About Us

The Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT has a dedicated team working to ensure that your training with us is well supported and student focused.

Our central team is based in dedicated offices in The Suthers Building on the Toot Hill School campus in Bingham.

In addition to the central team, you will be working closely with individual subject mentors and other professionals within the organisation throughout your training.

The Central Team

Treena PhilpottsSCITT Director

Treena has 20 years of experience working and teaching in primary and secondary schools. She began her career as a teacher of Physical Education and Geography working in a variety of schools in the West Midlands . She developed her experience in teacher training as a regional teacher trainer for the Sandwell then Rushcliffe Sports Partnership and later became Head of PE at Toot Hill School.

In more recent years in her role as a Strategic School Leader, she had responsibility for Continuing Professional Development of teachers, delivering the National Professional Qualification Leadership courses and developing MA research and development.

Treena now works within the Nova Education Trust as Director of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and Teaching School Alliance leading teacher professional development across all career stages.

Rachel RimmingtonSCITT and TSA Admin

Rachel is the first port of call for any enquiries you might have about School Centred Initial Teacher Training or School Direct.

She has been working with the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT since September 2014.

Please feel free to give her a call or email her with any queries or questions you might have and she will be able to assist.

Kat NooneDeputy Director (Secondary)

Kat has over 10 years of experience working and teaching in secondary schools as an ICT teacher and subject co-ordinator.

Now as ITT and NQT Co-ordinator at Toot Hill School, Kat has in-depth knowledge and experience working with beginning teachers; for the past three years she has worked in close partnership with a range of ITT providers across the region.

Throughout her career, Kat has always played a part in whole school staff training as well as working collaboratively with partnership schools.

Kat has dedicated many years of her career to mentoring beginning teachers which ensures they feel fully supported moving from ITT to become successful NQTs. Her role now extends to supporting NTS partner schools in the planning and delivery of school based mentorship, in school ITT provision and Newly Qualified Teacher training.

Shelly GeesonDeputy Director (Primary)

Shelly qualified as a primary school teacher in 2004 and has taught across Key Stage 1 and 2, including the Foundation Stage. The majority of her teaching experience has been in Nottingham City. Her previous Senior Leadership Roles include English Coordinator, SENDCo and a KS2 Lead, where she has also supported and mentored students, NQTs and RQTs.

In the last year, Shelly has worked in partnership with the UoN to support their Primary School Direct Programme and is currently working as the Deputy Director for SCITT, responsible for managing and implementing the Primary Programme and developing our Primary Partnerships. In addition to this, she has written and delivered CPD courses for the Nova Academy Trust for Middle Leadership and RQT Training.

Natalie LawrenceSenior Lead Tutor

Natalie has taught PE since 2007 in Manchester and Nottingham, taking on a variety of departmental roles from Key Stage Coordinator to Performance Director. She has completed an MA in Education with a particular focus on teachers and their values. Natalie has several years’ experience of coaching and mentoring at both NQT and ITT level, including working with PGCE students from a number of universities throughout England. For the last two years, Natalie has been the PE subject tutor for the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT and has been recently appointed as the Senior Tutor.

Kristian RoebuckSCITT Marketing and Social Media Ambassador

Kristian is the newest member of our team and joins us as a marketing and social media ambassador.

He comes to the education sector as a career changer. Kristian recently completed his initial teacher training with Nottingham Torch SCITT and is now completing his NQT year in one of the Nova Education Trust secondary schools as a Mathematics and Physics teacher.

Prior to teaching, Kristian’s first career was as a professional sportsman. Over a seven-year period, he represented England on the world badminton tour, where he reached a career high No.14 in the world rankings.

Following this, Kristian worked for a multinational construction services company for 10 years delivering infrastructure projects across the country a Project and Business Manager.

As part of the SCITT team, Kristian will be responsible for promoting teaching as a career through social media and teacher training marketing events.

