Head of School: Rebecca Ross-Wood
Rebecca Ross-Wood has been the Head of School at Ark Conway since September 2018, having previously taken on the interim Head of School role from January 2018. Rebecca joined Ark Conway in 2012, teaching the school’s first Year 1 cohort, in which 100% of children passed the Phonics Screening check. She has since taken on the role of Mathematics Lead and then Deputy Headteacher, introducing initiatives such as the MindUp curriculum, designed to develop the well-being of all pupils. Beyond Ark Conway, she has supported the development of teachers through co-facilitating Ark programmes for Middle Leaders and for Newly Qualified Teachers.
Rebecca completed her PGCE at the Institute of Education in central London and has also received the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership. She is now completing the National Professional Qualification for Headship. She is passionate about providing children with the chance to learn the skills required to achieve excellence both academically and beyond the curriculum. Before teaching, Rebecca graduated from the University of Durham with a degree in Natural Sciences.
Rebecca enjoys both dancing and acting. She has competed in the finals of Miss Dance of Great Britain and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Dublin International Theatre Festival.
Assistant Principal and Year 2 Teacher: Matthew White
Matthew graduated from Loughborough University in 2010 with a BSc in Ergonomic Design and spent a number of years in the Recruitment sector. He joined Ark Swift in 2013 after working as a TA and completing a successful PGCE at the University of Greenwich. Matthew taught Year 5 at Ark Swift for two years and Year 2 for one year. He currently coaches trainee teachers which he very much enjoys.
His passions lie in music, technology and in sport, football in particular. He manages his own successful Sunday team as well as a midweek 7 a-side team and has won a variety of competitions. Matthew is a very keen photographer and enjoys walking with his dog at weekends if he has the time!
Assistant Principal and Year 5/6 Class Teacher: Sophie Woodman
Special Education Needs Coordinator: Iida Uusinoka
After two successful terms of working as an SEN Specialist Teacher, Iida Uusinoka took over the role of SENCo in September 2017. She very much enjoys working alongside teachers and co-teachers ensuring that every pupil will make most of their learning.
Iida holds a Masters Degree in Educational Science from University of Turku, Finland. Her experience in both the Finnish and English Educational Systems give Iida a unique and diverse perspective and ability to identify pupils’ needs. She ensures that each pupil receive the individual support they need to achieve their learning targets.
In her spare time Iida enjoys singing and playing tennis. She sings in the choir of the Finnish church of London. As such she is well equipped to be involved in the after-school choir, which she runs together with an Ark colleague.
Year Reception Class Teacher: Charlotte McNeilis
Charlotte joined Ark as a Graduate Co-teacher in September 2016. She graduated from the University of York in July 2016, gaining a First Class Honours in Sociology with Social Psychology. Upon leaving university Charlotte went into recruitment, but after realising this wasn't for her she decided to kick start her teaching career with Ark.
Previously she volunteered as a TA in a secondary school, specifically working with SEN children. Whilst studying Charlotte led a marketing project with underachieving year 8 students from a local school, the project was aimed at ‘raising aspirations’ by enabling children to build upon and use their skills outside of an academic setting. Charlotte also spent time helping Vietnamese college students learn English in her time travelling.
Charlotte is thrilled to be starting her career in early years and loves helping children to achieve the best the possibly can.
Year 1 Class Teacher: Stephen Rodwell
Stephen joined Ark Conway in 2015 following a background in the education sector. After graduating from the University of York with a First Class Honours degree in History, he first spent some time as a Teaching Assistant in a York primary school. In the following years, Stephen led children’s events at several museums including the Natural History Museum, provided academic and pastoral support to students at Bucks New University, and was lucky enough to be part of the National Education Trust for 2 years - an organisation dedicated to sharing excellent practice in education across the UK. It was here that Stephen decided to pursue teacher training.
After gaining a broad range of experience as a co-teacher in Reception and a trainee teacher in Year 4 and 5, Stephen was incredibly happy to be named Year 1 teacher and is now in his second year. He is passionate about providing young pupils with the strong foundations in reading, writing and mathematics that will set them up for an excellent start to their time at Ark Conway and in their life beyond school.
