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AKS New Staff September 2018

Nick Lewis: Head of Drama

Nick trained in Musical Theatre and Acting at Mountview Theatre School, London and subsequently at Queen Margaret’s University, Edinburgh. His PGCE was gained with Devon SCITT in 2007. His Theatre credits include ‘Les Miserables’ (West End), 10th Anniversary Concert (Albert Hall), ‘Blood Brothers’ (West End and UK Tours), ‘Privates on Parade’ (Greenwich and UK Tour) and ‘Macbeth’ (Westminster Theatre). He appeared as Christian Bale’s friend, Henry in the film of John LeCarre’s ‘A Murder of Quality’. Open air productions include Les Miserables concert, Chelmsford and Gobbledigook’s ‘Robin Hood’ at Bolton Abbey as Prince John. For Pick Me Up Theatre in York, Nick has recently played King Arthur in ‘Spamalot’. Sweeney Todd in Sondheim’s ‘Sweeney Todd’. The Cowardly Lion in ‘The Wizard of Oz’. Herbie in ‘Gypsy’ and Charlie the Duck in ‘One Man, Two Guv’nors’.

When not involved in teaching, directing and acting, Nick is a rugby union fan, supporting Wasps but enjoying the game at all levels. He enjoys walking the fells, skating (roller) and cycling with his wife and two young daughters. His big passion is surfing, preferably in a warm ocean.

Nick is delighted to be joining the highly regarded drama department at AKS from Queen Margaret’s School for Girls, York. Nick is a highly experienced Head of Department working in schools both in the UK and overseas.

Jane Wild: Head of Art

Before starting her career as a teacher, Jane trained in Manchester as a Graphic Designer. She had always wanted to work in a creative career and, for as long as she can remember, she has looked for opportunities to explore and share her own passion and enthusiasm for the creative arts with others. At secondary school she had the most incredible art teacher who had the vision to recognise her skills and strengths. Jane believes that this teacher enabled her to reach her full potential. To this day, Jane aims to be as inspiring a teacher as her role model was, always pursuing the very best for her students. Jane has been teaching art and photography for over 12 years and it continues to surprise, astonish and energise her. She feels very fortunate to have a career that is so rewarding. Jane is an experienced and highly regarded Head of Department. The opportunity to join the AKS community is incredibly exciting and Jane cannot wait to work alongside the staff and students at AKS Lytham. 

Michael Waterhouse: Director of Music

Michael grew up in Blackpool, before moving to London, where he studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London. As a musician, Michael plays the piano, flute and saxophone, as well as being a keen singer. He enjoys both musical direction and performance, and his all-time best musical experience was singing Mozart’s Requiem with the Hallé orchestra in Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall. Michael joins AKS from The Blackpool Sixth Form College, where he worked for seven years in various roles, most recently as Head of Performing Arts, Music and Media. He has also worked with youth music organisations, including ‘The Company Music Theatre’ and ‘European Youth Summer Music’, where he accompanied rehearsals, ran a gospel choir and led a team of House Staff. Outside of work, Michael is an avid runner and also enjoys travelling. His favourite destination is Scandinavia, and he has recently fulfilled a lifelong dream of seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland. Michael is very much looking forward to joining the AKS community and continuing the great tradition of music-making at the school.

Sarah Burke: Teacher of Design Technology, Computer Studies and Art

Sarah is from Lancashire and has enjoyed teaching for 10 years. She teaches design technology, art and computer science. Sarah is proud of her ability to facilitate multiple subjects and feels a sense of fulfilment encouraging pupils’ creativity.

Sarah has a naturally hard-working attitude and is looking forward to becoming an active member of the school. She takes pride in her own professional development and can often be found producing resources, visiting museums or attending courses of interest.

Sarah has undertaken charity work in each year of teaching and this gained her the responsibility of SMSC Co-ordinator at a former school. Sarah is enthusiastic to use her fervour to get involved with charity work and is eager to support team spirit. Sarah enjoys exercise but has a poodle who often likes to outrun her whilst out jogging!

