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Staff and class structure

Our school is a 3-form entry (3 classes in each year) Primary school with a capacity of 630 pupils.

We are split over two very nearby sites, Elmgrove and Cotham Grove.  Elmgrove houses our youngest children, in Reception and Year 1.  Cotham Grove houses our Years 2 to 6 pupils.

Our class structure including teacher names for the 2020/21 academic year is below:

Our Staff


Please see below for a little bit about our teaching staff and areas of the curriculum they are involved in, as well as a little bit about them personally!

Senior Leadership Team

Alex Bell Head Teacher

Alex Bell- This is an amazing place to be Head Teacher. I joined the school in January 2016 and I can honestly say that I am loving it. The tangible sense of community at Cotham Gardens is what makes it special. Everyone here wants the very best for our children and we all work extremely hard and do our utmost to ensure we are providing an amazing experience for each and every one of them. I have been a Head Teacher for nearly 10 years now and when I get time I enjoy supporting Arsenal, cooking, reading, wild swimming and relaxing!

Seth Insall Deputy Head Teacher and Safeguarding Lead

Seth Insall-I am now in my twelfth year at Cotham Gardens Primary School and love working in this friendly, supportive community. I originally trained as an infant teacher in Liverpool but since arriving at Cotham Gardens have taught across key stage two. I currently lead on safeguarding, CPD and am responsible for the welfare and achievement of children entitled to Pupil Premium and children with English as an additional language. Out of school I love football, walking and travelling to new places.

Lucy Welsford Deputy Head Teacher and SENDCO

Lucy Welsford- I have been at Cotham Gardens Primary School for 16 years. I am Deputy Head teacher and SENDCO. I work between both sites and do some teaching in Year 2. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my children and trying to cook new recipes (some work out better than others!).

Alex Jarman Assistant Head Teacher

Alex Jarman- I have been teaching at Cotham Gardens Primary School for over 200 years now and my meteoric rise to power has seen me claim my rightful position on the Assistant Head’s throne. This is my second time round teaching in Year 6, having also taught in Year 2 and Year 4 - this is due to the fact that during training I took a vow to only teach in even numbered year groups. It's always difficult to describe yourself, so I will just quote something a pupil said to me recently- "Not all heroes wear capes, Mr Jarman- some of them wear tank tops." My hobbies are sighing and frowning.

Emmeline Smith Assistant Head Teacher

I joined Cotham Gardens in 2013 and now teach across the school. As well as being Assistant Head, I am co-literacy lead with my esteemed colleague Mr Jarman, and have particular responsibility for reading and phonics. I used to be a freelance musician and enjoy singing and playing the piano in school. When I'm not teaching you can usually find me either watching Bristol Bears, running, or cooking and feasting.

Reception and Year 1 Teachers

Fiona Hughes (Ladybirds)

Fiona Hughes- I was lucky enough to do two of my teacher training placements at Cotham Gardens primary so I am very excited to be back teaching in Reception. I love the early year’s curriculum and really enjoy being part of such an exciting time in children’s learning and development. When I am not at school, I enjoy gluten free baking and contemporary dance.

Louise King  (Honeybees)

Louise King-I am born and raised in Hong Kong and moved to Bristol 6 years ago for University. I have been a part of the Cotham Gardens community for almost 6 years now, where I first started working at Zebra's. I have just finished my second year in Reception and onto a third - It's been fabulous! I like to make the most of my holidays and try to travel as much as possible. Having been a city girl most of my life my favourite place so far is New York!

Emily Marsh (Dragonflies)

Emily Marsh- I have been at Cotham Gardens for 11 years and have just started my 11th Year in the same year group as when I started. As you can imagine a love teaching Reception! When not at school I love to cook and try to make the star bake from GBBO. I also love reading a good book preferably.

Amanda Davies (Kingfishers)

Amanda Davies- This is my twelfth year teaching at Cotham Gardens. I started here as a supply teacher and have never left! I teach the lovely Kingfisher class alongside Ms Smith. Year 1 is my favourite year to teach as the children change so much over the year. When I am not in school I enjoy running, chasing my little boy around soft play and relaxing with my friends and family.

Miranda Dinwoodie (Starlings)

Miranda Dinwoodie-This is my third year of teaching at Cotham Gardens. I completed some of my teacher training in Year two. Then taught in Year four last year and this year, I am lucky enough to continue to teach in Year one. Working alongside children at such an important and exciting stage of their lives is very rewarding. I love the levels of curiosity and excitement that are packed into each school day and I strive to make sure that I make their learning as creative as possible. In my spare time, I enjoy baking delicious treats for when I get home from school.