Outside of school, Stephen is a keen runner and has completed the Bath, Ealing and Royal Parks half-marathons. He hopes to complete a full marathon next year. He is also learning to speak Polish and enjoys practising this with others.
Year 3 Class Teacher: James Elliott
James graduated from Plymouth Marjon University with a degree in Sports Coaching and Development. He then went on to complete his Primary PGCE at Bath Spa University and taught at a school in Bath for five years in a variety of different year groups. James led on Assessment, Computing, and PE during his time at his previous school. He has a passion for Sport and the use of technology in the classroom to help advance children's learning and thirst for knowledge. James joined Ark Conway for a new challenge and has recently settled in London. He is looking forward to a great first year at Ark Conway.
In his free time, James follows multiple sports closely and is a keen Bath and England Rugby fan.
Year 4 Class Teacher: Rachael Farish
Rachael joined Ark Conway in 2017 and is in her second year of teaching Year 4.
Hailing from Scotland, Rachael completed her PGDE Primary at the University of Edinburgh and taught in Edinburgh at an inner city school. Before teaching, Rachael gained a degree in Law and French Legal Studies, and she now enjoys sharing her love of the French language with her classes. Rachael has worked and volunteered with SEN children in a variety of settings, including at a school specialising in children with Complex Social, Emotional and Behavioural Needs. This experience has strengthened Rachael's passion for creating a learning environment which is inclusive and supports all children to aim high. Rachael enjoys getting her class excited about reading and storytelling, with a special interest in supporting children to develop their own writer's voice.
In her free time, Rachael enjoys working on her static trapeze skills, making pottery and exploring the countryside around London.
Year 5/6 Literacy Specialist Teacher: Hannah Bridges
Hannah Bridges started working at Ark Conway in September 2015. She has worked in several schools in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, as a teaching assistant and as a class teacher. Previous to her career in education, Hannah worked professionally as an actress. She appeared in several performances at both the National Theatre and the Royal Court, including Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters and A Miracle by Molly Davies. Additionally, she has appeared on television in productions such as EastEnders, Casualty, The Bill and Cutting It. She also won a Scottish BAFTA for her role in Uncle Dad, a children’s comedy for Citv.
Hannah is a keen gymnast and competed internationally for a number of years. She now coaches in her spare time and has judged at a number of national and international competitions.
Trainee Teacher: Emily Harris
Emily graduated from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (University of London) with a 2:1 in Drama and Education. She has always had a passion for both the arts and education and is keen to bring more theatre and drama experiences to Conway. During her Degree, Emily ran various projects in vast educational settings from touring schools across the UK performing children’s theatre, as well as running post-show workshops. Emily particularly enjoyed running a SEN project at a specialist SEN school and charity in Newcastle. Since leaving University in 2015, Emily has worked as a Co-teacher within schools across London and has enjoyed working in EYFS, as well as both Key Stages 1 and 2. Emily has been part of the Ark Network since 2016. This year, Emily is under-taking her Ark Teacher Training and is excited to work towards gaining Qualified Teacher Status. Emily is passionate about an all-round education and is excited to see children find a love for the arts and particularly theatre!
Trainee Teacher: Amy Knott
Amy started the Ark Teacher Training programme at Ark Conway in September 2018 and is looking forward to gaining her PGCE while working with Upper KS2.
After graduating from Edinburgh University with a 2:1 in English Literature and History of Art, Amy joined the staff at Ark Conway as a Co-teacher and is looking forward to continuing her time here. Amy is passionate about developing each child's imagination and curiosity through reading and becoming an excellent teacher.
In her free-time, Amy is a keen cyclist and loves to explore the outdoors, usually with a book.
Amy is excited to be spending another year at Conway!
Year Reception Co-teacher: Natasha Sira
NatashaI Graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol with a 2:1 Degree in Early Childhood Studies. Prior to joining Ark Conway Primary as a Co-teacher in 2017, she worked as a Practitioner in a Forest School Nursery School for Two years which developed her knowledge of young children and Forest Schooling.
Natasha has a keen passion and interest in children’s well-being and Nature and hopes to develop her knowledge in Forest Schooling, She believes children gain huge benefits from being involved and learning about Nature. Activities Natasha enjoys include Zumba, badminton and rock climbing.
