Rianne Haynes – Teacher
Hi, I’m Rianne.
I have worked at Wensum for almost a year now. I was lucky to have a wonderful Year 4 class for their online learning journey during lockdown 1 and the teacher of Unicorn Class with Year 3, since September.
Wensum is the most wonderful school. It is an absolute pleasure to walk through the school doors in a morning. Each day brings something different and seeing the children engaged, inspired, motivated and keen to learn is a fantastic privilege to be a part of. Education in all forms is hugely important and the children at Wensum are able to experience something more then the ‘norm’. I am proud to work with such a brilliant team who are all wanting the children to be the best they can be!
Outside of teaching life, I am a Mummy to 2 little boys. Both of my boys have disabilities and SEND and my experience of this at home as well as in my educational career, makes me incredibly keen to promote all aspects of inclusion within school and to provide quality teaching for ALL children.
Before teaching, my life revolved around performing. As a trained classical singer, actress and dancer, my life has involved performing in many musical theatre shows and allowed to me to travel around the world performing in lots of prestigious places such as, Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty’s Theatre London, Disneyland and 5 star hotels across Egypt, to name but a few. I am still performing around the Norfolk area and you will often find me rehearsing and performing in shows at The Pavilion Theatre in Gorleston. I hope to be able to inspire the children and use my experience within music, drama and dance in school, as time goes on.
Rob Whalen – Teacher
Hi I’m Rob and I have been teaching at Wensum for 7 years (with a spell in Year 2 at Nelson for a year). As a former pupil at Wensum, I love working here and enjoy teaching our amazing children and giving back to the community that I grew up in.
I enjoy every single day in school as it is always a challenge (in a good way!) and most certainly unique. I am always looking for ways to integrate innovative new ideas into teaching. I have enjoyed supporting the use of Seesaw across both Wensum and Nelson. I have used my technological and media skills to create digital content for the school. Using these skills during lockdown helped to engage our families on different platforms when we couldn’t meet face to face.
Outside of teaching I enjoy travelling and being outdoors. I love walks, bike rides and watching football with my family. As well as this, I take part in a number of sports including running, football and cricket. Running is something that I use to keep myself physically and mentally healthy and I love nothing more than a Saturday morning 5km parkrun – I have completed 278 at 65 different venues around the UK and Europe as well as two marathons including London in 2017. 🏃🏽♂️
Lisa Martin – Teaching Assistant
Hello, I’m Lisa. I am very proud to be part of the Wensum staff team and love telling my friends in other schools about the REAL curriculum and exciting projects we all get involved in here. In 2020-2021 You will find me being a Teaching Assistant in both Year 3 classes, taking children for Thrive sessions or being with groups of parents for Family Thrive support sessions (if distancing guidelines allow). Outside of school, I play musical instruments (flute, piano, guitar and others). I also pretend to be an Anglo Saxon or Viking in a re-enactment group where I do long bow archery in battles all over the country and I love putting together flat pack furniture! My favourite thing to do in the whole world though is to spend time with my toddler grandson who is my pride and joy… and my cats, they’re pretty awesome too.
Natasha Wilby – Teacher
My name is Tash, I am a mother, wife, dog lover and teacher. I have worked at Wensum Junior for three years and before I trained as a teacher, I was a Forest School leader. I am passionate about education and I love my job. I recognise the importance of providing a safe, caring, supportive and effective environment that brings opportunities for each child to make those essential steps in life.
I have one son, Isaac, who is 10 years old and a dog, Albus Dumbledog, who is three. We spend our weekends exploring the outdoors, reading and having movie nights under the duvet with pizza. I joined the governing body to give me the opportunity to be involved in the strategic decisions and future direction of the school. Working as part of team helping our school to grow and develop is very rewarding. We all bring different skills and life experiences to the table which is exciting!
Verity Hanson – Teacher
Hi I’m Verity, year 4 teacher at Wensum junior school. I have 16 years teaching experience and am passionate about supporting children with their learning.
