Meet The Staff

Mrs S J Brooks - Interim CEO

I feel privileged to hold the position of Interim CEO of Unity Academy Trust. I believe it is essential to support all children to experience a successful start to their education, and to foster a lifelong love of learning, both within Bexley and beyond. I have a passion to help others improve the life-chances of all children, both within Bexley and beyond and I have valuable experience in the primary education sector to be able to do this. I have held the roles of Head Teacher and Executive Head Teacher of a federation of schools, one of which is a National Support School and lead school for the Bexley Teaching School Alliance. Currently, I am also CEO of Ignis Academy Trust in Bexley, a National Leader of Education and Ofsted Inspector. I look forward to working with Unity Academy Trust for the benefit of our Bexley children.

Mrs B Mckenzie - Head Teacher

I joined Upland as a member of the Senior Leadership Team in September 2004 and have been part of the many changes that the school has experienced and the journey it has been on. I have been Head Teacher since September 2017 and I am proud to lead this wonderful school, working alongside a dedicated staff team, ambitious governors, pupils that make me smile every day, and parents who are supportive. Upland is a school where everyone matters and we are constantly striving to make every day a valuable experience. I believe that all children deserve a bright future and in order to achieve this, we need to build resilient and determined pupils who believe in themselves, Children need to feel safe and happy therefore we foster relationships at Upland that allow them to flourish. We are always looking ahead in order to improve and firmly believe that in collaboration with parents, agencies and the wider community, we can bring about new opportunities for our children. We are proud of our history and our achievements but as society changes we need to provide children with the tools to tackle it. The future is exciting and our role is to create an excellent education for every child in a fun, inspiring and engaging way.

Ms C Smiles - Deputy Head Teacher (maternity leave)

I joined Upland Primary School as a Year 6 teacher in September 2012 because I was blown away by the enthusiasm and charm of all the children here. Their resilience and determination, and love of learning, gives me the passion to be a part of the team that pushes our school forward everyday.

Since joining, I have taught over both Key Stages, as a class teacher and a phase leader, and have developed a sound understanding of the expectations of children at all stages of their primary educational journey.

I passionately believe in the power of learning and there is nothing I enjoy more than seeing children progress, both academically and emotionally, armed with all the tools they need to continue as successful lifelong learners.

Mrs J Grant - School Business Manager

I joined Upland in May 2016 as the Business Manager, just before we gained academy status as the first school in the Unity Academy Trust. Since that time I have worked closely with other members of the leadership team to prepare the school and the trust for future growth and make sure that Upland’s resources are used in the most effective way. In 2017 we welcomed Gravel Hill Primary School as part of Unity, and work closely with them to ensure that we can use the budgets for Upland and Gravel Hill to provide the very best outcomes for the children in both schools. Funding for education is reducing in real terms year on year, which means that securing best value for goods and services, minimising costs and maximising income are becoming increasingly important to ensure any school’s future success. In addition to managing the Trust’s finances, I also have responsibility for many of the support functions in our schools, for example, managing office services and HR, following health & safety guidance, managing risk and ensuring the buildings and grounds are well maintained.

Mr R Howard - Inclusion

I joined Upland Primary School as a Class Teacher in 2014. During my time at the school, I have taught in both Key Stages 1 and 2, so have a good understanding of pupils’ needs from an early age to when they leave primary school. My role is to work with the Strategic Leadership Team in order to ensure that my areas of the school are well lead and managed. I am passionate about all children making the very best progress educationally, socially and emotionally in order for them to leave primary school with the tools to tackle the challenges that may lie ahead of them. Ensuring children receive quality first teaching is key to this. Some children require more support to achieve this, and that is where matching children’s needs to appropriate intervention is important. As Inclusion Leader, I am responsible for identifying needs within the school and work alongside class teachers and other professionals to ensure children are supported in the best possible way. In addition to this, I value the contribution that parents and carers can make. Therefore, I strive to develop good relationships with parents and carers, and am always open to any concerns that a parent or carer might have in relation to their child’s academic and social or emotional development. I am one of the Designated Leads for Looked After Children, so work closely with other agencies to ensure that children are supported emotionally and academically. Within my role as Inclusion Lead, I am also responsible for monitoring the progress that children who receive the Pupil Premium make. As a school, we aim to ensure that the gap in attainment and progress that this group of children make is closed compared to other children.

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Mrs H Millward - Deputy Head Teacher

I joined Upland in September 2019 and was immediately struck by the warm welcome that I received from staff, pupils and parents. Our Upland Primary School attributes were instantly evident and I knew that It was going to be extremely rewarding becoming part of the team. I’ve worked in education for over twenty years, and I love the buzz, excitement, creativity and engagement that good teaching provides. Curriculum design is something that I love to do – I want our children to have plenty of awe and wonder moments, hooks to inspire them to learn and strategies that ensure that the learning process provides them with the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in life. Enabling children to build their resilience ensures that challenges will be relished, opportunities seized and a love of learning nurtured.