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student welfare team

Student Welfare

Pastoral Care is an important aspect of making our school a safe and comfortable place for all our students.

It is a key feature of school life:

  • listening to, and responding to students and their needs
  • encouraging a sense of community and respect for one another
  • engaging students in all aspects of their education
  • recognising the wide range of achievements by students
  • making students feel effective learners
  • ensuring that there is quality communication between staff and students

Heather Mitchell - Safeguarding Officerml av heathermitchell-4

In April 2016 safeguarding became my main role at Melksham Oak and is a responsibility I take seriously. I started working at George Ward back in 2006 and have seen many positive changes in the school year on year.

I was born in Oxford but  have lived in a 10 mile radius of Melksham most of my life. I am an ex-student of George Ward School and a parent of 2 children who also attended school here. You could say I have experienced the school from every angle! I have enjoyed a variety of roles in my working life including time spent as a community care officer and a probation officer. Both roles gave me valuable experiences that I brought with me here.

I currently live in Semington with my cat Jack, my partner and 2 grown up children who will be flying the nest any day now! Outside of school I enjoy swimming, reading, cycling and weekends away camping though only when the weather is fine. I relish an opportunity of a coastal walk, especially on a bright summers day and an ice cream van in clear sight!


 ml av kerribuckleyKerri Burgess - Attendance Officer

Having previously worked in three local secondary schools. I was delighted to take up the post at MOCS, it is a great school with a fabulous staff and  wonderful, brand new facilities for the students. I feel extremely lucky to have become part of the MOCS community.

Although I am London born and bred, I have lived all my adult life in Wiltshire, never more than 10 miles from Melksham, so I know the local area well.

I love my job and have worked for many years with children and young people from 0-18 years of age in my various roles as Pre-School Manager, Childminder, Teaching Assistant  and Pastoral Manager including 6th form. I have also spent 11 years as a school governor in both primary and secondary schools, and have found it fascinating to learn about this aspect of school life.

It makes me very proud when I meet ex students and they tell me how they are doing, particularly when they thank me for the small part I played in making their school life successful.  I find getting to really know young people and supporting them through their school years hugely rewarding and wouldn’t change careers for the world!


Mat Ryall - Learning Director for Year 11

ml av matt ryall

I was born in Weston-Super-Mare and have lived and worked in various countries around the world. This was in the army during my younger years and then as an engineer more recently. I began my career as a science teacher in 2007, a science teacher is a bit like a normal teacher, but much cooler. I eventually found my way back to the West Country after having kids and now live in Frome with my wife, son and cat.

I believe my role as year 11 learning director here at MOCS is a very privileged one. Every student at MOCS is important and those in year 11 deserve the very best support, opportunities and education to help them become happy young adults. With a strong tutor team and excellent pastoral support we aim to help our students to make the most of their opportunities whilst they develop into young adults and prepare for the world ahead of them.


ml av patcooperPat Cooper - Pastoral Manager Year 11 and 6th Form - Safeguarding Officer

I joined the School in 2005 to support the Learning Directors with Behavioural and Pastoral Care for KS4 . One of my roles is to organise the Year 11 Prom and the production of the Yearbook. To further enhance my role within school I am one of a Team of Child Protection Officer in the school. In 2013 I expanded my role to support M/s Quirk and the 6th Form Team in supporting our students to achieve their full potential.

I was born in Kent but have lived most of my life in Melksham. I moved away however to train and work with children with Disabilities and also lived in Australia for a short while. I came back to Melksham where I met my childhood sweetheart again and got married! I have 2 Children and 5 Grandchildren.  In my spare time I love being with my family and friends,cooking, making crafty items and walking my lovely Staffie.



Kinna Curtis - Pastoral Managerkinna curtis Teaching Assistant

I have worked at MOCS since September 2014, and it has been a thoroughly pleasurable experience. I enjoy the challenge and supporting our pupils.

After working in both Primary and Secondary schools, I have found that my real passion is working in Secondary. I find it much more rewarding and enjoy the great sense of humour that many of our pupils and members of staff have.


Claire Warren - Pastoral Managerclairewarren

I have worked at MOCS since September 2014 and enjoy every minute of it. My previous jobs have included management roles for Odeon,  Alton Towers and working back stage in many theatres.  I now live in Melksham with my husband and two children, in my spare time I enjoy crafting, singing and reading. 



Nick Martin - Pastoral Managermk avs nickmartin

 I joined Melksham Oak in September 2017 as a TA after working as an outdoor activities instructor and wanting a career change. Whilst working as an instructor I always enjoyed working with children and felt working at Melksham Oak would be a perfect match for me. Outside of work I enjoy a variety of sports including football and canoeing, as we as spending time with my daughter and fiancé.


 Ceri Hughes - Pastoral Manager Lancaster Centremk av cerihughes 1

I started working at the Lancaster Centre in November 2015; I work with pupils who for a range of reasons are not able to attend the main school. I enjoy interacting with different students some of whom stay for just a few days and others a little longer. I try and help students see the positives of education and how it will benefit them in the future.When I am away from work I like spending time with my fiancé and our two young sons having fun and making memories. 


Helen Pearce - Pastoral Managermk avs helenpearce

I have worked with young people in a variety of settings and roles for many years, and joined MOCS in July 2017. I spend my time working between the Lancaster Centre and the main school; building trusting relationships with the pupils and helping them to achieve the best that they can makes for a challenging but very rewarding day!

Away from work, I have a husband, two sons and two dogs – all of whom keep me very busy. We are an active family and love the outdoors. Interior design is a passion of mine but I also enjoy cooking, reading and shoe shopping! 


 Sophie Morris - Pastoral Managermk avs sophiemorris

I started at MOCS in Sept 2018 and am very excited to be joining the Student Welfare Team as Pastoral Manager.

I have 14 years experience in working with many challenging and vulnerable young people. As a Youth Development Co-ordinator, I worked alongside young people with social, emotional and mental health issues, giving them the time and opportunity to express themselves, build self-esteem and feel valued within society. As a Restorative Justice Worker, I managed and led Referral Order Panel meetings with young people and their parents/carers, which involved conflict resolution, mediation and victim support. I am very passionate about Restorative Justice practices and seek to implement this approach in any conflict situation which might arise.

Outside of work, I keep myself fit as a member of a gym and by enjoying outdoor activities with my family and 3 young children. We are a busy household, creative and innovative, recognising fun and happiness as an important part of growing up and learning in our everyday lives.


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