Our Teams

George Washington Primary Leadership Team

Ailsa Taylor

I am executive headteacher at Oak Learning Trust. This means I am responsible for strategic development of both of the schools and of the Trust. I am supported in the running of the schools by the Heads of school who have day to day leadership and management responsibility.

I became a teacher after starting out as a scientist and I have never once regretted my career change. Teaching can be a challenging profession but the joy of watching the light go on for someone (adult or child) is different to anything else and the enthusiasm that children bring to school makes every day a little brighter.

I believe everyone should feel safe and happy coming to school and should enjoy themselves while they are there. I am passionate about developing the whole child while ensuring they are prepared to meet the challenges of the next stage of their lives in terms of academic learning.

Laura McArdle

I have worked at George Washington since 2004 when I started as a newly qualified teacher. Over the years, I have taught in a range of year groups and in key stages. I spent a number of years working as English Subject Leader where I was also a lead teacher for Sunderland Local Authority.

After that, I progressed to Assistant Head Teacher where I led Key Stage Two. Following this, I worked as Deputy Head Teacher, which helped me develop my understanding of whole school leadership.

In 2017, I was appointed to the role of Head of School. In my role as Head of School, I am lucky enough to get to know all of the children and their families and this is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. I am delighted to be Head of School at George Washington and am committed to its ongoing success.

Lynn Haggerton

I am the Assistant Head Teacher at George Washington Primary School.  My key areas of responsibility are the EYFS, KS1, PSHE and wellbeing, alongside safeguarding.  I began teaching in 2001, starting my teaching career in a large inner-city primary school in Sunderland.

I then spent seven years as EYFS Manager at a large, multi-cultural infant school, before starting at George Washington Primary School in 2014 in my current role.  To me, engaging pupils and teaching them to love learning is essential.  Through this, we are able to educate children so that they have the essential knowledge, skills and understanding to give them the best start in life!

Bryony Parrish

I am the English, trainee teacher and MFL lead at George Washington. I am delighted to have the chance, every day, to share my love of books and help children to become the best writers they can be- as well as confident mathematicians, sports people, geographers, scientists, engineers and historians!

Currently, I am enjoying teaching my wonderful year 5 class. During the last nine years, I have been lucky enough to teach in year 3, 4 and 6, several times each. 

Susan Wilson

I am the Special Education Needs and Disabilities Coordinator at George Washington Primary School.  I have over 10 years teaching experience as a Class Teacher working with children from Nursery to Year 6, as well as being SENco I have experience of leading Early Years and KS1.

I have always had a passion for ensuring all children regardless of their needs are able to be the best that they can be and becoming SENco was a natural fit for my skills. Within school my role is to support teachers with strategies and plans to support learning. An important part of my role is to liaise and refer with; pupils, parents, other professionals and teachers ensuring that the child accesses provision that is appropriate to their needs. Working closely with SEN children throughout their time at school is a privilege, allowing me see their unique challenges, progress and successes.

Sharon Gould

I am the Maths Subject Lead and member of the governing body of George Washington.  I have been teaching in primary education for nearly 20 years and have taught in both Key Stages, from Y1 to Y6.  As Maths Subject Lead, I have worked collaboratively with my colleagues to develop teaching and learning.  I love teaching Maths and enjoy developing a love of Maths in children.

John F Kennedy Primary Leadership Team

Ailsa Taylor

I am executive headteacher at Oak Learning Trust. This means I am responsible for strategic development of both of the schools and of the Trust. I am supported in the running of the schools by the Heads of school who have day to day leadership and management responsibility.

I became a teacher after starting out as a scientist and I have never once regretted my career change. Teaching can be a challenging profession but the joy of watching the light go on for someone (adult or child) is different to anything else and the enthusiasm that children bring to school makes every day a little brighter.

I believe everyone should feel safe and happy coming to school and should enjoy themselves while they are there. I am passionate about developing the whole child while ensuring they are prepared to meet the challenges of the next stage of their lives in terms of academic learning.

