Meet the Staff
My teaching career started quite late in life following 9 years in the Derivatives world within the City of London. Realising that stocks and shares were not for me, I enrolled onto a BEd degree. I spent my first few months as a supply teacher working in a variety of schools including a school for children with profound and multiple needs – this led to my interest in everything SEND. Following three years in a Dartford Junior School, I felt ready for the challenge of inner city London and ended up teaching at my own primary school on a South East London estate. I was employed as a class teacher and took on my first role here as a SENCo. During my time at this school, I learnt the value of relationships. Every child deserves someone to believe in them, listen to them and tell them that they matter. I saw children from the toughest backgrounds learn, succeed and feel proud of their achievements. In 2004, I joined another Dartford school called Temple Hill. Little did I know that 12 years later, I would have undertaken the roles of SENCo, Deputy Head Teacher and then Head of School! I went on to lead my second school West Hill, in 2016. This school will always have a special place in my heart as the improvement journey brought us together as we faced challenges and celebrations along the way. I joined Bovington in 2020 and feel extremely privileged to be leading such a wonderful school which is full of potential and possibility. Education is constantly changing and evolving; the climate can at times be uncertain. Despite this, children deserve the best. Each child is unique, each child is different, each child is special. We have a huge responsibility to ensure that every child achieves to their academic best, but also comes to school happy, motivated and safe.
I’ve been teaching for some 25 years and have taught every year group. At University I was lucky enough to do a teaching practice in America working with children who were disadvantaged, in care or had social and emotional needs and were part of an intervention to reintegrate back into school. This shaped my interest in SEND and Attachment. I became the SENCo at Bovington about 6 years ago. I currently teach Studland for 2 days a week. I’ve been at Bovington for 13 years. Relationships, connection and making learning fun is the key to success!
I have been working at Bovington Academy since 2004 when it was Bovington First School with only 120 pupils, as a part-time Admin assistant. I have worked my way up to now being the School Business Manager with the responsibility for the HR and Finance of the Academy. I have been through all 4 of the Ofsted inspections and have seen many pupils, staff, and changes along the way. I am loving seeing the school return to whence it came and am excited about our journey moving forward. I was in the WRENs for 8 years where I travelled and experienced a different world before settling back at home in Dorset and bringing up my daughter.
Outside of school, I love to keep fit attending a gym regularly, I am a keen gardener and find my garden a sanctuary after a day in the office, however, my passion in life is Ballroom dancing and I compete at a Pro-Am level all over the country, and if I had my time again I would do nothing but dance!
I am the Key Stage 2 lead who can be found sharing my 23 years of experience in Dorchester class every day. I was born and raised on a South African farm. Yes- “I had a farm in Africa!” Straight out of university, I moved to the UK for adventure and culture. After living in London for 8 fun-filled years, traveling the world a few times, I discovered the glorious beaches of Dorset and settled down. I have 2 fabulous children who keep me young and ensure that my knowledge of books stays current. Yes, I love reading! And all things to do with books! Especially children’s books! I would love you to come and share your favourite book with me when you see me around the school. I love working with young people for so many reasons but my primary drive is for each child to be the best they can possibly be. I believe it is my job to help them find, nurture and develop their inner awesomeness! But above all- love reading!
I’ve worked within education for a number of years now, primarily working within schools specialising in SEN and students with learning behaviours. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and the skills that I have gained and look forward to bringing that to Bovington. Joining for the 2021/21 academic year I come feeling a sense of warmth and commitment between the staff, investing interest and dedication into making sure that pupils’ learning experiences are prioritised. Outside of the classroom, you can find me keeping up to date with a wide range of sports, vesting a particular interest in Tottenham Hotspurs. I enjoy cooking and getting into the kitchen when I have the time to, exploring the different flavours and combinations. I particularly enjoy Mexican food and worked as a chef before and during my university experience.
I currently work in Year 2 in Studland Class. I am now in my 6th year teaching at Bovington Academy and my 21st year of teaching, which has flown by! During my time at Bovington I have taught in all Year groups apart from Reception. I love finding different ways of delivering and teaching lessons, making sure they are fun and inspiring for all children. My Mum, Grandpa and Granny were all teachers so I followed in their footsteps. Apart from four years at University I have always lived in Dorset and can’t see myself living anywhere else. I love being near the sea and travelling abroad, but always look forward to coming home. I enjoy keeping fit by running and exercise classes. Spending time with friends and family, going out for food and drinks is one of my favourite past times and am always up for anything fun!
I joined Bovington Academy in September 2019 and feel very lucky to be part of such a close-knit community where the children are held at the heart of it. I discovered my love of teaching after having children of my own and learning to experience the world through the eyes of a child and believe children can be our greatest teachers, which is why I adore working in Early Years. In my free time, you’ll find me cheering my daughters on at football matches or paddle boarding down a river!
