On this page you can find out more about our teaching staff, their roles, backgrounds, experience and what drives them. Click here to see their qualifications and contact details.
Mrs Jenny Clough (Interim Principal)
Mrs Clough was first involved with the School when she worked with the Founders on the submission to the DFE prior to the School opening, and then as a Governor until 2015. She has been head of three all-through schools including a high achieving girls’ school in Portsmouth and a large coed school in Buckinghamshire. She is a champion of the all-through model and the importance of the co-curriculum offer.
Although a graduate of biological sciences, she is just as passionate about art, and will escape to the sea and her garden when the opportunity arises.
Sian Williams (Head of Secondary/Deputy Principal)
Mrs Williams is one of our founding teachers joining us when we opened in 2013, as Director of Teaching and Learning. She has taught in high achieving schools with academic rigour as well as inner city schools, with their own educational issues. Mrs Williams currently holds the post of Head of Secondary and Deputy Principal. She has taken on the role of pastoral care across the secondary phase and along with her other responsibilities, continues to teach English. She is an enormous advocate of the Performing Arts and we still cannot stop her getting involved in our school productions or organising the school’s annual ski trip.
Mr Luke Hanna (Head of Primary)
Mr Hanna and has been a school leader for the past 13 years, most recently as Headteacher of a large junior school in Portsmouth, previously as Headteacher of a successful school in West Sussex after spending many years as a Deputy Head and class teacher. He has experience of developing creative curricula, improving teaching and learning, and pushing forward standards; expanding the range of provision on offer for pupils.
After growing up in West Sussex, he completed a degree in science and has a passion for computing and the arts, Mr Hanna hopes to use his range of experience to build upon the excellent foundations that Chichester Free School offers.
Clare Dolan (Assistant Head, i/c Teaching and Learning)
Miss Dolan was Head of Mathematics at her previous school and became an Advanced Skills Teacher in 2007.
She has supported different schools in Hampshire to improve their teaching and examination results.
She has experience teaching Mathematics and Science in middle and secondary schools and has brought her passion for both subjects with her to Chichester Free School.
Louise New (Assistant Head i/c Pupil Progress and Attainment)
Mrs New has been at the Free School since 2014, and was our first Head of English. She is now a member of the Senior Leadership Team and focuses on pupil progress and attainment throughout the Secondary School. Alongside her work in this area Mrs New also runs the GCSE Options process and organises the secondary timetable with Miss Dolan. All of her work is driven by her passion and belief that every child should be fully supported in achieving or exceeding their potential in all areas of the curriculum.
Prior to joining the Free School, Mrs New worked in an outstanding academy in Hampshire as Head of English and supported local schools to improve their English GCSE results. During her 12 years of teaching, teaching in York, the Midlands and now on the South Coast, she has also been responsible for NQT provision and taught a variety of other subjects including Theatre Studies and Film Studies up to A-Level.
Mrs New is a keen animal lover, whose highlight of the week is when Leonard, our Pets as Therapy Dog, comes to visit!
Annette Thompson (Deputy Head, Primary)
Mrs Thompson has been teaching for many years in different parts of the country. She has experience of working in outstanding schools as well as supporting changes to teaching and learning and curriculum provision in underperforming schools.
Mrs Thompson’s last seven years have been spent in senior leadership experiencing different roles including leading on teaching and learning, KS1/EYFS lead, Assistant head and Deputy Head.
Cathryn Halton (Assistant Head, SENCO)
Mrs Halton studied Theology and Religious Studies as well as Mathematics and Science at Roehampton Institute of Higher Education. She comes from an outstanding school in Swindon where she has been a class teacher for 14 years and SENCO for the past 11 years.
Mrs Halton has worked for the Local Authority as an Associate Area SENCO, supporting other SENCOs in pre-school settings.
She is committed to supporting children with SEN in mainstream settings.
Miss Rachel Crebbin (Head of Modern Foreign Languages)
Miss Crebbin read European Studies at the University of Southampton in Britain and the University of Strasbourg in France. She has worked in West Sussex schools for 20 years following her PGCE in MFL and enjoys bringing a variety of learning experiences to students both in and out of the classroom. Miss Crebbin is enthusiastic about all kinds of language and cultural experience and particularly enjoys reading, sailing and travel.
