Teaching staff

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

Teacher of Maths

Chris studied at University College London, graduating in 2004 with a BSc (Hons) degree in Combined Sciences. He qualified as a teacher in 2005 with a PGCE from Roehampton University, and has further gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Medicine, Science and Society from Birkbeck, University of London in 2014.
Since qualifying as a teacher, Chris has worked at a local upper school, taught maths to A level in an independent tutoring centre, and also worked at the Open University in Milton Keynes. Prior to joining Bedford Free School, he worked at a secondary school in St Albans.
Chris has always enjoyed the communication of complex and deep ideas, especially in the sciences and maths. At university, he did a number of school experience courses that helped confirm this desire to teach.
Chris enjoys finding new ways in which the ideas of maths and sciences contribute to our understanding of the world. For instance, if an economist formulates theories without any understanding of ecology or thermodynamics, they may be judged a good economist within the narrow disciplines of the subject. Chris would contend that their theories and knowledge of the world would not just be flawed, but would be actively dangerous. He is currently reading and researching the ways that ideas in systems thinking (aka complexity theory) can be applied to education
My main priority this year is to develop a student culture of utilising worked examples from textbooks. This resonates strongly with the TLAC emphasis on developing skills of reading, which I have observed many schools to actively discourage and have greatly impressed by the emphasis on this skill in TLAC.
Most students are extremely passive when learning maths, and rely on a teacher to always demonstrate the method. By developing self-reliance so the students may work through worked examples and therefore learn new techniques, this will greatly raise the confidence of the students entering post-16 studies of mathematics.

Michael Cox

Michael Cox

Subject Leader for PE

Michael graduated from De Montfort University Bedford in 2000 with a BSc (Hons) in Sport Science

Michael owned a coaching and teaching business in the Bedford and Buckinghamshire region for eight years before becoming a School Sport Co-Ordinator at John Bunyan School as well as a Further Education Sport Co-Ordinator at Bedford College. He then became a Community Development Leader, history and P.E. teacher at Bedford Academy. In 2013 Michael was runner up in the Sky Sports teacher of the year competition after working with David Beckham and Jessica Ennis-Hill to engage students will low self-esteem and low confidence. Michael became Subject Leader for P.E. at Bedford Free School in September 2014.
Michael became a P.E. teacher because of his passion for all sport. He believes that there is a sport out there for everybody and hopes that students will have a lifelong commitment to leading a healthy and active lifestyle after enjoying P.E. at Bedford Free School.
He enjoys when students achieve things that they never thought they could. How P.E. can teach us to overcome adversity and how we can use that in our everyday lives. He also enjoys taking students to fixtures against other schools where character and teamwork is clearly displayed.
This year Michael is focusing on questioning and how to develop deeper understanding. The techniques he will use are Cold Call, Wait Time and Call and Response

Alice Damon

Alice Damon

Teacher of Drama

Alice studied at Birmingham School of Acting. She graduated in 2012 with a BA (Hons) in Community and Applied Theatre.
Alice began her teacher training at Bedford College and went on to achieve her PGCE and QTLS. She then taught for a year at a secondary school in Bedford before joining the team at Bedford Free School.
Her teaching originates from a passion for drama and the theatre. Performing arts is something that she has always loved. Alice knew from an early age that she wanted to combine her two passions, education and the arts.
She enjoys watching students work together, learn together and encourage each other; and that’s exactly what drama does. It enables students to totally be themselves, build confidence and find a true appreciation and understanding of theatre.
This year Alice is working on a number of TLAC strategies in her classroom. These include: ‘100%’, and ‘Strong voice’

Heena Dave

Heena Dave

Teacher of Science

Heena studied at the University of Stirling. She graduated in 1998 with a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Biology.
After graduating, Heena developed her scientific career with the Environment Agency. As a Research Manager she was responsible for designing impartial and robust environmental research to inform and develop national policy on a range of environmental issues from climate change to the impacts of flooding.
With her enthusiasm for communicating science to a wide audience, Heena was passionate about using her experience to inspire students. She believes that through studying science, students will gain a deep appreciation of the wonders of the universe and be motivated to choose a scientific career.
Heena views learning in the natural environment as an essential part of teaching. She believes that outdoor learning in different landscapes provides a great opportunity to teach physics, biology and chemistry and visually demonstrates real life examples to help students stretch and embed their learning.
Heena will develop her practice this year by creating a strong classroom culture so that every student is engaged and ready to learn from the minute they step into their learning environment. She is also keen to ensure academic success through structuring her lessons in a way that enable students to develop the confidence and resilience to learn independently and feel inspired by their own achievements in the classroom.

