Teachers

Teachers

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Teachers

Michaela offers a unique learning environment, which will propel students to the best universities. With over a dozen teachers with an Oxbridge background and many others who have attended Russell Group universities, Michaela is well equipped to give students a tailored approach to achieving their dreams.


Mathematics Teachers

Ms Dani Quinn

University of Oxford

Ms Quinn was the first pupil from her school ever to attend the University of Oxford, where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She achieved six As in her final year at school, in addition to leading Ireland in the final of the World Schools’ Debating Championships.

Ms Quinn has always had a passion for teaching and for Maths, including volunteering as a Maths teacher to pupils in Oxford who were new to England and needed the additional support.

Read more about Ms Dani Quinn

She qualified at a school in Sheffield in 2010, quickly becoming KS3 co-ordinator for her department. She went on to lead the Maths department at Dixons Trinity Academy in Bradford when it achieved its first ‘outstanding’ from Ofsted; particular praise was given to pupils’ results and progress in Maths. Dixons was singled out as the best school in the country for Pupil Premium progress.

Ms Quinn has spoken at multiple conferences on Maths education, in addition to contributing to books on maths teaching. She has been involved in training Maths teachers for over six years, including leading a team of teacher trainers for the last two years. She has been an examiner in Maths with Edexcel for seven years and writes a popular blog on Maths education.


Ms Abi Smith

University College London

Ms Smith studied Mathematics at University College London (UCL), achieving excellent results in Logic, Applied Mathematics and Complex Analysis. As the only person in her year to be allowed to take five A Levels, securing A grades in all of them, Ms Smith decided to pursue her love of learning, and maths in particular, as a teacher.

Read more about Ms Abi Smith

Ms Smith has taught for over five years in schools across the UK, coordinating A Level Maths for pupils at her school in Derbyshire. Having taught all the Core A Level modules to pupils in her previous school, and led provision for the most able pupils, she is looking forward to helping Michaela’s Sixth Formers to achieve excellent results. Having been previously employed to work with the UCL Admissions Team, she is well-placed to support Michaela pupils to secure a place at their first-choice university.


Ms Natalie Jones

Aston University

Ms Jones graduated from Aston University with a First Class degree in Maths, achieving excellent results in Time Series, Differential Equations, Financial Maths, Game Theory and Multi-Variate Calculus. She has loved Maths for as long as she can remember, securing the top grade in her school in Additional Maths at GCSE, followed by Maths and Further Maths at A Level.

Read more about Ms Natalie Jones

Ms Jones has previously worked in the private sector, mainly in technology related roles at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and Fujitsu Services, in addition to mentoring secondary students in maths. Ms Jones has taught across the South-East of England, sharing her love of maths with pupils from Year 7 to Year 13. In her previous school, she led intervention for the most able pupils at GCSE, and coordinated pupils’ visits to Cambridge University. Ms Jones is thrilled to be joining Michaela pupils on their journey to university.

Further Mathematics Teachers

Mr Brett Williams-Yale

University of Oxford

Mr Williams-Yale has over 15 years of experience in the education sector having started his career teaching Maths in South London. He was quickly promoted to Head of Department and later to a Deputy Head of a successful private school, a position he held for four years. Under his leadership, results improved significantly in both the Maths department and across the school. Mr Williams-Yale has been closely involved with Michaela Community School since its inception in 2011. He was a founding member of the initial steering group, a Governor for the school and is now proudly one of the Deputy Heads at Michaela.

Read more about Mr Brett Williams-Yale

In addition to his roles in schools, Mr Williams-Yale has headed up the team responsible for delivering A Level Maths at Pearson Edexcel and is currently a Senior Examiner which sees him write and review exam papers for GCSE and A Level Mathematics. This position gives him an excellent insight into what examiners are looking for in the best work.

Mr Williams-Yale read Mathematics at Oxford University. He was the first in his family to attend University and the first in his school to win a place at Oxford. He firmly believes that you want to fulfil your potential, you must work hard. He approached his own studies with this tough work ethic by teaching himself A Level Further Mathematics. He also gained full marks in his single Maths A Level. He has always been immensely passionate about mathematics and relishes the opportunity to inspire and push pupils to become brilliant mathematicians.


