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School Improvement

Why should our school join SHINE?


"We will take every step of your school improvement journey alongside you, supporting and challenging as appropriate to your context and circumstance. We will utilise best practice and expertise from across the Trust, to develop your school and its community, whilst celebrating your uniqueness and drawing on your own best practice to strengthen our Trust."



How will SHINE support our school?


Our model for school improvement at 'new' schools joining the Trust is detailed in the below document:

Our annual cycle of school improvement support is detailed in the below document:



Who will be able to support our school?


Judi O'Leary - Chief Executive Officer


Previous to becoming CEO of SHINE Multi Academy Trust, Judi was an experienced Headteacher - working in two different local authorities during her time leading Birklands Primary School in Warsop, then Whitemoor Academy in Nottingham City. Additionally, she worked as a leadership consultant at Riverside Primary School and, before that, was employed by Nottinghamshire Local Authority as part of their school improvement team. In both occasions, Judi was asked to support settings which were judged as being in 'special measures.' This was based on her proven track record of achieving a 'good' Ofsted rating within a year, through the highly effective school improvement programmes which she implemented.



Kate Hall - School Improvement Lead


Kate completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Administrative Science in 1990. This was followed by a PGCE (Primary).

During her career, she has been lucky enough to have worked in many different areas of the country - including Morayshire, Tower Hamlets, Lincolnshire and Nottingham City. Kate worked as a deputy headteacher at a City primary school before arriving at Scotholme - first as the deputy and then as the headteacher.

She completed the National Professional Qualification for Headship in 2004 and the National Professional Qualification for Executive Leadership in 2021.  

Scotholme successfully introduced an innovative mastery approach to Maths several years ago which has been rolled out across the Trust with equal success - as validated during recent Ofsted Inspections. 

Kate forms part of the Central Team as School Improvement Lead. She works closely with the CEO and Curriculum Director to coordinate school improvement work across the Trust and has particular responsibility for supporting schools, previously in an Ofsted category, leading up to their first Ofsted as part of SHINE.



Gill Fotheringham - Writing Lead


Gill is currently Headteacher at Langold Dyscarr Community School.  Within SHINE Multi academy Trust, she currently leads on Writing and SHINE school improvement Focused Improvement Action Plans and High Intensity Improvement Plans.

Previously, Gill was the Primary Head of School at Serlby Park Academy, where she led on school improvement; rapidly raising the attainment for all pupils and achieving a ‘good’ judgement at their Ofsted Inspection in March 2018. 

Before that, she was Assistant Head at St John’s CE Academy, where she specialised in Early Years, Phase leadership for Key Stage 1 and EYFS, assessment, parental engagement and Computing. 

Gill was appointed as Headteacher at Langold Dyscarr Community School in September 2019. Within her time at the school, Gill has:

  • Introduced ‘The Langold Way’ - a curriculum for behaviour
  • Embedded the SHINE ethos and BEE values 
  • Developed a culture of RESPECT for staff, pupils and the community involving the pupils as RESPECT Ambassadors
  • Restructured the school's senior leadership team 
  • Raised academic standards in all areas of the curriculum 
  • Implemented a reading rich curriculum
  • Developed a love for reading culture across the school 
  • Implemented a feedforward approach to marking 
  • Introduced Whole Class Reading, including a buzz word approach to the teaching of vocabulary 
  • Embedded the Maths Mastery Approach
  • Implemented a PSHEE curriculum which has a clear focus on relationships and personal development and supports our pupil’s mental health, for example, our school dog and ELSA 
  • Developed a wide range of learning outside the classroom opportunities for the pupils - which include orienteering, pond dipping, raising chickens, forest school work etc.
  • Engaged with the local community 
  • Engaged our pupils with whole school improvement through a leadership team and school council (eco-team)
  • Worked closely with the North Notts Governor Hub to raise standards within the school 


Jane Heald - Specialist Leader of Education for Early Reading and Phonics 
Jane completed her Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) training in 2013 and first worked as an SLE for Trent Valley Teaching School Alliance. She led a training package to assist schools to develop a whole school approach to the teaching of early reading and phonics.
At the same time, Jane took up a post at Ranskill Primary School. Working together with the children, staff and parents, she introduced a structured phonics programme based on letters and sounds - which raised the phonic screening results from 50% to 100%. Ranskill share their expertise in this area across the Trust and have hosted a DfE phonics roadshow, allowing visiting schools to watch their excellent practice.


In recent months, Jane has developed practice at Ranskill further by the creation of her own systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP). This was based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme. It meets all the expectations of the National Curriculum and Ofsted’s Deep Dive framework for early reading, as well as preparing pupils to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check. It includes resources, planning, assessment and intervention material for phases 1 – 5.   
As a teacher, Jane has delivered Red Write Inc, Jolly Phonics and a variety of schemes based on Letters and Sounds - both the original and those companies who have produced revised versions. 
Writing her own scheme and having used a variety of published schemes enables Jane to offer support for a wide variety of circumstances, based on local need.


Rachel Fletcher - Teaching and Learning Lead


Rachel has worked at Whitemoor for 19 years and before that spent several years teaching English as a Foreign Language in several European countries. 


Whilst at Whitemoor, she has had a number of different roles ranging from the leadership of English, PSHE and PE to her current role as Head of School. In addition to this, Rachel has been an Advanced Skills Teacher and a Year 6 writing moderator in Nottingham City. 


She supports schools across the Trust in strengthening pedagogy, as well as working with Senior Leadership Teams to introduce Trust non negotiables e.g. Top Down Planning when new schools join SHINE. Rachel devised the current CPD offer alongside the CEO and Curriculum Director, and has regular involvement in the review of the Trust’s ‘8 Elements’ teaching and learning framework. 


Adam Newton – Maths Lead


Adam has been Year 6 teacher and Maths Lead at Scotholme Primary since 2015. He has also completed his National Practitioner Qualification in Middle Leadership and is the mentor for SCITT students who have been placed at the school. More recently, Adam was appointed as Key Stage Two Leader, which includes responsibility for the outcomes of 240 pupils and managing a large number of teachers and support staff. 

Scotholme’s mathematics curriculum, which Adam designed, follows the principles of teaching for mastery and includes Barak Rosenshine’s Principals of Instruction. Each lesson is designed to reduce cognitive load and to build in small steps. By having a carefully planned structure to all mathematics lessons, it helps children overcome seductive details and use their working memories on what is most important. During a typical lesson, all children are given the opportunity to improve their fluency, practise their problem solving and develop their reasoning.

The core principles of this curriculum help pupils and teachers develop even greater confidence in mathematics and enable all children to become mathematicians. 

Adam has introduced this curriculum model at other schools in the Trust, leading to improvement in pupil’s mathematical confidence and competence, as well as increased attainment across all year groups. 



Common questions which Headteachers and their Local Governing Bodies asked before joining SHINE have been compiled in the document below: