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Key roles in a successful SSIF project

The Alliance have three highly experienced Specialist Leaders of Education (SLE's) - Kirsty, Hannah and Claire implementing the SSIF Project.  They have been working very closely with members of Senior Leadership Teams, teachers and support staff to develop a metacognitive approach in maths. This highly bespoke program has been designed by our Lead Practitioners and tailored to meet the needs of each individual project school.

The Lead Practitioners have developed school to school support:

  • leading cluster observations and reflective discussion.  These have identified metacognitive strategies and considered how they impact upon pupils' learning;
  • facilitating Lead Teacher Network Meetings (supporting a Lead Teacher from each project school to develop their approach and role as middle-leaders);
  • sharing custom-made resources across the project schools.

The Lead Practitioners have worked with wider stakeholders to:

  • deliver presentations and workshops in a variety of different contexts e.g. Swaledale Alliance Headteachers' Conference, CollectivED seminar;
  • re-launch the SSIF project at the start of the academic year through a conference for over 250 members of staff;
  • share and build a body of research evidence to support impact of metacognition through contact with Huntingdon Research School and Alex Quigley (EEF).

 To find out more, please click on the link below:

SSIF Project


Our Lead Practitioners

Mrs Barnes pictureClaire Barnes

Claire is an experienced teacher, who specialises in teaching mathematics and writing. She is accredited with a Post Graduate Diploma in Primary Mathematics. As a Specialist Leader in Education (SLE), she has planned and delivered bespoke training courses on how to implement, lead and monitor mastery maths.

Prior to working for the Swaledale Alliance, Claire was responsible for leading maths and English and monitoring teaching and learning across KS2. Within this role, she enhanced the teaching of writing by introducing and leading ‘Talk for Writing’. Developing this initiative led to pupils making outstanding progress and she inspired her colleagues to maintain the new teaching strategies implemented. As maths lead, she supported colleagues in strengthening their subject knowledge and developing their approach to teaching mathematics. She successfully implemented a mastery approach to teaching and learning in maths, which led to an upward trend of results at the end of key stage 2 ensuring that pupils made excellent progress.

She is extremely passionate about teaching and driven by her aspiration to ensure that pupils achieve their maximum potential. Claire is a positive and enthusiastic leader, who enjoys working with colleagues to share her experiences and knowledge gained over her career. In the past year, she has lectured at Newcastle University, leading sessions on how to teach writing in KS1/2 and how to develop mastery maths within a school


Kirsty Davies pictureKirsty Davies

Kirsty has taught across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. She predominantly worked in a large primary school in Berkshire but has also taught in Cyprus. She gained her MA in Teaching and Learning whilst leading P.E and her dissertation focused on the use of differentiation in P.E. During Kirsty’s time in this role she also led the ‘Olympic Core Group’ working with primary and secondary schools across the borough to instill the Olympic Values. As the new curriculum was introduced, Kirsty went on to lead and develop maths in her school and whilst in this role was asked to support a local primary school after an inspection.

Kirsty’s previous role was as ‘Deputy Head Lower School’ (Years 1-3) where she focused on improving teaching and learning, in addition to tracking all pupil groups effectively, to consequently improve outcomes. There was a particular focus on pupil premium children and ‘diminishing the difference’.

Kirsty passionately believes that children should be nurtured and that education should be inclusive and supportive. She is committed to ensuring that all children have the opportunity to succeed whilst accessing a broad curriculum that gives children a range of skills for life.


Hanna Munro pictureHannah Munro

Hannah has worked in a wide range of settings including large inner-city primaries, small rural schools and an independent preparatory school. Through her recent work Hannah has been able to gain a detailed picture of how schools within our area are responding to the current educational climate and trends. Her perspective on Primary Education is influenced by being both a parent, teacher and School Governor.

Before joining the Swaledale Alliance, Hannah worked with staff at her then school to improve standards in teaching and learning in English. This included significantly improving systems within school for tracking pupil progress and thereby ‘closing the gaps’ in pupils’ learning. Hannah has led sustained whole staff change in Guided Reading. She has mentored NQTs and GTP students and supported RQTs. At other schools, Hannah has led ICT, Humanities and English.

Hannah has a profound belief that education should be broad and balanced. A ‘good’ education should inspire a life-long passion for learning and recognise that a child is more than just a statistic.