Belinda Goodship

Belinda Goodship

Lead Teacher of Music

Belinda has been a former Biddenham Upper School student
and graduated BMus from University of Surrey with a PGCE from Institute of Education, UCL and is Currently studying for a Masters in Music Education at Institute of Education, UCL
Working at Bedford Free School was her first job after her PGCE from the Institute of Education.
As she progressed through her schooling years, many of her own teachers inspired her to become a teacher. The teachers that inspired her most were the teachers that delivered creative lessons, used firm but fair behavioral strategies in the classroom and consistently oozed passion for their subject. Every day, as a teacher, she now endeavors to do the same. She aims to inspire the future generations, just as she was inspired as a child.
Music is a subject that is accessible, practical and skills-based. It is a subject that can be shared through performance, composition and analysis. You regularly work and communicate with others in ensembles and creating music collaboratively; one of many important social skills you develop through the love of music.
Not only is music Belinda’s job, but it is her hobby; playing in orchestras, singing in a barbershop chorus and quartet and performing in music festivals. Music opens so many doors and opportunities for personal development.
Belinda’s priorities this year are all centred on student engagement in the classroom. She will focus on implementing the following strategies (amongst many others); ‘No Opt Out’, ‘Circulate’ and ‘All Hands’.

Daniel Haddow

Daniel Haddow

Teacher of Geography

Daniel studied at Coventry University. He graduated in 2010 with a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Natural Hazards.
Daniel started his career in pastoral support in a higher education college. In 2013 he was asked to teach A Level Geography alongside his pastoral work. In 2013 he started his teacher training; he will graduate with his PGCE in 2015. In September 2015 Daniel started his career at Bedford Free School.
He has a passion and fascination for the subject that he wishes to pass onto students. He believes that it is important that all students develop a knowledge and understanding of our world and how it works.
Daniel’s main passion lies in Volcanoes. They show nature at its most spectacular.
This year Daniel will be focusing on a number of TLAC priorities, they include ‘stretch it’, ‘check your understanding’ and ‘change the pace’.

James Hogg

James Hogg

Teacher of Design Technology

James has a BSc in Media Technology from the University of Bradford and a PGCE from the University of Manchester
James began volunteering in the technology department of a school in Manchester before completing his PGCE. He then worked at a secondary school in Northamptonshire before joining BFS.
He became a teacher to help young people achieve qualifications which would help them secure further progression in either education or the workplace.
He enjoys the practical side of technology and seeing student’s ideas become a reality.

Janet Lewis

Janet Lewis

SEN Teacher

Janet’s Primary and Secondary education was carried out in Zimbabwe and Australia. Then came teacher training in Zimbabwe; English and Psychology degree in South Africa and a variety of SEN post-graduate courses in England.
Janet taught English in Zimbabwe and South Africa before moving to England in 2003 to take up an English teaching post at Mark Rutherford School. Between 2007 and 2014 she was Senco at Mark Rutherford, and is currently teaching some English and maths at BFS.
She was inspired by a wonderful English teacher in the school she attended in Australia.
English is such a wide subject that everyone can do well in some aspect of it…be it spoken, written or dramatic performance.

Alix Monk

Alix Monk

Teacher of PE

Alix Studied at Leeds Metropolitan University. She Graduated in 2011 with a BA (Hons) in Physical education
Alix has taught at a primary level and a secondary level as well as working on a 1:1 basis with students who needed additional help in mainstream education. She has also volunteered at the 2012 Paralympics as a games maker, before joining Bedford Free school in September 2014.
Alix knew she wanted to be a PE teacher from the age of 13, when she had an amazing PE teacher herself who motivated a very demotivated class. This resulted in Alix wanting to strive to make a difference the way that teacher made a difference to her.
What do you enjoy about your subject?
Alix loves being outside and anything to do with water such as kayaking and swimming. She loves the fact she can be in the fresh air all day teaching a vast range of sports.
This year Alix is working on a number of TLAC strategies, including ‘no opt out’, ‘name the steps’ and ‘ratio’.

John Moore

John Moore

Curriculum Leader

John has an Aeronautical Engineering BEng (Hons) and has worked in the aerospace industry before becoming a teacher
He wanted a new challenge, and thought working with young people would be fun!
The subjects he enjoys most are Technology and computing are constantly evolving subjects, throwing up fresh challenges and learning opportunities.
His priorities this year tie in with developing our knowledge curriculum, involving all the students with no opt outs, and quick-fire peppering of all the basic knowledge that underpins our curriculum.

Gary Scanlan

Gary Scanlan

Curriculum Leader for English

Garry has attended De Montfort, Queen Mary, London, Ruskin College, Oxford.
He has taught at St Thomas More – Head of English, Literacy Co-ordinator and Advanced Skills Teacher and is a Lead Teacher for Bedford Borough
Garry thought teaching would suit my talents and I strongly believe that education is a great leveller in society.
He loves language and literature and enjoys the challenge of making it digestible to younger minds. He has a particular liking for poetry and drama, and as a former professional actor a passion for Shakespeare.

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