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National Teaching School

Our SLE's

Our SLEs


Our SLEs are a high calibre team of professionals who support our teaching school to carry out its essential work in school improvement, CPD and ITT.   Thanks to their outstanding expertise, we are able therefore to offer peer support, staff training, CPD training and school to school support in the following areas:



Early Years


ITT & NQT Development

Leadership of CPD

Leadership of Curriculum





Our SLEs:


Antoni Biedka


Experience: Currently an Assistant Headteacher at Holy Family, a ‘Good’ school in Armley, which has outstanding mathematics and reading results in both KS1 and KS2. Senior leadership responsibilities have included performance management of colleagues, leading curriculum, key stage leader, maths, data analysis, assessment and mentoring of School Direct students. I have worked with local schools and supported them with data analysis, implementing the new mathematics curriculum and the development of effective marking. I have taught in both Key Stages and am aware of the current high expectations and how they can be achieved. Recently I have had the opportunity to be an Acting Deputy Headteacher.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Giving every child the opportunity to be the best they can in a creative and fun way. I want children to be excited about learning and to become independent learners so that they can achieve in the future.



Rachel Capaldi


Experience: Currently an Early Years Leader at St Anthony's, an outstanding and National Teaching School in Beeston. I completed my NPQML award in 2017 and am currently working towards an MA in Education. I have experience working in Early Years across Bradford, Leeds and North Yorkshire LAs working in a variety of different schools. Whilst working in North Yorkshire I was also designated as an Early Years Lead Teacher for the Local Authority, leading school-to-school support with allocated schools and running an Early Years network for local schools and preschool settings. I also have experience mentoring student teachers and newly qualified teachers in addition to leading initial teacher training sessions for both School Direct trainees and trainees at York St John University. 


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Getting to know every child in my class as an individual, learning about their personalities and watching them grow and develop over the course of their first year at school. 


Rebecca Gascoigne


Experience: Currently an Assistant Head Teacher at Robin Hood Primary School in a ‘Good’ school in Leeds where I have taught in Upper Key Stage Two for nine years. Senior Leadership responsibilities include Upper Key Stage Two Phase Leader and Maths Leader. From 2015-2017, I was trained by the NCETM to become a Primary Mastery Specialist and was awarded NCETM Professional Development Accredited Lead. My Mastery Specialist role allowed me to work with, and support, six schools in the area by facilitating an extensive range of professional development opportunities and training to improve standards in maths with the maths leaders of the participating schools. I was also involved with writing the most White Rose Maths schemes which are used by teachers across the country to support the planning of an effective mastery curriculum.  


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

I enjoy developing effective relationships with fellow professionals so, collectively, leaders and teachers can hone their skills, share and harness the best resources to improve the learning experiences of all children.  I seek to inspire and influence others, within and beyond my own school setting, so that education can be improved and all children are exposed to innovative and inspiring experiences which will equip them with a positive mind set and the tools necessary to reach their dreams and aspirations.


Gemma Martin


Experience: Currently the Assistant Headteacher at Rothwell St. Mary’s and over her time there she has taught across the full Primary Age Range and has responsibilities linking to ITT, Child Protection, English Leadership and behaviour management. She is also the EYFS Lead Mentor on the School Direct Programme for the St. Anthony’s Teaching School.  Gemma has Outstanding Ofsted experience and a range of practical Moderation experiences, spanning from EYFS to Year Six. English is her main focus and she is now teaching English at a focused level to Y6 children with the aim of improving standards and ensuring High School readiness. She is an SLE within the fields of both Teaching & Learning and Writing.