Om Hodge (Nightingales)

Om Hodge- My first taste of Cotham Gardens was as a supply teacher. In that time I taught in almost all classes from years 2 to 6. I gained experience of working within the school and within the amazingly warm and supportive staff team. From then, I realised that Cotham Gardens was the school for me. So when the opportunity to have my own class at the school arose, I jumped at the chance and I am now literally living the dream with my own year one class - the amazing Nightingales. Outside of school I enjoy playing sport, watching sport and cooking programmes and socialising with with my friends.

Years 2 and 3 Teachers

Emma Whittaker 2W

Emma Whittaker- I have been working at Cotham Gardens Primary School for a couple of years now and I oversee the school’s science provision. I have grown up loving music and dancing, and whilst I don’t get to dance so much these days, I still love to play my oboe and flute. Another interest of mine is travelling – my favourite place I have visited is Vietnam and I would love to get to see more of the world!

Holly Ralph 2R

Holly Ralph- This is my first year at Cotham Gardens and I am so excited for the year ahead with my new Year 2 class! I have worked in lots of different schools previously and also had a career in Public Health before becoming a teacher. I love travelling and have spent a lot of time exploring different countries, including a recent road trip around Indonesia. I love being outdoors and I am often found running around the mountains or on a surfboard. I also have a love for music and drama, so my Year 2 class will be doing lots of singing!

Susie Lyon 3LC

Susie Lyon-I have been at Cotham Gardens Primary on and off for almost 13 years now, as well as attending as a child! I am loving working in year 3 and I am now PE co-ordinator at the school, which is something I regard as essential to our children's health and well being. Out of school (apart from looking after my 3 boys) I play netball, coach football, enjoy running and am a black belt in Taekwan-Do. I am also passionate about children learning different languages and speak Spanish fluently.

James Cameron 3LC

James Cameron- Hello! I teach 3LC three days a week and I share this brilliant class with the wonderful Miss Lyon. I have been teaching in Primary for just over 6 years. Before that, I worked as a Youth Worker and as a Cover Supervisor in Secondary Schools. My hobbies outside of school are playing guitar, writing songs and cycling.

Mike Reddecliff 3R

Mike Reddecliff- This is my 4th year at Cotham Gardens but my 12th as a teacher! Previous careers include landscape gardener, lifeguard and BBC researcher, but teaching is the noisiest. I’m currently enjoying my first year teaching Year 3 and lead the Wider Curriculum team in subjects such as RE, PSHE and Topic. When not at school I try to keep up with my 4 year old…

David Millington 3M

David Millington- Currently a year 3 teacher, I have 16 incredible years of teaching experiences behind me (Yes, I really am that old!). This really is the best job in the world! I love the diverse nature of the job. One minute you're discovering the non-Newtonian properties of alien slime and in the next you are embracing the lyrics of Survivor's -Eye of the Tiger! My educational philosophy is simple - learning takes place when it is purposeful and fun. As leader of the Creative Arts I have the additional responsibility of ensuring that our children have very rich experiences of music, drama, art and dance during their time at Cotham Gardens. As a jazz trombonist and part-time caricature artist, I fully understand how exciting, rewarding and potentially life-changing involvement in these subjects can be. I am so proud that the school achieved the prestigious Artsmark Gold award in 2018.

Year 4, 5 and 6 Teachers

Josette Bush 4AB

I have been working at Cotham Gardens since 2015. I can’t wait to be in Year 4 this year and look forward to teaching you all. I really enjoy teaching the arts! I believe that making great relationships with children helps to get the most from each individual child. In my spare time, I love to visit the theatre and art exhibitions with my family. I also volunteer as the Girl Guiding Ranger coordinator for Bristol West and teach Archery.  

Dawn Arbrey 4AB

Dawn Arbrey- I have been at Cotham Gardens for 19 years, initially as a special needs support assistant and for the last 9 years as a class teacher. Each year I look forward to meeting and getting to know all the new children and their families that I will be working with. My teaching passion is numeracy and I am part of the numeracy curriculum at Cotham Gardens. More recently, I have taken on the role of assistant SENDCO at the Cotham Grove site. In my leisure time, I am a keen gardener and travel to relaxing, sunny destinations.

Adam Howard 4H

Adam Howard - This is my second year at Cotham Gardens Primary School. I am looking forward to the challenge of teaching a new group of year 4's this year. We have some fantastic topics and I am particularly looking forward to the Romans and Chocolate (where we get to go to Cadbury's World and Caereleon Roman Fortress)! When I am not teaching I love to play hockey and badminton. I am also learning to snowboard (during winter) as well.