Mr Steven Day (Head of PE)
After completing his BA (Hons) in Physical Education and his teaching qualification at Chichester University Mr Day started his teaching career at a Primary School where he was not only a Year 6 teacher but quickly became Subject Leader in PE. Mr Day then returned to his discipline of Secondary Teaching at a new Free School in Richmond where he was one of the founding teachers. Here he quickly progressed to become Head of the PE Department. Chichester Free School inspired Mr Day to return to his roots in West Sussex where he is also Head of the PE Department.
Mr Day has a passion for cricket and swimming, where he is a fully qualified Swimming Instructor. This has also led to Mr Day being accomplished long boarder (surfer). He is also a keen DIYer.
Ms Lynda Elmes (Head of English)
For the past fifteen years, Ms Elmes has taught English, Film and Media. She has been responsible for KS4 English and English Literature as Second in Department; she has also led A Level English Literature and worked as a middle leader in pastoral teams.
She grew up in Brighton, gaining her BA Hons and Master’s degrees in English Literature from The University of Sussex. After working as a painter and decorator, and later as a pastry chef, she returned to Sussex University to complete a PGCE.
Her over-riding passion is for Literature and she is keen to share her love of novels, plays, poetry and film. Her other creative interests are all things culinary; allotmenteering; amateur interior design and building brick walls.
Richard Corser (Lead Teacher for Design and Technology)
Mr Corser had been teaching for 24 years, working in a variety of secondary and junior schools with a range of responsibilities that include Assistant Head of Year, Head of Department, Lead Teacher for Gifted and Talented Students, Teaching School Alliance Analyst and Assistant Headteacher.
Mr Corser developed his passion for teaching Design and Technology during his studies to become a teacher at Plymouth Marjon University, attaining a Bachelor of Education with Honours in Design Technology. He has much experience in developing young designers through graphic products, resistant materials, food technology and textiles with a love of creative metalworking. He embodies in his work the belief of curiosity and creativity are tools of an innovator; grit, social intelligence and humility are strengths of a leader. Developing innovative leaders is his vision of learning.
Outside of the classroom, Mr Corser is deeply connected to the sea and is involved in a wide spectrum of water sports and instructing activities with his local sailing club.
Mrs Sarah Agate (MFL Teacher)
Mrs Agate studied Philosophy at the University of La Sorbonne in Paris; after graduating she moved to England and completed her PGCE in Languages at King’s College London in 1998. Mrs Agate is an experienced teacher of French from Primary to University level. She has also taught German and Spanish at Key Stage 3.
Having lived in different countries and in the French West Indies she would like to share with the students at Chichester Free School her passion for languages, travel and learning about different cultures.
Her hobbies include cycling, scuba diving, skiing, reading, hiking and obviously travelling abroad!
Rob Angell (Humanities)
Mr Angell studied Geography and Exercise & Health at Oxford Brookes University. Previous to his current role as a p/t Humanities teacher, he held the position of Assistant Head for Pastoral at CFS. For those days where Rob is not working for the school, he is travelling nationally for Live-n-Learn, delivering motivational workshops to help schools and young people cultivate positive mindsets, build resilience and improve their emotional wellbeing.
Jessica Bentley (Humanities & Head of Noctua House)
Miss Bentley joins the Humanities department having worked at a TeachFirst School in Birmingham for the last couple of years. Prior to this she attended the University of Warwick studying history.
She is a local girl herself, having attended Bishop Luffa Church of England School. Miss Bentley is passionate about her subject and hopes to bring this passion and enthusiasm to Chichester Free School.
She has been lucky enough to live in Zambia and study at the University of South Carolina and is looking forward to sharing much of what she has learnt with the pupils.
Mrs Gemma Clark (Humanities Teacher)
Mrs Clark read Theology at Chichester University, followed by a PGCE at the same University. Her experience of teaching in a variety of schools and exploring different pedagogies in her teaching practice led to consistently exceptional exam results in her previous school. Mrs Clark brings her creative energy for teaching, her passion and her drive to see the pupils of Chichester Free School thrive in Religious Studies. Outside of school, Mrs Clark is deeply interested in ancient British history, folklore and superstitions surrounding British culture.