Clair McFadden


Experience: Currently an Assistant Headteacher at St. Anthony’s, an outstanding and National Teaching School in Beeston, Leeds. Presently, completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring. Senior leadership responsibilities have included leading English throughout the school, Science, SEND, performance management of support staff, NQT mentor and lead mentor for School Direct ITT programme. Has also lead a whole school initiative for Stephen Lawrence Chartermark. Has also offered extensive and effective school to school support in the areas of developing leadership, curriculum planning, whole school reading and writing, with a specialism in ITT and NQT development to schools in special measures, RI and Good categories.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Improving outcomes whilst ensuring that the child remains at the heart of everything I do –whether teaching in a class or working with colleagues to ensure success for all


Kirsty McGrath


Experience: Currently Assistant Head Teacher at St Philips Catholic Primary School and Nursery in Middleton South Leeds. Senior leadership responsibilities have included coordination and assessment of Early Years and Key Stage One, leading on Physical Education, Healthy School and Whole School Food responsibility, leading our School Council and Friends of St Philips Parent group, mentoring colleagues new to EYFS/KS1 including NQTs. I have experience of working in 2 different authorities Leeds and Bradford, within 3 contrasting schools. I have taught numerous year groups during my 8 years of teaching ranging from Nursery up to Year Two.


What do you enjoy most about your teaching profession?

Providing opportunities for all children to have fun learning where they thrive to do their very best through active and creative learning. Working together with other colleagues to make positive changes that would impact on the overall outcomes for pupils.


Hannah Nicholson


Experience: Currently the Year 6 class teacher and SENCO at St. Anthony’s, an outstanding and National Teaching School in Beeston. Completed the National Award for Special Educational Needs Co-ordination in 2013. Leadership responsibilities have included: analysing SEND and PP progress and attainment, producing SEND and PP reports for governors, managing the Inclusion, Health and Well-being team within school and leading the curriculum area of music. Has also offered school to school support in the areas of developing: Special Educational Needs, Pupil Premium provision, Planning, Key Stage Two writing and reading. Has delivered extensive School to School Support to KS2 in Goole over an 18 month period with resulting praise from HMI.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

The moment when a child understands a concept they have struggled to comprehend and a smile of immense pride appears on their face.


Alison Reddiex


Experience: I am an Early Years teacher at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School, an outstanding school in Wetherby. My Early Years teaching spans 15 years in different contexts, including leading teaching and learning across EYFS (0-5) in Children’s Centres in Seacroft, Leeds. I have reflected upon and developed transition arrangements within EYFS and supported developments in our current practice. I have been responsible for quality assurance, data tracking, disseminating training and reporting to the SLT.  


My involvement in ‘Every Child A Talker’ fuelled my commitment to developing all children’s language skills, to enable them to become confident and effective communicators.

I have subject leadership responsibility for PSHE, which is informed by my whole-child approach and lead on the Emotional Literacy agenda.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

It is a privilege to be a child’s first teacher and observe the magic of their learning as they develop new concepts and ideas within an exciting, nurturing environment. Making a positive impact on children’s well-being and development is vital, to ensure that they feel like a successful learner, at the very start of their learning journey through school.


Helen Rees


Experience: Currently a Deputy Headteacher at Holy Family Catholic Primary School Armley. Senior leadership responsibilities include SENDco, intervention manager, pupil premium, EAL Foundation stage and Key stage 1 leader, PSHE, mentoring of NQTs and students, performance management of colleagues, monitoring teaching and learning alongside other senior leaders. Delivers the SEND/Intervention/EAL training for NQTs in the Compass partnership and the local family of schools. Coordinates the SENDco meetings in the Compass partnership and in the past has been the secretary of the Catholic Deputies meetings. Recently has had the opportunity to spend almost 2 terms as acting Headteacher.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Providing all children nurture and education to grow and develop into their own unique person. Seeing children reach their aspirations and in turn create new ones.


