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School Staff

Within Kirk Fenton there are many people, both teachers and non-teachers, who work in and around the school to help make it a safe and friendly place in which the children can develop and play.

Teachers work hard to ensure that children learn in a fun and exciting way. Whilst teaching assistants are there to help support the teachers and children in whatever way is needed.


Karen Williams

Head Teacher

I was a late starter into teaching having spent several years working in the finance industry. I took some time off with my youngest child and started out as a parent helper in my son's school. The staff there encouraged me to take up teaching so I went back to college to complete a PGCE 17 years ago. Since then I have taught in a range of primary schools from leafy lane to deep inner city and worked my way up through the ranks to become a Head Teacher in 2014. I joined Kirk Fenton as Head in January 2018 and am enjoying working with a great staff team and super children and families.


Mrs Amy Young

EYFS Mercury Teacher

Hello, I'm Mrs Young. I am a Reception teacher here at Kirk Fenton Primary School. From a young age I knew I wanted to be a teacher and set my sights on completing my teacher training in one of my favourite cities, York. Once I had completed my three years training I decided to become a supply teacher to gain more experience and find the school for me...that school was Kirk Fenton! I began my time at Kirk Fenton as a teaching assistant before taking the role of a Reception class teacher. I feel very lucky to be part of such an incredible community here at Kirk Fenton.

I am a huge Disney fan, and in the school holidays enjoy visiting the magical Walt Disney World with my family. In my spare time I also enjoy spending time with my friends, decorating my house and shopping... lots of shopping! 

Mrs Gemma Westfeld

EYFS Mercury Teacher

Hello, I’m Mrs Westfeld and I am teaching Mrs Young’s Reception class while she is away on maternity leave. I have been a teacher for over fifteen years and love teaching the Early Years age range. For a number of years I taught in a school near Wakefield and recently I have done supply teaching across Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. I grew up in Warwick and moved north to study after completing my A Levels, eventually settling in York. In my spare time I enjoy reading, baking and exploring the Yorkshire countryside with my husband and two children.

Miss Chelsea Hendrickson

EYFS/Y1 Venus Teacher

Hello I’m Miss Hendrickson. I am the reception and Year 1 teacher here at Kirk Fenton. After completing my teacher training with the STAR schools direct programme, I was keen to work within the STAR MAT once I qualified. When the opportunity arose to work at Kirk Fenton I jumped at the chance. I am lucky to be a part of such a welcoming and supportive team here at Kirk Fenton.

When I am not at school, I am kept busy with my 4 year old daughter. As a family we love going for walks, spending time with friends and eating roast dinners! 

Mrs Angela Slater

Y1/Y2 Earth Teacher

Hello, I’m Mrs Slater and I joined Kirk Fenton in September last year. I teach Willow class.

Before becoming teacher I worked as a Sales Manager for a textiles company which meant that I got to do lots of travelling both in the UK and Europe meeting customers and developing new products – I loved it! Although I really enjoyed my job, I always had a secret ambition to become a teacher like some of my sisters.

When we relocated to York from Cheshire in 2003 because Mr Slater took up an exciting new job, I decided to take the first step on the ladder to becoming a teacher. I went to work as a teaching assistant at a fantastic school in York where I stayed for 10 years. During this time I completed my BA Honours degree in supporting teaching and learning which I needed to become a teacher. After that I completed my teacher training with the Ebor Alliance and began my first teaching job in York. Last year I felt like I needed a change and became a supply teacher – I loved teaching in lots of different schools!

When I was offered a job a Kirk Fenton I was very happy as it is such a happy and friendly school and I am enjoying being part of a fantastic team working with such enthusiastic children.

In my spare time I love spending time with Mr Slater and our two grown up boys Luke and Joe (and Luke’s fiancé Ellie). We enjoy walking in the Dales, going to music and comedy gigs, cooking and playing board games together. I also love football – particularly Manchester City, cats (I have 4), running and gardening!

Mrs Hannah Skelton

Y1/Y2 Earth Teacher

Hello, I’m Mrs. Skelton!

