Our Primary Staff


Head of Primary - Mrs M Hannaford, BEd (Hons), MA in Primary Education, NPQH

After teaching across the infant age range in a local state school, I started at Derby High in 1996, initially teaching in Reception. I have been Head of Primary since January 2010 and I am fortunate to have an enthusiastic dedicated team of teachers and teaching assistants to work with who make every day fun.

I am responsible for all aspects of the Primary School including Health and Safety Primary and Child Protection.  I am also a trained ISI inspector.

When I am not at school I love being out walking the dog, swimming, reading and retail therapy with my daughter!




Mrs C Courtney-Hale, Wrens, Primary Co-ordinator (EYFS)

Mrs Courtney-Hale is our Nursery teacher and EYFS Co-ordinator.  Having qualified at University of Wales in 1997 with a BA (Hons) in Education with QTS, Mrs Courtney-Hale has taught at a range of primary schools in Cardiff and Derbyshire; before taking up an appointment at Derby High School in September 2014.  In 2003, she completed an MA in Education at Loughborough University and is a specialist Phonics and EYFS teacher.

Outside of school Mrs Courtney-Hale enjoys dancing, walking, reading and supporting her children in their dancing and sporting activities.

Mrs D Eleftheriou, Pre-School - Wrens

Mrs Eleftheriou is the Teaching Assistant in the Wrens, our Nursery class.  She has a Level 3 NVQ qualification and is a paediatric First Aider.  She has been a teaching assistant at Derby High School since 2013.                  

Outside of school Mrs Eleftheriou likes to go to the gym and be active and is busy supporting her son and daughter in their activities and sport in and out of school.



Miss S Holmes, Reception – Robins

Miss Holmes is the teacher for the Robins Class.  She studied for a BA in Primary Education with QTS at Leeds Beckett University and is qualified to teach children aged 3-11 years.   Miss Holmes began her teaching career in Leeds before returning to her home town of Derby. She started her journey at Derby High in September 2017 and is our English Co-ordinator for Infants.

She is passionate about making Early Years a happy, exciting and inspiring place to learn and grow and manages to incorporate music and singing into most lessons!



Miss L Pitt, Reception – Sparrows

Miss Pitt is a Reception teacher and works in the Sparrows on a Monday and a Tuesday . She joined Derby High in 2009 and has also taught in Pre-school and Year 2. She qualified to teach in 2006 after studying a BA Hons with QTS at Birmingham City University.

In her spare time she loves reading, listening to music, going for walks in the country with her family and travelling to new places. 



Mrs J Foster, Reception – Sparrows

Mrs Foster is an experienced teacher, having taught in a variety of Infant Departments for over twenty years. Mrs. Foster joined Derby High Primary in 2003 and has worked mainly in the early years classes and Year 2. Mrs. Foster is currently a teacher in the Sparrows, a Reception class.

As our RE Co-ordinator she has a passion for the pastoral welfare and care of the members of our school community. She runs an extra-curricular keep fit session for the children in Year 2.

Outside of school, Mrs. Foster is a keen jogger and swimmer, who loves spending time with her family and dog as well as baking delicious cakes at the weekend!


Mrs J Butterworth, Reception – Sparrows

Mrs Butterworth has worked at Derby High School since November 2013.  Prior to this she volunteered at Derby Grammar School and worked for 2 years at John Port School. Mrs Butterworth qualified as a Level 3 Teaching Assistant in August 2012, following 10 years at home raising her children. 

Mrs Butterworth has a BSc (Hons) Home Economics and a MSc Marketing and Product Management and spent the last 6 years of her career (prior to having children) working for Boots the Chemist, as their Health and Nutrition Advisor and PR lead on Nutrition.  In her spare time, Mrs Butterworth enjoys spending time with her family, walking, cycling and gardening.

Mrs L Hulse, Reception – Sparrows


Mrs Hulse been at Derby High Primary since 2003 working as a Teaching Assistant in the Early Years classes.  She has spent 6 years in the Wrens and 9 years in Reception.

In 2011 Mrs Hulse gained NVQ Level 3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools.


Mrs J Redpath, Reception – Robins

Mrs Redpath is a Teaching Assistant in the Robins. She works closely with Miss Holmes, the Robins teacher.  Previously, Mrs Redpath worked in the Juniors for 10 years, before moving over to the Infants in September 2016 where she spent her first year in the EYFS reception class with the Sparrows! She thoroughly enjoys working at DHS!