My name is Samantha Armstrong and I currently teach Years 5 and 6, Swanage Class. I have made the transition to teaching Primary level children recently. Prior to this I have taught mainly in Secondary and Middle Schools. Whilst in Middle Schools (Upper KS2 and KS3) I taught maths, English, RE, History, Geography, Design Technology and Art, which gave me a fantastic grounding for teaching Upper KS2 at Bovington Academy. I have taught in London, Dorset and overseas in the Sultanate of Oman – which was a wonderfully, sunny experience! My own interests include art and photography and I regularly paint – mostly watercolours at the moment as I am experimenting with their use at present. I also love my two dogs and take them for walks around the amazing Dorset countryside/seaside, or at the moment, in the pitch black at 5 am (in the rain)!!!
I am a Liverpool football fan and enjoy watching most sports including cricket and rugby. My musical taste is wide and varied, but may be surprising. The last concert I went to was the Radio1 Extra Live at Birmingham NEC, where I saw Aitch, AJ Tracey and a number of other rap/grime artists. My next concert (Covid allowing) is to see Stormzy at the BIC
I started working at Bovington in 2020… a year like no other! I’ve worked across the primary age range but primarily with Reception and year 1 children. I think what I like most about working with younger children is just how varied your day can be, one minute you’re in the classroom learning number bonds to 10, the next you’re outside finding a home for a worm that made its way onto the playground! It’s also fantastic to see a child’s face when they learn something for the first time.
I began working at Bovington Academy in 2019 and I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of a great, committed team who genuinely care for the lives of young people. Originally from Hertfordshire, I have moved around the counties in the south before settling with my family in Dorset. I trained in Performing Arts at Winchester University and after having 2 beautiful girls of my own, decided to make the move into teaching. Every day is so different, I particularly value the relationships built with the children and the fun we have whilst learning in the classroom!
After completing University in 2011 with a BA 1st Class (Hons) Degree in Outdoor Adventure, I went on to do a PGCE in Primary Education in 2012. I worked as a classroom teacher for a small village school in Devon for years 2/3 and 3/4 before moving to Dorset to be closer to family. My journey at Bovington Academy began in April 2019 and has given me the opportunity to pursue my passion of teaching Physical Education to children. PE is a subject that I thoroughly enjoy both taking part in and teaching as I believe it is fundamental in promoting wellbeing, self esteem, teamwork and overall health. In my spare time, I like nothing more than a good walk in the woods with my dogs, a cycle in the countryside or a full on kettlebell workout!
Before coming to Bovington, I taught for twenty years both in the UK and Africa.
I am passionate about Forest School and feel so fortunate that I am able to offer sessions as part of the Bovington Academy curriculum.
Computing has always been a passion of mine. I realised after working in schools as a IT Technician, for some considerable time, that I wanted to teach children and hopefully develop the same passion as my own.
It is without doubt one of the most satisfying things in life when you see a child’s success and exploration off their own potential and attain even higher results.
Having over 30 years of experience working with children aged between 3months and 11years, I am an advocate for children’s emotional health and wellbeing . Originally training as a nursery nurse and owning my own day nursery, I joined Bovington Primary School in 2010 as a classroom teaching assistant. In 2013 I transitioned into my current role as a member of the pastoral/inclusion team. I support pupils who experience barriers to learning and their families, this includes working on a one to one level as well as group support. Along with the whole Bovington team, I am passionate about providing our pupils with a positive and happy journey through Primary School.
I am passionate about my work.
I love what I do,I have a steady source of motivation that drives me to do my best. With over 12+ years of experience and qualifications, I challenge myself daily to learn new skills that benefit myself and pupils. In my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with my family, exploring new places to visit, practicing interior design and homemade candle making.
I came to Bovington Academy after 15 years working firstly as a teaching assistant and then as a pastoral worker and deputy DSL in an infant school.I also fulfilled four years as a parent governor at Carter Community School in Poole. I am very much enjoying being back in the classroom. I have four adult sons and two granddaughters. In my spare time I enjoy reading and tearing off down the A30 to my spiritual home of Cornwall where I managed a pub for several years.
Hi, I am Mrs Helen Bartholomew. I have been working as a 1-1 LSA for going on 23 years. I have worked in Germany, Cyprus and England. I enjoy all aspects of my job especially seeing the children grow and develop as the years go by.
I joined Bovington Academy in September 2018 as a teaching assistant, now known as a learning support assistant. I have previously worked in various primary schools and private nurseries. I have had the pleasure of working across EYFS and Key stage one. Currently, I am working in a year two class in which I thoroughly enjoy. I am also understanding a teaching and learning degree and am currently in my second year. On completion, I am hoping to complete a PGCE course to become a qualified teacher.
I started my career as a parent helper at a primary school in North Yorkshire, where I completed my level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning qualification.
After moving to Dorset in 2016, I joined Bovington Primary as a Teaching Assistant working within Key Stage 1. I love to see the children build new skills that will help them throughout their learning journey and help them achieve their full potential. I especially enjoy teaching phonics and being creative. In summer 2020, I gained HLTA status.
My family is a military family so I can relate and empathise with children and parents in the community. I love to explore beautiful Dorset with my family.