Seanna Sweeney


Experience: Currently an Early Years Foundation Stage Leader at St. Mary's, an outstanding school in Rothwell. Leadership responsibilities include leading Maths and R.E as part of a subject leadership team. Has also lead whole school initiatives for creative approaches to learning. Has also offered a range of school to school support predominantly in Early Years leadership working with Foundation Stage leaders and their teams across two LEAs. Has proven success with improving the learning environment and outcomes for EYFS, as shown in HMI visits. Has also offered support across Key Stage One in teaching and learning, developing the learning environment, moderation and phonics.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Sharing an enthusiasm and love of learning; watching children and adults around you thrive and achieve their true potential. Supporting others in developing this ethos in their own setting.


Jennifer Sweeting


Experience: Currently a teacher at St. Anthony’s with experience in EYFS, KS1 and LKS2, working within an outstanding and National Teaching School in Beeston, Leeds. Presently leader in Science having led the school to Silver in the Primary Science Quality Mark. Senior leadership responsibilities have included leading Phonics throughout the school, Science, and mentor for ITT programmes with LTAS. Has also offered school to school support in the areas of developing KS2 expertise to raise quality of teaching and learning to a range of schools in RI and Good categories.


Hannah Taylor


Experience: Currently  Assistant Leader of Learning at St Anthony's Primary School, has previously been Deputy Head teacher and Acting Head Teacher (2 days a week) at my previous school.  Main Leadership responsibilities have included Maths, RE, Assessment, Safeguarding Designated Teacher and KS2 as well as co-teaching the Y6 class.  I have taught in all classes from Y2 to Y6 and over 15 years have supported a number of ITT students, NQTs, teachers and subject leaders.  Previously a Maths leading teacher/subject leader and have had experience delivering workshops at conferences on creative maths, outdoor learning and reasoning/problem solving. I have completed the NCETM CPD qualification and have recently achieved the NPQH. 


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Being able to inspire, motivate, support and encourage children and adults and watching them progress throughout the year.  I love to see the moment when the children (and adults) realise their success and this motivates them to continue learning. 



Jayne Ward


Experience: Currently Deputy Headteacher, SENCo and Year 6 at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, an outstanding school in Wetherby. Senior leadership responsibilities have included leading English leader, assessment leader, teaching and learning responsibilities, safeguarding, school based tutor, NQT mentor, performance management of teachers and teaching assistants. Has also supported Year 6 teachers and senior leaders as part of school to school support in the areas of assessment, teaching and learning, writing, guided reading and maths.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

I love making a difference to teaching and learning for all the children in my class, throughout school and across schools through school to school support. I feel enormous pride when I connect with a child to motivate them to achieve their very best when they have previously struggled. I feel the same pride when I can offer support by sharing good practice with other professionals who may need help too.


Laura Wharton


Experience: Currently a Religious Education Leader and experienced Year 6 class teacher at Holy Family, a ‘Good’ school in Armley. I have worked with cluster schools and supported them with Year 6 moderation, implementing the new curriculum and shared good practice in Religious Education and ideas for the development of Collective Worship across school. I have taught Upper Key Stage 2 and am aware of the current high expectations and how they can be achieved through analysis and targeted interventions.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession?

Sharing an enthusiasm and love of learning, especially when creating new and innovative ways for children to reach their full potential. The moment when a child has struggled to understand a concept and you see that light bulb turn on fills me with pride.



Ian Whittle


Experience: I am currently Deputy Headteacher at St Anthony's Catholic Primary School and Deputy of St Anthony's Teaching School Alliance. My senior leadership responsibilities include staff performance management, managing whole school curriculum, leading whole school assessment and mentoring undergraduate teacher training students. I am also a subject coordinator for Religious Education and Physical Education. Over a number of years, I have helped to develop middle leadership roles, assessment, behaviour and the teaching of mathematics - areas in which I am particularly passionate.


What do you enjoy most about the teaching profession: "I am passionate about ensuring each and every child fulfils their true potential in every aspect of life. I enjoy attempting to achieve this every day in the classroom or helping other staff achieve this through effective coaching and support."


If you would like information on becoming an SLE, require more information about the scheme in general or would like to deploy an SLE, please contact out Teaching School PA, Andrew Bove:



tel:      0113 2776944