Year 1 Co-teacher: Aisha McKenzie
Aisha joined Ark Conway in Januarys as an ESL and is now a Co-Teacher in Year 1. She graduated with a 2:1 in English Literature and can often be found sharing her love of books with the children during very animated story time sessions.Prior to joining Ark Conway Aisha taught English in Tokyo for around two years and now runs a Japanese class with the pupils afterschool. Her interests lies in exploring different cultures through art, literature and food.
Year 3 Co-teacher: Magdalena Klodzinska
Magda holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from University of Marie Curie-Sklodowska, Poland. Her knowledge and experience gives Magda an ability to identify and respond to pupils’ needs. She spent a number of years working with children with a range of additional needs. She has also worked as a Learning Mentor in a secondary school. Her role involved supporting EAL students to access the lessons and adapt to the educational system in England and also she was supporting underachieving students with challenging behaviour.
After having a baby, she thought she would challenge herself by working in a primary school, especially in early years. Magda joined Ark Conway in September 2017 as a co-teacher in Reception and Year 1. She is passionate about providing young children with a strong foundation in reading and writing and also excellent social skills to prepare them to achieve their best in the future.
Magda loves photography, mostly of new-borns and toddlers. She is extremely happy to be a mother as she really enjoys spending time with her child.
Year 4 Co-teacher: Charlotte Norris
Charlotte joined Ark Conway in 2018 as a co-teacher and is enjoying working in year 4 this year. Charlotte graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2016 with a degree in Psychology, before completing her Masters in Developmental Psychology to broaden her knowledge of child development.
Since leaving University, Charlotte has worked as a learning support assistant in a London primary school supporting children in maths, literacy and delivering speech and language therapy sessions.
Charlotte is passionate about travelling, dancing and running. She is also looking forward to sharing her love of netball by teaching the netball team and helping the children to learn the value of teamwork and sportsmanship.
Year 5/6 Co-teacher - Polly Phaal
Polly joins Ark Conway this year as a co-teacher in year 5 and year 6. She graduated from the University of Bath in 2016 with a 1st Class BSc in Biochemistry. Upon leaving university Polly worked in commercial operations at a technology company, before moving on to pursue her teaching career with Ark.
Previous to Conway, Polly has taken part in a Future Frontiers out-reach programme where she coached a secondary school student from a disadvantaged background, helping them realise their career aspirations. She also volunteers at her local Guides pack in Chiswick every week.
Polly is passionate about science and art and is very excited to be working with the fantastic children and team at Conway.
1:1 Learning Support Assistant: Chlorise Benjamin
Chlorise Benjamin joined Ark Conway in 2013 and will be continuing her experience in the Reception classroom. Before coming to Ark Conway, Chlorise was studying Architecture at Greenwich University part time. Prior to that, she worked in after-school clubs and holiday play schemes in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
During this time Chlorise studied Art and Design at college, and because she enjoyed her art and design work so much she volunteered to help at the Mangrove Mas Camp (Carnival Band work space). It was there Chlorise learnt to play the steel band. Chlorise had the privilege of playing with the band in the Notting Hill Carnival Panorama Steel band competition.
Chlorise enjoys cooking, music and dancing and she loves sharing these skills when teaching the children.
1:1 Learning Support Assistant: Sashika Amaraweera
1:1 Learning Support Assistant and After School Care Supervisor: Carol Kelly
1:1 Learning Support Assistant and After School Care Supervisor: Tracy Walster
Tracy has been working at a school in Ealing as an SMSA for the last 6 1/2 years. She has also worked as a Childminder. Tracy is currently doing an online Teaching Assistant course. She has a son who is at College. She enjoys going for walks, craft-making, cooking and gardening.
Business Manager: Paulette Williams
Paulette joined Ark Conway in 2017. She has enjoyed a varied career working in Recruitment Advertising, Hedge Funds, the London Stock Exchange and her own business in Massage Therapy. Paulette has worked in education for the last 7 years. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant and in Operations. She understands the importance of education and ensuring pupils are nurtured in a safe and happy environment. Operationally, Paulette will go the extra mile to do whatever it takes to ensure that pupils at Conway have the necessary resources to ensure they achieve the best! Paulette describes herself as family orientated and practical. She enjoys cooking, walking and the quality time she spends with her family & close friends.