Mr Tom Kendall

University of Warwick

Mr Kendall has a first class degree with honours in Maths and Philosophy from the University of Warwick. Throughout every year of his degree, he attained the highest mark on his course. During his degree, he spent a year at the University of Geneva (studying advanced maths in French). In 2017, Mr Kendall completed a Masters in Educational Leadership at Warwick University, receiving a Distinction on his dissertation. Mr Kendall has taught A Level maths in schools across the UK, as well as teaching in South Africa, India, Guyana, Tanzania and Nepal. He has led teams of teachers in multiple schools, helping to raise standards in the quality of pupils’ education.

Read more about Mr Tom Kendall

Mr Kendall loves the buzz of solving a compelling problem and seeks to share his passion for maths with every pupil he teaches. Having specialised in Set Theory and Symbolic Logic, he is looking forward to helping Michaela pupils thrive as mathematicians in the world’s best universities.

English Literature Teachers

Ms Katie Ashford

University of Warwick

After graduating from the University of Warwick, Ms Ashford pursued a career in teaching so that she could encourage young people to engage in the rigorous study of literature and learn to love books as much as she does. Ms Ashford has extensive experience of teaching English at both GCSE and A Level and has expertise in English curriculum design, the acquisition of vocabulary and the development of literary understanding. Since 2012, she has worked as an examiner for two different exam boards, which has provided her with an in-depth knowledge of the curriculum and the requirements for achieving the top grades in examinations.

Read more about Ms Katie Ashford

Ms Ashford has spoken at national research and education conferences and has lectured PGCE students at the University of Birmingham. She has written for various websites and the Times Education Supplement. She is currently writing a book about education.


Mr Peter Tse

University of Exeter

Mr Tse studied English Literature at the University of Exeter, where he was awarded a Gamini Salgado Prize for his final year dissertation. He specialised in 20th/21st Century BAME poetry and also Gothic literature. During his time at university, he spent a year abroad learning German in Mannheim and was also Secretary-General of Exeter’s Model United Nations Society.

Read more about Mr Peter Tse

In addition to this, Mr Tse has participated in numerous international debating competitions ranging from Oxford, UCL, Maastricht to Berlin.

During his time at sixth form, Mr Tse was deputy Head Boy and attended summer schools at Eton and Cambridge. As a teenager, these experiences made him realise that working hard to reach academic excellence and go to university can truly be life-changing. He was the first in his family to go university and the support he got at sixth form made this possible.


Ms Bridie McPherson

University of Cambridge

Ms McPherson studied English Literature at Jesus College, Cambridge. She won the college’s Essay Prize for two years running for her dissertations. While at university, she co-created an award-winning feminist arts magazine, performed as a singer at numerous university events, and acted at the ADC Theatre.

Read more about Ms Bridie McPherson

After graduating, Ms McPherson joined the Teach First programme, teaching English at a school in South London, where she became Deputy Head of English in her third year and led a re-drawing of the curriculum. In her second year, she set up the Sixth Form Symposium, a seminar group in which sixth formers analysed and discussed complex texts, often on Philosophy and Sociology. She steered the school’s UCAS and Oxbridge preparation schemes with a particular focus on raising aspirations for pupils, something which she is also involved in as a volunteer tutor for both Teach First and the Social Mobility Network.

Biology Teachers

Mr Pritesh Raichura

University of Cambridge

Mr Raichura grew up in Brent and attended a local comprehensive school where he achieved an A* grade in every single one of his GCSEs and three A Levels. He went on to be the only pupil from his school year to go to the University of Cambridge, where he read Natural Sciences. Mr Raichura is eager to share his experiences of applying to the world’s most prestigious universities with Michaela’s Sixth Form pupils. After graduating, Mr Raichura trained to become a science teacher and was promoted to the position of Head of Biology.

Read more about Mr Pritesh Raichura

Since then, Mr Raichura has been awarded a distinction in his Master’s degree in Leadership from UCL, where his dissertation explored how teachers and schools could become more research-engaged. He also speaks at educational conferences, sharing his knowledge of curriculum design with teachers from around the country. Mr Raichura wishes to see all pupils equipped with the knowledge, skills and experiences that will enable them to pursue any future of their choosing.