Lead Subject Tutors

Lynn BrookPrimary Tutor

Lynn is currently Deputy Head Teacher at Victoria Primary School where she is Lead DSL, Teaching and Learning lead and phase leader for lower KS2 amongst other things. During her career, she has primarily co-ordinated English or Maths, leading many staff meetings and INSETS but it is mentoring NQTs through their initial year in teaching and coaching both teaching and support staff that is her true passion.

Sem CaoPrimary Tutor

Sem has 10 years’ experience teaching within inner-city primary schools in Nottingham. During this time, she has led Key Stages and English across school and successfully supported staff as an NQT mentor and coach. She has driven change and improvement in the schools that she has worked in through her in-depth knowledge and expectations of high quality Teaching and Learning. In the last three years, she has worked as an Assistant Head of School and continued to successfully support and develop both new and experienced staff in their teaching practice. Sem has extensive knowledge and experience of teaching and learning and expectations at the end of KS1 SATs and became one of the team of Nottingham City KS1 Moderators last year. Her role continues to encompass working collaboratively and leading training to deliver effective CPD to staff on a trust-wide basis.

Lee KirkwoodLead Subject Tutor for Mathematics

Lee has worked with the Trust for a number of years in a variety of roles, but most recently as a senior director of maths. He has previously worked in several very successful Maths departments as part of Outwood Grange Academies Trust. Lee has taken on vital roles as a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) in Maths and Head of Department. He has several years of experience of mentoring and delivering CPD for teachers across the partnership.

Helen GibneyLead Subject Tutor for English

Helen has 17 years of experience teaching English and Drama within secondary schools in Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire. She currently holds responsibility for Key Stage 5 English at Meden School and also has previous experience as a literacy co-ordinator.She has a wealth of experience in ITT and NQT mentoring, since first taking on the role of mentor in 2003. Helen is currently involved in the delivery of training for NQTs for the Nottinghamshire Education Authority.

Lynne CullingworthLead Subject Tutor for Science

Lynne has had over 20 years teaching experience and many years of being a PGCE/School Direct/NQT mentor. During her teaching career she has been a Head of Biology and for the last 12 years was the Leading Teacher for Gifted and Talented/Most Able and Aspiring pupils at Toot Hill School. During this time she successfully developed the whole school programme for more able students, resulting in the school receiving the prestigious NACE Challenge Award in recognition of this. Lynne is an SLE (Gifted and Talented) and currently leads the Nottinghamshire G and T Network. In 2015 Lynne was awarded an MA in Education by The University of Nottingham.

Laura TervitLead Subject Tutor for MFL

Laura has worked within the Nova Education Trust for the past five years and, in this time, she has gained vast experience in both curriculum and pastoral leadership roles. She specialises in French and Spanish and can teach both languages from KS3 to A Level. Laura has implemented whole school strategies for key groups and memorisation techniques, which have been successful in improving outcomes for students. She has been a SCITT mentor for the past year and has also completed her Masters in Education on the topic of using iPads to increase learner motivation.

Helen HeathLead Subject Tutor for History

Helen has 11 years of experience teaching History within secondary schools in Nottinghamshire. She has held a variety of roles including Literacy Co-ordinator and Head of History and Humanities and is currently a School Leader with responsibility for Teaching and Learning and Initial Teacher Training at Meden School.

Amandeep MadherLead Subject Tutor for Geography

Amandeep qualified as a teacher in 2010. Over the past five years, she has taught in a range of schools from Outstanding to Requiring Improvement. In 2012, she became Curriculum Leader of Geography at Meden School. Throughout her time with the Nova Education Trust, she has been involved in promoting literacy within school and is now the Head of Humanities at Meden School. Amandeep has worked mentoring many ITT students within the Humanities Department.

Jack Sykes-WoodLead Subject Tutor for PE

Jack has 10 years teaching experience and has been recognised as both an outstanding classroom practitioner and exemplary department leader for both PE and Vocational courses. Alongside these roles he has also continued to embrace other responsibilities including: AGT co-ordinator, School Sports co-ordinator, Ski trip leader, First Aid Trainer/Assessor, DofE Centre Director and SCITT mentor. With the plethora of responsibilities Jack has had over his career, his invaluable knowledge and application will help trainees along their teaching journey.

