Meet the SLT
Mr G Burton
Mr G Burton
It was an absolute privilege to be appointed to lead The Wordsley School as Headteacher in September 2020. I am fortunate to work with a fantastic team of staff at our school and in particular, four superb Assistant Headteachers who support me in leading our wonderful school.
I am a northerner ‘born and bred’ and spent the first eighteen years of my life in the town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire. Having studied mathematics at The University of Exeter, I then spent three years teaching in central London, before moving to North Gloucestershire as a Head of Year and then an Assistant Headteacher. In 2012 I moved to a large secondary school in Cheltenham as Deputy Headteacher and then Headteacher, before moving to The Wordsley School in 2020.
I have two daughters aged 10 and 12 who keep me very busy indeed, but when I am afforded some downtime, I am an avid reader and usually have two or three books on the go. I am also a keen sportsman and when I’m not at school can usually be found playing rugby, running or cycling. I have completed four marathons, with my most recent being the London Marathon in 2019. I am an ardent believer in the power of lifelong learning; it is so important that as adults we should role-model our desire and aspiration to learn as much as possible to the pupils whom we see on a daily basis. As such, I am (very slowly!) learning to play the piano. The mistakes, frustration and exasperation that I feel when I am learning are a helpful reminder of the challenges that our pupils face every day when they are acquiring new knowledge and skills.
Above all I believe in kindness and hard work; these are two personal values that I speak with pupils about as much as possible.
Mrs H Griffiths
Deputy Headteacher - Quality of Education (Intent and Impact)
Mrs H Griffiths
I have been a teacher all of my working life, leaving King Edward VI in Stourbridge to take up a teaching degree in Cheltenham at The College of St. Paul and St. Mary, completing most of my teaching practice in Gloucestershire and achieving a BEd (Hons) First Class. I am a mathematician, although not according to my former maths teachers, and initially taught for a number of years in Worcester. I came back to this area briefly in the 1990s to teach at Summerhill, then Crestwood before returning as Head of Maths at my former school in Worcester. Nine years later I returned in 2007 to take up an Assistant Headteacher post at The Wordsley School and completed the ‘Holy Trinity’ of local schools – as a locally born Ashwood Park girl I am immensely proud to teach here and be part of the Wordsley family, having happily attended here as a pupil back in the mid 1980s (although it was known as Buckpool in those days).
I have led on all aspects of school life, from classroom teacher, pastoral lead, curriculum lead to just making a school tick and run well - I am currently enjoying leading our fantastic £6m new build extension and refurbishment and can’t wait for it to open in 2021. I thoroughly enjoy my time here, and I am proud of the way the school reflects our local community and exudes the sense of belonging that pupils and staff have here. It is fantastic to see our pupils leaving school extremely well prepared for life, be that further education or an apprenticeship, and their very varied future working careers.
Out of school I live in Stourbridge, with a family including two grown up children and a Cavachon called Bertie, who I enjoy walking in the woods and countryside, with the odd refreshment break. I have a passion for reading and holidays, and love to spend time in Cyprus and Pembrokeshire, walking on promenades, beaches, cliffs enjoying sun, wind and even rain, and chilling with the latest blockbuster. I enjoy rugby, and with over 10 years as a ‘rugby mom’ on the muddy sidelines, I now prefer the comfort of Twickenham or an arm chair, for a more civilised sporting experience.
Mrs L Parry
Deputy Headteacher - Quality of Education (Implementation)
Mrs L Parry
I’m a ‘local girl’; having grown up in Brockmoor, I attended Brockmoor Primary School. I know the local area really well and am proud of my roots. After leaving school I secured a job in accountancy at Dudley Council. I completed my degree in Business at Wolverhampton University at the age of 24 and decided that it was time to pursue my real passion in life – teaching! For eight years I taught within the adult education sector, supporting the Wordsley community in gaining computer skills and business qualifications. In 2003 I qualified as a teacher of Business and ICT at The Wordsley School and haven’t looked back since. I have held a number of different responsibilities during my time here, and was most proud to play my part in the school securing its specialist status as a Business & Enterprise and Music College.
As Deputy Headteacher I still love being in the classroom and take great pleasure in seeing pupils flourish. With responsibility for Teaching and Learning, I relish the challenge of working with a great team of staff who work tirelessly to provide the highest standards of education to our young people.
Away from school, I have two children, one at university and the other at secondary school. With them both growing up I felt there was room in my life for someone else and so adopted a rescue dog. I now have two and both keep me busy, but I do love walking! I love to read, and when I get chance like nothing better than a good crime thriller.
Mrs K Weatherhogg
Deputy Headteacher - Behaviour & Attitudes
Mrs K Weatherhogg
I was born in Wolverhampton, the oldest of six children. I was the first person in my family to attend university; studying International Studies and Political Science at the University of Birmingham. Following my graduation, I decided that teaching was for me and was appointed as a Teaching Assistant at Pensnett School of Technology. It was there I embarked upon my teacher training and after following the Graduate Teacher Programme, became a fully-fledged teacher of History. During my time at Pensnett, I taught across the Humanities Department. This gave me the knowledge and skills to take up the position of Head of RE at Wordsley in 2006. I have been afforded some amazing opportunities at Wordsley and am proud to have been in post as Assistant Headteacher since 2014.