Ms Cassandra Cheng

University College London

Ms Cheng graduated with a first class degree in Biochemistry from UCL. She grew up in Wembley and attended a local comprehensive school. She was elected to serve as the Brent Member of UK Youth Parliament and Brent Council has recognised her as a ‘Community Champion’ for her voluntary work in the local community.

Read more about Ms Cassandra Cheng

Before qualifying as a teacher, Ms Cheng worked in science communication at the world-renowned Francis Crick Institute. Ms Cheng achieved a distinction in her Master’s degree from the Institute of Education where her research focused on behaviour management philosophy. She currently holds the position of Second in Charge of Science and Biology Lead. She is an examiner for AQA, and has much experience in marking Biology examination papers.

Chemistry Teachers

Mr James Bale

University of Bristol

Mr Bale studied Zoology at the University of Bristol. During his studies, working in partnership with the university, he gave a number of talks to pupils at local comprehensive schools inspiring them to apply to Russell Group universities and advising them on their university futures. Working with these pupils inspired him to put this experience to use and become a teacher.

Read more about Mr James Bale

After graduating, he gained experience teaching at various locations around the country. Here he gained a broader sense of education in the UK and built a strong wealth of experience teaching across all three sciences.

Mr Bale studied all three sciences at A Level and holds the position of Chemistry Lead at Michaela. Mr Bale moved back to London specifically to teach at Michaela Community School, drawn by the pupils’ exceptional knowledge and the school’s unique ethos. He firmly believes that science is an academically rigorous subject which reaps great rewards for those who master it. Mr Bale is excited to teach the many Michaela pupils going on to study sciences at the Michaela Sixth Form and then at the world’s best universities.


Ms Shilpa Soni

University of Manchester

Ms Soni graduated from the University of Manchester with a first class degree in Law before training to become a science teacher with Teach First. She scored the highest Chemistry and Biology A Level grade in her year and was employed as a part time A Level science tutor all throughout university. After graduating, Ms Soni worked at a school in East Sussex with a strong focus on Chemistry before joining Michaela, where she was inspired by the culture of academic rigour and moral development.

Read more about Ms Shilpa Soni

She has worked as an AQA examiner and thus has a rich knowledge of the science specification and exam requirements. At her previous school, she assisted in the writing of numerous personal statements for UCAS applications and coached many for their interview.

Ms Soni loves teaching science and explaining the detail in seemingly everyday objects and processes. She has adored science throughout her life and is commonly awestruck by all that is yet to be discovered and understood. She has a keen interest in literature and politics and hopes to encourage pupils to appreciate the academic richness in all areas of life and not feel confined to one field.

Physics Teachers

Mr Damian Phelan

Imperial College London

Mr Phelan graduated from Imperial College London with a first class degree in Theoretical Physics. During his time at university, Mr Phelan worked as a volunteer reader in a London primary school. Ever since, he has had a passionate belief in the power of education to transform lives. Mr Phelan has a strong belief that the ethos and values at Michaela are exactly what is needed to ensure that all young people receive the education that they deserve.

Read more about Mr Damian Phelan

On graduating, Mr Phelan trained as a teacher on the INSPIRE scheme at Imperial College and has worked in a range of schools across London. While working as a Head of Science he gained a wealth of experience leading on and teaching Science at GCSE and Physics at A Level. He currently holds the position of Physics Lead at Michaela.

Throughout his teaching career, Mr Phelan has been a keen advocate of public speaking and debating, coaching students at a variety of competitions at both a national and international level. This will be very helpful in preparing our pupils for future Oxbridge interviews.


Ms Sarah Clear

Durham University

Ms Clear discovered her love for learning at A Level, achieving straight A grades in all her subjects and an Extended Project Qualification with distinction. She went on to graduate with a first class degree from Durham University.

Before going to university, Ms Clear spent a year volunteering in Malawi where she lived and worked in a small orphanage, alongside running a nursery school for the local village.

Read more about Ms Sarah Clear

After graduating, Ms Clear has worked and volunteered for a variety of education charities, gaining experience working with a wide range of young people in different contexts. Ms Clear is a Head of Year and runs the GCSE science homework clinic, with extensive experience supporting pupils to achieve their best. Ms Clear believes that studying Physics at A Level can provide access to some of the most interesting ideas and best careers in the world.

