Staff biographies

Miss Poppy Evans has been with us since 2017, and after her training became a teacher in 2019. She currently teaches our reception children in Cedar Class. Miss Evans is very passionate about the Early Years. As well as being our kind, caring and diligent Cedar Class teacher, she is also an artist. Miss Evans leads art at St Peter’s and enjoys travelling the coast in her campervan, painting as she goes. When Poppy was at school, she was influenced by one of her teachers who made every subject more arty. She also used to love singing worship. If Poppy had one wish, she would get more funding for schools and more toys for the children in school!

Mrs Michaela Jones supports Miss Evans as a TA in Cedar Class. Mrs Jones was a travel agent before joining us. She is very passionate and definitely slightly mad (have you seen her drressing up?!) which the children love.

Mr Pete Greenwood joined Ash Class in September 2022 from a school in Cape Town, South Africa. Previous to that, Mr Greenwood taught in Oxfordshire. He was inspired during his schooling by Mr Dag, who used to play guitar and Bob Dylan songs, which does sound pretty cool! Mr Greenwood loves reading and has a big pile of books next to his bed (he’s just got me back into Terry Pratchett). He is also a sportsman and enjoys watching rugby (especially Gloucester – boo – and Leeds United – double boo!). Mr Greenwood will be leading history at the school, but maths is his favourite subject. If he could have one wish for the school, he would fly all the kids into any country they are studying and help them learn more by experiencing it. Mr Greenwood is very ably assisted by Mrs Claire Hayman (who also loves her rugby) and Mrs Wiltshire (who also loves her rugby!). As a team they meet a wide variety of needs and care deeply for their class.

Mrs Caroline Walshaw is one of our Sycamore class teachers as well as a Senior Leader and Curriculum Lead! Mrs Walshaw’s favourite teacher was Miss Johnson. She was really creative and taught things in interesting ways, plus she read to her everyday, using so much expression that she was sucked into the book with her! Mrs Walshaw is an avid reader. She is part of the Budleigh Literary Festival and has a passion for children’s literature. She has so many favourite books but particularly likes Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Matilda and Monstersaurus. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is her favourite adult book. It is amazing how much Mrs Walshaw does! As well as teaching, she leads Design and Technology. She also acheived a ‘Specialist Leader of Education’ designation which means she trains and advises other teachers and schools. She also oversees the entire St Peter’s curriculum and does a fantastic job of organising, supporting and checking what everyone is teaching. She also runs a brownie group and is Chair of Governors at The Beacon. Wow! Her favourite subject is History and outside of school, she loves to go to National Trust properties with her husband and two children. If she had one wish for schools, it would be a full time teaching assistant for every class – they are worth their weight in gold! Mrs Walshaw is ably assisted by Mrs Sarah Beazer and Mrs Pamela Teed.

Miss Hannah Pantling teaches Oak class Monday to Wednesday and is taking the lead for Geography. She has become a hit with pupils and parents since joining us in September! At her own school, she had an amazing French teacher, Mrs Wardrop, who always made learning fun with lots of silly songs and acting out TV shows in French! Her favourite subject is Geography because of how absolutely fascinating the world is. Miss Pantling’s favourite book is Pride and Prejudice. She loves Jane Austen’s books but this one is her favourite. She has two favourite children’s books: Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book and The Firework-Maker’s Daughter. In her spare time, Miss Pantling enjoys swimming and going for days out with her family, especially to National Trust properties or the beach. If Hannah had one wish for school, she would ask for state-of-the-art buildings and technology! In Oak class, Miss Pantling is ably assisted by Mrs Richards, who loves art and also runs before and after school club. Mrs Richards is a gem – she does pretty much everything around the school, from covering classes, to doing displays!

