Meet the Team
As a well-established school, Meadowbrook is a limited liability company run by the Director of Education and Company co-director, Serena Gunn.
Serena is responsible for establishing the aspirations and values of the School and ensures that her motto of ‘Excellence in Education’ is embedded in every aspect of Meadowbrook’s practice.
Serena, Barbara O’Sullivan and Meadowbrook’s Business Manager make up Meadowbrook’s Senior Leadership Team (SLT) and close liaison between the SLT and all the staff ensures absolute cohesion across the School.
Meadowbrook enjoys an extremely low staff turnover with most members of the team having been part of the School for many years.
Management and Administration
Steve Byron - Proprietor | School Business Manager
Steven Byron is a Chartered Certified Accountant. He has over twenty years of experience in UK business and private sector organisations. His roles involved the financial management of large and small entities; including management reporting and controls, planning, strategy and process developments. His experience of the education sector includes being a University Lecturer.
Serena Gunn - Director of Company | Director of Education | MTC Principal
Having been involved with Meadowbrook for over 26 years, Serena has gained valuable experience as a pre-school and primary teacher, teacher training lecturer and examiner, Ofsted Inspector and Headmistress. In addition to running and delivering courses at her own Montessori Teacher Training College (MTC) based at Meadowbrook, Serena has worked for leading Montessori teacher training colleges both in the UK and overseas.
She has worked for the Montessori Schools’ Association (MSA) as a School Accreditation Assessor and for The Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) as a Lead Early Years Inspector across the Private School sector.
Serena is also an experienced Parent and Staff Workshop facilitator and runs regular courses on Positive Discipline. Her work as Director of Education focusses on every aspect of Meadowbrook’s provision from marketing to admissions and of course, ensuring high standards of teaching and learning are maintained. She is also responsible for long term strategic management across the School as well as all stakeholders.
In addition to her teaching qualifications, Serena holds a Master’s Degree in Education Management from King’s College, London. She is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Educational Assessment and a member of the Independent Schools Association.
Rupal Patel - Headteacher
Rupal started her career as a pharmacy technician in America and when she moved to England, she pursued her dreams of teaching and gained her BA HONS in Early Childhood studies from the University of Warwick. She has been teaching in primary schools in England for over 15 years and has been in senior roles and involved in school improvement for over ten of these; gaining valuable experience as a nursery and primary teacher and a trainee teacher mentor.
Working within leadership, she has always been at the forefront of educational research, participating in workshops led by Pie Corbett for ‘Talk for Writing’ and gaining a certificate in teaching ‘Singapore Maths’. She has also worked with the Education Endowment Fund on a programme called the School Partnership Programme, where she has worked cross curricular with other schools, sharing ideas and training teachers in current best practice.
Rupal is looking forward to working alongside with Serena and the Meadowbrook team, to ensure that the staff, pupils and parents all flourish and ‘Excellence in Education’ continues to be embedded in all aspects of the school.
Barbara O'Sullivan: Deputy Head and Reception Class Teacher
Barbara’s first association with Meadowbrook Montessori School was in 1995 when she joined the first group of students to undertake the Montessori Early Years teaching qualification (Mont.Dip 3-6) through the Montessori Institute which ran at Meadowbrook Montessori School.
In September 2001, Barbara returned to Meadowbrook as a teacher to set up morning and afternoon classes in the newly established Brook classroom, which she ran until September 2003 when she was appointed Reception Class teacher and Head of Pre-Primary.
Along with Barbara’s teaching role, she covers the day to day management of the Pre-Primary department. She is part of the Senior Lead Team (SLT) and represents Pre-Primary on the Montessori School Board (MSB).
Barbara has led the Pre-Primary department through three successful Ofsted inspections and three Montessori Schools Association (MSA) accreditations. The MSA is the UK’s leading Montessori accreditation body, recognising excellence in Montessori education.
Barbara continues her professional development by being an active member of the Early Years Partnership and leader of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). She is also a member of the Montessori Schools Association and attends regular meetings for Headteachers.
Joy Hughes - School Administrator
Joy first became involved with Meadowbrook School as a parent in 1999, with her eldest daughter graduating from Meadowbrook in 2006. Joy returned again as a parent in 2013 with her younger daughter currently in Year 3. In 2016 Joy became a Trustee of FOMM (Friends of Meadowbrook Montessori) and has been involved in a variety of fund-raising initiatives for the school over the years.