Mr Matthew Crompton (Maths Teacher)
Mr Crompton has been teaching since 1992. He has worked in several schools in Hampshire and the West Midlands including a spell as Head of Mathematics. He enjoys pushing students to reach their full potential at GCSE and has taught FSMQ (introduction to A Level Maths). He has worked for the Civil Service in London, Manchester and Bradford.
Originally from South West London his hobbies include following AFC Wimbledon, cinema, VW Campervans and swimming. Mr Crompton has been a Vegetarian since 1982.
Christine Devereaux (Art teacher)
Mrs Devereaux studied Art and Social Context at UWE Bristol, before completing her teacher training at Canterbury Christchurch College.
Previous to joining Chichester Free School she taught in a city school leading a successful Art department and has experience of teaching Art, Fine Art and Textiles whilst overseeing Graphics and Photography.
Mrs Devereaux is passionate about creativity and believes strongly in the importance of Art and Design and its ability to give pupils the skills and confidence to respond to and express ideas about themselves and the world around them.
Colin Eayrs (Second in Charge, Maths)
Mr Eayrs is from the local area recently retrained as a teacher of mathematics. He has extensive experience as an area manager in a variety of industries including security and telecoms.
He retrained to be a driving instructor before completing his degree in Maths and Education to become a teacher.
His hobbies include reading anything, following Portsmouth FC and squash.
Nathalie el Raïani (MFL)
Miss el Raïani studied History of Art at the University of Paris X – France, before completing an Erasmus exchange with University College London.
After graduation she worked for the French Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, and as a Marketing Manager for a HK based UK Law firm. On her return to the UK with her family, Miss el Raïani started teaching French, and gained her PGCE in MFL Secondary from Chichester University.
Miss el Raïani is experienced teaching French and Spanish across all ages and Key Stages in State and Independent sectors.
Neil Gregory-Reader (Drama Teacher i/c)
Mr Gregory-Reader came to be teaching a little later in life and initially worked in small-scale touring theatre as both an actor and director.
Following work for an educational charity and spending some time teaching French students English and Drama, he took his PGCE and has now been teaching for nearly twenty years, ten of which as Head of Department.
He maintains his passion for acting through his involvement with local amateur drama, has a keen interest in medieval history, is particularly fond of Jacobean theatre and may be briefly glimpsed in the background of several of The Ruth Rendell Mysteries.
Mrs Kim Hudson (Maths Teacher)
Mrs Hudson gained her BA(Hons) degree with QTS, and later a Postgraduate diploma at Chichester University, holding qualifications that make her a specialist in Primary/Secondary transition.
She has taught in a number of local secondary schools as a classroom teacher and as a Second in Department. Mrs Hudson was also Course Tutor for the PGCE Primary (flexible route) and was involved with the MASK project at the University of Chichester where she played a lead role in auditing the subject knowledge of trainee teachers throughout Hampshire and West Sussex. This has helped her to develop a keen awareness of the common misconceptions in mathematics and the required teaching strategies that need to be used to overcome these potential barriers to learning.
Amy Kinally (Art)
Amy recently retrained to become a visual arts teacher having had a career within the design industry. She initially attended Art college at Weston Super Mare, followed by a BA Hons in Fashion Promotions at Southampton.
Having had a career in Fashion forecasting, and designing childrenswear, followed by running her own business for 11 years, she believes strongly in teaching children how to become creative thinkers and opening their minds to the thousands of creative careers available to them. Amy strongly believes that Art offers students the opportunity to develop skills and understanding that can be applied to many areas of life.
Ms Vivien Mace (Maths Teacher)
Ms Mace enjoyed running charter yachts in the Caribbean before moving back to the UK and training to be a teacher at the University of Chichester. She combines a passion for maths with extensive experience of supporting children with SEN.
When she is not in the classroom, Ms Mace is to be found outdoors; sailing, kayaking, cycling or running with her dog in the South Downs.
Miroslav Makarov (Maths Teacher)
Mr Makarov is originally from the Czech Republic, where he gained his Masters degree in teaching Physical Education and Psychology. Previous to joining Chichester Free School he worked for several years as a Teaching Assistant, Cover Teacher and as a Maths Tutor in the UK and one year as a Physical Education Teacher in the Czech Republic.
His passion for teaching comes from a passion for learning, exploring and contributing to the people around him. His hobbies are sport, technology and exploring. His favourite movie line is “I’ll be back” and favourite movie is Braveheart.
