Teaching Staff

Rachel Clough

Rachel Clough
Acting Headteacher/SENCO & Designated Safeguarding Lead

"Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long…we keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths"

Walt Disney

I have been lucky enough to have taught for over 15 years now. I qualified with an English and teaching degree from Roehampton University in London. My love for teaching came from my uncle who was a head teacher at the time I was in sixth form so I used to go and volunteer at his school during my free periods. I saw the enthusiasm, love and passion he had for his job and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do!
I have been extremely fortunate to have worked with many Head teachers and teachers who I have learned a wealth of knowledge and skills from. However, the most important people I have had the pleasure of learning from are the many children I have taught. Children learn well when they are able to talk about their learning, engage with their learning and enjoy what they do! Creativity is very important to me as children need to learn in many different ways.
St John’s is a fantastic school with an amazing staff who all strive to do the best for the children in their care. The children are the reason I do my job and have continued to do so for such a long time now. Whether it be a class teacher or working 1:1 with children, which I have done in the past, they are what drive me on to continue my learning journey as well as their own. I really enjoy the fact that teaching is different every day. You never quite know what the day might bring or where the children may take their learning. Being the Deputy Head teacher here I also have great opportunities to work with children and staff across the school when not class based and get to know them too. This side of my job is also very rewarding and something I enjoy a great deal.
I now have two children of my own, little girls and can see even in them being so young the importance of immersing them in conversation, story books and play. They are little sponges and it is so important for children to get a great start in life.
Being a part of the St John’s community is very important to me and I feel very lucky to work here with such a hard-working staff and wonderful children.

Stephanie Powell

Stephanie Powell
School Business Manager & Deputy Safeguard Officer

“You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”- A A Milne

Having a varied background in both accountancy and management, I have actively sought a varied role that would fit around childcare commitments for my daughter. Watching the transformation in my own child when she started school, I was drawn towards the education system. I was amazed at the profound changes education had on my child in such a short space of time and I will forever admire and be grateful to the amazing teachers that had such an impact on her early education.

As a parent, I understand the trust that we put into the educators whose hands we place our children in on a daily basis. The past year and a half in school has further emphasised the importance of safeguarding children in all aspects of their lives. Training as both a safeguarding officer and in safer recruitment has highlighted the importance of the role I hold in school to ensure all children are happy, safe and protected. I am proud to ensure all children in our school are well cared for, to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive in their education. The safeguarding responsibility that we hold to all of our children is of the highest importance and is at the forefront of everything we do.

Hazel Garrett

Hazel Garrett
St. Therese class

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.“
Fred Rogers

I have been a Reception class teacher for many years, a role I find hugely satisfying and enjoyable. Teaching has always been my career of choice, stemming from when I used to take the register for my toys many, many years ago as a child. I trained at Weymouth College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Education. My career has been varied; I started teaching in the East End of London, followed by spending time teaching in the Middle East. On my return to the UK I taught in a variety of settings – from small, leafy village schools to larger primary schools in West Sussex. My last role was the Early Years Foundation Stage Leader in a three form intake primary school in Ifield, where I had been from 2000. I believe children learn through play based activities and aim to provide a setting where children can explore and experiment within a safe and fun filled environment. Away from school I enjoy listening to music and dancing at Zumba classes. Holidays are usually spent somewhere hot so I can top up my tan. My perfect day is a cold, frosty, sunny Winters day walking along the beach – followed by a coffee and a piece of ginger cake!

Miss Kirstie Davies

Miss Kirstie Davies
St. Francis class teacher

"Education isn't something you finish."

Isaac Asimov

Anna Dixon

Anna Dixon
St. Ava

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets. “

Leonardo Da Vinci

I moved to Horsham as a child and went to school and college here. I went to the university of Brighton where I studied Education, this degree fed my passion for teaching and understanding the world of education and how it effects all of us in different ways. I carried on at Brighton for my teacher training, and completed this whilst on placement in local Horsham schools. It is important to me as a teacher to create an inclusive and safe environment, I believe if children feel safe and valued they grow not only in their learning but as individuals. I enjoy creating new experiences for children in the classroom to motivate and excite them in their learning. Being part of a child’s education and being able to watch them learn and grow as individuals is why I love being a teacher.