Her background is in Human Resources in the Financial Services sector and is fully CIPD qualified.
The best teacher is the one who suggests rather than dogmatises, and inspires his listener with the wish to teach themselves.Edward G Bulwer-Lytton
Barbara O'Sullivan: Deputy Head and Reception Class Teacher
Julie Miles - Primary Teacher
Julie has been at Meadowbrook for over 15 years, mainly teaching the older age groups. She is a local girl, who was born in Windsor and grew up on an arable/dairy farm.
Her first career path took her into herbicide research and then overseas for a period of eleven years. Julie worked with UNHCR and the Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong for 3 years and considers this a turning point in her life. She found Montessori in Hong Kong and trained in London at the AMI. She then returned to Singapore to work in a Montessori Pre-School for 5 years.
As a qualified Forest School facilitator, Julie delivers Meadowbrook’s Forest School programme. She has also completed her OCR training in teaching children with dyslexia and other learning needs.
Sarah Hogg - Primary Teacher
Sarah Jane Hogg has worked in a variety of education settings over a 6 year period and during that time and has had the opportunity to work with a range of children, from their interests and abilities to their culture and lifestyle. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Performance Art in 2013 and decided to work as a Teaching Assistant before deciding to embed her drama training into teaching. It was then that she continued her studies, to become a fully qualified Primary School Teacher. Using her passion for performance, she is able to bring great creativity to her teaching, ensuring that the engagement, challenge and subsequent progress of the children is her focus.
Sarah is also a member of her local church choir and band and enjoys day trips out and visiting friends and family. She also participates in local Charity Events; her latest ones being: a big community litter pick and sleeping outside to raise money for the homeless.
Sarah Warner - Primary Teacher
In 1995, Sarah began her 3-6 Montessori studies with the Montessori Institute at Meadowbrook.
After working in the Pre-Primary department for 5 years, she moved to the Primary department and began her 6-9 studies with the Centre for Montessori Education (CMTE) in New York. Since then, Sarah has worked in both Lower and Upper Primary and is currently teaching Key Stage 1 in Lower.
Sarah has a passion for history and has studied for a BA (Hons) in History with the Open University. She is currently embarking on an exciting adventure with the RAF, and is about to begin training to become a corporal with air cadets, specialising initially in firearms training.
Specialist and Support Staff
Rosemary Willis - Specialist Teacher / SENCO
Rosemary has taught at Meadowbrook for many years, recently as the Year 1 Teacher and previously as the Specialist Reading Teacher. She moved to the UK in 2004 from Australia and her daughter Grace is a Meadowbrook graduate.
Rosemary taught for 20 years as an adult educator in business communications, team building, conflict resolution and leadership. She holds a BA (Adult Education) from the University of Canberra and has a double major in psychology, including child development.
Rosemary is qualified in supporting children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and special learning needs. She is the School’s SENCO, working one-to-one with children who have specific learning difficulties and taking the specialist library sessions with small groups of primary children.
Emilia Bellm - Upper Primary HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant)
Emilia grew up locally in the Berkshire area and then moved to Scotland, where she completed a Masters in Architectural History at Edinburgh University. Following this, she travelled around the world where she volunteered in local schools in Costa Rica and then India. Eventually, she settled in Melbourne, Australia. It was here she was introduced to the Montessori pedagogy. She enrolled in the 9-12yrs Montessori Education Diploma with MWEI, which she completed in 2017. In 2018 she moved back to the UK and worked as an upper primary class teacher at Rainbow Montessori School, London. She is now back where she grew up and is excited to join us as an HLTA for upper primary.
Barbara Barnfield - Primary Learning Support Assistant
After growing up in Northern Ireland, Barbara completed her BA honours degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status in the Lake District as part of Lancaster University. She taught primary age children for seven and a half years before starting a family of my own and moving to America for four years.
When she returned to England she became a Learning Support Assistant and lunch time controller in her son’s school and has remained a volunteer in both her son and daughter’s schools. Barbara found that this fitted in with her desire to continue working with children and have a good work/life balance.
She believes that this experience and her teaching experience will help her role as LSA and lunch time supervisor at Meadowbrook.
Wendy Day - Primary Teaching Assistant
Wendy has been working with children of all ages for the past 20 years. She trained as a Montessori Directress and after working at various schools in the UK then built on her experience in Sydney, Australia.
