Meet the Leadership Team
Linda Wright - Headteacher
My name is Linda Wright and I am the Headteacher at Riddlesden St Mary’s. I joined the team in September 2012 as the Deputy Head and I have always been extremely proud of belonging to an excellent team of staff, despite the challenges we have faced over the years. I was appointed Headteacher in February 2015.
I started teaching in September 2004 and whilst my specialism was Early Years, I have taught across all year groups. In 2008, I became a maths specialist. This was a great opportunity to really get to grips with mathematical development from the Early Years into adulthood. I have always had a love of learning and finding out new things, something we work hard to promote for all children.
I also cherish time spent with my family. I am a mum of two boys. They are both unique in their own way and they certainly keep me on my toes. They are also a daily reminder of how important my work is. Every day is a learning day and it is vital that we create an environment where children can work hard to be the best they can be.
Gail Grant - Deputy Headteacher
I have been the Deputy Headteacher at Riddlesden St. Mary’s since September 2015. I love working here and I am very proud to be part of the Riddlesden St. Mary’s family. My role is very varied and I often find that no two days are the same! My responsibilities include leading on inclusion, which means that I am responsible for ensuring that the needs of our children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities are met and that these children make good progress in their learning. I am also the Designated Safeguarding Lead, which means I am responsible for ensuring that all our children, their families and our staff, feel safe and happy.
The children at Riddlesden St. Mary’s are happy, engaged and enthusiastic learners who work hard and are respectful of each other. I am very proud to work alongside a team of dedicated colleagues who have the welfare, safety and achievement of our children at the heart of everything we do.
Jan Hesselwood - Assistant Head
My teaching career spans over 35 years, in 5 different schools and I moved to Riddlesden St Mary’s in 2011, becoming a part-time Assistant Head in 2014. I love working in this school, where our values and high expectations are at the heart of all we do.
One of my roles is working with Mrs Wright, as I help to support teaching and learning across the school, particularly in Key Stage 2. I liaise with St Mary’s Church, as we are a church school and ensure that we are part of the wider faith community in Keighley. Coordinating collective worship and leading Religious Education are also my responsibilities. Reading is one of my passions and I have recently taken over the role of English leader; I enjoy monitoring the children’s progress in reading and writing as well as looking at ways to inspire them to reach the highest standards (and enjoyment) in this subject.
Lynda Philips - Assistant Head
I began my journey at Riddlesden St Mary's as a teacher in 2013 and I have been one of the Assistant Heads at Riddlesden St Mary's since 2015. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with so many children in that time from Early Years right through to Year 6. I feel honoured to be able to play a part in helping our children grow into confident, resilient learners who tackle challenges head on and strive to be the best they can be.
Deborah Ash - Assistant Head
I started at Riddlesden St Mary's as an NQT in 2012 and I have worked in Early Years ever since. I have taught both Nursery and Reception over the last 6 years. I love working within Early Years as the children are so enthusiastic, inquisitive and keen to learn. You can see so much progress during a child's first few years at school.
This year I am very excited to be taking on the new challenge as the Assistant Head with responsibility for Early Years. I am very fortunate to be part of an amazing team where all members of staff work hard and support each other to ensure our children have the best experience and make huge progress from their starting points.
Another exciting development for school this year is the opening of our 2 Year Old provision, we cannot wait to start our children's learning journeys from such a young age.
Sophie Kyriakides - Teaching and Learning Lead
I have worked at Riddlesden St Mary’s C of E Primary School since 2012 teaching Year 5 and Year 6, as well as leading Maths.
Within my role as the Maths Lead, I have had the privilege of being able to drop into all maths lessons across the school and observe the fun and engaging opportunities that our children are provided with. As an individual who never enjoyed maths in school myself and believed that I ‘couldn’t do it’, I can honestly say maths teaching and learning at Riddlesden St. Mary’s C of E Primary School is different. All children are encouraged to truly believe in themselves and aim as high as possible, the learning and level of challenge is child led and varied and there are a wide range of opportunities for peer work and collaboration.
I am very proud to say I work at Riddlesden St. Mary’s C of E Primary School and hope to play a key role in helping the children of the school succeed for years to come.
Rachel Watmough - Teaching and Learning Lead
I started at Riddlesden St. Mary's as a newly qualified teacher in 2014. I have worked in both Year 1 and Reception. This year I am enjoying the new challenge of working in Nursery. I love working at Riddlesden because there is a real family feel to the school amongst staff, children and families.
Over the last 3 years I have lead Humanities and helped to develop a whole school cross curricular approach to teaching topic. This year I am starting a new role with a teaching and learning responsibility for Early Years. This role involves me taking on projects within Early Years to develop our practice and improve outcomes for children.