CORE LEADERSHIP TEAM
SONIA CASE EXECUTIVE HEAD
Actress in the original 1970s Poldark, Sonia then worked in advertising and market research. Following the birth of her children, Sonia heard the call of teaching, thank goodness! As the daughter of wartime refugees, Sonia is proud to live and work in a city which celebrates diversity and makes everyone welcome. The Belham Primary School is her new pride and joy, alongside her children and two grandchildren.
LIZ COHEN HEAD OF SCHOOL
After studying French at the University of Leicester, Liz completed her PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University College and has been in Education ever since. She is used to working in socially mixed schools, which has fuelled her passion for embedding diversity and inclusion into the curriculum. In her spare time, Liz can be spied doing one of three things: running around a netball court; annoying her neighbours by practising the piano; or planning her next European culinary getaway.
PUMFREY SCHOOL DOG
Still just a puppy, Pumfrey will eventually be trained to be a reading and therapy dog at the Belham. He enjoys popcorn, his snuffle mat, and sleeping on the bed. His dislikes include long walks in the rain, having alone time, and hoovers.
SHARON BAXENDALE ASSISTANT HEAD: INCLUSION (SENDCo)
Assistant Head and responsible for Inclusion at Dulwich Hamlet, Sharon provides Belham staff, parents and pupils with advice, support and consultancy on all matters that support our vision that 'everyone matters'. Sharon holds the Advanced Diploma in Special Educational Needs and was seconded to the LA to support the transfer of Statements to Education, Health and Care Plans. When not enjoying the delights of the 37 or P13 bus routes to travel between both schools, she likes to engage in a bit of carpentry and archaeology.
ALISON SPRAKES ASSISTANT HEAD: ASSESSMENT & EYFS/KS1
From an early age, Alison could be found with a lab coat and goggles trying to create different potions and explosions in her parents' kitchen! This has translated itself into a love of food and a keen interest in science education. Having worked with children in both New York and China before moving to London, Alison could not be more delighted to play a role in establishing the Belham Primary School.
TOM TURNHAM ASSISTANT HEAD: CURRICULUM & KS2
Tom's childhood was spent in Canada and Forest Hill. Before settling on a career in teaching, he worked in banking. For the last five years he has worked at our sister school, Dulwich Hamlet, and also as a Design Technology consultant. He passionately believes that children have the right to a broad education that is not confined to the classroom or to traditional subject areas. He is a keen runner and amateur triathlete who can often be found in a park or on a beach with a good book.
KATIE MANDER YEAR 5 'CALICO' CLASS TEACHER
Katie studied History at the University of Exeter, where she was part of Bristol University Air Squadron and a keen member of the hockey club. After leaving university she completed her PGCE at the University of Reading before moving to London to teach in Stockwell. In the winter she plays hockey for Tulse Hill and Dulwich, and plays tag rugby during the summer. She has a real passion for playing all sports and is a keen runner.
BRENDAN O'BRIEN YEAR 5 'CALICO' CLASS SCHOOL DIRECT TRAINEE
ELLIE CHEELE YEAR 5 'DENIM' CLASS TEACHER
KATE GORELY YEAR 4 'TAFFETA' CLASS TEACHER
Kate studied Cultural Studies at Birmingham University and then trained in Mental Health at Kings College London. After having her children, she developed art-based projects and created innovative learning spaces in schools and in the wider community. With inclusion, community and creativity at the centre of her vision, Kate is delighted to join the Belham and to develop Art and Design across the school.
CHRISTINA SAULLO YEAR 4 'SATIN' CLASS TEACHER
Christina studied Anthropology at Goldsmiths and had aspired to write her own ethnography from deep in the Amazon Rainforest. However, fate took an unexpected turn and at 21 she ended up getting a job in Marketing and Events for a chain of London bars and restaurants. Although her passion for travel, cooking and music were deeply satisfied, she did not feel fulfilled. She then started working for a national charity and helped run a children's and young people support service in Wandsworth. After working in over ten schools in that borough, and then later as a Learning Mentor, she decided to complete her Masters in Primary Education and work in her beloved community of Peckham and is absolutely loving her new role as a class teacher.
