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The English Team

Karen Fernandez - Head of Department

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I joined Melksham Oak in 2011. Teaching is very important to me and so are my students! Once you have met me you will realise that I have high expectations but that I will offer you 100% in return for  all your hard work! I expect to create English classes that will be interesting, engaging and make learning FUN!

Without totally giving my age away I can tell you that I have lived in Wiltshire for 43 years. Before I came to Wiltshire I travelled around the country, as well as living abroad, because my father was in the RAF.

Although I still claim Cornwall as my home county - it is where I expect to retire in my dotage - Wiltshire has a very special place in my heart for many reasons; mainly because it is where I have raised my family. I have six children, two cats, a giant of a German Shepherd (called Zeua) and several fish tanks filled with exotic fish. Currently my favourite fish is the angel fish because, strangely, it appears to recognise me! However, this could just be my overactive imagination!

My main hobbies are reading (obviously) films, walking (not as much as I should) and the theatre - I love Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama. I used to play hockey (left wing) for a Chippenham Ladies team but now I have resigned myself to the sidelines. It is almost as much fun shouting at people as playing, but not quite! I intend to dust off my bike ( no motor and so possibly not as impressive as Mr Clark's) off in the Summer Holidays and try to build a bit of stamina and fitness back up but that is all talk at the moment!

I am bowled over by the school, the attitudes of the students as well as the fabulous staff. I have encountered a vibrant community and a pride and enthusiasm, which is completely contagious! I am looking forward to being part of the jigsaw in the journey through the education and personal development of Melksham's young people.

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 Ian Hardingml_av_ianharding

I’ve now taught English at MOCS and, previously, at The George Ward School, for ten years – with a rewarding detour through the R.E. Department for a year.

Books! Books! And more books! Stories have given me such delight over the years. And it’s my love of reading and stories and literature that drew me to teaching English in the first place.

Could I inspire a similar love of words in the young people I taught?

That question really inspires me, just like the stories always have.

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Amy Soanml av amybassett 3

I have been teaching at MOCS since 2011 and love working in such a vibrant environment.
I have some wonderful classes, whom I have high expectations of, and make sure that the lessons I plan for them are engaging, relevant and fun. I love trying new things in the classroom and if I can relate a lesson to food in any way then I will –a recent lesson on different cakes as different sentence types was a particular highlight.
I love reading and I have two young children so am just as likely to be found reading The Gruffalo (with all the voices!) as my two favourite books: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

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ml_av_ashleywilliamsAshley Williams - Joint English Deputy Faculty Leader

I am definitely enjoying my time at Melksham Oak, beginning a new journey with 7L and teaching a variety of great classes for English Literature, Language and Media. It is a busy time - but manageable, thanks to the support of the department and all of the staff.
Born, raised and living in Bristol, I stayed relatively local in education and now enjoy a nice (but long!) drive into work across the outskirts of Bath each day. In school, I like to try and play football with the staff and enter the occasional dancing competition. Outside of school, I like to spend my time playing football, squash or inside my gym, as well as seeing my wonderful family, wife and friends.
I'm looking forward to watching my tutor group learn and grow over the years, and I'm looking forward to the journey that I am on myself.

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ml_av_rebeccamciverRebecca McIver 

I love teaching English and working with young people as I find there is a smile to share every day.

Originally from Portsmouth, I moved to Wiltshire when I was 10 years old and still live in Chippenham with my husband and three children - two of whom are still in secondary education.

Before becoming a teacher, I tried my hand at several different careers, including a few years as a 'stay at home' mum, but I find teaching to be the most varied, challenging, unpredictable and bonkers role of all. I love it!

I truly believe in the importance of English skills in every aspect of life. I understand the challenges along the way from the viewpoint of both a teacher and a parent of students. I treat every pupil as I would want someone to treat one of my own children. I am honest and realistic with my classes but I will always challenge them to do their very best and encourage pride in their work.

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ml_av_lornaguilmantLorna Guilmant

Originally from Hill Head on the south coast of Hampshire, I moved to Wiltshire in 2012 and have taught at Melksham Oak for five years. I began my teaching career over twenty years ago in further education where I held the post of Pastoral Care Manager.

We now live in a pretty little village in the community and have a brindle and white dog called Molly who likes to do numerous tricks, a chilled-out tortoiseshell cat with four pretty white socks who is called Pebbles and Willow, who is still only a kitten and jet black like a witch’s cat; they are best friends and curl up by the fire in the evenings.

When I’m not teaching our awesome students, I like riding motorbikes, cooking, gardening, photography, drawing and target shooting (having won the Hampshire and Dorset Ladies’ Pistol Championship on a number of occasions).