Sarah is looking forward to joining our school and promoting the new design technology GCSE and all it has to offer.

Lee Topping: Teacher of Maths

Lee is to re-join the mathematics department. Lee has spent the last 3 years working as Head of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School (QEGS) in Blackburn where he has overseen the transition to the state sector for the faculty and the introduction of the new GCSE and A Level in mathematics. In that time he kept his links with AKS, returning to Lytham with QEGS football, cricket and maths challenge teams, whilst continuing to live in the Lytham area! Lee spent 4 very happy years at AKS from 2011 and is very excited to be coming back and getting reacquainted with old friends, colleagues and pupils.  He is also looking forward to helping out with co-curricular sport at AKS, cycling to work again and lunchtimes in the AKS dining room!

Matt Humphries: Teacher of Maths

Matt found his way into teaching through an unusual route. After graduating from Lancaster University he went to work as a sports monitor for the Catalan government on a summer camp. On arrival he found that he would also be teaching English to the pupils. He enjoyed this immensely and took a TEFL qualification to work in this sector.

On returning to England he completed his PGCE at Edge Hill. He has been fortunate to work in a number of local schools, these roles have included Head of Key Stage 4 Maths, acting Head of Year and Subject Mentor for Trainee Teachers. Matt has been an examiner for the C1 module of A level mathematics. He has also been involved in a variety of co-curricular activities including coaching football and running a gifted and talented summer school.

He worked briefly at AKS in 2012/13 and always hoped that the opportunity to return would arise. He is very much looking forward to returning in September, to work with some familiar faces and meet new colleagues.

Jane Ashworth: Teacher of MFL

After graduating with a 2:1 in French and Linguistics in 1986, Jane studied for her PGCE at St Martin's College in Lancaster. She has been teaching MFL for 31 years in schools in both Leicestershire and Lancashire across KS3, KS4 and KS5. Her main subject is French.

Jane lives in Blackpool with her husband and three children. She has many interests including family history and reading. She makes handbags and purses and a variety of other crafts which she sells at local fairs to benefit the work of a charity which supports families who have suffered the loss of a baby.

Pauline Lenney: Chemistry Teacher

After 37 years of full time teaching in a variety of schools and colleges in many different roles, the time came for Pauline to retire and head off into a world of coffee and cake. But retirement had come too early. Pauline found that she missed her colleagues, the students and the day to day routines that come with working life.

Pauline will re-join AKS to teach Chemistry.  As a former Assistant Principal and Head of Science at KEQMS, Pauline has a clear understanding and commitment to the principles of the school.  She has the same enthusiasm for the job as the day she joined the profession.

Julia Westcott: Junior MFL Teacher

Julia studied modern foreign languages at university and has lived and worked in France, Germany and Austria as part of her studies. Following an 18-year career in public relations and marketing account management, she decided to fulfil a long-held ambition to work in teaching. She initially achieved a City and Guilds qualification in Supporting Teaching and Learning and this year has gone on to complete her PGCE via the Schools Direct route, based at AKS Junior School and at schools around the Fylde Coast throughout her studies.

Passionate about books, stories and reading (in any language), a keen runner, creative cook and curious traveller, Julia is married and has 2 children at AKS.

Abida Rasool: Science Teacher

Born and bred in Preston, Abida studied Biomedical Sciences at University of Central Lancashire. Over the years, Abida has been influential in bringing about change whilst working in the education, health and private sectors, advocating a diverse groups of people resulting in her being nominated as ‘Role Model of the Year’ by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission for her role in leading projects promoting social inclusion.

Currently fulfilling her passions of restoring and renovating a Grade II listed building with significant importance back to its original splendour, Abida is juggling the renovation project with teaching science and providing empowerment and wellbeing opportunities for selective groups. Abida is looking forward to championing STEM subjects as part of the AKS community.

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