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 joined Ark Conway in 2016 as a Maths Specialist Teacher and is now Assistant Principal, teaching in Year 2 and coaching other staff members. He graduated from Loughborough University in 2010 with a BSc in Ergonomic Design. He started teaching in Ark Swift in 2013 after working as a TA and completing a successful PGCE at the University of Greenwich.
Matthew grew up in West London and now lives in Acton with his family. His passions lie in music, technology and in sport. He enjoys playing and watching football and supports Middlesbrough Football Club. Matthew loves to read non-fiction with an interest in the sciences, technology and ancient history.
Matthew has a Boston Terrier called Apollo, which he likes to walk at the weekend. He also has a young son called Mateo and spends his holidays travelling to Croatia, New Zealand and Thailand visiting family when he can.
Assistant Principal and Year 5/6 Class Teacher: Sophie Faupel
Sophie studied History at the University of Nottingham before training to be a teacher through the Teach First scheme. Following the completion of the course, Sophie joined the Ark Network as a Year 6 class teacher at Ark Globe Academy where she also acted as Maths Lead for two years. Sophie joined Ark Conway as Assistant Principal in 2017 and also took on the role of Upper KS2 Maths Specialist teacher. As part of her role as Assistant Principal, Sophie acts as Maths Lead, ATT coach and head of the school's Well-Being team which aims to promote well-being amongst pupils and staff. In addition to her roles at school, Sophie is also the Network Lead for Maths for the Ark Network; leading training and supporting Maths teaching across Ark Primary schools.
Sophie is a keen baker with a particular interest in cake decoration and enjoys making occasion cakes for friends and family in her spare time.
Special Education Needs Co-ordinator: Shakira Vaz
Shakira gained a degree from Roehampton University in 2004 and began a career in Marketing. However, she always felt a calling to teach and after regularly volunteering at her son's primary school, she began a PGCE at Roehampton in 2012. Prior to joining Ark Conway, she worked as a class teacher for six years where along with her passion for English, she was the Computing and Science curriculum lead. Shakira taught many children with a range of learning needs and enjoyed seeing their achievements with the right support. When the position for SENCO came up at Ark Conway, Shakira was very excited as she was convinced that this role would provide her with the opportunity to really make a difference. Shakira is a mother to three sons who keep her busy outside of Ark Conway.
Year Reception Class 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. Emily has since trained with ARK to become a primary teacher and gained Qualified Teacher Status. Emily is now the EYFS lead and reception teacher at Ark Conway as well as Music/Performing Arts lead. Emily is passionate about an all-round education and is excited to develop the EYFS as Ark Conway as well as the arts..
Year 1 Class Teacher: Amy Hardingham
Amy started at Ark Conway in 2017. She completed her PCGE last year as part of the Ark Teacher Training Programme and is very excited to become the Year 1 class teacher. Amy graduated from Edinburgh University with a degree in English Literature and History of Art and is still passionate about engaging children in books and art. In her free time, Amy loves to explore the outdoors, either on a bike or walking. She also loves cooking in her spare time.
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. James is looking forward to raising the profile of STEM subjects, particularly Science, at Ark Conway and hoping to inspire more budding Scientists!
In his free time, James follows multiple sports closely and is a keen Bath and England Rugby fan.
Year 4 Class Teacher: Tessa Markewich
Tessa graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. in History & Literature and a Master’s in Education. She became invested in education equity over her years at university as she worked with CityStep, an organization bringing dance education to Cambridge public schools, and Jumpstart, an early education nonprofit. After University, Tessa went on to teach for one year in Denver, Colorado and two years in Boston, Massachusetts.
Tessa has recently moved to London from the United States and is so excited to work with the Ark Conway family in Year 4!
Year 5/6 Literacy Specialist Teacher: Hannah Bridges
Hannah started work at Ark Conway in 2015 as a co-teacher, after graduating with BA in Primary Education. Since then, she has completed her teacher training through the Ark Teacher Training programme and has been the English specialist teacher in Upper Key Stage 2 for three years. She also acts as English Lead, supporting teachers across the school with their English teaching.
Prior to working at Ark Conway, Hannah has worked in a number of primary schools as a Teaching Assistant and as an Unqualified Class Teacher, was an international gymnast and has worked professionally as an actor. In her spare time Hannah enjoys reading and has recently taken up 5 a-side football!