Economics Teachers

Mr Hin-Tai Ting

University of Oxford

Mr Ting graduated from Oxford University with a double first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He received a Scholarship from Corpus Christi College for his Preliminary Examination results. He also received numerous academic awards including the College’s Isaiah Berlin Prize. His 40-page dissertation, on ‘The Problem of Evil’, received a top first-class mark, in addition to an outstanding result in Quantitative Economics.

Read more about Mr Hin-Tai Ting

Immediately after university, Mr Ting spent several years in a Christian ministry. He mentored numerous students in Oxford and Beijing who were studying economics, many of whom have gone on to be economists, diplomats and lawyers across the world. In addition to teaching A Level Maths in schools across London, Mr Ting writes a popular education blog which has readership across the English-speaking world.

Mr Ting has always loved Maths and Economics: as a pupil, he achieved seven consecutive Gold Awards in the annual UKMT Maths Challenge and was one of the top ten pupils nationally to achieve the highest overall marks in GCSE Mathematics. Despite being the only pupil in his school to take five A Levels, he managed to secure top grades in all of them, and looks forward to helping his pupils to fulfil their potential too.


Mr Charlie Bullock

University of Cambridge

Mr Bullock graduated with a first-class degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge, having previously achieved full marks in every module at A-level. In addition to teaching, Mr Bullock tutors pupils in A Level Economics, enabling them to achieve excellent results. Mr Bullock has taught in schools in the North of England, and is looking forward to helping Michaela’s Sixth Formers to achieve excellent results.

Read more about Mr Charlie Bullock

Mr Bullock is excited to show pupils how economics can illuminate the world around us by combining mathematics, history, geography, politics and behavioural psychology. He expects his pupils to develop the ambition to use the knowledge and concepts that they will study to inform decisions they will make at a local, national and international level in the future.

History Teachers

Mr Mike Taylor

University of St Andrews

Mr Taylor is our current Head of Humanities and the lead teacher for History. He read Modern History at the University of St Andrews and whilst at university, he focused on diplomatic history and in particular, Britain’s relationship with Iran, and British foreign policy before the First World War. He won the Deans’ List Award for academic excellence in his final year of study.

Read more about Mr Mike Taylor

He was also president of the university’s history society and was on the university’s debating team. He is fascinated by current affairs and has worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, based at the British Embassy to the Holy See in Rome.

After graduating, he moved to France and worked as a battlefield guide in the Ypres Salient and on the Somme, before qualifying as a teacher through the Teach First programme. Mr Taylor has extensive experience teaching A Level History and Politics, both as a classroom teacher and a private tutor and he regularly speaks at conferences for history teachers in the UK. He wishes that all his pupils are taught the rich historical knowledge that enables them to take part in the great conversations of humanity, which the privileged can navigate with such deftness and ease.


Mr Andrew Lomas

University of Cambridge

Mr Lomas studied History at the University of Cambridge. After graduating, he worked in the admissions department of one of the colleges, where he tried to make the Oxbridge application process more transparent for pupils from all kinds of schools. Seeking to have a greater impact on the proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds gaining places at top universities, he left in 2012 to work in an ambitious academy in London.

Read more about Mr Andrew Lomas

He qualified as a teacher and taught History and Politics for five years. Never losing his passion for academia, he studied for an MA in Medieval History at King’s College London between 2016 and 2018.

Mr Lomas’s historical interest is not tied to any particular places or periods. His primary academic focus has been on the way ideas shape events and vice versa. He believes that the more a person knows about the world, the more fascinating it becomes for them.

Philosophy and Theology Teachers

Mr Jonny Porter

University of Cambridge

Mr Porter graduated with one of the top firsts in his year from the University of Cambridge. He specialised in the philosophy of religion and won the University Theological Studies Prize for excellence in his final examinations. After graduating, he spent some time learning Arabic in Cairo and teaching debating in China. He trained to teach through the Teach First programme and was one of the co-founders of Michaela.