I have two children aged 10 and 8 and love spending time with them and my husband. I also enjoy walks, crafts, cooking and camping. I love reading novels and poetry and really enjoy sharing stories with my class too.
Andrea May – Teaching Assistant
Hi, my name is Andrea and I’m currently a teaching assistant in year 4. I have been at Wensum since 2013. I really love working with all the brilliant children who attend Wensum Junior School.
I am married with two amazing children aged 19 and 13 and my naughty cockapoo Darcy. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and going out for walks.
Suzanne Hyde – Teaching Assistant
I have worked in professional childcare settings for 26 years, specialising in young people with learning difficulties and emotional and behavioural difficulties. I trained as a qualified Social worker and have managed numerous children’s homes and a pupil referral unit. My absolute passion is finding the potential in every young person and helping them to shine their brightest.
Jo Kloss – Teacher
Hello! My name is Jo and I’m currently teaching year 5 at Wensum. I’ve worked here for two years and I can honestly say I’ve never felt more content in my work place. I have worked in many schools around Norfolk, gaining experience and challenges in each, but I always knew I’d end up in a school where talents were celebrated, voices were strong and the children were at heart of the school. I am so proud to be part of such a fantastic and supportive team!
I have two daughters and a grumpy sausage dog who likes nothing more than to drag us around the wild woodlands and coastline on a weekend. I feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful county and adore spending quality family time with my partner and children.
Sam Naylor – Teacher
I joined Nelson Infants as a Year 2 teacher in 2018 and later joined the teaching team here at Wensum Junior. I have taught in schools across Devon and Norfolk and worked with learners of all ages, from nursery to post-graduates. I am fascinated by the journey children take from their first words and drawings to becoming confident readers, writers and communicators. I love working at a school where children are encouraged to express their own views and develop their ‘voice’.
My daughters have attended Nelson and Wensum and as a parent I have enjoyed seeing them thrive and build happy memories of their time at school.
Outside of school, I love travelling and discovering other people’s stories.
Georgina Fiddament – Teaching Assistant
Alix Lewis – Teacher
My name is Alix Lewis and I am the teacher for Dragon class. I have been teaching at Wensum since 2015 and this is my third year in Year 6. I am also the Maths lead. In my spare time, I study Japanese and go to the gym.
Paul Wickens – Teacher
Hi my name is Paul, and I am a year 6 teacher at Wensum Junior School. I have worked at Wensum Junior School since 2017. Before moving to Primary, I was a secondary school English teacher. I absolutely love working with the amazing children who attend Wensum, who everyday do something to amaze me and make me smile!
I have two children aged 13 and 10 and love spending time with them. When not teaching or parenting, I enjoy playing my guitar, listening to music on vinyl records (a recent expensive hobby I acquired!), running and watching football. I love reading and am passionate about sharing with all children the joys of reading for pleasure. My choice of books is varied, but I particularly enjoy historical novels, graphic novels and books about World War Two.
Michelle Piercy – Teaching Assistant
Hello. I’m Michelle and I currently work with Year 6. I have been hanging out at Wensum for some time now. I say “hanging out” because it is where I like to be. I was first a parent of a Year 5 in 2011, then a volunteer listening to children read and helping with spelling practice. I went on to achieve a level 3 qualification in Supporting Teaching and Learning and became a teaching assistant.
I love Wensum! Previous to 2011 I home educated one of my children for most of the Primary years and, for me, Wensum is the nearest thing I have seen to home education – it really is a school that cares about the complete child and a complete education.
Outside school I enjoy reading (especially with my family), and watching crime drama and documentaries. What I love most is being with children – mine and my children’s out of school – and yours in it. They never let you forget to smile and and celebrate the moments of joy in life.
