Learning Team

'Those who can, teach.....'

We have a team of teachers with an excellent record of facilitating outstanding student progress and who advocate strongly for multisensory learning.  Their learning approach is visual, active and experiential to enable students to engage and to embed knowledge and skills.

Our team are skilled in specific learning differences and evidence experience of a range of education settings in a range of roles, thus equipping them for the dynamic, aspirational environment at Abbot's Way.

Hellen Lush

Lead teacher for Science 

Member of our Senior Leadership Team

Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

  • B.Sc. (Hons) Equine Science and Technology
  • Member of ISA

Hellen is an experienced teacher of Science, PSHE, Maths and PE in both private and mainstream schools. During her time in education she has enjoyed curriculum review and design, middle and senior leadership and has taken advantage of a wealth of CPD and networking opportunities which have enriched and accelerated her career to date.

Highlights for Hellen as a teacher;

  • finding the unique 'brilliance' specific to each student, in order to connect and be able to engage them in learning and develop self belief
  • watching self esteem grow and students achieve their potential

Hellen brings empathy, energy and intuition to the classroom at Abbot’s Way.

Kate Rogers

Lead for 'Nurture' Programme

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
  • PGCE Primary (Mathematics)
  • PGCE in SEN and Inclusion 
  • NASENCO (National Award for SEN Coordination)
  • Level 4 Developing Literacy Skills in Learners with Dyslexia

Alongside her SENCo role, Kate will develop, lead and deliver ‘Nurture’, our bespoke programme woven through our Learn to Thrive curriculum, for students who require a specific, regular intervention further to personalised support provided within learning sessions.  Kate's expertise and deep understanding of students' specific learning differences will ensure that through monitoring, teaching is of the highest quality and that students make progress in line with their potential.

Alf Thompson

Lead teacher for Mathematics, ICT and Sport

Member of our Senior Leadership Team

  • MSc Education Management 
  • Associate member of the Dyslexia Guild
  • Member of the Royal Insitution
  • MA Education Management
  • BSc. (QTS) Hons

Alf will lead Maths and ICT, bringing his vast range of classroom and leadership experience to Abbot’s Way.  He is passionate about specialist education and about his curriculum areas.  Alf personalises learning and drives student progress, working collaboratively with team members and communicating effectively with parents.

Kirsty Haddleton

Lead teacher for Learning for Life and Humanities

BA (Hons) Theology

PGCE Secondary (RE and SEN)

MA contemporary religions and spiritualities

BSA Qualification

Kirsty has extensive teaching experience across key stages, across curriculum areas and within a range of education settings including SEN.  

She brings a strong sense of community, adventure, and love of learning to Abbot’s Way. Kirsty is an advocate for harnessing the lateral thinking gift that dyslexics possess and assist children in understanding that all subjects are interconnected, enriching students’ understanding of the world.  As a dyslexic herself, with a dyslexic child, she hopes to foster such gifts as well as support students in challenging themselves to push the boundaries.

Kirsty’s approach validates students’ feelings, supports them in recognising complex emotions and simultaneously helping them develop problem solving skills. 

Kirsty has an abundance of experience running trips and organising events.  She can't wait to embark on our ‘Venture’ programme.

Outside of school, Kirsty is a massive music and movie fan and loves nothing more than live music. She's also a traveller and is currently dreaming of her next family adventure.

Sarah Stanislaus Smith

Lead for Creative Arts

Sarah joins us as Arts Award Coordinator and Advisor

We welcome her natural inspiration, wealth of talent and strong background in community engagement. Students warm to Sarah's absolute passion for the Arts and her calm, flexible approach.  She values pur student-led ethos and tailors her learning to each student's profile.  Sarah has valuable experience in supporting students with specific learning difficulties in achieving their potential.  Her strength in sequencing learning and breaking down targets for her learners means that they engage and develop self belief.  Sarah presents information and techniques in a way in which students can understand and apply.  We welcome Sarah's teamwork and collaboration.

Kirsten Kaluzynski

Lead for Performing and Expressive Arts

Kirsten has worked in an SEN environment for the last 17 years, and has a huge range of experience working with children who are dyslexic, dyspraxic, dyscalculic and on the autistic spectrum.  She also has experience working with school phobic children including those who have felt ‘lost’ in the education system. 

Kirsten’s previous post was at Moon Hall School in Surrey where she taught a variety of subjects on a 1:1, small group and class basis to dyslexic students and those on the ASD spectrum, from Years 3-11. 

Trained in Expressive Arts, Kirsten will be delivering our Performing Arts programme which will include a blend of creative dance, drama, yoga and music. Opportunities for students to develop their individual interests and strengths are woven through Kirsten’s sessions, whilst ensuring that students feel comfortable facing areas which provide greater challenge. With a background in psychology, health and mental well-being, Kirsten’s approach is holistic and therapeutic in nature;  lessons gently encourage and foster outward expression. She also covers mindfulness and will be offering sessions of this along with brain gym.

Kirsten is adept at supporting students in engaging, personalised and attainable learning tasks to increase confidence and resilience and help encourage independent learning. This in turn enables students’ developing skills and self esteem to come to the fore and allow them to thrive.  

In her free time Kirsten continues to study topics of an esoteric nature, delving into sacred geometry, spiritual science and development of the soul.  She loves yoga, dance, the arts and wild swimming!

Alison Horgan

English and Literacy Teacher

BA (Hons) English Language and Literature

MA (African Languages and Literatures)

Mlitt (Enlightenment Romanticism and Nation)

PhD in Eighteenth century poetry

QTS (GTP) in Secondary English

Alison is an experienced English teacher who has worked in schools in the UK and around the world.  Recently she has also developed and delivered learning programmes for heritage organisations, working with several local primary schools.  She is interested in the many and varied ways in which young people learn and grow, and values a holistic approach to education. Alison loves creativity, music and visual art as well as words and literature. 

Outside school, she enjoys the outdoors and has plans to gain a forest school qualification.  She also enjoys eating and exploring. 

Apollo (God of Healing and Light)

Apollo - Abbot's Way SchoolNow nearly 14 months old, Apollo is our AWS black lab.  He enjoys running, lots of swimming, eating (anything except children), relaxing and spending time with our students. 

Not to be underestimated as a valued member of our team, his gentle, affectionate approach is a hit with young people and it is amazing to watch the therapeutic effects of such an animal when a child is feeling anxious.

Equally it is great to see Apollo out playing with students chasing balls or visiting classrooms to say hello in his own special way.