Read more about Mr Jonny Porter

He is now Deputy Headmaster and is also our lead teacher for religion and philosophy. He has significant experience preparing pupils for Oxford and Cambridge University applications and is a GCSE examiner for the examinations body, AQA.


Ms Sarah James

University of Oxford

Ms James read Theology at the University of Oxford, before going on to teach Religion in Birmingham, as part of the Teach First programme. Whilst at University, she played an active role in the college boat club, coxing the first boat for two seasons. She went on to train briefly with the development squad at Wallington.

Read more about Ms Sarah James

She also sat on the JCR executive committee as Welfare Officer, leading a team of peer supporters and running training in college on matters of personal welfare. Whilst studying Theology she specialised in Christianity and Islam, taking a particular interest in Patristics, Classical Islam and the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. She won a termly academic prize for her work on the New Testament. When possible, she particularly enjoys scuba diving, attending Church and is an enthusiastic (but not very good) salsa dancer. Her teaching is inspired by the belief that high expectations, a rigorous curriculum and an unrepentant love for one’s subject can be life changing.

Government and Politics Teachers

Mr Samuel Hurst

University of Oxford

Mr Hurst read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford. After graduating, he worked at The Economist Intelligence Unit, a highly regarded think-tank, on a variety of projects ranging from creating a database on Africa’s 27 largest cities to providing public policy consultancy for the Prime Minister’s Office of an Arab State. Previously, Mr Hurst has also worked in economics consultancy, researching the legal aspects of mergers and pricing strategies. Mr Hurst left the EIU to be a part of Teach First in Barnsley.

Read more about Mr Samuel Hurst

Mr Hurst joined Michaela because he believes in the importance of getting pupils to learn and remember the most powerful knowledge there is. Relatedly, Mr Hurst has written extensively on the sociology of education for his Master’s degree. In addition to his teaching experience, Mr Hurst has also run mock interviews for Oxbridge candidates in the past, having had particular success with helping pupils onto courses relating to politics and economics.


Ms Alex Gazi

University of Cambridge

Ms Gazi graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in Politics, Psychology and Sociology. Whilst at university, she specialised in Psychology, with an additional interest in Criminology. Ms Gazi qualified as a Maths teacher through Teach First and spent a number of years teaching in East London before joining Michaela.

Read more about Ms Alex Gazi

Ms Gazi has also spent time in other sectors, working in consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and at the Department for Education, where she attended meetings at 10 Downing Street to discuss educational issues. She also spent time teaching English in South Korea.

Ms Gazi joined Michaela because she strongly believes that everyone should receive an excellent academic education so that prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge are accessible to all. Ms Gazi also has experience helping pupils with university applications, particularly to Oxbridge, with both personal statements and interview preparation.

French Teachers

Ms Jessica Lund

University of Oxford

Ms Lund is Head of Languages at Michaela. She graduated from Christ Church, Oxford with a degree in Literae Humaniores (Classics), specialising in ancient languages, philology and linguistics. In addition to fluent French and Spanish, conversational German and Italian, she taught herself Greek and Latin in preparation for her studies at Oxford.

Read more about Ms Jessica Lund

Her love of languages led her to train as a French and Spanish teacher, having travelled extensively in France, Spain and Latin America. She joined Michaela from an excellent secondary school in South-East London, where she was Head of French.

She has a particular interest in etymology (the study of the origins of words) and the science of language learning, as well as in French and Spanish film, literature, history and politics. While at university, she was a world-class debater and has worked in university admissions and outreach.


Ms Becky Staw

University of Oxford

Ms Staw studied French and German at Brasenose College, Oxford. She is also fluent in Spanish, having taught herself during her travels in Spain and South America. It was while teaching in Nepal at the end of her degree that she decided to embark on a career in teaching. Prior to joining Michaela, she was Head of Languages at a school in Essex and taught in central London, where her sixth form pupils achieved outstanding results in their final exams.

Read more about Ms Becky Staw

Ms Staw has a keen interest in French film, literature and philosophy and is excited to be teaching the first cohort of French A Level pupils at Michaela. As the only pupil from her cohort to be admitted to Oxbridge, Ms Staw believes in holding pupils to the highest standards in order to ensure their academic success.