Nicola Denney – Teacher
I’m Nic, and I currently teach in Alternative Provision. I have worked at Wensum for 5 years, and have been teaching for nearly 20 years. I love the whole child approach we have in Wensum, as well as our creative curriculum. Before my life as a teacher, I was a research scientist at the UEA, but I got side-tracked teaching undergrads, and here I am today! Outside of teaching, I like to think I am adventurous – I climb regularly even though it scares me, and I love exploring new places abroad with my son.
Laura Hornsby – Teacher
My name is Laura. I have worked at Wensum for 4 years and I am an alternative provision teacher. I love seeing the transformation in children that use our alternative provision class and watching them grow in confidence and knowledge. I feel very privileged to be able to nurture and support the children through their journey. It is so amazing to be at a school that places so much importance on the well-being of children and supporting them to become articulate, confident, independent people.
I am a mother to 3 children and step mother to 2 others, I enjoy a lively, busy home! I love science, especially space travel and psychology. I am a qualified hypnotherapist and am soon to qualify as a counsellor, which is a skill which I am able to use to support our school in many ways.
Other Teaching Staff
Mark Swan – Teacher
Hi I’m Mark. I was born in Dorking, in 1963, but didn’t move to Norwich until 1990 to study the PGCE at UEA, following a degree in philosophy in London. My son Josh was born 3 weeks after moving.
During that first year, we found Norwich to be such a friendly and welcoming city, that we decided to stay. We were further persuaded by the fact that Kate was now pregnant with our daughter, Agi. Having now lived in Norwich for thirty years, 18 of which have been spent at Wensum, we have never doubted we made the right decision.
My hobbies include travelling, cycling and walking, art and history. In researching my family tree, we have traced Swans back to Diss in 1549. I have been lucky to have enjoyed several extended trips to East Africa, New Zealand, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as spending a year travelling with my children through Europe and Morocco in a type 2 VW. I also spend a lot of time beach-combing the Norfolk coast in search of fossils and semi-precious stones.
Amy M. – Teaching Assistant
Dan Clucas – Sports Coach
Hi, I’m Dan. I’ve been working at Wensum for 4 years now as the sports coach. I’ve been coaching sport in schools for 10 years and enjoy the different skills I get to teach and watch the children progress. I also coach for a local swimming team in the evenings.
In my spare time I love watching sport – my favourite sports to watch are cricket, rugby and football (apart from Norwich City FC). I also enjoy going for walks with my dog and spending time with my family.
Karen Bloice – Teaching Assistant
In my spare time I enjoy long walks, being creative and spending time with friends and family.
I have worked at Wensum for seven years now. I work mainly alongside the Pastoral team. I have enjoyed the diversity the role has given me.
Mark Smith – Sports Coach
Hello, I’m Mark and I am a PE, Sport and Wellbeing Apprentice at Wensum Junior School. After nearly twenty years working in an office, I was definitely ready for a completely different occupation and environment and I have really enjoyed my time here since joining in November 2020.
Away from school I enjoy watching sport (especially Norwich City FC), watching obscure films, loitering in bookshops and spending too much money on records.
Monica Kirkland – Higher Level Teaching Assistant
I have worked at Wensum Junior School for many years!
In the past I have taught ICT, humanities and art, but now I focus on interventions. I have a particular interest in dyslexia, as one of my sons and I have dyslexic tendencies! I have gained a SpLD teaching certificate in dyslexia and increased my expertise in this area, which has enabled me to deepen my understanding. I like to keep up to date with new innovations and ideas, especially using technology. I also look after the day to day running of the school network.
In my spare time I care for my two beautiful black Friesian horses, Lammy and Zackaan, with help from my husband Ivan. We enjoy nothing more than riding through the local woods and visiting the beach.
After School Club
Renee Jaques – Club Co-ordinator
I’m Renée. I am quite loud & bubbly, I really enjoy doing Macramè and I love Flamingos.
My role is to manage the After School Club at Wensum Junior School where my son is in year 5.
I am also an MSA at Nelson Infant School. If you see me make sure to say Hi. 😊
Zowie Glen – Parent Support Adviser
Hi, I’m Zowie.