Michaela MiddletonLead Subject Tutor for Social Sciences

Michaela has been teaching at Toot Hill School since 2014 and became a lead teacher within her department of Social Sciences during her second year of teaching. She is now the Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Toot Hill and spends time enhancing the Gifted and Talented Provision for students across the trust. She will lead Toot Hill into their third accreditation of the National Association for Aspiring Students in Education (NACE) award this year. Michaela has delivered training sessions focused around enhancing the learning for G&T students to experienced teachers, NQT’s and trainee teachers and has a wide range of experience and knowledge within this area.

Maria CassidyLead Subject Tutor for Art and Design

Maria joined the trust in September 2015 as Performance Director of Art at Toot Hill School after teaching in Skipton, North Yorkshire. She has several years of experience of mentoring and coaching teachers and since September 2018 she has become a Learning Mentor for teachers at different stages of their career as part of her Associate School Leader role. Maria has been involved in coaching and delivering CPD for teachers at Toot Hill, as well as facilitating the ‘Good to Outstanding’ programme, developing classroom practice with teachers from schools within Skipton, Harrogate and Bradford. Maria has collaborated with both primary and secondary schools within the trust to effectively develop our art provision.

Torch Teaching School Alliance

The Torch Teaching School Alliance is a partnership of 22 multi-phase schools spread across the East Midlands, based at Toot Hill School, Bingham, who all share a common goal of continuous school improvement through collaboration.

The prime aim of our teaching school alliance can be distilled into two key targets:

  • Improving the quality of teaching in the classroom
  • Raising levels of attainment and progress through all key stages

For further information on the Torch Teaching School Alliance and the courses and services we offer, please visit www.torchtsa.co.uk.

Nova Education Trust

The Nova Education Trust is a dynamic and growing MAT Group based in the East Midlands. Our Trust Group is committed to providing high quality education to all of our students, regardless of their backgrounds. Our track record demonstrates our ability to deliver our core goal, achievement for every child.

Our portfolio of schools includes both secondary and primary schools, working in a range of contexts. In 2012 we founded the Torch Teaching School Alliance, which links 23 schools together sharing effective practice and developing new models for staff development.

In 2013 the work of the TSA was complemented by the introduction of the Nottinghamshire Torch SCITT in partnership with the University of Nottingham, providing School Centred Initial Teacher Training and School Direct courses in our schools.

Our values are central to developing a positive ethos throughout our group of schools. This approach is focused on securing success for all our learners and providing them with the very best life opportunities.

We believe nothing is more important than making a difference to children.

We Promote

  • Trust: All stakeholders work together to realise our vision
  • Integrity: All decisions are based on the best interests of our students
  • Mutual Respect: Ensuring a voice for all stakeholders
  • Empathy: Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Self Improvement: A commitment to supporting the development of our staff, students and wider community

Group Ethos

  • High expectations are essential to raising standards
  • Everyone can succeed
  • Barriers to learning must be challenged and overcome
  • Teaching should be well planned, varied and stimulating
  • Learning should be active, focussed and engaged
  • High standards of behaviour are expected at all times
  • Clear lines of accountability exist at all levels
  • Developing staff and students to engage in effective teaching and learning

Securing Success

Our vision is to build capacity for sustained improvement. There are a number of short term strategies that can be initially used to enhance outcomes but it is out view that these need to be supplemented by a process that transforms a school for long term improvement.

This work is centred on transforming a school using our 'Pillars of Success' improvement model. Transformation is achieved through the combination of a number of changes and improvements to each of these pillars within a school:

  • Leadership
  • CPD
  • Curriculum
  • Learning Organisation
  • Care, Support, Guidance
  • Performance Mangement
  • Tracking and Intervention

For further information on the Nova Education Trust, please visit www.novaeducationtrust.net.