ARABELLA LOPEZ JUAN YEAR 3 'TWEED' CLASS TEACHER
Arabella holds a Master's degree in Teacher Training specialising in PE. She speaks Catalan and Spanish, and moved to England in summer 2013 because of her interest in British culture. She loves to dance and holds a professional grade in contemporary and classical. She believes that music is a very important part of our lives which everybody should have a chance to enjoy.
EMILY DOWNING YEAR 3 'CORDUROY' CLASS TEACHER
Emily grew up in Birmingham as the eldest of four children. She always wanted to be a teacher and spent her time volunteering at children's groups and babysitting/nannying. She studied Ancient History at Nottingham University with a particular focus on Ancient Greece. She then completed her PGCE at the University of Reading before moving to London to teach. She is currently studying for a Masters in Special Needs and Inclusive Education at UCL. Emily's hobbies are reading and running.
ANNA CAGNEY YEAR 2 'SILK' CLASS TEACHER
Anna loved studying psychology at university at home in Ireland, and moved to London afterwards to further her studies in the subject. She spent most of the next three years working in primary schools in south London, supporting individual children and covering classes from nursery to Year 6. During that time she also spent three months volunteering in rural Bangladesh, which was a tough but very rewarding and eye-opening experience. Anna completed her PGCE through Goldsmiths and the Belham and is excited to continue to developing her teaching practice.
DANAE GARDNER YEAR 2 'VELVET' CLASS TEACHER
Danae grew up in Kent and studied English language at the University of Reading. It was here that her love for teaching reading and writing first began and this sparked an eagerness to begin a career in teaching. Consequently, she completed her PGCE at Wandsworth SCITT in London where she enjoyed working in London’s wonderfully diverse schools. Her passion has always been dancing which, following in her older sister’s footsteps, she started at a very young age – her personal highlight would have to be performing at Disneyland Paris – twice! Danae is delighted to be a member of the team here at the Belham.
MADDY TEE YEAR 1 'LINEN' CLASS TEACHER
Maddy developed a passion for teaching whilst completing her Maths degree at the University of Bristol. She volunteered as a Maths tutor and ran interventions for GCSE and A-level students in a local school. After finishing her degree, Maddy completed the TeachFirst training program in a school in Coventry. Here she developed an interest in inclusion and special educational needs and disabilities. Alongside teaching, Maddy is currently studying for a masters in 'Inclusive Practice within Education'.
FREYJA COSTELLOE YEAR 1 'COTTON' CLASS TEACHER
Originally trained in theatre design, Freyja spent five years working in arts venues and theatres across London. Finding herself frequently drawn to community and school projects she felt a shift in her career focus, and having always had a love of education and an interest in working creatively with children, becoming a teacher felt like a natural next step. Freyja completed her PGCE at London Southbank University, and with a keen interest in inclusion, pastoral care and creativity, she is delighted to be part of the Belham team.
LAUREN HOGG RECEPTION 'FELT' CLASS TEACHER
Lauren studied in Bath and completed her NQT year at the Belham. She moved from Torquay to explore Peckham, and loves the creativity and 'glitter' of the curriculum at the Belham.
REBECCA PLUMMER RECEPTION 'FELT' CLASS SCHOOL DIRECT TRAINEE
Rebecca joined the Belham in September 2019 and brings with her a wide range of work experience gained over 20 years, having worked within both the charity and corporate sectors. In 2015 she left her job in project management to pursue her ambitions of becoming a teacher, and has just completed her degree in Education, Culture and Society at Goldsmiths University. Whilst completing her degree, Rebecca gained relevant work experience volunteering with both primary and secondary schools within Lewisham, and has a specialist interest in SEND.
EMMA CHAN RECEPTION 'WOOL' CLASS TEACHER
Born in Surrey to Chinese parents, Emma has always been passionate about working with children, from volunteering at The Children's Trust with children with brain injury, to running around the woods at a summer camp in Maryland USA. After studying Biological Sciences and Education at university, Emma worked in schools in London and Spain, in both mainstream and special needs settings. Emma loves Science and is dedicated to ensuring all children have access to a well-taught Science curriculum combining knowledge, skills and fun, with lots of extra curricular enrichment thrown in.
