Introducing new staff at Sidcot School

Introducing new staff at Sidcot School

Over the course of the academic year 2015/16 we will be introducing new members of staff. Check this section of the website to see who else has featured.

Joined Spring Term 2016

Joanna Hodmett
Alumni Relationship Manager

Dear Friends

Hello, my name is Joanna Hodnett – Sidcot’s new Alumni Relationship Manager.

First of all let me start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

Being a Sidcotian myself (2000 – 2004), I share many fond memories of Sidcot, as do my two younger sisters who also attended Becky and Hannah. I have received a warm welcome from my previous teachers and boarding staff – it feels like returning home. I am here to help make sure you receive just the same welcome when you visit us in future as an alumni.

My role is to help Sidcotians, past and present, to get the most out of their association with the school. In the next coming months, I will be working with your teachers to help explain the benefits which the alumni network can bring you when you leave.

Don’t be shy to come and say hello. I work in the same office as Sue Taylor by the Reprographics Room (M6 Office).

In friendship


Joined Autumn Term 2015

Rob Moore
Teacher of PE

I am very fortunate to have joined the PE department at an exceptionally exciting time in the development of Physical Education and sport here at Sidcot. The progress being made on a daily basis, as well as other upcoming developments, all demonstrate the importance and commitment Sidcot School has to ensuring the pupils are provided with an experience that will rival any other, and I am very excited to be a part of it.

I am a former University of Bath student and, having enjoyed 5 fantastic years there, graduated with a Post Graduate Certificate in Education for Physical Education, a Masters in Education and a First Class BSc Honours Degree in Sports Coaching. Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked for many years as a Personal Trainer and Fitness Advisor for theclub and Spa at Cadbury House. I can still be found there teaching the occasional Spinning class.

Sport and physical activity is a significant part of my personal life. Away from school, football is one of my biggest passions. Since the age of 16, I have played for my local football team, Yatton Athletic, in the Somerset County Premier League, and also played for Team Bath during my time at University. I have also been heavily involved with Yatton Junior Football Club, as both a player and, more recently, as a coach and manager. During which I completed several FA Coaching qualifications, including the UEFA C License.

Away from competitive sport, I am a keen snowboarder and a regular gym user. I also have a substantial passion for food, including all areas of cooking, from baking to barbecuing.

A couple of facts; in July 2015 I completed the highest controlled free fall jump in North America, jumping off of the Stratosphere Tower in Las Vegas, a height of 829ft (253m, more than 3 times the height of the Clifton Suspension Bridge)! A little closer to home, and an example of how much I love my food, I am the current holder of one of Bristol's most well-known eating challenges, having consumed Grill Stock's Grand Champion in a record time!

Andrew Weston
Teacher of Mathematics

For me, what makes Sidcot special is its stunning setting and its happy and inspiring students. There is a healthy diversity in the cohort and the students have real freedom here to be individuals but also pull together and help give the school a strong community feel. I join Sidcot as a Mathematics teacher. The Maths department has made me feel very welcome in my short time here and I know already that the staff here are going to be great to work with – very professional but full of characters.

Before coming to Sidcot, I taught in London for 7 years in both the state and the independent sectors. I lived in the capital for 16 years but originally grew up in the Cheshire countryside, so moving to Somerset gives me the chance to reconnect with my inner country boy. It also gives my partner Lisa and I the opportunity to bring up our daughter Ava, who has just turned 1, in a beautiful space. As well as enjoying the gorgeous local woods, hills and coastline with my family, I also try to get out on my mountain bike as much as I can. I don’t bounce when I fall off quite like I used to as a youngster but I don’t let that stop me attacking the jumps with vim (some would say foolhardiness!) I’m also an obsessional music fan with a collection that spans most genres and am keen to make the most of Bristol being nearby. In fact, I’m off to see one of my favourite thrash metal bands from the eighties there next week. I’m determined to resist the urge to stage-dive – I don’t need yet another reminder that I don’t bounce quite like I used to!

Steve Hart
Teacher of Physics

I have joined the school as a member of the Science Faculty, specialising in Physics and teaching primarily KS4 and KS5 classes. I work closely with Andy Darvill and together we deliver the majority of the KS4 and Lower Sixth Physics curriculum.