Receptionist/Administrator: Saira Shah
Before joining Ark Conway Primary, Saira worked as a corporate receptionist for a broadcasting company. As a mother to a young child Saira understands the importance of education. Her position might be outside the classroom, but she believes we all play an important role to teach children to succeed both academically and socially. In her spare time, Saira enjoys going to the theatre, watching films and spending time with her family and friends.
Receptionist/Administrator: Kelly-Jo O'Connor
Before joining Ark Conway in September 2018, Kelly had been working as an Office Manager/Finance Assistant within a creative agency for 8 years. Having always wanted to work with children, Kelly feels particularly passionate about Ark Conway as her son is currently a pupil at the school and she has enjoyed being a part of the school community over the years. In her spare time Kelly enjoys musical theatre, reading and spending quality time with friends and family.
Site Manager: Maher Fara
Before joining the team Maher worked as a care taker for Sorby House and Vestry Hall in Sheffield which is currently run by the City Council. In his current position he manages the running of the buildings and undertakes reception duties on a day to day basis. He has a great deal of experience dealing with customers and contractors at all levels and has enjoyed working within different communities and cultures. He is fluent in English and Arabic. He is skilled and trained in safety and security duties and is very capable of building upkeep and maintenance, site security and small DIY jobs.
Maher describes himself as a confident and friendly person with excellent communication skills and a commitment towards any tasks given to him. He likes to keep himself fit and active. He likes watching films and listening to music and also enjoys socializing with his family and friends.
Chef Manager - Hans Henryk Ludwig
Hans Henryk Ludwig Joined Ark Conway in May 2018 as Chef Manager. He trained as a Chef in Germany in 1986 and acquired a degree in hotel management in 1994. Hans Henryk Ludwig has been working in the UK for the last 23 years in Hotels, the German Embassy and one of the largest contract caterers BaxterStorey. He is enjoying his new adventure within a school environment, producing exciting, nutritious school meals that pupils actually enjoy!
Lunchtime Lead: Archna Jani
Before joining Ark Conway, Archna worked within fashion retail, as a Merchandiser, working closely with Buyers.
Archna has three children, one of whom is a 13 year old who was born with Downs Syndrome and was later diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. Archna has attended several workshops to help understand these conditions.
Archna loves the family atmosphere the school, parents and children have created.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Morita Braithwaite
Before joining the ARK Conway team, Morita used to volunteer in the Old Oak Children's Centre as a toy library assistant and worked with the children at a cook and play session once a week.
In her spare time, Morita enjoys singing and is part of a gospel choir called Singology based in Ealing.
Morita successfully passed a first aid course and a food and hygiene course. She is happy to be part of Ark Conway Primary Academy.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Claire Stanley-Cumbers
Prior to joining Ark Conway Primary Academy, Claire worked as a dental nurse in busy NHS and private clinics often helping to reassure nervous and anxious children. Claire loved working in dentistry but after her son was diagnosed with Autism it prompted a career change as she developed an interest in children with special needs.
Claire has attended many workshops including challenging behaviours, speech and language, sleeping problems, practical parenting and eating difficulties. She also attends a monthly ASD parents group. Claire also runs her own small ironing business from home.
In the future Claire hopes to work with children who have special needs on a 1:1 basis.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Kimberley Raraty
Kimberly started work at Ark Bentworth in 1997 as an assistant in the kitchen. Kimberly then went on to do a 1:1 with an autistic boy at lunchtimes, which lead her to stay on as a Meals Supervisor for a number of years.
Kimberly has two grown up boys and four grandchildren. She is now very excited to be joining the team at Ark Conway.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Debbie Smith
Debbie has worked as a Cash Office/Banking Assistant but says that working within the school environment has got to be by far the most rewarding job.
Prior to joining Ark Conway Primary Debbie worked at Ark Bentworth Primary for 3 1/2 years.
Debbie has five children and loves to go for walks. Debbie would like to train to become a teaching assistant in the future.
*All teaching staff have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)