Meet The Senior Leadership Team
I am John Watson very proud Headteacher of Oulder Hill Community School. I came from Hollingworth Academy in 2006 as Deputy then became Senior Deputy and in 2011 took over the reins as Headteacher. I am originally from County Durham, but having studied at Manchester University I loved the area so much I returned here to be a Teacher after a year driving taxis and playing semi-professional football back in my native North-East. I love sport and football in particular and was Manchester University’s player of the year going onto represent England and British Universities. Pulling on an England shirt was a very proud time for me but seeing Oulder Hill children doing well makes me even prouder! My youngest son is at Rochdale AFC Academy and aspires to go further than I did! My middle son is studying A-Levels and my daughter is at Manchester University studying Spanish and History. My own life experiences mean my passion is to give every child the ambition and opportunities to be successful in as many fields as they can be by developing their “character and culture” to do their “best always everywhere”. My Dad was a lorry driver and a family man and he taught me to work hard and take care of people whilst sport and taxi driving taught me to be responsible, respectful, resilient and safe. These are virtues I now espouse to the students of Oulder Hill.
My name is Ben Bramwell and I am Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for inclusion and pastoral. Prior to being appointed in Jan 2015, I worked as an Assistant Headteacher in a large, multicultural school in Bolton where I helped narrow the gaps in performance between different groups of students. Although born and brought up in Rochdale, I have studied in Glasgow and Leeds and my teaching career has seen me teach History and Citizenship (and some English and PE) in Stoke-on-Trent, Longdendale and Bolton. I am delighted to finally have returned to my roots in Rochdale. I believe passionately that getting a good education is the foundation stone to a happy and successful adult life. My current role focuses on ensuring that all students can get access to that good education here at Oulder Hill. This means ensuring that students become responsible, respectful and safe learners so that they take advantage of the fantastic opportunities on offer for them at Oulder Hill. When students make mistakes, our job at Oulder Hill is to help them learn from them. When students find the going tough, our job is to help them through the difficult times and when students are excelling, our job is to help them support their friends and peers to realise their potential.
My name is Louise Rees and I am Deputy Headteacher with responsibility for Learning and Progress. I joined Oulder Hill in September 2016. Previously, I worked as a teacher in schools in Cheshire and Stockport, an Adviser for Stockport and an Assistant Headteacher in Oldham. Throughout my teaching career I have taught History, Citizenship and Psychology and I am very pleased to be teaching History at Oulder Hill – a subject that I love! My role is to ensure that Learning and Teaching is of a consistently high standard and meets the needs of all students, allowing them to make good progress and providing the opportunities for all students to achieve their potential. I have a student focussed approach to all that I do with the firm belief that all students and their individual needs must be at the heart of all that we do as a school.
My name is Melanie Ottley-O’Connor and I am an Assistant Headteacher. My main responsibility is for the school’s curriculum. This role has two main aspects to it. Firstly, I am responsible for ensuring that all students have access to the best and most appropriate subjects and courses to prepare them for further and higher education as well as the world of work beyond. Secondly, once the subjects and courses have been decided for each year group and student, I then create the whole school timetable. This process is quite complicated and is like doing a huge jigsaw, the picture for which, alters as you are doing it! I find this part very rewarding as I strive for the best solution because this can affect the whole school community for an entire year! In addition to my senior leadership team role, I am a teacher of Maths. I have always loved maths and relish the opportunities to transfer my own enthusiasm to the students I teach.
I am Lucy Farrell and I joined Oulder Hill as an Assistant Headteacher in September 2013. My main responsibilities are supporting and managing staff involved with all key Students in Years 9-11. This involves monitoring and supporting their academic achievements, behaviour, well being and social and emotional skills. I also lead on the whole school careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG). In addition, I am also an Expressive Arts and Physical Education teacher. I have a real passion for teaching and enjoy being in the studio and sports hall being creative and active. I believe developing self esteem and confidence is a vital part of every child’s life.
My name is Danny Armitage and as a former student I have long been associated with Oulder Hill, and the community that the school serves. It gives me a great sense of pride to now work here and to be a part of a strong and committed staff that strive to have a similar impact on our young people as my teachers did on me. My role within school encompasses a wide range of responsibilities including pastoral standards, behaviour management systems, health and safety, stakeholder and community engagement, transition, educational visits and overseeing the schools multi-million pound PFI contract. Furthermore I have the great fortune of working closely with our fantastic Year 7 and 8 teams, whilst also being Head of Greenbooth House!
People should always be at the heart of an organisation, it is people; our amazing staff, students, families and stakeholders that make us, so without doubt my most important role and the one I enjoy most is simply to act as a mentor/coach and source of support to those people who make this school so special. We are a brilliant team here and it is a pleasure and a privilege to serve Oulder Hill and the local community.
My name is Lyn Sanderson and I became Assistant Headteacher in May 2016 after working in various roles at Oulder Hill for the past 12 years. I feel that the team here are great – staff and students alike. I have worked very closely with Year 11 over recent years and I have really enjoyed working with all of the students and I am proud of the great outcomes achieved for them. My role is to lead assessment and progress across the school. I track students’ progress from when they arrive, to when they leave us to take their next steps. I believe that every student can make great progress if they try hard and get the right support. The greatest part of my job is seeing students achieve highly. My role within this is to ensure that teachers have the right data to do this and that the assessments and reports that children receive whilst with us help with this too. I enjoy keeping up to date with the latest developments in education and applying those, as appropriate, to our school setting. I am a Science teacher and I specialise in Biology and Physics. I love to see that ‘lightbulb moment’ and enjoy teaching students about the world around them!
My name is Lindsay Duley and I am Assistant Head responsible for Teaching and Learning within Oulder Hill. Within this role I work with teaching staff across the school to help develop their teaching and deliver training to help support all teaching staffs continued professional development. As I get to work across all faculties I get to work with a large array of people and subjects from teaching staff who are at the beginning of their careers to those that have been in the profession for a number of years. Prior to this role I had been the Teaching and Learning Director of the Science Faculty here at Oulder Hill, since June 2009. In this time I have worked with the Science faculty to improve the Science curriculum which in turn has resulted in improved exam results within the subject. I love teaching Science and sharing with pupils how the world and they work through their learning in lessons. It is a privilege to work at Oulder Hill as we are fortunate to have both an amazing team of staff and amazing pupils.
I started my career in Information Technology in industry and joined my first secondary school in 2004. I realised how the planned use of technology can be a huge driving force for improvements in education, becoming ICT Operations Director in 2011 and providing strategic consultancy work for other schools. I sought new challenges and whilst working, studied part time at University to explore my other passion of business. I joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2019 as School Business Manager and my responsibilities are finance, resources and leadership for support and administrative colleagues. In my role I work hard to ensure that the school has the talent and resources it needs to be a success for our students and our community.