Victoria Mellor

I began my teaching career in 2005 after working for eight years in the private sector as a payroll manager and I joined Oak Learning Trust, as Head of school at John F Kennedy Primary, in September 2017.

Previously, I worked at two schools within a local Multi Academy Trust where I started as class teacher with responsibility for leading maths and the SEN provision. In my final role of Assistant Head Teacher, I gained a wealth of experience in developing teachers, middle leaders, governors and trustees enabling them to successfully fulfil their roles. I was responsible for school improvement planning, the performance management of staff at all levels and I was a deputy designated safeguarding person.

I am using the skills gained throughout my career to lead John F Kennedy Primary School in the next stages of its journey.

Suzanne Quinn

I started my teaching career in the East End of London and spent 13 years there in 3 different schools. During that time I was coordinator for a variety of subjects including ICT, science, DT and pastoral activities as well as being coordinator for individual year groups and Key Stage 2. I then moved abroad and spent 6 years working at the British School in Abu Dhabi where I was team leader for year 6 and then year 3. I have been member of the Senior Leadership Team in all schools.

I joined JFK in 2007 as lower key stage 2 phase leader, teaching in Year 4 with responsibility for ICT and gifted and talented pupils, later becoming the SENCo. Whilst at the school I have been given the opportunity to develop as a teacher and leader. I moved to year 1 taking on the role of key stage 1 phase leader. I am now Deputy Head of School with specific responsibility for Key Stage 1, SEN and assessment and look forward to developing my role further.

Brian Adams

Hi. My name is Brian Adams and I have been teaching since September 1996 within schools in the North East. I was the Music coordinator in my first school, which then evolved over time to also leading in French and Educational Visits. It was also during this time that I became a leading teacher for ICT, with a focus on Whiteboard Technology. This involved training staff across South Tyneside and making resources for the National Whiteboard Network.

Once I started at John F Kennedy, I became the Maths lead across the school and after time the Music lead. My role has now changed within the school, and I still lead in Maths, but I now also mentor all NQTs, RQTs and student placements. I still have a passion for music, which involves not only running the Key Stage 2 choir, but I also facilitate all music within school, and across the trust.

Ryan Knight

I have worked at John F Kennedy Primary School since 2011 when I joined as an NQT. In that time I have been based in Year 6 where I initially worked with a small group of children in English and maths who needed extra support. In the first two years here, I organised the school council and helped facilitate various fundraising days and activities. Then in 2013 I became P.E coordinator in school. This requires me to help support the delivery of P.E and sport across the school, from lessons to clubs and school teams. As part of this I have led whole school CPD aimed at developing the confidence of all staff to deliver effective P.E lessons. At the start of this academic year I have become the leader with the responsibility for Key Stage Two and combine this with my teaching role in Year 6.

Christie Pierce

I graduated from University with a degree in English Literature and began my teaching career at George Washington Primary School in 2014. Whilst at GWPS, I taught Year 2 for three years and was Geography Subject Leader.

In September 2017, I was thrilled to accept the position of English Subject Lead and Year 6 class teacher at John F Kennedy Primary School. I have enjoyed settling into my new school, meeting the parents and families and working with a new staff team. The children are a delight and I am looking forward to developing the reading and writing skills from Nursery to Year 6 and promoting a love for reading.

Lorna Davidson

I am thoroughly enjoying my role of Early Years Lead at JFK Primary School, working with a great Early Years team. I have worked in education for over 20 years, having taught children across all Primary Key Stages. I am an experienced Senior Management Leader and have also worked as a Local Authority Consultant with a focus on Communication, Language and Literacy. I am lucky enough to now have two great roles. One of these roles is as an Education Consultant with an Early Years specialism, supporting schools in their development of teaching and learning to ensure their pupils can reach their full potential. The other role allows me to continue to nurture my love of teaching, together with my interest in the outdoors. As a Level 3 Forest School teacher, I really enjoy supporting pupils as they explore, investigate and develop new skills within the outdoor learning environment.