I have joined Willow Class with Mrs. Slater to teach Year 1 and 2. I have been a teacher since 2013 and taught EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 in a very large school in Leeds. I qualified after completing my PGCE at York St. John University and my Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Hull. My subject was Drama with a focus on Theatrical Production. I worked as a Stage Manager and Deputy Stage Manager in the university’s Donald Roy Theatre and spent 3 brilliant years there backstage.

I have two wonderful children called Beatrice and Oliver and I decided that working at Kirk Fenton would be amazing because I can spend plenty of time at school but still have lots of time to see my family. Before we had our children, Mr. Skelton and I loved travelling and exploring new places. Our favourite destination is a beautiful fishing town called Olhão in Portugal. We can’t wait to take the kids!

I love nature and exploring the outdoors. One of my favourite things to do is to plant new things to grow in my garden, especially to see if I can attract lots of bees and butterflies! On sunny days you’ll probably find me weeding and watering my plants or perhaps walking around the beautiful RHS Harlow Carr garden.

Another of my hobbies is baking. My Victoria Sponge is a 3 time prize winner! I love to bake for my family and colleagues so don’t be surprised if there’s a cake tin or two in the staffroom. I also love to sing and play guitar and have been a member of a few singing groups and choirs over the years.

Mrs Kerry Fitzpatrick

Y2 Mars Teacher

Hello, I'm Mrs Fitzpatrick. It was on a University year abroad where I got my first experience of teaching after working in a school in Zaragoza, Spain. I completed my BA (hons) in Spanish and Business and decided to combine my love of travel and teaching and moved across the world to South Korea to teach English. Before settling back in the UK, I was lucky enough to travel through most of Asia and South America (Philippines and Bolivia being particular highlights!). I always knew I would settle in York one day and completed my Masters in Educational Studies and PGCE Primary in the city. I have worked at Kirk Fenton Primary School since 2013 and love being part of the fantastic team, working with enthusiastic children and engaging with the welcoming wider community. I have taught in both KS1 and KS2; I am currently the KS1, science and computing lead teacher. 

In my spare time I am busy being a mummy to my daughter Hazel. We enjoy spending time with family, friends and exploring new places.

Mrs Catherine Savage

Y2 Mars Teacher

Mrs Catherine Savage

My teaching career began many years ago, when I graduated from the University of Leeds.  I started my teaching career in Leeds and have taught in all year groups in different types of schools.

After coming to Kirk Fenton as a supply teacher,  I quickly realised what a fantastic staff and school it is.  I am currently working in a job share in year two.

When I am not working or acting as a personal chauffeur/secretary/ cook to my children, I can usually be found walking in the Yorkshire Dales.  I am married and have three children.  I love baking, gardening, meeting up with friends, and reading.  I am currently contemplating getting a cocker spaniel!

Mrs Emma Bembridge

Y3 Jupiter Teacher

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. My mum says that I used to line up my teddies and pretend to play schools.

I grew up in Scarborough so chose to go to University there too. I loved living at the seaside and I visit Scarborough often as my family still live there. Once qualified I moved to Kirklees where I got my first teaching job. I have been lucky enough throughout my career to teach children from Reception to Year 6.

Outside of school, my husband and I are kept super busy by our twin daughters. We enjoy being outdoors and love camping and walking. We have a bright red campervan so our aim this year is to explore more of our beautiful country in 'Cherry'.

I also love animals and have a pet dog called Lilo and a guinea pig called Hannah.

Miss Charlotte Exton

Y3 Jupiter Teacher

Hello I’m Miss Exton and I will be the year 3 teacher at Kirk Fenton until Mrs Bembridge returns. I have always wanted to be a teacher and started teaching my siblings once I had started school as I was so excited to share everything I had learnt. 

I decided to go to Sheffield Hallam to begin my teacher training and explore the Steel City. I was very excited to come home to York after my degree as it is my favourite place in the world. I love the history and culture of York; I learn something new every time I walk along the Bar walls or to the Minster. 