High standards of pastoral care and behaviour are central to the success of the pupils in any school, so I am delighted to be able to lead on these as my key areas of responsibility. I have no doubt that the strong relationships between pupils and staff are a key contributing factor to our success as a school and feel that this is one of the things that makes Wordsley such a special place.
Outside of school, I am kept very busy being a mum to my two wonderful children Alex and Poppy. Weekends are hectic with sports and different clubs; I love to see the fun and enjoyment that they get out of being active. As a family we love travelling together and visiting places of historical interest (although I feel that my children may not enjoy this quite as much as they get older!)
Mr A Fisher
Assistant Headteacher - Personal Development
Mr A Fisher
I was born in Dudley where I completed my education until I was 18. From an early age I always knew I wanted to teach music and allow others to experience and enjoy all the opportunities I had as a child. I went to The University of Central England and The Birmingham Conservatoire to study for my Bachelor of Education and Music. I’ve taught as a teacher and lecturer of music and music technology at Thorns Community College and Stourbridge College before joining The Wordsley School in 2004. In 2007 I had the privilege of becoming the Curriculum Achievement Leader for music, leading a successful department that has nurtured and inspired a wealth of musicians. Since 2015, I have been a member of the senior leadership team, becoming an Assistant Headteacher from September 2020.
Away from school, I have two children, Amelie and Sebastian, who inspire me each and every day. Amelie is a very keen ballroom dancer and tennis player and Sebastian, being three, is into everything! As a musician, I perform regularly in a band playing lead guitar, with the highlight of performing numerous times for the S.A.S.
My life as a husband, father, teacher and musician is hugely rewarding. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
Ms R Patel
Assistant Headteacher - Quality of Education (Impact)
Ms R Patel
Wolverhampton is my home and the place where I was born, raised, and schooled. I left secondary school with a love of Chemistry and Mathematics so I studied at the University of Sheffield, starting on a Dual Honours degree specialising after my first year to graduate with a Masters in Chemistry. I then completed a PGCE in Secondary Science (Chemistry) at University of Birmingham.
During my twenty-year teaching career I have worked in five different schools in various roles. The opportunity to make a difference to young people whilst sharing my love of learning is a real privilege - that 'light bulb' moment when I am able to help a student to access new learning or develop a new skill continues to be the most rewarding part of my job.
Outside of school, my happy place is on the top of a hill. I was not a sporty child at all but decided to start to face my fears a decade after leaving school. I love scrambling up hills, earning rewarding views and taking time out to stop and stand still. This has led to many adventures including hut to hut hiking in the Pyrenees, walking the length of the Offa's Dyke Path and island-hopping trips around the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland. My newest hobby is indoor climbing and bouldering which is teaching me new skills whilst keeping me active. On a much calmer note, I enjoy regular yoga classes - an essential ingredient in my wellbeing.
Mrs C Lawrie
Associate Assistant Headteacher - SENDCo
Mrs C Lawrie
I was born in Birmingham and moved to Stourbridge when I got married, many years ago. I always wanted to teach and have worked in both the primary and secondary sectors. I came to The Wordsley School (then Buckpool) in 2000 and have held several roles including Literacy Lead and Head of House. I am now the SENCO; a job I love with a passion.
The nurturing side of my role makes it very rewarding, not least because of the positive impact we have on the children in our care. I am also responsible for all our wonderful Teaching Assistants and I am proud of how The Wordsley School has inspired so many of them to go on to be teachers; both at our school and elsewhere.
I have three children, the youngest being nearly 30! When they were younger, we lived in France for several years where we grew our own vegetables, kept chickens and lived as self-sufficiently as possible. This was a fantastic experience allowing us a lot of family time and also for our children to learn another language. We were also privileged to experience a different education system, from which we learned a great deal.
In my spare time I enjoy running, swimming, cooking and reading. We also return to France a lot during the holidays to meet up with old friends and neighbours.
Mrs C Stewardson
School Business Manager
Mrs C Stewardson
Born in London, growing up in Kensal Rise (Queens Park), then moving to the Midlands, Shropshire and finally settling down in Staffordshire. After leaving school, like many others, I was unsure of my career path. I was fortunate to work for my Stepfather within his Architects Practice being educated in business skills whilst my siblings turned to construction (Architect and Contracts Managers).
In 1991, I joined TSB to work within the Banking Sector, firstly business banking with the transition into private retail banking, attaining various qualifications in business banking (CBI) and holding numerous roles over that period.
In 2003, I joined the City of Wolverhampton Council Landlord Services, during their journey to evolve as Wolverhampton Homes, working for Property Services and Corporate Services directorates. Being fortunate to work and lead on an array of services and project management activities from environmental, waste, materials management, governance and business assurance, to name a few. I do believe as individuals we have the ability to carve a career path, education and knowledge create many opportunities, with learning empowering and enriching our lives.
On a personal note, I have a daughter approaching 20, who is currently studying at University. My partner and I are keen on sport especially football; we are Wolves members and attend many local match fixtures. We are fond of the great outdoors enjoy walking and cycling, and I am currently in 'training mode' for the 3 Peaks Yorkshire Challenge for the charity Mind.