Currently working in my 17th year at WJS as Parent Support Advisor.
Prior to this role I was a Teaching Assistant for 11 years; so I have worked with many children and families from the community across the years.
As a child, I attended WJS too.
It’s a special place, that I’m fortunate to say has been a big part of my life for a very long time.
Away from work, my other happy place is with my two children, who are 14 and 9.
We enjoy walks along the beach, bowling, baking (& eating the baking!), playing games and watching films together.
I can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
Kimberley Stevens – Teaching Assistant
I joined Wensum Junior school in 2016 as a school receptionist, two years later, I decided to spend more time directly with the wonderful children of Wensum and embarked on my journey as a teaching assistant. I completed my level 3 Teaching Assistant qualification. I then decided to start a BSc Psychology degree – I’m currently in my second year.
I am a qualified THRIVE practitioner. Taking individuals and groups out for targeted thrive sessions is my primary role, which I LOVE. We explore our minds using metaphor and the arts.
I am a massive animal lover, especially my two guinea pigs, Pumpkin and Liquorice. When not at work or studying, I spend time at the gym or swimming pool, doing embroidery, crafts or spending time with my family.
Sarah Knights – School Secretary
I am the School Secretary at Wensum and have worked in the office for 14 years. I love the busy atmosphere of the office where no two days are the same! I am married with three grown up sons. Out of work I am an avid gardener and my garden is my happy place. I love going to the theatre and watching live music. As a family we have been supporters of NCFC for many years and spend many Saturdays at Carrow Road.
Stephen Roberts – Receptionist
Hi, I’m Stephen Roberts. I’ve had links to Wensum for many years. When my child started here, I volunteered as a parent helper. I then joined the Friends of the School and also became a school governor. After a few years as a volunteer, I got a job as a Midday Supervisory Assistant (MSA, what most people call a “Dinner Lady”). Although it was drastically different from my previous jobs, I enjoyed it immensely. When the previous receptionist decided to change roles, I applied for the job and got it. Now that I’m the school’s receptionist, I’m likely to be the person you see or speak to when you visit or call the school. My responsibilities include sending emails to parents using Pupil Asset management information system; and organising school dinners and payments using School Money. I’m also a first-aider.
Victoria McConnell – Headteacher
I passionately believe I have one of the best jobs in the world! As school staff, we are lucky enough to spend our days investigating and finding answers to amazing questions alongside your brilliant children.
As a teacher, I know that children are more than just the score they can achieve in a test but wonderful individuals who we work alongside to help guide them into a happy, healthy and safe future as honest kind and respectful individuals. These young people are our future and already have a strong voice which should be listened to!
I have been teaching for ages in both London and Norfolk.
Out of work I am a wife and mother of three. I have a degree in music, I absolutely love to travel (especially to hot locations serving delicious spicy food) and have a passion for gardening. (I think) I have a good sense of humour and I am an absolutely terrible dancer (although it pains me to admit it).
I am incredibly proud to be the head teacher of both Wensum Junior and Nelson Infant schools and I am committed to serve this community to the best of my ability.
Peter Hubery – Deputy Head
I have been teaching for 20 years. I started in London teaching art at a secondary school in Blackheath. I was then head of art at a small secondary in Romford, before leaving London to move to Norwich – my wife’s home city – to take on the new head of design post at Sewell Park College. In 2014 I saw an advert for a job at a small junior school in the city. I needed a change but had never taught at junior level before. In fact, my first lesson was on my interview, but I loved Wensum the minute I came through the door. Fantastic kids, passionate staff, great families, and such an amazing age to work with. Having taught kids all the way up to 19, primary is definitely my favourite. So much enthusiasm, openness and honesty! Outside of school I love working on my house, hanging out with my family and other animals, and listening to Nick Cave. My favourite joke is this: Last night, my wife and I decided to watch two films back to back. Luckily, I was the one facing the Telly! (Thanks, Tim Vine, I think).