Before teaching I spent most of my time coaching gymnastics and trampolining and I love to practise in my spare time!

Miss Gemma McHale

Y4 Saturn Teacher

I have always wanted to be a teacher, when I was younger I used to show my younger brother and sister things that I had learnt at school and make them practise colours and counting! I am from Leeds but love travelling so before University I travelled around Europe, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. During my degree, which I took at Nottingham University, I spent time in Uganda and the Dominican Republic helping to build classrooms and houses and distributing food and aid.

I worked for the Police in order to save up to return to University and study to be a teacher. My first teaching job was at a North Yorkshire school where I taught the Reception class. I decided to become a supply teacher in order to gain more experience and I was lucky enough to get to come to Kirk Fenton a lot! Kirk Fenton is such a special school and I was thrilled to be able to teach here full time this year.

I am passionate about fitness and when I am not busy at school I teach and participate in gym classes in York. I love animals and spend the rest of my time looking after my 2 cheeky bunny rabbits.

Mr Thomas Symes

Y5 Uranus Teacher

Hello I’m Mr Symes and I’m the current year 5 teacher. I always wanted to be a teacher from a young age, however it just took me a little longer to pursue it. Before entering teaching, I had a range of jobs from snowboard instructing to being a chef.  Eventually, with the support of my wife, I decided that I would finally train to be a teacher. With Kirk Fenton being my first teaching post, I can safely say that it was the right decision.

After meeting in Canada where I was living, my wife and I moved back to England and then I left the south coast to move to York to start my training. During my training, we got married and had our first daughter, and then recently we welcomed the birth of our second daughter. 

Mrs Rebecca Cameron

Y6 Neptune Teacher

Hello. I’m Mrs Cameron and I am the year 6 teacher at Kirk Fenton. Before I became a teacher I spent 15 years working in our family shop selling lots of things for cars and bikes.

What I really wanted to do though was work in a school so, I came to work at Kirk Fenton as a teaching assistant in EYFS. I really loved working with such fantastic staff and children and was very sad to leave when, after 3 years, I decided to fulfil my dream of being a teacher. After spending a year at York St. John University doing my teacher training I was lucky enough to get a job teaching back at Kirk Fenton.

I live in a village not too far away with my teenage daughters and husband who all keep me very busy! When I can I like to go walking, running and cycling. We all like to eat out and my daughters try and persuade me to take them shopping as often as they can!

Teaching Assistants

Mrs Jo Hookham

Teaching Assistant

I am originally from a village on the outskirts of Bradford and moved to Pontefract in 2001 after I met my husband.

I spend a lot of my time in Scotland with my family. We enjoy exploring the many miles of forest trails and lovely beaches. We love to go on wildlife walks looking for birds, deer and lots of other wildlife including the elusive Adder and Natterjack Toad.

Some of my other interests include watching Rugby League, in particular Leeds Rhinos. I also really enjoy watching World Superbikes and Moto GP. My favourite rider is Valentino Rossi (Wold Superbike champion).

I became a TA in 2007 after being a parent volunteer at my children’s school. I found I very much enjoyed working with the children and became a qualified TA in 2008. I see myself in this role for a long time to come.

Mrs Jacqui Lynn

Teaching Assistant

I have been at Kirk Fenton School for over 14 years and I have enjoyed working in all the Key Stages.

My interests include looking after my many animals. These include a Weimaraner dog called Kim, 3 Egyptian Mau cats and a recently acquired brood of various types of chickens and Japanese quail.

As you can imagine I have a very busy, but enjoyable life.

Mrs Satu Dobby

Teaching Assistant

I was born in Germany because my father was in the Armed Forces and he was based there for 8 years. I returned to the UK with my family when I was 9 months old and was raised in Leeds where I lived and worked as a Legal Secretary until my recent move to Church Fenton. I have one daughter and two cats. We chose Church Fenton to move to after visiting the school and deciding this was a great school for our daughter to attend, as we loved the ethos and values the school instils in its pupils. I am an avid reader and love spending time reading. When I am not reading I am often to be found baking.