In her spare time she likes to go travelling, walking, cooking and eating out with family and friends.



Year 1

Mrs A Dowell, Year 1 – Thrushes

Mrs Dowell is our Thrushes class teacher and has been at Derby High Primary since September 2000. She completed her BSc at Newman College, which is part of the University of Coventry.

Mrs Dowell is qualified to teach children throughout KS1 and KS2, and particularly enjoys working with the pupils in Year 1.  She is our History Co-ordinator for the Primary School.

Outside of school, Mrs Dowell spends her time at the gym and enjoys hiking in the mountains of the Lake District and Scotland. 


Miss D Hyland, Year 1 – Swallows

Miss Hyland is a primary teacher, working in the Swallows class, in Year 1. She has been at Derby High Primary since September 2012, after completing her PGCE from Birmingham City University; for which her final teaching placement was in Year 1 here at Derby High.  Miss Hyland had previously completed BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education, also at Birmingham City University and had completed teaching practice in two Reception classes, one at an SEN school.  

She loves spending time with family and friends, going on different trips and she also enjoys baking.

Miss Hyland is our Infant Maths coordinator.

Mrs K Leather, Year 1

Mrs Leather is a Teaching Assistant currently supporting The Thrushes and The Swallows in  Year 1, two days a week.  She has been working at Derby High Primary since 2003.

In 2012 Mrs Leather achieved NVQ level 3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools.



Mrs P Dashfield, Year 1

Mrs Dashfield has worked  at Derby High Primary as a Teaching Assistant for nearly 23 years.  She is currently working with Year 1.  In the past she has worked with all Key Stage 1 and Early Years classes. 

Mrs Dashfield has many hobbies and pastimes, she enjoys walking, reading and music and is currently a member of Rock Choir.



Year 2

Mrs R Youngman, Year 2 – Kingfishers, Assistant Head (Primary)

Mrs Youngman was appointed as Assistant Head at Derby High Primary in September 2016. Prior to this she taught in the state sector for 17 years at John of Rolleston Primary School in Staffordshire, following completion of her Bachelor of Education Honours Degree at Derby University. During her time there she completed her NPQML National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders, led Maths across the whole school and was the school SENDCo.

Out of school Mrs Youngman enjoys reading, visiting the theatre with her family and travelling to Cornwall, although she still hasn't quite mastered the art of surfing!

Mrs Youngman is our Infant Co-ordinator for Curriculum Assessment & Recording and our Infant Co-ordinator for SEND.


Mrs A Trindell, Year 2 – Herons

Mrs Trindell completed a BSc Hons (QTS) at Bishop Grosseteste University College in Lincoln in 1999 and started immediately at Derby High Primary as an NQT.  In her time at the school, she has taught across the whole Primary age range and is currently the class teacher for the Herons (Year 2). 

Mrs Trindell has enjoyed running a range of extra-curricular clubs over the years and currently runs a ‘Go Noodle’ lunchtime club for Year 1.She is jointly responsible for Art and DT across the Primary School but has also taken responsibility for Science and Computing in the past.

When she is not teaching, Mrs Trindell enjoys family time with her husband and two children.  They particularly like caravanning and can often be found on their travels, discovering new places and sights across the UK.

Mrs L Robertson, Year 2

Mrs Robertson is the Teaching Assistant for Year 2, working with both the Herons and the Kingfishers. She joined Derby High in September 2013 and has worked across the years in the Infants. She is also responsible for First Aid in the Infants and runs the recorder club for the Year 2 pupils.

Mrs Robertson was previously an Engineer, before moving into education in 2009.

Outside of school Mrs Robertson enjoys music (playing the piano and the flute), reading and sailing, which is a passion she shares with her two daughters. She is an instructor at her sailing club and a Sunday School leader at her local church. 


Year 3

Mr R Gould, Year 3 – Tissington

Mr Gould has taught at Derby High School since September 2016 as a Year 3 Teacher. Prior to this, he taught for 2 years at Gentleshaw Primary School in Staffordshire, teaching children in Years 1 and 2.  Mr Gould returned to Derby High School, having successfully completed his final teaching placement here in 2014.