Miss Laura Putland

Miss Laura Putland
St. Nicholas class teacher

"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you."

B.B. King

Colleen Stevenson

Colleen Stevenson
St. Joseph class teacher

‘Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.’


I gained my BA (Hons) in History at Chichester University and my Post Graduate Teaching qualification from Brighton University. I have lived in Sussex for many years - the last 10 years in Horsham, and have two children who go to school locally.
I have worked in the private, public and third sectors but my heart lies in teaching. I have high expectation of all of my pupils and like to use innovative ways, tailored to each individual, to help develop their self confidence and enable them to achieve their potential. I am a firm believer that a good teacher shows a child where to look but not what to see.

Phoebe Oakley

Phoebe Oakley
St. Genevieve class teacher

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.

Malala Yousafzai

I grew up in Horsham as a child and teaching has been my primary interest since then. I graduated in 2017 from Royal Holloway University with a BA in History. I then received a distinction in my Post Graduate Certificate in Education from University of Sussex whilst simultaneously on placement at schools in the deanery, including St John’s.

Teaching across multiple Key Stages during this time, I believe that we as educators have a responsibility to nurture and promote a child’s independence and emotional resillience to enable them to become the best versions of themselves. I also have a passion for teaching children about history, as well as getting them to engage with bigger questions and ideas. For me there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child’s growth and then showing them how far they have come and what they can achieve. I firmly believe that if you have a job you love then you will never work a day in your life and this is exactly how I feel about teaching.

Ellen Jacobs

Ellen Jacobs
St. Sebastian class teacher

"The expert in anything was once a beginner."

Helen Hayes

I grew up and went to school in West Sussex, I then moved to London where I went to Middlesex University. I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Primary Education. Throughout my training there were many challenges but by aiming high, working hard, and learning with and from my peers I was able to reach my goal of becoming a teacher. After living in London for almost 4 years I moved back to Sussex to be closer to my family and start my teaching career. My first 2 years of teaching were at a school in Crawley where I learnt so much and my passion for teaching grew even stronger. My ultimate goal is to educate children in a positive, caring and inclusive environment, within clear boundaries, in which a child can feel valued and secure enough to become a self-motivated, confident and happy learner.

Sophie Curtis

Sophie Curtis
EAL and International lead

“Everyone smiles in the same language.”

This is my 11th year at St John’s, and I have always loved working here; first as class teacher, then as French and Spanish teacher, and now as EAL Leader.

We are very lucky at St John’s to have 23 languages spoken! I am passionate about different languages and cultures, and I believe in celebrating our rich, diverse community at St John’s. I grew up in Kenya and Tanzania, and later lived, studied and worked in France, Italy and Venezuela. Before teaching, I used my languages in various roles in industry. In 2000, I decided to go into teaching, and I haven’t looked back! I taught French at a Secondary school, before moving into the primary sector.

My message to children is always: embrace the different cultures and languages we have here at school; learn from your international friends; travel as an adult and open your eyes to the world around you!

Outside school, I love singing in a Horsham choir, trips to the theatre, cinema, reading, swimming, playing tennis and walking with my husband and 8 year old son.

Martine Batchelor

Martine Batchelor
P.P.A. Teacher

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.”
Martin Luther King Jr

I started my journey into teaching in Hull where I took my Post Graduate Certificate of Education after completing a degree in Mathematics.

I get huge satisfaction taking part in children’s development and love to see children grow both emotionally and academically during their time at St.John’s. Although I have taught at a number of different schools during my career, I’ve been privileged to have been a part of St. John’s for over twelve years, and love meeting ex-pupils around the town - although they usually tower over me!

Teaching Mathematics and English to our younger children is a particular passion of mine. I am a strong believer in providing children with a respectful and calm environment where they can develop their learning.

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