Approximately 17 years ago, Wendy worked with children with severe learning difficulties and behavioural issues on a Summer Holiday Respite Care Scheme for two years’ running. More recently, she completed Positive Discipline in the Classroom and Teaching Parenting Activities training with Jane Nelson in London.
She is also a trainer for ‘MindUP’ from The Hawn Foundation and completed ‘Practical Solutions for Dyslexia and Introduction to Dyscalculia’ at the British Dyslexia Association. She enjoys working on a 1:1 basis, seeing each unique child achieve and develop in their work.
Amita White - Reading Teacher
After graduating from Manchester University, Amita worked in the IT industry both as a System Administrator and Database Programmer.
Since 2010, Amita’s work has been in the Teaching Sector, working both as an LSA at a secondary school and within a primary school.
Her previous experience included working with a ‘Focus Group’ of Year 2 children, who with the aid of phonics games and lots of encouragement, became both confident and very capable readers. Being an avid reader herself, she genuinely believes, that given the right environment and stimulus, every child can develop their very own passion for reading.
Gill O'Loughlin - Music Teacher and Instrumental
Gill O’Loughlin is thrilled to be taking on the role of music teacher at Meadowbrook as from September.
An experienced teacher, Gill enjoys playing the violin, and over the years has played in the Crowthorne Symphony Orchestra. She also plays the piano and is looking forward to teaching some piano lessons at Meadowbrook. Gill achieved a Music degree at Cardiff University and then completed her teacher training qualification.
Over the years she has taught in schools from Reception up to Year 6 most recently at Eagle House. Music is Gill’s passion and this comes across in all her teaching. Her lessons are fun, informative and highly interactive.
Viv Baines - Art Teacher and Upper Primary Learning Support Assistant
Dawn Farrey - Gymnastics
Dawn holds a level 4 Artistic Gymnastics Coach qualification and is a full member of the British Gymnastics Association.
She is currently employed by Pinewood Gymnastics Club and is responsible for the development of talented young children who hopefully will continue in the sport to compete at Regional and National Level.
Dawn found a love of gymnastics at the age of ten and managed to achieve international standard, including competing in the 1986 Commonwealth Games. Since retiring from competitive gymnastics she went on to coach for many years at one of the Uk’s leading London gymnastics clubs. This has allowed her to gain a vast amount of experience working with children of all ages and abilities.
Chris Evans - Sports Education
Chris has over 18 years of experience of teaching and delivering Physical Education courses to teachers and children throughout the South East of England.
He is also an FA Coach Educator for the English Football Association.
Through their passion and experience within the sector, Chris and Rick successfully created 360 sports education in July 2015.
Adam Weech - Sports Education
Adam has over 10 years of experience of teaching and delivering Physical Education to teachers and children across a variety of different activities. He works with Meadowbrook’s children at both the Pre-Primary and Primary Departments.
Adam has built strong relationships with children, parents and schools through his passion for developing Physical Education.
Rick Morris - Sports Education
Rick has over 12 years of experience teaching Physical Education activities to children in the Primary sector.
Through his passion and experience Rick successfully collaborated with Chris to set up 360 sports education in July 2015.
Miriam Jones - Piano Teacher
Miriam started to learn the piano at the age of 5 and has been teaching since 1985. She is married to David, a composer of music and has been at Meadowbrook for over 17 years.
Miriam uses all styles of music for students to play from classics to current chart hits in the popular music realm.
Timea Kovacs - French Teacher
Timea is a Multilingual Modern Languages Teacher with a particular passion for French and has many years of teaching experience in different countries.
Timea teaches French here at Meadowbrook and has a BA (Hons) in Specialist in French Language and Literature. She is always engaged in continuous learning in order to expand her knowledge and experience and is confident, passionate and enthusiastic about working with children.
David Kemp - Drama Teacher
David is a graduate of Millennium Performing Arts. He has a wealth of experience Performing, Directing and Musical Directing theatre productions both locally and across Europe! David began teaching in 2006 at a local theatre school and has since then regularly taught children aged 5-16 years, as well as post-school students in full-time performing arts training.
David teaches a not-for-profit adult pop choir and has been an independent producer since 2010, producing over 18 productions.
- Linda Edwards
- Lenka Moir
- Debbie Atkinson
Malt Hill, Warfield, Berkshire, RG42 6JQ
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