CORE LEADERSHIP TEAM
LIZ COHEN HEADTEACHER
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.
ALISON SPRAKES CO-DEPUTY HEAD
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 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 have played a role in establishing the Belham Primary School.
TOM TURNHAM CO-DEPUTY HEAD
Tom's childhood was spent in Canada and Forest Hill. Before settling on a career in teaching, he worked in banking. For five years prior to joining the Belham, Tom worked as a class teacher at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School. He passionately believes that children have the right to a broad education that is not confined to the classroom or to traditional subject areas. Tom is a keen runner and amateur triathlete who can often be found in a park or on a beach with a good book.
SHARON BAXENDALE ASSISTANT HEAD: INCLUSION (SENCo)
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. In her spare time Sharon likes to engage in a bit of carpentry and archaeology.
NANCY WAYMAN ACTING ASSISTANT HEAD; HEAD OF MUSIC
Nancy is currently Acting Assistant Head and teaches class music and whole school singing. She is the first point of contact for enquiries regarding our peripatetic scheme. Prior to joining the Belham, Nancy was Head of Literacy, year group leader and a class teacher at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School. Before completing her teacher training Nancy read music and then studied at drama school as a post graduate. She lives locally with her husband and four children.
KATE GORELY YEAR 6 'TAFFETTA' CLASS TEACHER & Y4/5/6 PHASE LEADER
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, and having previously taught at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School, Kate was delighted to join the Belham and to develop Art and Design across the school.
VICKY TEE YEAR 6 'SATIN' CLASS TEACHER
Vicky worked at the Belham in 2018 as a gap year teaching assistant, during her sandwich placement year in the middle of her Classical Civilisation BA. She completed her teacher training at the Belham in 2021. Vicky's primary interests are all things Ancient Greek and Roman. She also enjoys music (playing the flute and singing) and is a keen baker.
JENNIFER HILL YEAR 5 'CORDUROY' CLASS TEACHER
CHRISTINA SAULLO YEAR 5 'TWEED' 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 working 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 and young people's support service in Wandsworth. After working in over ten schools in that borough, and then later as a Learning Mentor, Christina decided to complete her Masters in Primary Education and work in her beloved community of Peckham.
ALICE RENOUF DONALDSON YEAR 5 'TWEED' CLASS TEACHER
Before training to become a teacher Alice studied Drama at The BRIT School and then university. Since then she has worked mostly in educational settings in primary, secondary and abroad. Alice spent 4 wonderful years cycling around Barcelona in the sunshine to teach English. After returning to the UK to complete her PGCE she taught in another local school in Peckham. Alice feels proud to live, work and raise her family in an area that places a high value on diversity and inclusion.
ELLIE CHEELE YEAR 4 'HESSIAN' CLASS TEACHER
Ellie grew up in Singapore and the US, and always loved school as a child. This led her to volunteer at her own school’s summer school programme and then later, during her gap year, at schools and orphanages in Tanzania and Cambodia. She studied History of Art at the University of Nottingham before starting a career in Publicity with Hodder & Stoughton Publishers, and later with an independent PR agency. After 4 years in PR, having always had a love for education, Ellie decided to pursue a career in teaching, completing her PGCE with Wandsworth SCITT. She is thrilled to be a part of the Belham team!
NAOMI ROBINSON YEAR 4 'CHIFFON' CLASS TEACHER
Naomi grew up in Kent and studied Geography at Newcastle University where she later completed her PGCE. She has represented England at Curling since the age of 13, giving her the opportunity to compete extensively across Europe. This has helped Naomi to develop qualities of hard work, determination and resilience - qualities she aims to instil in the children she teaches. Naomi also loves music and has completed grades in singing and piano. She believes children should be encouraged to participate in a wide range of sporting and creative activities and so is delighted to be part of all that the Belham has to offer!
DANAE GARDNER YEAR 3 'COTTON' CLASS TEACHER & Y2/3 PHASE LEADER
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. Consequently, she completed her PGCE at Wandsworth SCITT where she enjoyed working in London’s wonderfully diverse schools. Outside teaching Danae's passion is dancing, which she started at a very young age. Her personal highlight is performing at Disneyland Paris! Danae is delighted to be a member of the team here at the Belham.
NAZIFA KHATUN YEAR 3 'LINEN' CLASS TEACHER
JAMES HARTLEY YEAR 2 'TARTAN' CLASS TEACHER
James grew up in Bristol and studied Graphic Design in Leeds. After 4 years as a professional designer, he realised the office life was not for him and succumbed to the draw to help children succeed. In his 7 years of teaching, James has been fortunate to teach in a variety of creative and diverse schools across east and south London. He is passionate about promoting creativity and open discussion within his classroom and is a keen advocate for P4C (Philosophy for Children). When not educating, he can be found reading about food, cooking food and talking about food with anyone who will listen.