With a BA (Hons) in Physical Education from the University of Wolverhampton and a PGCE in Primary Education from Birmingham City University, Mr Gould has a passion for sport and helps to run a wide range of sporting clubs throughout the school, such as football, cricket and tag rugby.  He is also our Primary Science Co-ordinator.

Mr Gould is a Level 3 Football referee and therefore in his spare time, officiates at a high level in a variety of leagues. He is also a keen Aston Villa supporter and attends all of their home matches.


Mrs S Brown, Year 3 – Melbourne

Mrs Brown graduated from University College Northampton in 1999 with a B.ED (Hons) and has spent the last 20 years teaching in primary schools across all year groups.  Most of this time was spent teaching Key Stage 2 in a very small village school  in Northamptonshire.  

A move of job for her husband brought Mrs Brown's family to Derbyshire five years ago and they love every minute of life here.  They are passionate walkers and enjoy spending time in the Peak District.  Recently, Mrs Brown has started cycling along the Tissington and Monsal Trails with her daughter.




Year 4

Mrs R Hamilton, Year 4 – Kedleston 

Mrs Hamilton joined Derby High Primary in January 2019 as a Year 4 teacher.  Prior to this, she taught at Derby Grammar school teaching Years 4 and 5. Mrs Hamilton has a BSc (Hons) in Brewing and Distilling Science and a PGDE in Primary Education both qualifications gained in her home country of Scotland.   Teaching is a second career for Mrs Hamilton having enjoyed a wide variety of roles in the brewing industry for 15 years after her first graduation.  This has led to a particular interest in maths and science education.  

When she is not teaching, Mrs Hamilton enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.  She has a love of the theatre, music, reading and is a qualified swimming instructor.



Miss A Bailey, Year 4 - Haddon

Miss Bailey is a new member of staff to Derby High Primary, starting in September 2018 as a Year 4 Teacher, having just completed a BEd in Primary Education with QTS at the University of Derby.  During her degree, she completed her first teaching placement here in 2015, which then led to further placements at an SEN school, a forest school and primary schools within Derbyshire.

Miss Bailey loves to be outdoors,whether that be through taking walks in the Peak and Lake Districts, playing netball with her friends or spending time with her Goddaughter.  Miss Bailey helps raise funds for local organisations including a children's camp which she volunteers a week in the summer months to help run.



Year 5

Dr S Evans-Bolger, Year 5 – Hardwick

Dr E-B has taught at Derby High since March 2007. Prior to this, she was a student a Bishop Grosseteste University and a former Senior pupil of Derby High. Dr E-B has BA (Hons) in Primary Education, MA in Education and has just completed her Doctorate in Education. She now teaches mainly in Year 5 but also teaches Drama and Computing to other classes and is our Primary Co-ordinator for PSHE. She also enjoys running her ‘Wake n’ Shake’ fitness club on a Wednesday morning and Theatre Club; a club that has been running since she started at Derby High combining her passion of music, dance and drama.

In her spare time, Dr E-B enjoys performing in local amateur dramatics, baking (lemon drizzle is her signature bake!) and walking her dogs. She also teaches dance and musical theatre at Cabaret Theatre School.


Mr C Horne, Year 5 – Calke 

Mr Horne began working at Derby High Primary in 2013 after qualifying with a B.Ed Primary Education (Hons) (Mathematics) in 2008 and spending 5 years working at another primary school in Derby City. He has held various roles during his career; coordinating PE, History & Geography before taking on a lead role in the School Council, sports and extra curricular activities at Derby High. This role allows him to enjoy a wide variety of aspects of school life.

Outside of school, Mr Horne enjoys watching and taking part in a variety of sporting activities and spending time with his wife and daughter. According to Mr Horne, highlights of his time at Derby High so far include supporting the KS2 Quiz team in finishing 5th in the country at the National KS2 General Knowledge Quiz Championship and organising and participating in successful sporting events.


Year 6

Mrs J Swainston, Year 6 – Eyam, Primary Co-ordinator

Mrs Swainston has a BEd (Hons) and has been teaching for longer than she cares to admit. She has spent the last 18 years enjoying teaching in KS2 at Derby High Primary.

As the English and Drama Primary Co-ordinator, Mrs Swainston is predictably very enthusiastic about reading and writing. She also particularly enjoys art, drama and netball.

In her spare time, Mrs Swainston’s favourite activities are: walking, reading and going to the theatre. 



Miss H Law, Year 6 - Chatsworth

Miss Law joined Derby High in 2013 and currently teaches Chatsworth. Prior to this, she taught at Markeaton Primary School, also in Derby. Miss Law qualified with a BA(Hons) in Psychology from the University of Manchester, where she also went on to complete her Primary PGCE, specialising in Modern Foreign Languages.

Having grown up in Germany, and spent much time in France, Miss Law really enjoys travelling and exploring new places. She also enjoys going to the gym during her spare time and is also interested in art, photography and music.

Miss Law is our Junior Co-ordinator for French and Modern Foreign Languages, she is also our SEND Co-ordinator for the Juniors.


Our Teaching Assistants in the Junior School

Mrs C Hitchcock

Mrs Hitchcock has been working at Derby High School for 22 years. She started as a Midday Supervisor, which she did until 2001.  During this time she then went on to gain her City & Guilds Level 3 Teaching Assistant qualification. Once qualified, she worked in the Infants with Pre-School children for 9 years, before moving into the Junior Department, where she is today.

Mrs Hitchcock works with children of all abilities inside and outside of the classroom, in small groups, or on a 1 to 1 basis.  Twice a week, she takes the children swimming and teaches the non-swimmers. She is also a qualified first aider.

Her interests outside of school are walking, swimming and she loves to go on holidays. 

Mrs J Liddle

Mrs Liddle has worked at Derby High School since 2010 as a Teaching Assistant in the Juniors. In her role, she supports pupils’ learning both in and out of the classroom. Mrs Liddle is known for her energetic and enthusiastic approach to learning and enjoys sharing this with the children.

Mrs Liddle has an NVQ Level 3 in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools from Derby College.

Outside of school Mrs Liddle enjoys spending time with her family and two dogs. She is a qualified dance teacher at The Tiptoe School of Performing Arts. She teaches a range of dance including ballet, tap and modern to children of all ages.

Mrs K Smith

Mrs Smith started working at Derby High Primary in 1997 as a midday supervisor but as she already had experience working at another preschool she was invited for an interview for a Teaching Assistant job in the Sparrows.  Happily, this resulted in her working alongside Mrs Hannaford.  Mrs Smith has also worked in the Wrens for many years then back in Reception before her move to the Juniors where she is now in her second year.

Mrs Smith is also our Co-ordinator for Primary Extra Time, a role which she has enjoyed for a few years now.




Our Specialist Teachers

Mrs R Lesley, Primary Music

Mrs Lesley teaches music in both the Primary and the Senior schools at Derby High.  She studied music at Birmingham University gaining a BMus and then went on to do a PGCE in secondary music.  She has taught in schools in Dudley and Birmingham as a music teacher and head of department and worked as a peripatetic teacher for Birmingham Music and for Entrust in Staffordshire throughout many primary and secondary schools. 

She enjoys spending time with her family and when she gets a chance, likes to play her clarinet, saxophone or piano.


Mrs R Hill, Forest School

Mrs Hill joined Derby High in January 2015 where she taught biology in the Senior School.

She has since moved to the Juniors where she now teaches Year 6 science and runs our Forest School programmes.

Prior to joining Derby High she taught science for 14 years at various state schools in and around Birmingham.


Miss L Baker, French (EYFS to Year 4) 

Miss Baker teaches French to our pupils from Early Years through to Year 4.  She has been teaching at Derby High Primary since 2005.

In her spare time, Miss Baker loves gardening, walking and horse-riding.  She leads our Primary Eco-Team.  Miss Baker is a collector of languages and a keen traveller - she is always jetting off to interesting and unusual places around the world!  She has accompanied Senior Derby High students on recent World Challenge expeditions to Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar. 




Primary Support

Mrs K Tudor, Primary Head's PA

Mrs Tudor started working at Derby High in September 2004 in a temporary capacity and is still here 14 years later! She has had many roles within the Admin Department in the Senior School until four years ago when she moved to the Primary Department and took up her present position of Head of Primary’s PA. So if you need to know anything give her a call!

Mrs Tudor is responsible for First Aid in the Junior School.

At the weekends she enjoys gardening and spending time with her family and if Derby County are playing at home you will find her in the South Stand at Pride Park.