Working at Melksham Oak each day is a most fantastic and fulfilling experience. I reflect and develop my teaching often, ensuring that my lessons are challenging, supportive and rewarding for my students enabling them to progress and grow.

Whenever I am asked what job I do, I am extremely proud to inform people that I am part of the dedicated English Team at Melksham Oak, where I am able to witness our students mature academically and develop into the most exceptional young people amidst the inspirational environment of our lovely school.

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 Stephanie Gee - Joint English Deputy Faculty Leader - On Maternity Leave

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Despite having worked at Melksham Oak since 2015, I am no stranger to the school as I was previously a teaching assistant in 2013 and was a pupil at George Ward just before the move to the Oak. On top of that, I am proud to be Melksham born and bred and love my hometown – even if bumping into students on a Sunday morning in Asda can be a little embarrassing!
When I’m not teaching or chasing after my tutor group, my main love is going to festivals and heavy metal gigs with my husband. I also love reading, watching rugby (even though I don’t know the rules!) and sewing, and occasionally experiment with making my own clothes.
I absolutely adore teaching and genuinely could not imagine myself in any other role. When working with so many varied personalities and characters, no two days are the same and I find the students teach me equally as much as I teach them some days!

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mk av kateharrold 1Kate Harrold

I’m a part-time English teacher and I started working at MOCS in 2016.

As you would expect, I love reading and writing, but I don’t get much time to do such things any more as I always seem to be running around after my identical twin daughters.  

When I get the chance, I also love to swim, go for long walks or watch anything on TV that ISN’T CBeebies. If you sing a kids’ show theme tune in my earshot I will either sing along or start to twitch… Choose wisely!

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Scott Drew

I teach English, Media Studies and Creative Digital Media too. I have been teaching for over 20 years. In the course of my career, I have taught locally in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Bath, and as far afield as New Zealand and Australia. 

I love the day-to-day interaction with students and the rewarding feeling of helping individuals achieve their goals. 

I strongly believe that it is my mission, as a Teacher of English, to ensure that all students develop into lifelong readers, writers and thinkers. 

Outside of school, I am a qualified martial arts instructor with training in Wing Chun Kung Fu, Muay Thai and Jeet Kune Do. I have also tried my hand at MMA but I have come to the conclusion that I may be getting a little too old to fight in the octagon…

 

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Grahame Goodchildmk av grahamgoodchild 1

Having worked in Slough school(near London) for the first 9 years of my career, my wife and young family have moved to Wiltshire to be closer to the rest of our family. As a teacher of English, I enjoy reading novels and watching films. However, as a parent, I also enjoy taking my children out on walks along the canal or in National Trust parks . Originally from Bournemouth, I am a big fan of AFC Bournemouth and enjoy looking on as they make big strides in the Premier League…

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Sam Phillismk avs samphillis

The newest face on the block, I love the welcoming atmosphere the entire school gives out, and thanks to how similar all of the corridors look, I’ve really seen all of it. I’m enjoying settling in at MOCS and I’m really looking forward to taking my groups of chiddlers through their school careers, in English AND Drama! I love the subjects I teach - I hope this comes through with my students and I hope I can convince them to feel the same way!

Having grown up in a Navy family I’m no stranger to moving around and meeting new people, but I plan on staying at MOCS for a good while yet - especially if I keep losing my bearings in the corridors…

 I’m a massive petrol head, and when I’m not teaching, planning or marking, you can find me in the garage. Passing my time and grazing my knuckles fiddling with engines, turbos and all things mucky and mechanical. Ask me about my old Saab!

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Katie Lambertml av katielambert

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Alex Bound

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 Alice Johnstonemk avs alicejohnstone

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 Zak Hamdia

After working at MOCS for the past year as a cover teacher, I'm very glad to now be a member of the English department, as well as teaching a few lessons in Drama. This is my first year teaching full time and I'm very much looking forward to getting to know my students on a deeper level and excited for all the challenges ahead.

Outside of school I'm an avid Basketball fan and follow it religiously (ask me about anything to do with the LA lakers). I play the sport 3 times a week, as I like to try and keep my fitness up and enjoy playing in the Trowbridge Basketball League (TBL). My other hobbies include playing football, clay shooting, watching films and singing. I originally trained at the London College of Music, studying Musical Theatre. During my time at LCM, I was fortunate enough to make an appearance in a Comic Relief sketch which involved Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, JLS, Olly Murs and David Walliams to name a few. I have an immense appreciation for TV/Film and the theatre and have subsequently been to see way too many musicals - In the Heights being my favourite.

In the short time that I have been at MOCS, the biggest thing that first stood out to me is the sense of community created here. Every member of staff has been so kind and welcoming, creating such a lovely environment to work in.

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