Hannah Messenger (Physical Education & Head of Pegasus House)
Miss Messenger is one of our Physical Education teachers.
After growing up in Kent, she went on to attain a First Class Honours degree in Physical Education and Teaching (QTS) at the University of Chichester and is delighted to join the teaching team at Chichester Free School to make full use of her teaching qualification within Primary and Secondary teaching.
Miss Messenger has a particular interest and a real passion for aesthetics, she is looking forward to enhancing Dance and Gymnastics within the school.
Katia Muriel (Science)
Mrs Muriel studied Marine Biology with Polluted Ecosystems at the University of Portsmouth.
After this, she worked in an aquarium for a while before completing her PGCE in Science. She then went to work as a science teacher in an all girls’ secondary school in Portsmouth for six years where she finished her last few years there as second in department.
She brings with her an enthusiasm for science as well as languages, of which she speaks three fluently.
Miss Rochelle Oxley (PE Teacher)
Miss Oxley studied Physical Education and Sports Coaching for three years and completed her PGCE in PE at the University of Chichester. She is delighted to join the teaching team at Chichester Free School to make full use of her teaching qualification within Primary and Secondary teaching.
Miss Oxley’s passion for tumbling, trampette, vault and floor in gymnastics has led her to be both a European and International medallist with the Great Britain Team Gym Team, as well as specialist coaching qualifications within gymnastics. She is looking forward to bringing these skills as an extra to the PE department within the school.
Miss Sophie Parnell (PE Teacher)
After growing up in West Sussex, Miss Parnell gained a First-Class honours degree in Physical Education and Sports Coaching at the University of Chichester. Following this she completed her PGCE in Physical Education at the same institution and is delighted to join the team at Chichester Free School. Miss Parnell has a specialism in striking and fielding games, specifically cricket, due to performing within the England women’s set-up. She can’t wait to provide different opportunities for the students at Chichester Free School.
Miss Tanya Pye (Design & Technology Teacher)
Miss Pye, having grown up locally is looking forward to coming back to her roots. She completed her BA Hons degree in Costume with Performance Design at The Arts University Bournemouth, then attended the Bournemouth Poole and Dorset Secondary training partnership gaining her PGCE in secondary education specialising in Design Technology. Miss Pye was a textiles artist working on the costumes for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony and has had the good fortune to work on several film sets. From her family’s catering background she developed a love of patisserie and baking and has spent many summers putting this into practice. In her spare time, she enjoys trampolining, sewing 1950s attire and working on charity events. With a dedicated pastoral approach, Miss Pye believes students should enjoy learning.
Matt Ray (Business Studies & English Teacher)
Mr Ray is an experienced teacher both in secondary and further education, he has taught for over ten years, specialising in Business Studies, English and Physical Education. Matt has experience in working in outstanding schools and is a former quality manager for teaching and learning at The Military Preparation College.
Matt has a passion for travel and is the director of a charity which supports schools and communities faced with hardship in the South Pacific Islands. Asides from exploring, Matt’s main interest is football, he has experience of playing at county level as well as representing both Portsmouth and Southampton at youth level.
Holly Sabin (English and Media Studies)
Mrs Sabin is an English graduate who enjoyed a successful career in communications and marketing for international organisations before moving into teaching.
Her professional experience gives her a passion for excellence in written and oral communications, which she hopes to pass on to the students.
Mrs Sabin’s interests include public speaking and debating, and she is a judge for the West Sussex Schools’ Debating Association.
Mr Brian Sykes (Humanities Teacher)
Mr Sykes has had a varied working life, including serving in both the Royal Navy and the Police Service. He studied for a degree in Sociology at Portsmouth University and then went to Southampton University for his P.G.C.E. in Religious Studies.
Mr Sykes has travelled the world, both in the service of the Royal Navy and independently with his children. He has been lucky enough to work in the Caribbean, Hong Kong and in Dubai. He has a passion for Psychology, Music, Geology and cooking and plays both double bass and electric bass. Outside of school Mr Sykes enjoys travelling and learning about the American Civil war.
