:

I really enjoyed primary education and attended a school in Great Linford. My favourite subject was English and I loved to read and write. I have lots of wonderful memories from this school.

I moved on to The Radcliffe School in Wolverton for my secondary education, during this time I found I had a passion for drama and this particular lesson helped to build my confidence. I soon decided I would like to be a teacher and work with young children. I found out what qualifications I needed and started to work super hard. I was incredibly focused and studied well for my GCSEs.

I moved to Stantonbury Campus 6th form after my GCSEs to study Performing Arts. I had the best two years of my life here and gained so much confidence during this time. I made wonderful friends at Stantonbury who are still part of my life to this day.

I then attended MK College to study Early Years Education. Although this was hard work it prepared me well for university. Following college I attended UCN to study Early Years Education at degree level. This was an amazing course and I learnt so much. On completion of my degree I spent a year in London studying for a PGCE.

I came home to Milton Keynes as a qualified teacher and have worked in various different schools in the area. I have been teaching now for 14 years and cannot imagine doing anything else. It is definitely the perfect job for me.

What Shepherdswell Means to Me:

I joined Shepherdswell in September 2018. I had worked as a supply teacher in Year One the previous term and completely fell in love with the school. When the opportunity came up to work at Shepherdswell for an entire year I was super excited!

I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know the children and staff here and already feel part of the family. I love the ethos of the school and how all the children are at the centre of all that we do. Working in such a caring and supportive environment has helped me to fit in quickly and inspired me as a teacher. I am looking forward to continuing my career as a teacher at Shepherdswell Academy.

Year 1 Teacher - Colbie Robinson

Year 2 Teacher - Vanessa Noctor

Year 2 Teacher - Beth Evans


Foundation Stage Teacher - Sam Collins

My School Journey:

My time at School in George Elliot, from the age of 4 - 10 years was a rich and interesting time for me. I lived with my grandparents who really instilled a love of the outdoors, the natural world and learning in me!

My school helped to build my confidence in myself and believe that I could do anything if I worked hard enough! I really enjoyed being a part of a diverse multicultural community, with many languages and creeds amongst my peers.

In this photo I was an angel in the school nativity!! I loved to act and loved theatre!! I went on to study Theatre Studies at ‘A’ level!!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell is the school that I have chosen to work in as it mirrors many of the wonderful opportunities for children that I experienced in my school years: A community school that celebrates diversity and individuality; allowing and encouraging children to learn through expressing their interests and fostering the learning attitude of an “inquiring mind” in children.

Senior Teaching Assistant and Intervention Lead - Demi Wiltshire

My School journey began at Shepherdwell. I have very fond memories of having good friendships and sharing a love for School. I particually enjoyed Arts and Crafts which is a skill that gradually deteriated, as I got older. I then attended Springfeild and went onto Shenley Brook End secondary School. I went onto further education at Milton Keynes college and studied Health and Social care. This is when I found my passion for working with children during one of my placements in a first School. I got a job in a private nursery as an Early Years Practitioner, which is where I did my Childcare qualifaction. Once I was qualified, I then got a job as a teaching assistant at Shepherdwell Acedemy.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell holds a special place in my heart, as it’s where my educational journey all began. It taught me the foundations which I still use today in adulthood. I love that no matter what challenges arise, we do not fail any child. We will do whatever it takes which is down to the passion from the staff and the determination from the children. It is the best feeling seeing the children grow and become so independent and self driven. Seeing their personalities blossom by them being given the right learning tools to deepen their own learning.

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant - Kelly Avery

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant - Jodie Charters

Foundation Stage Teaching Assistant - Sharon Harrison

My School Journey:

My primary school journey was a good time; the excitement of going to school for the first time. I remember learning lots of new things, exploring my new world and having fun. I also made lots of friends, we would make up games in the playground and I remember laughing lots with them too. As I went up through the years I took on new challenges, I learnt to play the recorder and I learnt to swim.

School lunch times were great sitting with my friends and having time to chat and swap stories about our day.

I moved up to secondary school it was quite a big change and I faced a lot of different challenges but I also learnt new skills by trying new tasks. I remember how much bigger everything seemed and there were a lot more children.

I joined the trampolining afterschool club which helped me make new friends but also gave me more of an interest in sports, so I joined the swimming club and swam in the schools swimming gala.

My work experience in nursery and school gave me the insight of what I wanted to do beyond school, so I went on to college to study Early Years in Education.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell Academy reminds me of my early days at school and how each child is given opportunities to grow, develop and try new things. The children have a great network of support with all the new challenges they face as they go through school. Being able to work here and helping the children achieve is very rewarding and I am grateful to be apart of their journey.

Year 1 Teaching Assistant - Sandy Wakefield

My School Journey:

I went to school in Tottenham, London. It was an old Victorian building with high ceilings. The toilets were outside in the playground. Also my mum and her brothers and sisters also went to the school when they were little.

The name of the school was Earlsmead infants and junior.

Year 2 Teaching Assistant and Intervention Lead - Amanda Swan

Year 2 HLTA and Music Lead - Clare Bywater

My school journey:

I can honestly say that I had an enjoyable and rewarding education and I still remember my first day! I remember how kind the teachers were and how safe I felt. I felt so grown up putting on my tie (even though a tad tricky) and to take the short walk up the hill to my school which led to a day filled with excitement. I've a lot of happy memories of my teachers and friends.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Knowing that the start of my day will be welcomed with happy, smiling children and wonderful staff makes me proud to say that I'm a part of this school. Who wouldn't want to be that person in a child's day who said, "I've loved going to school because that teacher made it amazing!'

