Welcome to our staff page
We are a friendly and enthusiastic staff team and we all work hard to ensure that your child receives the best education possible whilst safe in our care. The staff list will give you an overview of who works in our school along with their duties and responsibilities.
Miss Zoe Linington
Miss Linington started her career as a science teacher at a middle school in Dorset, and moved to Hertfordshire to take up her first senior leadership position in 2002. Moving to another middle school in Hertfordshire as deputy headteacher, she was quickly promoted to Headteacher in 2010. Miss Linington loves school leadership and feels that the best part of the job is “seeing children grow and develop and knowing that you have made a difference.” Joining the Federation between Edward Peake and Northill schools in January 2017, she sees her appointment as Federation Headteacher as an exciting new challenge. Looking after two schools certainly keeps her busy, but in her spare time, Miss Linington enjoys horse riding and walking her two dogs.
Mrs Alison Barden
Head of School
Mrs Barden has been a qualified teacher since 2000 and started her career in an inner city school in Birmingham. She returned home to Bedfordshire in 2004 when she started working in a small village school in the local area. It was here that Mrs Barden grew her love of small schools. Having initially joined Northill School as a lead teacher, she was made Head of School in September 2012 and she thoroughly enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with her dedicated team. As a mother of two children (her daughter attended Northill School), Mrs Barden works hard alongside her team to ensure that all children develop a love of learning. In her limited spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, walking her dog and running.
Mrs Katherine Hopewell
Teacher for Hedgehog Class
(Reception & Year 1)
Mrs Hopewell is in her fourth year of teaching at Northill. During this time she has taught in Otter Class and Squirrel Class and is now enjoying teaching in Hedgehog Class. Before coming to Northill, Mrs Hopewell lived in Hong Kong for 4 years and taught at a variety of English Foundation Schools. During this time she was fortunate enough to meet lots of new friends and explore different countries in Asia. Outside school she enjoys going for long walks with her two dogs and relaxing with a good book.
Mrs Ruth Gullefer
Teacher for Otter Class
Mrs Gullefer has been teaching at Northill since January 2000 and she has worked in Key Stage 1 and Reception classes, before moving into Otter Class in 2016. She has lived in Bedfordshire for most of her life and when not at work, enjoys reading, walking and listening to her music.
Mr Alistair Turner
Teacher for Squirrel Class
(Year 3 & Year 4)
Mr Turner is the newest member of the teaching team, having joined in 2016. He's a former pupil of Northill school, having grown up in the village. Before joining the Northill team, he worked in several Bedfordshire schools during his training. Mr Turner enjoys sketching and swimming (but not at the same time!) He loves teaching across the curriculum – in particular literacy and art.
Mrs Susan Swain
Mrs Swain has been the Office Manager at Northill Lower School for a number of years. She really enjoys working alongside the school’s staff, pupils and governors. Mrs Swain deals with the numerous admin, pupil data and finance tasks associated with a busy village school. In her spare time, she very much enjoys walking and playing the occasional round of golf.
Mrs Judy Cutmore
Higher Level Teaching Assistant
Mrs Cutmore has been working at Northill Lower School as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) for many years and she works across all of the classes in the school. Her role also includes covering classes and teacher absence when required. She is also the Staff Governor and attends Governing Body meetings.
Mrs Laura Miller
Mrs Miller joined Northill Lower School in 2002 and enjoys her role of working with children from all year groups. Alongside her support role responsibilities, she is also an active member of the FPTA and loves being creative and making things. It's not surprising therefore, that she is responsible for producing many of the wonderful displays which we have throughout the school!
Mrs Andrea Hassell
Mrs Hassell has been working at Northill Lower school since 2007. She initially worked with an SEN pupil before becoming a Teaching Assistant with Reception Class (Hedgehog class). Mrs Hassell loves cooking and it's therefore no surprise to find her running our after school cookery classes. She also enjoys being creative and is passionate about reading and going to the cinema.
Mrs Philippa Olphin
Mrs Olphin has been part of the support staff team at Northill since 2004. She loves helping the children with literacy (reading in particular) and teaches French at Key Stage 2. As well as being a part-time teaching assistant, she carries out some lunch duties, participates in after school clubs, is heavily involved in the school council and co-ordinates with village activities. On top of all that, she also contributes a blog on our Facebook page.
Miss Amy Jeakings
Miss Jeakings is currently in her teacher training year, and thoroughly enjoying her time at Northill Lower School. She loves working with children which led to her desire to become a teacher. Alongside Miss Jeakings training, she enjoys running, playing piano and being creative!
Mrs Carrie Harmes
Mrs Harmes has been a lunchtime supervisor for more than three years and joined Northill School in 2017. She brings a wealth of experience to the lunchtime team, having previously worked locally at Samuel Whitbread Academy and Edward Peake Schools. Living just down the road in the town of Shefford, Mrs Harmes has four children ranging from six to sixteen years of age, and she likes nothing better than spending time with her friends and family and watching films.
Mrs Karen Tester
Mrs Tester has been covering lunchtimes at Northill School for over 10 years, and whilst her daughters both attended the school. She enjoys working three times a week, where she sees the children grow and develop before they eventually move on. In her spare time, Mrs Tester likes walking her dog and spending time with her family.
Miss Lynette (Biddy) Thompson
Miss Thompson has five years experience as a lunchtime supervisor at Northill and has also helped with school trips such as the pantomine. Having had her son attend Northill School, she is aware of the enthusiastic atmosphere at the school and how happy the children are. Mrs Thompson has been a resident in Northill for the last 20 years and her interests include horse riding, keeping fit, fine dining and going on holiday.