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Top Class Training for North Bridge House Staff

For any school to inspire its pupils, it must first inspire staff. Often dubbed as extended holiday for teachers, and dreaded by teachers themselves who fear more paperwork and unrealistic targets, training days are, in fact, an opportunity to enthuse and motivate educators.

As we embark on the Summer term – an important term for GCSE and A-Level exams and for consolidating the year’s learning – our staff gathered for a development day with a difference. Around 120 teachers attended a group-wide event, collaborating ideas on enhancing pupils’ learning across the five successful North Bridge House schools.

Held at North Bridge House Canonbury, this was an effective opportunity for individualised professional development, besides a chance for teachers and school leaders to build links across the NBH group, and with some well-known names in education. Joining our 10 in-house speakers, nine external guest speakers shared their varying expertise, from education policy to what we can learn from education systems around the world.

With an experienced and diverse selection of inspiring professionals, the day’s workshops and seminars covered a range of ways to ensure the best for our pupils, both within and beyond the classroom. From embedding a culture of teaching and learning in school to contrasting Ivy League and Russell Group experience, staff continued to develop our outstanding preparation for pupils at each stage of their school career.

Most importantly, staff were reminded of their reasons and passion for teaching and shared their enthusiasm throughout the group: Nursery through to Sixth Form teachers united in their vision to inspire young people. After all, we realise that the school itself – the environment in which both staff and students work day in, day out – plays a huge part in the quality of our teachers’ delivery. We strive to create a supportive atmosphere across our community of schools, where leadership, mentors and colleagues want each other, as well as our pupils, to succeed.

“Coaching is goal orientated, much like education.” (Ellie Grunewald, North Bridge House Prep School.)

Please see below for information on each of the speakers at our staff development day.

External Speaker Profiles 

Simon Camby Simon is currently the Director of Education for Cognita Schools. His previous roles include head teacher for several Primary and all-through schools, senior Local Authority adviser, lead Ofsted inspector, and CEO/Director of Academies for the Focus Trust.  Simon has also written over 40 publications including the bestselling ‘Year Group Non Negotiables’. Lucy Crehan Lucy studied Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford before taking a teaching role in a secondary school in London. Upon completion of her Masters degree, she embarked on a trip around the world to research high performing education systems; a journey which forms the basis of her book, Cleverlands. Lucy currently works as a freelance education consultant/researcher.
Clay Van Doren Clay spent four years at Harvard as a History undergraduate before embarking on a successful career in communications. Besides his History BA, he holds an MBA from the prestigious Wharton Business School. Having moved over to London – and with children about to apply to university – Clay has been struck by the different approaches to higher education in the US/UK. Yohana Franklin Yohana is the Trust Manager of the Ben Kinsella Trust, an education charity that uses the true, devastating story of Ben Kinsella to demonstrate to young people the consequences of our choices and impact of knife crime. She is an Islington resident who has worked in educational charities for the last 10 years.


Gerard Kelly Gerard has over twenty years’ experience in education journalism, during which time he served as the award winning editor of both Times Higher Education and the Times Education Supplement. He has since gone on to found GKP, a communications consultancy specialising in education. Steve Poole Steve has 34 years’ experience of educational improvement. His roles have incorporated secondary Headships, LEA consultant, and school improvement advisor to an academy trust. Steve is also a facilitator for the NPQH face-to-face training days for the Surrey Teaching Schools Network and an Ofsted trained inspector.
Lauren Taylor Lauren is Head of Early Years at St Nicholas Prep school.  She achieved her diploma in Montessori Pedagogy five years ago and is passionate about the individual child led approach towards learning. Lauren writes a Q&A column for the Montessori International magazine to promote the benefits of the philosophy. Freddie Whittaker Freddie joined the team of the highly regarded education publication Schools Week in August 2015. Following spells at various regional newspapers, he now writes on education policy in his role as a Schools Week Senior Reporter, besides contributing articles to the New Statesman and other online publications.
Hazel Holder Hazel holds an MA in Voice Studies from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed in a wide variety of theatre and television roles, and has provided training to a range of corporate clients including; TeachFirst, the NHS, and Ark Schools.

NBH Speaker Profiles

Simon Columb Simon is in his second year as Head of Art at North Bridge House Prep. Prior to his current role, he led the art department at a Year 7-13 secondary school, and thus has experience of fostering creativity in young people across this age range. James Garrett James is Head of History at NBH Senior School in Hampstead. As a member of the school’s Teaching and Learning working party, he has a remit for developing learner memory – a subject on which he has delivered whole school training.
Ellie Grunewald A teacher of 16 years, Ellie holds an MA in Emotional Factors in Teaching and Learning.  Part of her role at NBH Prep is to mentor and support trainee teachers.  She is currently working towards a Diploma in Transformational Life Coaching. Dan Macpherson Dan is Head of Languages at NBH Canonbury, where 76% of GCSE Languages students are boys. Alongside his role at NBH, Dan also delivers CPD for AQA exam board and has presented on the topic of motivating boys at the Language Show Live.
Helene Reznek Helene has nearly 30 years’ educational experience across both teaching and Senior Leadership roles.   She is currently Head of Learning Support at NBH Prep, where, alongside her work with pupils, she is responsible for the training of Learning Support Assistants. Ania Smithers Ania holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties, and is a member of both AMBDA and PATOSS. She is an SPLD assessor and has designed and delivered interventions for students with a wide range of needs across all Key Stages.
James Stenning Formerly Head of Economics at Highgate School, James is currently Deputy Head at NBH Canonbury.  In his M.Ed dissertation, James is examining how schools can best prepare students for the world of work. Ivan Stroud After 8 years as Head of Sculpture at Harrow, Ivan recently took up the post of Head of Art at NBH Canonbury. Besides his teaching role, Ivan continues to produce and sell stone sculptures to buyers across the country.
Jonathan Taylor Currently Head of NBH Canonbury, Jonathan previously led Dulwich College Zhuhai, in which capacity he sat on the DC International Steering Group and held specific remit for University and College Admissions. Jonathan recently wrote about the differences between UK and US study for the Daily Telegraph. Shannon Williamson A native of New Zealand, Shannon graduated with a B.Ed From the University of Auckland. As Head of Computer Science at NBH Prep school, she is leading the implementation of Firefly, and training staff on how to utilise this tool effectively to engage students in their learning.




North Bridge House Schools

Nursery & Pre-Prep School Contact Numbers

Nursery general number
020 7267 6266 Option 1
Pre-Prep general number
020 7267 6266 Option 2
Admission number
020 7428 1520

Prep School Contact Numbers

General number
020 7267 6266 Option 3
Admission number
020 7428 1520

Senior Hampstead Contact Numbers

General number
020 7267 6266 Option 4
Admission number
020 7428 1520

Senior Canonbury Contact Numbers

General number
020 7267 6266 Option 5
Admission number
020 7428 1520

North Bridge House Schools

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