No matter what is happening outside of school, as soon as a child (or anyone!) steps foot inside Shepherdswell, their positive journey has begun. Every child has an equal opportunity to achieve at Shepherdswell…I am privileged to be a part of their journey.

Specialist Teacher (Department) and SENDCo - Sarah Champion

School - My Journey:

I loved my time at school. I went to a small village primary school and had a group of close friends throughout my school life. I was an avid reader from an early age and at secondary school also particularly enjoyed Maths, Sciences and Languages, as well as taking part in Music activities, although my reports always stated that I was ‘too quiet’!. I remember having some excellent teachers and I always enjoyed learning new things. I remember wanting to be a French teacher until quite late in my time in education. I got good ‘O’ level and ‘A’ level exam grades, but teaching was then not my first choice of career. After some years in nursing, I returned to what I knew I wanted to do and trained as a primary school teacher. Since then, I have developed a passion for teaching children with Autism and I absolutely love every day teaching the children in Sparrows!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

I can honestly say that Shepherdswell is the friendliest and most welcoming school I have worked in throughout my career. I feel that it is a ‘family’ made up of the children, their own families and all of the hardworking and dedicated staff. The ethos of the school fosters curious and independent lifelong learners and you only have to walk through the school to know how much the children enjoy being here and developing their learning muscles and values! What makes Shepherdswell extra-special for me is the celebration of diversity and the drive that all staff have to make sure that every child has the best education during their time with us, whatever that takes. Working in Sparrows, I love seeing the way that everyone in the school embraces and includes our children from the Department, whether it is in whole school activities, or even just with games on the playground, and I’m sure that, for me, this goes some way to making Shepherdswell the amazing school that it is!

Intervention Lead and HLTA - Sophie Bonici

My school journey:

Sophie is a very chatty and sociable child, who gravitates towards peers who may be struggling with their work rather than focusing on her own

Mrs Psard - 1998

During my time in primary education I was lucky enough to have the most nurturing and patient teachers, they are what made school such a wonderful experience for me.

I was never too keen on staring at a black board or repetitive hand writing sheets; I much preferred anything practical and exciting!

I didn’t know I was learning such incredible lessons, I just knew I was having fun and that’s exactly the experience I want for EVERY child I teach!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Shepherdswell is a safe place where children are not afraid to explore, to challenge or to make mistakes.

EVERY child is heard, recognised and appreciated for the incredibly unique individual that they are.

Our school is such a special place and I am confident that every child we have the privilege to nurture will leave with the fondest memories, and lessons that will last them a lifetime!

Specialist Dept Lead TA/Speech and Language Assistant - Neera Jobanputra

My journey through school:

I have really happy memories of my time at school - It is where I made lifelong friends as well as gaining lifelong skills and I remember waking up every day and being very excited about going into school. I had a keen interest in reading and especially enjoyed English, History and Drama. I knew from a very young age, what qualifications I wanted from school and what direction my career would go but I also thoroughly enjoyed the social side of school. I partook in numerous school productions and enjoyed competing with the school netball and running team. I am pleased to say that my “overly chatty manner” which was on my report every single year, has stuck with me!

What Shepherdswell means to me:

Although I have not worked at Shepherdswell for long, after my initial visit, I knew it was somewhere that I would fit in and it was somewhere I wanted to work. The environment was very positive, caring and exciting and I am yet to be proven wrong. I am very lucky to be part of a team who are very hard working, enthusiastic, hugely supportive and always put the happiness of the pupils first. I am looking forward to seeing every pupil at Shepherdswell have their individuality celebrated and I am really pleased to be a part of their learning journey.

Specialist Department Teaching Assistant - Katherine Clark

My school experience:

My school experience was a good one. I loved school and particularly enjoyed arts and crafts and PE. I had a great group of friends and enjoyed learning and having fun.

What Shepherdswell means to me:

I love working at this school. There is a great atmosphere and sense of working together as a team. The children are amazing and I love to see them grow and develop as they explore their journey of learning.

Sports Coach - Jonathon Curtis

Subject Leaders


Rachel Marguerite


Katie W


Sam Collins


Chloe Brackenbury

Computing Lead

Jonathan Cursley


Sarah Champion

Sports Coach

Jon Curtis

Forest school / Nurture

Elaine Noctor

School Council/Eco

Sandy Wakefield

Art Suzanne Turner
Science Steph Hartwell
Music Clare Bywater

Intervention Leads

Sophie Bonici

Demi Wiltshire

Amanda Swan


Admin and Support Staff

Pupil Attendance and Family Liason Officer - Elaine Noctor

Administrator - Ruth Shuttlewood

Office Support - Sian Marett

Facilities Manager/Health and Safety Officer - Tony Nyman

Assistant Site Manager - Ian Petch



Breakfast Club/Lunch and Play Assistant - Melanie Kelly

Lunch and Play Assistant - Amino Abbi

Lunch and Play Assistant - Farzana Ambreen

Lunch and Play Assistant - Roda Ahmed

Lunch and Play Assistant - Toni Moore



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