I joined the school in 2018 as a Midday Supervisor and am now enjoying my position as a Teaching Assistant. I am looking forward to the new challenges and learning this will bring.

Miss Lydia Graham

Teaching Assistant

This is my first job since finishing my college course in June 2015, I studied ‘Children’s Care, Learning and Development’ at York college where I completed various placements that allowed me to gain experience with working with children. I am loving my time at Kirk Fenton School but I can’t believe how quick the days go! The children are friendly, independent and enthusiastic and I have been made to feel very welcome by both children and staff. During my spare time I enjoy baking, spending time with my friends and during the summer months I enjoy going to music festivals with my sister and friends. During my time at Kirk Fenton I hope to develop my knowledge and skills further whilst making some lovely memories on the way.

Mrs Judith Mawson

Teaching Assistant

After a career in banking and then being at home with my children I became involved at their school as a parent and then a dinner lady. I really enjoyed the school environment so when the opportunity arose to work at Kirk Fenton, first as a dinner lady then as a teaching assistant I jumped at the chance. Over the many years working here I have worked with all year groups and always with a great staff team. When I'm not working I enjoy reading, baking, making things but my favourite thing is spending time with my family and friends.

Mrs Siobhan Bamforth

Outdoor Learning Lead

Learning Mentor/Outdoor Learning Lead

I have been at Kirk Fenton now for over 12 years.  I am now a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader and Thrive Practitioner which has meant that my role has changed over the years. 

During the summer term I lead Forest School sessions for the whole school. I absolutely love being outdoors, even in the cold as I always have the right clothes on!  I am really lucky to work with children across the whole school and no day is ever the same.  Children describe Forest School as fun and exciting, so they are always keen to be learning outdoors.  I honestly believe in the many benefits of learning in a natural environment and think that the children and staff in our school are really fortunate to have such beautiful surroundings to learn in.  The outdoors provides an ever-changing stimulating learning environment; children have the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn new skills, develop communication and interaction skills, build on self-esteem, just to name a few. Children find sessions memorable thus making my job really rewarding and enjoyable. 

For the rest of the year I support children in my Learning Mentor role.  I believe that every child has the right to reach their full potential.  For some children certain barriers can prevent this from happening.  It is my job to support children where needed and help them try to overcome these barriers. 

When I am not at work I am usually at home with my family.  I have two daughters aged 19 and 16 and husband.  We also have a dog, Toby, who is very energetic and fun who I love to take on walks, especially first thing on a crisp cold morning!  I love working with children and as a family we provide respite foster care to a child once a month.  I also run my own Forest School business on weekends and school holidays and deliver holiday clubs, family additional needs sessions and weekly adult and toddler sessions.

Mrs Sam Hey

HL Teaching Assistant

Hi there! I have worked in education for many years in a variety of roles.  My role at Kirk Fenton as HLTA involves teaching in classes across the school when teachers have their planning and preparation time, out of class. It is fantastic to be able to work with all the staff and pupils across the different year groups!  On a personal level I enjoy reading and knitting and love to spend time with my family, which includes my husband, my two children aged eleven and seven and my pets!  Together we enjoy going for long walks and visiting places of interest such as castles and museums!

Miss Sarah Bingley

Teaching Assistant

Hello, I am Miss Bingley and I make up 1/5 of the Early Years team!
I enjoy baking, running and painting.
I have been working with children for six years now.
I have a level 3 in ‘Children’s Care, Learning and Development’.
I am currently studying part-time at the university of Leeds, towards a Foundation Degree in ‘Learning and Teaching'

Mrs Karen Parnaby

Teaching Assistant

I have been involved with Kirk Fenton School  since my eldest nephews attended in 1995, then my own two sons, eventually starting as a dinner lady/teaching assistant in 2006.
During my time here, I have worked in all the key stages, sometimes one to one and for the last few years  as a  GTA in the classroom and have loved every minute!
When I'm not at work, I enjoy socialising with family and friends ,walking in the countryside and finishing crosswords!