Mrs Sarah Rose is one of our Sycamore class teachers and the leader of Collective Worship. She also helps to lead RE and is a trained Speech and Language therapist, so we are very lucky to have those skills in school! Her favourite teacher at school, Mrs Jurksaitis, loved reading to her everyday and used lots of funny voices to make stories fun and exciting. Mrs Rose loves teaching Music and Art as it’s great to see children expressing themselves, being imaginative and creative as well as gaining confidence in their abilities. Her favourite book that was read to her often as a very young child was ‘Winnie the Pooh’. Her grandparents lived near Ashdown Forest which was where the stories were set so she was able to visit the actual ‘Hundred Acre Wood’ and play Pooh sticks on the original ‘Pooh Sticks Bridge’ which made the stories come to life. As a child she enjoyed reading ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ and anything by Enid Blyton. The children’s books that she most enjoys reading to her class are ‘Room on the Broom’ and ‘Oi, Frog!’. Now she reads a lot of historical fiction and currently her favourite authors are Kate Morton, Rachel Hore and Lucinda Riley. She enjoys reading books that interweave between the present and the past, that have interesting characters and settings and that tend to have an element of mystery. She feels privileged to live here in Budleigh Salterton having grown up in London and enjoys walking in the beautiful countryside nearby. To relax, she reads, listens to music and cooks. She loves spending time with her three daughters, friends and wider family with whom she enjoys playing board games; her favourite at the moment is Catan. If Mrs Rose had one wish for schools, it would be more funding for children with special educational needs and emotional/behavioural difficulties so that more support could be provided in class in the form of extra teaching assistants and intervention times.

Mrs Laura Walmsley is new to the school this year and we are very lucky to have her. She teaches Beech class and is also our KS2 writing leader. She has lots of literacy experience and is also a lovely, kind teacher. Her favourite teacher at school was her art teacher. She was a real character with a big personality and she encouraged pupils to have their own minds and to be brave with artwork. She took Mrs Walmsley on great trips to lots of different galleries and inspired her to have confidence in her ideas – even when they were a bit mad and unusual! Outside of literacy, Mrs Walmsley loves teaching science because she always learns something that she didn’t know before. It’s a great subject for the children because they have the chance to let their curiosity take the lead and they enjoy the opportunity to investigate and test out their ideas. It’s also lovely to find out who the class experts are and to give them a chance to shine. In her spare time, Mrs Walmsley has two young girls who keep her very busy. They love dancing, cooking and gardening and spend lots of time with family and friends. Her husband is from Devon so he enjoys trips to Dartmoor and beautiful beaches. The family often resist going because they love to be cosy but they always enjoy it when they get there! One wish for education? Mrs Walmsley wishes that schools had more funding to develop and enhance their outdoor spaces. She thinks the play equipment at St Peter’s is incredible and can see how it supports the children’s health, relationships and happiness. She wishes every school had the same and more! There are lots of children across the country who don’t get the chance to visit parks and beautiful spaces regularly and it would make a massive impact on their wellbeing, both now and as adults, if they were able to access and take care of amazing spaces every day at school.

Mrs Deb Morrish is one of our amazing TA’s and one half of our BASC teachers! Mrs Morrish has been happily married to her husband, Nick, forever! She has two grown up children; a son, Keelan, and a daughter, Amber, that are her everything. She is a Nanma to an extremely precious granddaughter, Figgy, and a soon to be baby grandson. Her hobbies are mainly arts and craft based followed by drinking lots of earl grey tea and munching dried mango! Her favourite teacher when she was at St Peter’s school (many moons ago!) was a teacher called Mr Rogers. He was as mad as they come, always thinking outside the box, making learning fun and exciting. Mrs Morrish adores working in school and has done for many years. She jumped at the chance to support BASC as by doing so, she could provide a caring, loving, homely environment allowing carers the opportunity to work, rest or play while she plays and supervises their little people! She loves spending time with the children, listening to them read, helping them with activities and just generally having fun. She says it is such a joy to see each child coming through the school growing into their potential. If Mrs Morrish could have one wish for education…it would be that we would have enough money to provide a five star learning and developing curiosity for each and every child in a magical way!

Mrs Helen Richards is one of our HLTA’s and she also runs our BASC with Mrs Morrish. Her favourite teacher at primary school was Mr Mears. He was her year six teacher who was very funny and liked to crack jokes! He was also good at teaching maths. Mrs Richards’ favourite activities at BASC are anything to do with arts and crafts. She also likes to see the children enjoying themselves, playing together and generally having fun. In her spare time, she loves to make things either by knitting or crocheting. It gives her an excuse to sit down! If she had one wish for education, it would be to ensure better funding for schools to hae adequate resources to develop children’s learning. She would also love more art resources as well to develop children’s creativity!