KATE MALECKI ADMIN OFFICER; ADMISSIONS
Kate grew up in Herne Hill and went to Dulwich Hamlet Junior School, so she hasn't moved far in life geographically! Having spent 10 years in advertising, Kate returned to art school in Camberwell to fulfil her passion for textiles. She still looks with jealousy at the fun the Belham children are having with paint and glitter. Kate has three children, aged 14, 12 and 10 who have heard all about the Belham and are desperate to join.
CLAIRE CONNOR ADMIN OFFICER
For 24 years Claire worked for the Metropolitan Police Service as an Admin Officer within various specialised units. She has been local to the area all her life and is super excited that she and her two children are now 'Belhamites'. In her late teens Claire enjoyed her time helping a local Brownies group and is now enjoying working with children again.
LAVERNE MILLER ADMIN OFFICER
Laverne has lived locally in Peckham for over 20 years. After leaving the corporate world to become a full-time mum, she decided to study as an Early Years Practitioner, where her experience with children grew further. Following 3 years working as a teaching assistant at the Belham, Laverne has now joined the school office team.
IAN SILLETT ICT LEAD AND TECHNICIAN
Ian works at both The Belham and Dulwich Hamlet as subject leader for computing and IT technician. He has worked in London schools all his working life, initially as a secondary English and then computing teacher. Subsequently, he worked for many years with schools across London as an advisory teacher for computing. For the last ten years he worked exclusively with primary schools, supporting curriculum development with subject leaders and working on subject knowledge and pedagogy with class teachers. He has an MA from Kings College, London in Computers in Education.
ELIZABETH LINTON SMITH HIGHER LEVEL TEACHING ASSISTANT
Elizabeth worked at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School for over 20 years and was delighted to join the team at the Belham. Before working in education she trained and worked as a nurse at St Thomas' Hospital. She has a great interest in play therapy and supporting children both socially and emotionally. In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts and has a keen interest in Art Deco architecture and mosaics.
SARAH HUTCHISON HIGHER LEVEL TEACHING ASSISTANT
MONIKA KUBIAK YEAR 5 TEACHING ASSISTANT
Monika worked as a child psychologist in Poland and as a psychologist assistant in Italy and speaks both languages, alongside English. She joined the London educational environment in 2010 and was one of our first Belham recruits. As well as loving working with Year 5, Monika is a huge fan of Gene Kelly musicals and Umberto Eco novels.
MARY MELLOR RECEPTION TEACHING ASSISTANT
Mary has worked with children off and on for many years in a variety of roles including working in a Montessori nursery and managing summer camp programmes. After volunteering at her son's school she felt ready to pursue a full time career in education and trained to become a Teaching Assistant. Mary loves her new role and has strong ties with Dulwich Hamlet Junior School, with one of her two children currently attending and her husband running the after school cookery classes.
LARA KOLAWOLE YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT & OWLS COORDINTOR
From an early age Lara has loved caring for children. She turned her hobby into reality by becoming a trained teacher abroad as well as a busy mother of three children! Lara then worked in social and retail sectors in London for many years. Five years ago she decided to channel her passion for working with young children by going back into schools. She is absolutely delighted to be part of the Belham team working with young minds!
LOTTIE ATKINS YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT & EARLYBIRDS ASSISTANT
Lottie lives locally, and since leaving full time education has worked as an early years practitioner in an outstanding nursery within the area. Here she found her passion, focusing on the development of the young. Lottie has also worked with older children, when she volunteered in a youth club. She brings enthusiasm and dedication to her role at the Belham and is very happy to be a part of the team.
IWONA MOUSLI YEAR 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
After completing her Foundation degree in Childhood and Family Studies, Iwona worked in the Bilingual Nursery (French-English) as a deputy manager. After having her own children she devoted herself to being a full-time mum. She enjoys working with children and is delighted to join the Belham team with her youngest daughter who is in Year 5. Iwona loves jazz and plays the accordion in her spare time.