Trainee Teacher: Aisha McKenzie
Aisha is a passionate and well-rounded teacher and has taught in KS1 and KS2. She enjoys thinking of new ways to innovate her lessons with educational games and build her students love for learning. Prior to her time at Conway she has worked as an English teacher in Tokyo. She is looking forward to her year as an ATT in Year 2 and continuing her role as a library assistant.
Trainee Teacher: Polly Phaal
Polly is really excited about her training year at Ark, having already spent a year as a Co-Teacher in the Year 5/6 team. 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. Polly is passionate about science and art and is very excited to be working with the fantastic children and team at Conway. Outside of work she enjoys reading, travelling and painting.
Year Reception Co-teacher: Natasha Sira
Natasha 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. She now runs the weekly Woodland Adventures sessions and leads the Zumba after school clubs. Natasha believes children gain huge benefits from being involved and learning about nature. Away from Ark Conway Natasha keeps herself active enjoying Zumba, badminton and rock climbing.
Year 1 Co-teacher: Adam Claessens
Adam graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in 2018 with a First Class Honours BSc in Psychology. After graduating, he spent six months teaching after-school clubs in schools around London, providing fun science-based activities to children of all ages. He then joined Ark Conway in February 2019 after realising his passion for working with and teaching younger children.
Adam is a lover of music and books. He plays both drums and guitar and has played many concerts and festivals up and down the country with different bands over the last decade. He is also an avid reader, and will happily chat to anyone about whatever book he is currently reading, or any recommendations other people can give to him! As well as this, he has been self-teaching German for the last year, and is beginning to become more confident in speaking and understanding the language.
Year 3 Co-teacher: Llimahl Shaquille Okocha
Llimahl graduated from Queen Mary, University of London in 2018 with a BA in French. He became fascinated with teaching following a year with the British Council as an English Language Teacher in Paris, gaining a TEFL certificate and immersing himself in a foreign culture. He has since worked as an English & Mathematics Tutor, then as a Key Stage 2 TA and 1:1 LSA, enabling his pupils to be academically inquisitive and to always adopt a progressive attitude. He also led his school’s Black Boys Council, an initiative designed to tackle socio-economic inequalities and improve outcomes for young black boys. Llimahl joined Conway in October 2019 and plans to complete his PGCE through the Ark Teacher Training Programme to continue his mission of positively changing lives through education.
Outside of school, he loves music, interior design and sports, an avid Manchester United fan. He is a carer to his grandfather, awarded an MBE for his services to the community of Stonebridge, London — Llimahl hopes he can have a similar long-lasting impact on the Ark community, laying foundations for their later learning and success and empowering a generation of problem-solvers and critical thinkers.
Year 4 Co-teacher: Camilla Barlow
Camilla graduated from the University of Manchester in 2015 with a BA in Linguistics. After gaining her TEFL certificate Camilla spent three years teaching at the British School of Madagascar, during which time she completed a PGCEi with the University of Nottingham. Whilst in Madagascar Camilla was also involved with a local charity organising education days for disadvantaged children. In September 2018 Camilla moved to London to take a Master's in Comparative Education at UCL which she has recently completed.
In her spare time Camilla is a keen rugby player and has joined Barnes Ladies this season.
Year 5/6 Co-teacher: Llewellyn St. David
Llewellyn graduated from the University of Kent in 1998 with an honours degree in Drama and Theatre Studies. A career in acting was supported by various temporary jobs, one of which became a 16-year engagement with a trade organisation taking in various roles in the fields of admin, desktop publishing, procurement and compliance.
His inspiration for teaching came after volunteering on the Barnes Children’s Literature Festival 2019. He is delighted to be embarking on this new career with a school as enlightened as Ark Conway, and thrilled to be learning the craft of teaching from such an exceptionally talented team.
Llewellyn lives in Barnes with a mischievous black and white cat called Pookie.
1:1 Learning Support Assistant: Sashika Amaraweera
Sashika is from Sri Lanka. She has worked as a qualified IT instructor for several years after accomplishing her BCS global degree and ECDL expert level in Sri Lanka. After moving to the UK, she started working as a specialist teaching assistant in a variety of schools across London.