Jo Wells – SENDCO
Anna Catlin – Assistant Headteacher
I really love my job at Nelson and Wensum. I am immensely proud of our children and all the amazing staff who approach every day with enthusiasm. I am passionate about the Thrive Approach and recently became a Licensed Thrive Trainer. Outside school, I am mum to Ella and Pearl, partner to Toby, daughter to Denise and Kev, a big sister to Rosa, granddaughter to Eddie, owner of Teddy the British Shorthair cat and more recently Franklin the American Staff puppy! I love dancing in the kitchen with my girls, working on macramé projects and hanging out with family and friends (when we’re allowed!) Being outside when it is warm makes me and my family really happy, we also love swimming in the river, bike rides and watching movies. I believe in being honest with children, and that time, relationship and connection are the most important elements of being a parent and teacher.
“Wiggy” – School Dog
Hello, I’m Wiggy, but my full racing name is Dunham Wiggins. I also answer to Wiggles and Mr Wiggins. I am 5 years old and my birthday is 16th December. I was born in Northern Ireland and moved with my sister, Dunham Khloe, to England for a life of greyhound racing. I won 11 races and came second 19 times! Unfortunately, I broke my leg while racing and I had to have a lot of stitches and surgery to make me better. I then spent some time being looked after by Molly and Wallace at Great Yarmouth Homefinders before being adopted by Pete and his human family. The best thing is that I now have two new Spaniel friends, Maggie and Pippa. My favourite things to do are nap in my bed, go on walks with Mags and Pips, and steal food when no-one is looking, especially steak and cheese sandwiches. My favourite place to be stroked is on the head and on my neck. I like it when people read me stories and feed me treats! If you are passing come and say “Hi!”
Greyhound trivia: I have a blue tattoo on the inside of each ear. This proves my Irish heritage. If I was born in England I would only be tattooed in one ear!
Hiya my name is Christine. I’m a mum to 3 beautiful children who attend Nelson and Wensum and a local high school. I am one of the Senior MSAs at Wensum. I love my job working along side the best staff and the best children ever! Working at Wensum is different everyday – which I love. When I’m not working, I love spending time with my friends & family, and going to watch Norwich City play where I am a season ticket holder.
Hello I’m Kate. I’m passionate about working with children. I have been working at Wensum junior school for now 13 years as a MSA, with the outstanding staff that I work alongside. I have a lovely family and also friends which I treasure. I have 1 dog – her name is Holly. My son and daughter both went to Nelson Infant School and Wensum Junior School – they are now 21 and 19. I have a creative mind when it comes to making candles and art and crafts.
Hi, I’m Lydia and I’m a MSA at Wensum Junior.
I have two lovely children, my daughter attends Wensum Junior and my son attends Nelson Infant School.
I love music, going to festivals, making things with my children and relaxing with a good box set. I really enjoy working at Wensum with all the amazing children and staff.
Hello, My name is Rachael. I am a very creative person with art. I love animals like my 3 lovely dogs at home – Hunter, Twix and Sky and also with my 3 lovely cats – Bear, Gunner, and Pepe. I have two amazing sons who go to Nelson Infant School – they are in Yr 2 and Yr R. I am an MSA at Wensum. I LOVE every minute of my job working along side the amazing staff at Wensum.
Hi I’m Sarah. I’ve lived in Norwich my whole life and am a former Wensum Junior School pupil. I’ve worked at Wensum for over 3 years starting my career here serving the children their lunches. I then became an MSA which is my current job role whilst training as a TA.
I live with my partner and 7 year old daughter Poppie. We have 2 pet chickens, Oxo and Bisto, who are very funny little characters. I have a basic knowledge of BSL and love to cook. At the weekend you will often find us in the kitchen baking a cake or making biscuits.
Lucas Hewett – Caretaker
Janet Hyman – Cleaner
Susan Roberts – Cleaner