Ms Sophy Young (English and Drama)
Ms Young has been an English teacher since 1997, following a gap year in New Zealand, she chose a career that would allow her to make a difference to others. In her previous school, Ms Young set up a successful primary liaison programme; her motivation was to make the transition to senior school more seamless. Ms Young’s aim in teaching is to nurture, support and inspire young people to be the best versions of themselves. She believes that building positive relationships with students enables them to flourish. Ms Young has sung with students in the school choir, recorded a CD, taken them on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, performed in pantomimes and appeared in a film. When she is not teaching, she is writing young adult fiction, drawing, singing or somewhere near water with her family.
Richard Cook (KS1 Phase Leader/Reception)
Mr Cook is one of our Reception teachers with a keen interest in primary Physical Education and data.
Mr Cook grew up in Hampshire, reading History at university, before moving to Chichester to embark on his teaching career. Previous to his role at Chichester Free School, Mr Cook developed his understanding and use of Early Years pedagogy for seven years as a Lead Early Years Practitioner in another Chichester school.
Mr Cook has also undertaken the Middle Leadership Development Programme with the National College for School Leadership.
Claire Emmett (KS1 Middle Leader, Year 1)
Miss Emmett spent many years working as a teacher in Portsmouth, and has a wide experience of working with children with additional needs. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the local area whilst completing her PGCE.
She has run structured child play sessions, where she has been able to develop her knowledge of how children learn at the earliest stages of development. She has a keen interest in outdoor learning and believes children thrive when learning through memorable experiences.
Miss Emmett has had a lifelong passion for equine experiences which has fostered her own love of the outdoors. She plans to share her passions at Chichester Free School both in lessons and after school clubs.
Jessica Powell (Interventions Phase Leader, Year 1)
Mrs Powell was based in London and had a successful career as a Press Officer with an International clothing brand before moving into teaching.
She then spent several years working in challenging schools in Merseyside before returning to the South with her husband and two young daughters in 2015.
Mrs Powell has a Masters degree in Teaching and Learning from the University of Chester and is delighted to have the opportunity to share her skills and experience with Chichester Free School.
Georgia Hayes (KS2 Phase Leader, Year 6)
Mrs Hayes is delighted to be returning home to the local area, after spending several years working at a large Junior School in Kent. Prior to this, she completed her teaching degree at Canterbury Christchurch University and has worked in several schools, across both the Independent and State sector.
With a degree in Sports and Exercise Sciences and passion for Outdoor Learning, Mrs Hayes hopes to use the freedom of Chichester Free School to deliver these subjects in creative ways whilst also linking them with the Primary curriculum. She believes that children learn best when taking part in kinaesthetic activities that they thrive in.
Outside of the classroom, Mrs Hayes enjoys outdoor sports such as sailing and skiing. She hopes to share these passions with the children and staff!
Parysah Yazdanpanah (KS2 Middle Leader, Year 3)
Miss Yazdanpanah lives locally, having grown up in Fishbourne. She studied Primary Education for four years at The University of Winchester and specialised in Religious Education.
Her teaching philosophy is that education is not simply the transmission of factual information but centres around educating the ‘whole-child’, enabling social, emotional, moral and spiritual development. As a teacher she strives to ensure that all the children she teaches are confident enough to take risks, not being afraid of making mistakes.
Miss Yazdanpanah aims to create independent resilient learners by encouraging children to take responsibility for their own learning.
Julie Clarke (Reception)
Mrs Clarke was born and grew up locally to Chichester. After moving on from her original floristry career, she worked for many years in nurseries and schools as a teaching assistant.
She subsequently trained as a Teacher with the support of her husband and children.
She is excited to be part of Chichester Free School as a Teacher in Reception.
Miss Chelsea Keen (Primary Teacher)
Miss Keen is thrilled to be joining the team at Chichester Free School. She completed her primary teaching degree at the University of Chichester with a specialism in mathematics.
Miss Keen is passionate about children being active participants in their learning and strongly believes in promoting lifelong learning. She aims to provide children with a vast range of opportunities that encourage children to take risks and challenge themselves to become critical, creative and bold thinkers.
Outside of school, Miss Keen enjoys taking part in a range of adventurous activities, loves reading and has a particular interest in creative and artistic projects, all of which she hopes to share at Chichester Free School.