ELIZABETH ARIYIBI YEAR 2 'TARTAN' CLASS SCHOOLS DIRECT TEACHER TRAINEE
KIRSTY DOIG YEAR 2 'CASHMERE' CLASS TEACHER
Kirsty grew up in Newcastle upon Tyne and moved to London to complete her BA in Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. During her degree Kirsty worked with children’s theatre projects and education outreach. A keen interest in special needs provision led to a job as a TA in a special school, and Kirsty continued to teach performing arts whilst studying for a PGCE at UCL's Institute of Education, from which she qualified with specialisms in SEND and music.
ARABELLA LOPEZ JUAN YEAR 1 'LACE' CLASS TEACHER
Arabella holds a Master's degree in Teacher Training specialising in PE. She speaks Catalan and Spanish, and moved to England in 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.
EMMA CHAN YEAR 1 'POPLIN' 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.
MADDY TEE RECEPTION 'DENIM' CLASS TEACHER AND REC/Y1 PHASE LEADER
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'.
LAUREN HOGG RECEPTION 'CALICO' 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.
CLAIRE CONNOR OFFICE MANAGER
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.
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
LOTTIE ATKINS EARLY YEARS PRACTITIONER
Lottie previously worked as an early years practitioner in an outstanding local nursery. Here she found her passion, focusing on the development of the young. Lottie has also worked with older children, volunteering in a local youth club. She brings enthusiasm and dedication to her role at the Belham.
SARAH HOPKINS TEACHING ASSISTANT
AGNIESZKA ROTUSKA-SEKSAF YEAR 6 TEACHING ASSISTANT & SENIOR 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 team, 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.
ALICJA DRABEK YEAR 5 TEACHING ASSISTANT & EARLYBIRDS ASSISTANT
MONIKA KUBIAK YEAR 4 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 3, Monika is a huge fan of Gene Kelly musicals and Umberto Eco novels.
CLAUDINE THOMAS YEAR 4 TEACHING ASSISTANT
ASHLEY MORAN YEAR 4 TEACHING ASSISTANT
LINA HUBALLAH YEAR 4 TEACHING ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
ANGEL CASTILLO YEAR 3 TEACHING ASSISTANT & EARLYBIRDS ASSISTANT
Education has always been a part of Angel's life. Originally from The Philippines, she taught aspiring teachers at university level and set up and taught in pioneering schools and English camps for children before moving to the UK. Angel actively volunteered in learning centres soon after arriving in the UK. Being part of a school brings joy to her as she loves to interact with people while helping them to learn.
JAKE ROBERTS YEAR 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT
VENISHA SAWYERS-RHODEN YEAR 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT
JESSICA THOMPSON YEAR 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT
LARA KOLAWOLE YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT & OWLS COORDINATOR
From an early age Lara has loved caring for children. She trained as a teacher abroad 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!
MARY MELLOR YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT
Mary has worked with children 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.
IWONA MOUSLI YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT
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 6. Iwona loves jazz and plays the accordion in her spare time.
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.
LUCIANA RIBAUDO YEAR 1 & 2 TEACHING ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
SCHNEEDA THORPE YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
Schneeda lives locally and is a dedicated mother of three and also a grandmother. She 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.
SHEALENE ROWE YEAR 1 TEACHING ASSISTANT & OWLS ASSISTANT
SAVINA ANDERSON OWLS COORDINATOR
Savina has always had a passion to work with young people; she is a trained Learning Mentor and worked in a local primary school for over 14 years supporting pupils socially and emotionally within her role. Savina enjoys volunteering at a local music school and with a local steel pan orchestra at the weekends. In her spare time Savina enjoys sharing her love of cooking and movies with her son and husband.
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.
MURUVET CUVALCI EARLYBIRDS ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
Muruvet joined the Belham in 2018. She is a qualified hairdresser and worked in two salons and a clothing shop before taking time off when she became a mother to her two girls, both of whom attend the Belham.
PAM EDWARDS OWLS ASSISTANT
SHARON KING OWLS ASSISTANT
ANGELA GAYLE OWLS ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
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.
LORRAINE DIAMOND OWLS ASSISTANT & MIDDAY SUPERVISOR
CATERING STAFF (MANAGED BY HARRISON CATERING SERVICES)