ASHLEY MORAN RECEPTION TEACHING ASSISTANT
ANGEL CASTILLO YEAR 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT
Education has always been a part of Angel's life, even before settling in the UK. Being part of a school brings joy to her as she loves to interact with people while helping them to learn. She actively volunteered in learning centres soon after arriving here. So great is Angel's love for teaching that she taught aspiring teachers at university level. Having also set up and taught in pioneering schools and English camps for 4 to 16 year olds, Angel sees herself sharing in the success of the Belham.
LINA HUBALLAH YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
SHELLIE LUCAS YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT, MIDDAY SUPERVISOR & EARLYBIRDS COORDINATOR
Shellie is very much a local girl, having lived around the corner from the Belham since birth. In fact her father was a pupil at the original Old Bellenden school in the 1960s! Shellie was a hairdresser, but since having two children (who are both 'Belhamites') she has devoted her time to raising her family. She is very enthusiastic about being part of the Belham school and creating a nurturing environment for children at the heart of the community.
AGNIESZKA ROTUSKA-SEKSAF YEAR 3 TEACHING ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
Agnieszka moved to England from Poland 25 years ago. She decided to be a stay at home mum and was a parent volunteer in her children's school for many years. During that time she qualified as a Teaching Assistant. Agnieszka lives locally in Peckham and is thrilled to be part of the Belham school, to share her skills and experiences to help create a happy and nurturing environment for all the children. She loves a good book, long walks in the nature and spending time with her family.
LUCIANA RIBAUDO YEAR 3 TEACHING ASSISTANT, MIDDAY SUPERVISOR & OWLS ASSISTANT
SCHNEEDA THORPE YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT, MIDDAY SUPERVISOR, EARLYBIRDS & OWLS ASSISTANT
Schneeda lives locally and is a dedicated mother of three and also a grandmother. She works at the Belham in a number of roles. Shneeda is passionate about supporting the young people in her community and has spent time volunteering with vulnerable young women - assisting with their education and personal needs. Shneeda is very much enjoying her time at the Belham Primary School.
MONIQUE HAASE TEACHING ASSISTANT
JESSICA THOMPSON TEACHING ASSISTANT
FINN HERSEY YEAR 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT
ABOSEDE AKANGBE OWLS ASSISTANT
Abosede has been taking care of primary school children for 20 years, both in and outside the school system. She was in the teaching profession overseas and after moving to the UK, worked as a nursery assistant and cover teaching assistant before joining the Belham, where she loves helping the students to become responsible individuals.
ANGELA GAYLE MIDDAY SUPERVISOR & OWLS ASSISTANT
Angela joined the Belham in 2017 and enjoys her work at the school, especially helping out with our Reception classes. She has two grandchildren who she looks after at the weekends. They enjoy swimming and other sports activities.
NICOLE GENTLE MIDDAY SUPERVISOR & OWLS ASSISTANT
LEISY CHAO-BATLLE MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
Leisy has has lived in Peckham since she moved to the UK from Cuba 20 years ago. She previously worked in retail and publishing, but after working at the Belham she has found her true passion. She is looking forward to furthering her knowledge in childcare, following in her grandmother's foosteps as an Early Years Educator. In her spare time Leisy enjoys making greeting cards and crafts with her two children.
CATERING STAFF (MANAGED BY PRINCIPALS)
PAUL ABOUA CHEF
Paul came to the Belham after many years cooking at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School, serving up hundreds of healthy, nutritious and delicious meals every day. Before working at the Hamlet, Paul worked in restaurants both in Paris and London, where he achieved Head Chef status. Hailing from Cote D'Ivoire, Paul is a natural born French speaker. He particularly enjoys cooking dishes with a French-Asian twist.
LEO DELGADO CATERING
YOLANDE SY CATERING
Yolande loves working with children of all ages and provides invaluable support in the kitchen. Like Paul, Yolande speaks perfect French due to her Cote D'Ivoire origins. When not working with food, Yolande enjoys tennis and visiting the gym.
TASHAUNA CAMPBELL CATERING