Meet the Team
Established for over 30 years, Meadowbrook school is run as a limited liability company by company director and School Business Manager, Steve Byron. Steve is supported by Director of Education, Serena Gunn, the company’s former director and Headteacher.
Steve is responsible for all non educational matters relating to the school whilst Serena helps the current Headteacher to maintain Meadowbrook’s well-established aspirations and values, striving to ensure that the motto of ‘Excellence in Education’ is embedded in every element of day-to-day practice.
Management and Administration Team
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 Education
Having been involved with Meadowbrook for nearly 30 years, Serena has gained valuable experience as a primary teacher, teacher training lecturer and examiner, Ofsted Inspector and Headmistress. 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.
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 an associate member of the Independent Schools Association.
Sarah Warner - Headteacher, Year 1 and Year 2 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.
Joy Hughes - School Administrator
Her background is in Human Resources in the Financial Services sector and is fully CIPD qualified.
Wendy Day - Reception Class Teacher
Wendy has been working with children of all ages for the past 25 years. She has a Montessori International Teaching Diploma (3-6yrs) from the London Montessori Centre and after working at various schools in the U.K. then built on her experience covering for teachers in a few schools in Sydney, Australia.
Sarah Warner - Year 1 & Year 2 Teacher
Please refer to information on the Management Team listing.
Sarah Jane Hogg - Year 3 & Year 4 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.
Julie Miles - Year 5 & year 6 Teacher
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.
Specialist and Support Staff
Rosemary Willis - Specialist Teacher / SENCO
Rosemary has taught at Meadowbrook for many years. She moved to the UK in 2004 from Australia and her daughter Grace, is a Meadowbrook graduate.
Prior to working with children, 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.
With her SEN specialist teaching and her assessing diplomas, Rosemary is qualified to both assess and support children with dyslexia, dyspraxia and specific learning needs. She is the School’s SENCO, working creatively and dynamically with those children who require additional one-to-one support.
Barbara Barnfield - Learning Support Assistant
When she returned to England she became a Learning Support Assistant and lunch time controller in her son’s school before accepting her position at Meadowbrook.Barbara found that this fitted in with her desire to continue working with children and have a good work/life balance.
“I enjoy working here at Meadowbrook and I believe the the size of the school contributes to the family orientated atmosphere. The staff are kind and supportive and the children are happy and motivated learners”
Viv Baines - Art Teacher
Dawn Farrey - Gymnastics
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.
Steve Lee - Sports Coach
Both of these roles as well as previous work with SCL and Elite Preparation Centre and a passion for sport have served as a great platform to develop his skills and further enhance his experience.
Becki Brown - Music and Instruments Teacher
Since having two children of her own she has decided to make the change to teaching younger age children.
Rebecca Peake (MFL) Modern Foreign Language Teacher
Becki Peake is a qualified linguist with a BA Hons degree in French, Spanish and European Studies. She has lived and worked abroad in various locations in France, Spain and Germany, both in the education and commercial sector. Initially starting out her career in language recruitment and managing a large multinational team and office, she has more recently and for the last 7 years run her own business providing peripatetic language classes to predominantly primary-aged children in schools and beyond. She is fluent in French and Spanish, with advanced German and specialises in providing lessons to children at primary and EYFS level.
Sarah Brunsden - Reading Teacher
Sarah grew up in North Somerset and after completing her BA honours degree in Primary Education with Qualified Teacher Status in Cardiff, moved to Berkshire where she taught Primary aged children for fifteen years before having a career break to look after her young family.
Reading has always been a keen focus for Sarah in her work with children due to her specialism in English, an area which she has always found interesting and inspiring. She strives to make the stepping stones of learning to read fun and engaging at all levels.
Barbara O'Sullivan - Supply Teacher & Holiday Club Manager
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 teacher training college which ran at Meadowbrook Montessori.
Barbara led Meadowbrook’s former Pre-Primary department through three successful Ofsted inspections and three Montessori Schools Association (MSA) accreditations. She previously supported the school as primary deputy head to Serena and most recently worked as Reception Class teacher until her retirement in 2020.
Barbara now runs her own holiday club which runs out of Meadowbrook each school holiday. She also continues to offer cover teaching in the Early Years when we need it!
- Linda Edwards
- Lenka Moir
- Debbie Atkinson
- Sarah Brill
All of our lunchtime supervisors are highly experienced with primary children and being mothers and/or grandmothers themselves, understand the needs of this age group well. Support staff receive regular training in associated skills such as 1st Aid and Child Protection to enable them to carry out their jobs with diligence.
John Jacobs - Caretaker and Groundsman
Much of John’s early career was spent in Germany with the British Army, followed by several years working on Cruise Ships. Never happier than when inventing and making something, from bespoke games to gadgets, benches, trenches and fences! In his spare time John fly’s drones for aerial photography and does metal detecting, his photos of the school have been amazing – from sunrise to sunset, along with photos of the wildlife that regularly visit our lovely site. John prefers to be outdoors and loves to see the Meadowbrook looking its best throughout the year with its seasonal challenges.
Some of John’s creations and photographs can be seen below.