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Case Studies

Sarah Gray

Deputy Head Teacher

I joined Kenton Bar Primary school 15 years ago as an NQT, and in that time I feel very lucky to have received a clear and sequential approach to my development, which has led me to my current role as Acting Deputy Head Teacher. Through regular performance management meetings and conversations with my Head Teacher, I have been able to make clear my aspirations for the future. From these discussions we have considered carefully the CPD that would be best to support this and put a robust plan in place to allow me to develop as a leader. In my current role I enjoy having the opportunity to move our school forward with new initiatives, but also enjoy working closely with other schools in, and outside, of our MAT to share and learn from each other's good practice. My current role is a secondment opportunity and I feel very privileged to have had this opportunity, which will undoubtedly prepare me for future promotions when the time comes.


Gillian Easton

Head of School

As the Deputy Head Teacher at Kenton Bar Primary School, my main areas of responsibility are curriculum, assessment and personal development.  This makes my role varied and rewarding and no two days are the same.  I get the opportunity to work with all of the school’s stakeholders from pupils, staff and leaders to parents and governors.  My whole teaching career, with the exception of the opportunity of a two-term secondment to Mountfield Primary School, has been at Kenton Bar.  Opportunities at all levels have allowed me to develop and progress my career at Kenton Bar and I have been supported throughout by leaders who have provided opportunities for me to develop both in roles within school and through high quality CPD.  I am currently completing my NPQH.



Dannii Whincup

School Business Manager

I joined Kenton Bar Primary School in September 2017 through a supply agency as a temporary Admin Assistant in the school office. Within 6 months I was employed full time as School Administrator and received the training and support within my role to excel both personally and professionally. Having been part of the team to transform the school office into a thriving workplace using the most efficient and effective ways of working, I then expressed an interest in working with the wider school community and was then given the opportunity to merge my role with School Attendance Officer. This once again opened new doors, opportunities and presented me with new challenges. In 2022 I was seconded to School Business Manager, a role greater than any aspirations I had before I joined the SMART Multi-Academy Trust and a position that I have been able to thrive in with the support and mentoring from colleagues across the Trust. Leaders in my school and across the Trust have been outstanding at presenting me with new opportunities which has in turn given me confidence to advance my career and be incredibly proud of accomplishments along the way.


Eleanor Jones

Nursery Teacher

I completed my PGCE during 2020 so when I qualified, I still felt I needed some more experience in a school before starting my career as a teacher. I started a job as an Early Years Learning Support Assistant at Kenton Bar Primary School where I was able to gain invaluable experience in the classroom, build my confidence and shadow the teachers in Early Years. I was also presented the opportunity to be an interventions teacher where I was able to build up the knowledge of how to deliver the phonics scheme the school uses and how to deliver high quality intervention teaching to the children. A job as a Reception Teacher at Kenton Bar then arose and after securing the position I was able to put my new knowledge and skills into practice with the support of my wonderful partner teacher and the rest of the supportive staff at the school. I am now the Nursery Teacher at Kenton Bar and I look forward to coming to work every day.


Donna Philip

Administrative Officer

I started volunteering in school in January 2016 reading with year 4 students. My youngest daughter had started Nursery and I had two other daughters in the school. We were a military family and had only just settled in the area. In April 2016 I was informed by a member of staff that they were looking for a midday assistant so I spoke with the business manager about the position and informed her that initially I could only work the two days that my daughter attended the school. This was not a problem, and I started the following week with the intention that when she started in Reception, I would work the five days. I was very grateful for this opportunity as I had not worked since my first child was born in 2006. 

In the first week back in September 2016 I was approached by the Headteacher who asked if I would be interested in doing a few hours each morning in the office.  I started my role as an administrative assistant on the 7th of September 2016 and I loved it. Each week moving forward I was doing more and more hours until I was eventually full time.

The team I was working with was fantastic and I was offered to do an apprenticeship in Business Admin Level 3. I spoke with the head teacher and business manager as I thought this might not be good as I had not done any other qualifications in this area, but they both said that they were confident that this was the right level for me to do and I started the course in May 2019.

On the 3rd of June 2019 I was promoted to the roll of Administrative Officer where I still am today. On the 31st of July 2020 I completed my level 3 Business admin course, and I was awarded a Distinction. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had and look forward to what the future might bring.


Carly Smith

Learning Support Assistant

My role is a Learning Support Assistant. I absolutely love my job and can hand on heart say I have the most rewarding job ever! Seeing all the children work so hard in every lesson and never giving up no matter how tricky they find things, and then to see their little faces light up when they eventually understand the work or get things correct is just magical and so rewarding, their resilience is just mesmerising. Watching their confidence grow from the start of the year to the end of the school year makes me feel so proud.
I don't believe I would have been given this amazing opportunity to work as a learning support assistant if I wasn't given the opportunity to volunteer as a LSA for 2 years in another smart trust school to gain classroom experience, as well as volunteering I was given the opportunity to gain experience in 2 other roles within a school setting. I honestly feel that being given the opportunity to gain all this experience led me to being employed as a learning support assistant.


Contact Us

Smart Multi Academy Trust

Wyndham Primary School, Montagu Avenue,

Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 4SB

Smart Multi Academy Trust is a company registered in England and Wales.

Company registration no. 10257723. Registered office address

Wyndham Primary School, Montagu Avenue, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE3 4SB

If you need this in an alternative format, please contact the school office or phone Smart MAT on 0191 2559251.