I have really enjoyed my first half term at Sidcot. The staff are very friendly and helpful and the school has a lovely community feel. I have taken over from a respected member of staff in the Science Department at Sidcot, but the team have made me extremely welcome.

Prior to teaching here I was a Physics Teacher at Crispin School in Street. My background before classroom teaching was as an instrumental music teacher and I taught guitar, bass guitar and drum kit, as well as working as a freelance sound engineer. I am still involved in music, and coordinate and train the music bands for my church. I am also a qualified Building Surveyor, and single-handedly built a two-storey extension on my home between 2009 and 2010 in my spare time.

I have three young children (all girls) and they keep me busy outside of the school day! I took the opportunity to bring them to the Hog Roast earlier in the year and hope to bring them to the Fireworks this Friday.

Ayesha Akkari
Graduate Music Intern

This is a new position created this year and it involves assisting everything from Junior School Music lessons through to Upper Sixth. During my week I do a variety of other jobs including conducting, accompanying, teaching piano and some boarding duties. I live on site and help look after the independent boarders in Rose Cottage and Meadowisde. During the weekends I often help out on boarding trips which has allowed me to get to know my students really well.

I really love how friendly and welcoming the staff and students are here at Sidcot. I have already made very strong friendships with many other resident staff and I feel like Sidcot has become a home from home.

Before Sidcot I was studying Music at the University of Bristol. I am a singer, saxophonist, clarinettist and pianist with my main interests in jazz performance and African American music. Since starting university I have been gigging around the south west as a jazz singer with various different groups. I aim to continue gigging every other week whilst working as an intern. Another keen interest of mine is horse riding, so I am very lucky to be working at Sidcot with the wonderful riding school on my door step. Any free time I have outside of term I like to spend back at home in Northern Ireland with my family.

In the near future I hope to take my PGCE and begin working as a full time teacher. I also have a keen interest in psychology and intend to study as a music therapist to work in hospitals in the next ten years.

Clare Storey
Teacher of Learning Support

I have really enjoyed my first few weeks in the Learning Support Department. All of the students and staff have been very welcoming and have helped me to find my way around, and discover the way things are done here.

Before joining Sidcot I taught French and Spanish full time in Secondary Schools for ten years, and then part time in a Junior School for two years. Whilst a Secondary teacher I found that many of the students I taught with Dyslexia found learning foreign languages challenging, and I became fascinated by the way we learn and remember new things. When the opportunity of working part time came up, I therefore seized the chance to study a Postgraduate Certificate in Structured Teaching Intervention for Dyslexia and Literacy. Alongside my work here in the Learning Support Department I am continuing to study towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Dyslexia and Literacy, which is demanding, but very satisfying.

When I am not at school or studying, my daughter (who is nearly six) keeps me busy most of the time but if I get the chance I like to read, watch Downton Abbey, and I also really enjoy going for walks with my family in the countryside.


Matthew Curtis-Dyke
Head of Geography

My role is Head of Geography. This involves me and my colleague, Miss Prankerd, creating interesting, relevant, challenging and inspirational lessons. Other responsibilities include monitoring marking and feedback as well as student progress. My other role is as an Upper Fifth tutor and I currently have a fantastic group of students in 11MCD.

Something I really like about Sidcot is the students' attitude to their studies. They take a serious approach to their learning and are interested in current world events. I am also impressed with my new colleagues as they all are passionate about their subjects.

Before arriving at Sidcot I was a Head of Geography, Senior Leadership Associate (Assistant Head) and teacher governor. Before teaching I worked for an airline and got to travel to many places around the world.

Outside of school I like to cycle and have a touring bike. I also play the guitar and have an advanced diving PADI qualification. I regularly go to the cricket and follow Somerset, Lancashire and England. Being a geographer I also enjoy travelling. I have a keen interest in the Middle East and Asia. That said, I am very much looking forward to the geography department’s trip to Iceland in June.

An interesting fact about me: I have sat at 40 metres below the ocean, in near pitch blackness, playing a game that was something like tennis using a broken egg.

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Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset