Belair authors are experienced practitioners with an infectious enthusiasm for teaching and learning.
Find out more and read their top tips below.
Ceri Shahrokhshahi is a practising teacher at an inner-city school, a literacy co-ordinator and a lecturer to trainee teachers.
Ceri believes that there is enormous scope for teachers to develop their own creativity through topic-based ideas. She especially loves the creativity that one can have with topics that are cross curricular yet embedded in a literacy text or genre. She finds inspiration for her lessons and activities in books by authors such as David Wiesner. Above all, she finds children an endless source of fascination. They have ideas which, if allowed to emerge, can often take a lesson into unexplored regions of creativity.
Noel Springett-McHugh first started teaching in 1999 and he is currently head teacher at a combined infant and junior school.
Noel has a keen interest in the 'learning environment' and creativity across the whole curriculum and before becoming a teacher, he studied Art and Linguistics at University. Noel strongly believes that the right environment encourages and promotes positive learning. That is why he sees display as an important part of every school and classroom. He is also a strong believer in the pupil voice and believes that children’s ideas can be a great inspiration for their teachers.
Claire Tinker is currently teaching art part time and working as an artist in residence at a local primary school. She has over 20 years teaching experience and has recently worked as a Creative Agent for the Government programme Creative Partnerships. In the last couple of years she completed an MA in ‘Arts for Education’ that explored innovative ways of teaching in and through art.
Claire is inspired by many different things and many different people. She is constantly inspired by patterns in natural and manmade environments. It is Claire’s belief that learning is inextricably linked with enjoyment and the potential for the arts in developing exciting enquiry-led learning is enormous.
Stephen Springett-McHugh began teaching eight years ago and used to work as art and literacy coordinator, before becoming deputy head teacher. In this role he oversees the implementation of the curriculum for the whole school. He especially enjoys teaching literacy and using display to celebrate and share children’s achievements.
Stephen develops ideas into activities by allowing children to explore and use their imaginations. He is currently finding picture books a great source of ideas. For example, he loves trying to change children’s perspectives by getting them to describe three different types of silence that come from various books they are currently reading together.
Valerie Evans has many years of experience in teaching at first schools, middle schools and primary schools in the role of an art specialist teacher. She has also worked as a link tutor for St Mary’s University in Twickenham. Valerie always enjoyed creating displays with children and teaching art has shown her how creative work can be vital in building self-esteem. Valerie now enjoys writing her own poetry and plays.
Sue Reed has 15 years of teaching experience. She spent 15 years working as a primary school teacher mainly teaching Key Stage 1 before becoming deputy head teacher a primary school in Sussex. Sue also works at a local teacher training college where she delivers lectures on creative teaching, phonics and display. Through the role of English co-ordinator, Sue developed a passion for phonics and creative writing.
Margaret Share currently teaches year two and year six pupils and continues to support her colleagues by developing new initiatives in mathematics and delivering training to support all aspects of mathematics. Besides teaching mathematics, Margaret used to work as a deputy head teacher and a numeracy consultant for the Primary National Strategy.
Margaret believes that it is important to develop and embed mathematics across the curriculum to make it more meaningful, relevant and exciting for children. She is also a strong supporter of auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learning as she feels it helps children become more engaged with their subject.
Carolyn Dale worked for many years as a primary school teacher and deputy head teacher of a middle school. She also used to work as a consultant for primary science, a lecturer at Reading University on the PGCE course, and an author for national assessment of science.
As a lover of sports, Carolyn used to teach gymnastics, swimming and diving, hockey and netball with qualifications in most. She now has time to pursue her other hobbies that include reading, walking, travelling, learning languages and music and also marks SATS and KS2 papers for schools.
Rebecca Carnihan is a practising artist who is currently working as a part-time art specialist at a primary school in Deptford. She has held workshops and run community projects for infant, junior and secondary aged-audiences at a range of locations that include The National Maritime Museum, The Churchill Theatre and The V&A Museum.
Most of Rebecca’s projects have a three dimensional quality, for example, wearable art made from paper for carnival costumes and school productions. Rebecca’s work is inspired by sculptural forms, colour and a sense of fun. Her ideas are inspired by everyday things she sees like vibrant markets, architecture, books, galleries, fashion, contemporary dance and costumes. Rebecca tends to start with a theme and explore creative ways to interpret it.
Liz Webster has been the head teacher of a primary school in Chichester for 10 years and she also lectures at the University of Chichester. In her role as head teacher she still teaches and is able to closely connect with the children and put the lessons from her books into practice. A sports enthusiast, Liz goes kayaking and rock climbing regularly and enjoys teaching PE at her school. She is inspired to make children have fun and strongly believes that if children are having fun, they will learn. Liz’s advice comes from her favourite quote by Charlie Chaplin:
Hilary Ansell was a primary school teacher for 35 years and spent much of that time also working as a community artist. Besides whole school art and textile projects, Hilary worked with museums, community groups and in the local hospice. Some of her most rewarding projects were working with terminally ill patients and helping them to forget their illness through their enjoyment of art.
Hilary is now focussed on developing her own textile work. She is very committed to being environmentally friendly and has a passion for colour and texture. Much of her inspiration comes from the natural world and she works with recycled materials wherever possible.
To keep up with Hilary's latest news, you can check out her Facebook page.