Harriet Booth 4B

Harriet Booth- I am so excited for my first year at Cotham Gardens in Year 4! There are some wonderful topics plans and I think that we are going to have a fantastic year. I taught English as a foreign language in Thailand for 3 years before returning to Bristol in 2017 to teach here. Out of work, I like going to the theatre, hiking and travelling.

Duncan Brett 5B

Duncan Brett- I am now going into my sixth year at Cotham Gardens and my second teaching in year 5. It is an age group that I really enjoy and I especially relish teaching my classes songs that link to our learning. Most of these, I write myself or even better with my classes. Before starting at Cotham Gardens, I was a secondary school MFL teacher and now lead that subject here. Outside of school, I love spending time with my daughter and my family in general. I am also a keen runner and photographer.

Emily Young 5Y

Emily Young- I started at Cotham Gardens in September 2015 after teaching in Milton Keynes for many years. The children in my class learn that I love stories and always have a go at singing, drawing and making things! In school I support the Computing provision and help to run the Coding Club for the Key Stage 2 children. When I’m not working, I enjoy walking in the countryside, visiting new places both here and abroad and reading.

Alex Jarman 6A

Alex Jarman- I have been teaching at Cotham Gardens Primary School for over 200 years now and my meteoric rise to power has seen me claim my rightful position on the Assistant Head’s throne. This is my second time round teaching in Year 6, having also taught in Year 2 and Year 4 - this is due to the fact that during training I took a vow to only teach in even numbered year groups. It's always difficult to describe yourself, so I will just quote something a pupil said to me recently- "Not all heroes wear capes, Mr Jarman- some of them wear tank tops." My hobbies are sighing and frowning.

Jack Jarman 6JD

Jack Jarman- I have been at Cotham Gardens Primary School for over 5 years and I am really enjoying my fourth year in Year 6. I am particularly looking forward to our interesting topic work this year. Alongside this, I also lead the Numeracy curriculum and the assessment within Numeracy at our school. When I am not at school, I love to attempt to play football whilst also enjoying travelling to new and interesting places.

Hannah Bayat 6B

Hannah Bayat – This is my third year at Cotham Gardens Primary and I am really looking forward to an exciting year in Year 6! I am part of the Computing team and help to run Coding Club for Years 5 and 6 children. When I’m not working, I enjoy running, cycling and reading.

PPA Teachers

PPA is the Planning, Performance and Assessment time each Class Teacher spends away from the classroom.

  • Kalliopi Markaki
  • Sam Williams


  • Mrs Welsford
  • Mrs Arbey
  • Miss Wasiewicz
  • Miss Smith (Penny!)

1:1 Learning Support Assistants (LSAs)

  • Mr Ackerman
  • Miss Wakeham
  • Miss Bunney
  • Mrs Ward
  • Miss McDonald
  • Miss Harris

Learning Support Team

  • Jane Gray
    Learning Mentor & Family Support
  • Carla Pink
    Learning Mentor and Family Support
  • TBC
    Dragonflies EYFS
  • Jeni Davis
    Ladybirds EFYS
  • Tammy Dowle
    Honeybees EYFS
  • Christina Efthymiou
    Nightingale LSA
  • Esther Wilcox
    Starlings LSA
  • Sally Saunders
    Starlings LSA
  • Martina Mackintosh
    2W LSA
  • Katy Morgan
    2R LSA
  • Jackie Bunney
    2T LSA
  • Hardip Kaur
    Year 4 LSA
  • TBC
    Year 5 LSA

Administration Team

  • Adam Sheldon
    School Business Manager
  • Kate Patience
    Assistant Business Manager 
  • Shellie Barwick
    Senior Administrator
  • Laura Grannan
  • Nicky Graham
  • Sam Brown
  • Keira Kaur 
  • Andrew Haynes
    Premises Manager

Lunchtime Team

Lunchtime Assistants

  • Dru Harries
  • Fossiya Isse
  • Ali Berry
  • Helen Lamb
  • Maxine Philips
  • Muna Ababukar
  • Safia Benhella
  • Sandra Jordan
  • Nin Kaur
  • Sachina Kaur
  • Sherril Richards
  • Deqa Sayid


Specialist sports coaches from Shine join our lunch assistants to take a lead on play at lunchtimes - 3 members at our Cotham site and 1 member at Elmgrove.