Sashika has been working as a LSA at Ark Conway since 2016. This year she will be working with the Year 3 and Year 4 teams, focusing on SEN children giving best possible education in order for them to achieve their full potential. Also, she works with mainstream children as she has successfully completed Team Teach and Ruth Muskin Phonics trainings. Children love her handwriting lessons and IT lessons as she shares her knowledge with an engaging manner.
Sashika really enjoys what she does and practices positivity and team spirit in order to model excellency in every possible way. She has conducted Arts and Crafts clubs and teaches mindful art lessons in order to practice creativity and mindfulness in the first place. During her leisure times, she loves spending time outdoors and visiting beautiful places as she loves being happy, calm and positive.
1:1 Learning Support Assistant and After School Care Supervisor: Carol Kelly
Carol joined Ark Conway in 2017. She specialises in working 1:1 with SEN pupils. Carol is passionate about her role and she works relentlessly to ensure that our SEN pupils receive all the support they require to fully integrate during the school day. Carol also works as part of the After School Care team which enables her to interact and build relationships with all pupils at Ark Conway. In her spare time Carol enjoys listening to music. Her favourite singer is Bruce Springsteen.
1:1 Learning Support Assistant and After School Care Supervisor: Tracy Walster
Tracy joined Ark Conway in 2017 working in the After School care team. In 2018 she began an additional role as a 1:1 LSA. Tracy enjoys both her roles. The after school care provides an opportunity for her to develop a personal relationship with the pupils at Conway and the 1:1 role an opportunity to be influencial in academic development of individual children. In her spare time Tracy enjoys walking, gardening, cooking and spending time with family and friends.
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 over 10 years. She has worked as a Teaching Assistant and in Operations. Paulette describes herself as family orientated and practical. She enjoys cooking, walking and the quality time she spends with her family & close friends.
Receptionist/Admissions Administrator: Saira Shah
Saira joined Ark Conway Primary in March 2018, Prior to this she 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. Saira is responsible for managing the entire process for pupil admissions. Saira thoroughly enjoys her role as it allows her to build great relationships with parents and children prior to the children joining Conway. 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 was particularly passionate about Ark Conway as her son had attended the school and she enjoyed being a part of the school community over the years.
Since September 2019, as well continuing her role in the office in the afternoon, Kelly also now works in the Reception class as a learning support assistant in the morning.
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 caretaker 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 enjoy!
Catering Assistant: Catherine Morris
Catherine has been working at Ark conway since 2012. She has worked in catering for over 30 years within various sectors, her favorite, education. In addition to food preparation in the kitchen, Catherine also serves food to the children at lunch time. Catherine really enjoys her role, it provides her with an opportunity to get to know each child, their likes and dislikes in terms of food and enables her to accomodate them accordingly. In her spare time Catherine enjoys cooking for friends and family. She particularly enjoys baking bread and making cakes.
Catering Assistant: Vicky Cumbers
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 teenager born with Downs Syndrome and later diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. Archna has attended several workshops to help understand these conditions. Her passion to ensure all children, especially those with learning difficulties are fully represented within the education system has inspired her to become a Parent Governor within a local school. This is a role which Archna is very excited about and is convinced that her practical, personal experiences as a parent can be very influencial.
Archna loves the family atmosphere created by the staff, parents and children at Ark Conway.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Morita Braithwaite
Before joining the ARK Conway team, Morita volunteered 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.
Morita is a mother of two, both children have enjoyed their primary school years at Ark Conway. In her spare time, Morita enjoys singing and is part of a gospel choir called Singology based in Ealing. Travelling is also part of Morita's passion. She enjoys learning about different cultures and lifestyles.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Claire Stanley-Cumbers
Claire has been a member of the Ark Conway team since 2013. Prior to joining Ark Conway Primary Academy, Claire worked as a dental nurse in the 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 working with children with special needs.
Claire has attended many workshops on various subjects including challenging behaviours, speech and language, sleeping problems, practical parenting and eating difficulties. In the future Claire would also like to work 1:1 with a child with special needs.
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 work 1:1 with an autistic pupil 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 very excited to be a part of the team at Ark Conway.
Midday Meals Supervisor: Debbie Curtiss
Prior to joining Ark Conway Primary Debbie worked at Ark Bentworth Primary for three and a half years. She also worked as a Cash Office/Banking Assistant but says that working within the school environment is by far the most rewarding job. She would like to train as a teaching assistant in the future.
Debbie is a mother of 5, who enjoys walking and the quality she spends around her family.
*All teaching staff have Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)