Mrs Carrie-Anne Force is one of our longest serving teachers in the school. She is one of our senior teachers, leading reading and phonics – and supporting lots in KS1! Her favourite teacher was Mr Owen, the Head Teacher from her primary school in Swindon. He was very jolly and would call her ‘Smiler’. He also had the patience of a saint, particularly when at the age of seven, Mrs Force decided to change her name to Melody and refused to answer to her correct name for at least a week! He would also give out smarties in assembly when it was someone’s birthday, so he was very popular! Her favourite subject to teach is literacy, but history comes a close second because she enjoys learning about historical events. Mrs Force is good in a pub quiz! In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the countryside with Mr Force and their dogs, and she is trying to improve her confidence with mountain biking. In September, she started to take piano lessons and she loves to relax with a Jodi Picoult book. Her favourite thing of all is beating Mr Force at cards. If she had one wish for education, it would be smaller class sizes and the abolishment of unnecessary testing.

Mrs Esther Rowe is our class teacher in Chestnut, covering for Miss Back who is on maternity leave. Mrs Rowe’s favourite teacher at school was her Year 3/4 teacher, Mrs Percy, who always made newspapers on a Friday and she loved doing this! There would be different departments of the paper and Mrs Rowe loved being on the games team creating crosswords or making the week’s competitions for the paper. Her favourite subject to teach is probably science even though it was one of her least favourite at school, which makes her more determined to make it fun! She loves it when the children really get into thinking about investigations and are able to really find things out for themselves. Mrs Rowe says it is so hard to narrow her favourite book down to just one but it would probably have to be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. One of her favourite children’s books is Varjak Paw by S.F. Said, so she was really pleased to see that Chestnut class were in the middle of reading it when she joined! Her favourite thing to do in her spare time is to go to the beach. After moving down here from London two years ago, she feels so privileged to have it on the doorstep! She swims in the sea every week, has just started beach yoga again and she loves being on the beach with her children. Her one wish for school would be to get the proper funding that schools so badly need for resources, buildings, more support staff and the list goes on…

Mrs Rose Barahona is our year 6 teacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCo). At secondary school, Mr Jackson was her favourite teacher. He was the theatre technician and always encouraged her to think outside the box and supported her in solving problems on her own. He never let her give up because she was too scared to do something, but gave her the tools and courage to succeed.

Mrs B loves to teach art! Her favourite adult book is the ‘The Court of the Air’ series and her favourite children’s book is the ‘Darren Shan’ series.

Mrs B loves games! She enjoys games nights with her husband and friends and pursuing new hobbies like learning the piano or how to crochet.

Her one wish for school? Smaller class sizes and to stop unnecessary testing.

Miss Emily ShepherdWho was your favourite teacher at school and why? Miss Kelly! She was my secondary school History teacher and she originally terrified me. Over the years as the class got to know her we realised how kind and funny she was. She always wanted us to achieve the most we could achieve and it felt like she truly cared for us as individuals. Favourite subject to teach? Literacy. I love teaching the early stages of writing and seeing the children take ownership of their own ideas as we work through the units of work. It is really exciting seeing the children realise they can share their ideas with other people through writing. Favourite child book? Harry Potter! I love reading Harry Potter books even as an adult and have loved watching my own daughter enjoy the series. Favourite thing to do in spare time? I am always keen to spend time on the beach. Come rain or shine we try to get to the beach most days. I love watching the sea and how it changes. My favourite days in the winter are stormy days where the sea is rough. If you had one wish for school, what would you grant? Smaller class sizes so that I can spend more time with every child I work with.

Mr Robin MurrayWho was your favourite teacher at school and why? Mr Murray’s favourite teacher at school was his geography teacher, Mr Eynon. He was able to teach the subject content in an engaging and fun way. Favourite subject to teach? Mr Murray loves to teach History. He thinks we can learn so much from the past and it is great to see how much the children engage with the lessons. Favourite adult book?Any sports autobiography. Favourite child book? Harry Potter. Favourite thing to do in your spare time? Mr Murray loves to spend time with his family. He loves days out to places where there are animals such as the aquarium or Longleat. He also enjoys playing golf, but not so much in the winter as it is too cold! Mr Murray is a scratch golfer, so he is very good! If you had one wish for school, what would you grant? He would want smaller class sizes so that he can spend more time working with each individual child.