Mrs Abbie Clark

Teaching Assistant

I'm Mrs Clark and I am currently in Maple Class with Miss McHale and Mrs Lynn. 
I love working at Kirk Fenton, the children, their families and the staff are all so lovely. 
I love to be creative and enjoying sewing, drawing and cooking in my free time, which I don't have much of as I have 4 children.

Mrs Ellie Keyse

Teaching Assistant

Administrative Staff

Mrs Bev Hathaway

Administrative Assistant

Before joining Kirk Fenton School in 2013, I was a Bikeability Instructor – visiting primary schools in Selby and the surrounding areas teaching Y5/6s safe cycling on the roads.

Prior to this I worked in Denmark, Nottingham and London and then moved to Yorkshire where I spent a few years in the marketing department at Leeds Bradford International Airport.

I love going on long dog walks with family and friends and also enjoy reading, crocheting, cycling and visiting the cinema.

Mrs Jo Mc Keating

School Administrator

Prior to joining the Kirk Fenton team I was a stay at home mum with my 2 girls for ten years. During this time I was the treasurer of our village playgroup and mums and tots group for over 5 years. I was a Governor at our village Primary School for 8 years and am actively involved in village life taking part in our annual pantomime and murder mystery evenings.

Before becoming a mum I worked at a Chartered Accountants in Leeds preparing financial accounts for small businesses and sole traders.

I enjoy long dog walks in the countryside with my family and friends, going to the theatre and reading.

Dinner Staff

Miss Sarah Bingley

Hello, I am Miss Bingley and I make up 1/5 of the Early Years team!
I enjoy baking, running and painting.
I have been working with children for six years now.
I have a level 3 in ‘Children’s Care, Learning and Development’.
I am currently studying part-time at the university of Leeds, towards a Foundation Degree in ‘Learning and Teaching'

Mrs Satu Dobby

I was born in Germany because my father was in the Armed Forces and he was based there for 8 years. I returned to the UK with my family when I was 9 months old and was raised in Leeds where I lived and worked as a Legal Secretary until my recent move to Church Fenton. I have one daughter and two cats. We chose Church Fenton to move to after visiting the school and deciding this was a great school for our daughter to attend, as we loved the ethos and values the school instils in its pupils. I am an avid reader and love spending time reading. When I am not reading I am often to be found baking.

I joined the school in 2018 as a Midday Supervisor and am now enjoying my position as a Teaching Assistant. I am looking forward to the new challenges and learning this will bring.

Mrs Jenny Vale

I grew up in the Lake District but moved to Yorkshire to study at university and have lived in the York area ever since.
I've worked at universities and colleges in marketing, events and administration, managed a bookshop, travelled parts of New Zealand, the USA and Europe before having my two daughters and focusing on raising a family.

I love all things to do with nature and wildlife as well as the Arts and sports. Happiness is a walk through the woods with my girls and husband and a pub lunch followed by a trip to the theatre, cinema or a gig. Or, weather permitting, a day at the cricket. I also enjoy stories and getting lost in a book or writing and pottering around independent art galleries.

I work part time over lunchtimes and as a parent helper. It's lovely being around the children; they are very entertaining and have some wonderful ideas! 

Kitchen Staff

Mrs Jo Langdon

Kitchen Staff

Mrs Helen Harrison

Kitchen Staff



Miss Zoe Simpson


Mrs Teresa Whyte


I grew up in Edinburgh and after training in Technical Theatre I spent the next 15 years working in a variety of theatres around the country including Nottingham Playhouse and the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend as well as several seasons at Alton Towers as a lighting technician on the live shows. I eventually settled in the West Midlands where I was the Technical Manager for a college theatre providing all the backstage support for both student and professional productions. After nearly 30 years in the theatre industry it was time for a change and relocation to Yorkshire gave me the opportunity to work within the Health & Safety field for a few years. Having been made redundant I am now enjoying semi retirement here at Kirk Fenton as caretaker and finding time to enjoy more leisure pursuits such as my garden and the local WI group.