Cristina Lacuesta (Primary MFL Teacher)
Miss Lacuesta is originally from Barcelona but has been living in West Sussex since summer 2014. She has a degree in Primary Education at the University of Barcelona where she specialised in Modern Foreign Languages. After finishing her degree she decided that it was time for an adventure so she flew off to England where she could pursue her two passions: travelling and learning languages.
She has an interest in learning through games, and languages provide the perfect atmosphere for that. She is a firm believer of positive encouragement and believes that looking at a glass of water half full is better than looking at it as half empty.
Miss Lacuesta likes spending time with her friends, discovering new places, reading books and visiting family and friends back in Barcelona.
Hannah Lithgow (Year 4)
Miss Lithgow has recently returned to Chichester, having grown up and attended school in the local area. She has a first class degree in Psychology from the University of Surrey and recently completed her PGCE at the University of Exeter.
Miss Lithgow is excited to start teaching at Chichester Free School and looks forward to providing children with a range of opportunities to allow them to develop into well rounded, independent and confident members of both the school and local communities.
In her spare time, Miss Lithgow enjoys a range of water sports and regularly volunteers at a local sailing centre, teaching children to sail and kayak.
Miss Jemma Simmons (Primary Teacher)
Mrs Simmons recently graduated from the University of Chichester with a degree in Primary Education. She is excited to be joining the team at Chichester Free School and as a science specialist is hoping her passion and drive for the subject will inspire children. She believes it is important to create a classroom atmosphere that is rooted in mutual respect, celebrates every child’s learning journey and where every child feels safe and valued. Outside of the classroom Mrs Simmons enjoys spending time with her family, she is a keen skier, loves to sew and hopes to share both passions with children.
Mrs Jennifer Skarp (Primary Teacher)
After completing her degree in Human Biology and her Teaching Qualification at Oxford, Mrs Skarp spent the first two years of her teaching career at an International School in Tanzania. She enjoyed being a part of wider school life including coaching the swimming team and directing the primary productions! She then moved back to Oxfordshire and spent several years on the Senior Leadership Team as Maths Co-ordinator of a large village school.
Her interests include amateur dramatics, singing and going for long walks along the beach with her family. Mrs Skarp has recently relocated to Chichester with her husband and two young children and is excited to be a part of the Chichester Free School primary team.
Victoria Stevens (Year 2)
Miss Stevens is one of our Year 2 teachers. She grew up locally in Chichester and remained in the area during her teacher training.
She is delighted to join the teaching team at Chichester Free School to make full use of her teaching qualification.
Outside of school Miss Stevens enjoys baking and hopes to share this passion in class and through extra-curricular activities.
Miss Rebecca Upton (Primary Teacher)
Miss Upton recently joined Chichester Free School after teaching in Portsmouth for the first few years of her career. Originally from Hampshire, she was inspired to teach by her own incredible Primary Teachers, whom she aspires to model for her own classes. She has re-located back to West Sussex after falling in love with the area whilst studying for her degree in Primary Education and Teaching at the University of Chichester.
Miss Upton has a keen interest in children’s literature and how this can inspire children to write. She also loves art, design technology and anything else that encourages children to be creative in a variety of ways.
Mrs Kate Wade (Primary Teacher)
After 10 glorious years bringing up her children in both Emsworth and Canada Mrs Wade returned to England looking for a new adventure as her youngest started Primary school. She completed her PGCE in 1994 at what is now Chichester University and has not looked back. Teaching in both the independent and state sector, she has been fortunate to work in a variety of different counties and in Brussels.
She lives in Sidlesham with her husband, two dogs, cats and chickens and love the days when her grandchildren come to visit. They are regularly seen sailing in Chichester harbour or walking their dogs in the beautiful surroundings in which they live. She loves painting but has not quite reached the standard of showing anyone her work just yet! Practise, one day, may make it perfect.
She has been a Head Teacher, EYFS Moderator, Key Stage Leader and subject coordinator but has so enjoyed recently being back in the classroom as a class teacher. She wants all her class to look forward to their maths lessons, have a real passion for writing and have inquisitive, creative minds.
Claire Waring (Year 5)
Miss Waring is originally from Nottingham, moving down to Chichester to study sports coaching at university. Having previously worked as a sports coach and personal trainer, she hopes to inspire children to become more active.
Outside of school Miss Waring enjoys a variety of sports, running and walking her pet pug!