Miss Molly Pritchard – Miss Pritchard’s favourite teacher at school was Mr Parsons. He was a music teacher and was very passionate about his subject. He always brought fun and drama to lessons and even carried a tiny water pistol in his jacket pocket which he found very funny to use! Miss Pritchard’s favourite lesson to teach is Maths because of how it links in so many ways. When children realise this and everything clicks into place, she thinks it is amazing to see. She loves the book ‘Can You See Me?’ by Libby Scott. This book technically isn’t an adult book but Miss Pritchard read it as an adult and thinks all adults should read it. It is a book when an 11 year old writes diary entries about their experiences of autism. Definitely give it a read! As a child, Miss Pritchard loved reading the Heidi books by Johanna Spyri as living in the Swiss Alps sounded so blissful. Miss Pritchard loves being outdoors and going for walks. She is always up for eating out with friends and chatting all afternoon. Miss Pritchard returned from maternity leave in January and is Mum to an almost 1 year old. Her most favourite thing to do is have family time with her little boy who loves to play and climb. If Miss Pritchard had one wish for school, it would be for smaller class sizes so that she could spend more time with each child.

Ms Jemima Moore – Ms Moore’s favourite teacher was Miss Bronwen Wills who taught her when she was in year four. She loved her so much that she even called her cat Bronwen after her! Miss Wills was very kind and did lots of fun, hands-on activities. Ms Moore particularly enjoyed learning about which materials would biodegrade by burying them and digging them up months later. Ms Moore loves to teach in the Early Years and supporting children’s learning and development through play. She has a specialism in Early Years Education but has taught across key stages during her sixteen years at St Peter’s. Her favourite primary subject to teach is science because of the opportunities to ask questions, test them and experiment. Ms Moore has just finished reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haigh and liked how it encouraged reflection on the choices that we make; what we prioritise and how we choose to live our lives. When Ms Moore was a child, her favourite book was a story called Half Magic by Edward Eager. The idea of a magic coin that could grant wishes, really captured her imagination. In recent years, Ross Welford’s children’s fiction has become a favourite. She likes how he combines information about science and history into his stories and particularly enjoyed Into The Sideways World which is about a parallel world where action was taken to protect the environment when it was first realised that human activity was a having an impact. Ms Moore has two sons who are nine and twelve and spends her spare time adventuring and exploring with them and her husband. They love camping, backpacking and spending time on Dartmoor or near the sea. She also loves to spend time with friends and enjoys board games, comedy, quizzes, escape rooms, dancing and has recently been learning needle felting. Ms Moore loves the Foundation Stage curriculum because of the focus on learning through play and would wish for curriculum changes so that all primary teaching could be more play based, practical and purposeful with more outdoor and active learning and greater opportunities for children to follow their own interests.

Mrs Janet Lewis teaches in Willow (Mon/Tues AM) and Beech (Fri). Her favourite teacher at school was the wonderful Mrs Hewitt who taught History and Economics. She was kind, brought historical stories to life and had an in-depth knowledge about current events in economics too, which led to some interesting discussions. Mrs Lewis’s favourite subject to teach is History and Geography. Both are fascinating subjects where we can learn about the past and study what is happening in the world around us. Mrs Lewis’s favourite adult book is The Circle by Maggie Shipstead and her favourite children’s book is The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Mrs Lewis spends most of her time with her family either: watching, taxiing and encouraging her three children in many sport activities; or walking Rufus, their springer spaniel. She also enjoys yoga, sailing and last night joined the Budleigh Ladies Cricket training session. Please don’t laugh at her batting! If Mrs Lewis had one wish for schools she would wish for new classrooms to be built, for every class to have a well ventilated, well resouced and spacious area where everyone can focus on their learning in comfort. She would also build a muga (multi use games area) for all weather sports and perhaps a new music hall to replace the science garden shed.

St Peter's C of E Primary School

Moor Lane, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 6QF

01395 443167

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