Meet the Staff
Mrs Kate Hodson
Mrs Hodson is the Head Teacher at Poplar Farm Primary School. She has 20 years experience in education with 12 of those years as a Headteacher. Mrs Hodson is also a Local Leader of Education (LLE) and uses her wealth of experience to provide support to other schools.
Mrs Hodson believes all primary aged children should be taught through first hand experiences, including outdoor learning and activities with international schools. She is passionate about opportunities and experiences for all children to enhance their learning.
Miss Robyn Wilding
Year 1 Teacher
Miss Wilding is a Year 1 teacher at Poplar Farm School. She thoroughly enjoys working with the children and is a keen team member in helping to create the foundations of this new community.
Miss Wilding has spent many years working in both Nurseries and Primary Schools. She has a degree in Education Studies and Early Years, and this led her to pursue a career in teaching, in which she gained both Early Years Teacher Status and Qualified Teacher Status.
Mr Reece Murphy
Year 1 Teacher
Mr Murphy is very excited to be teaching Year 1 at Poplar Farm. He is now entering his fifth year of teaching and has taught Key Stage 1 in two different settings, both an Infant School and a Primary School. More recently, he has been a Key Stage 1 moderator at North Lincolnshire Council.
He has experience working with children from a range of cultural and social backgrounds and aims to ensure every child gets the education that they deserve. He has always wanted to be a Primary School teacher and thrives on being able to have a positive impact on children’s lives. Mr Murphy believes that the classroom should be a place where children feel safe and valued, allowing them to become confident and resilient learners. He is particularly passionate about mathematics and wants children to become inquisitive problem solvers through an engaging mastery approach. Mr Murphy is extremely excited and motivated to help develop a curriculum at Poplar Farm that has the child at heart and can’t wait to see what the year brings!
Miss Lucy Bowden
EYFS Teacher and SENDCO
Miss Bowden is a teacher in EYFS and SENDCO at Poplar Farm School. She is very excited to take on her new role working with not only Reception but the whole school to inspire, excite and nurture children through this crucial stage of their development. Her aim is to motivate children within this amazing environment and create a range of teaching methods, allowing children to develop their creative and problem-solving skills to become all round learners.
Miss Bowden has taught both Key Stage 1 and Reception and has been SENDCO after completing her National Award for Special Educational Needs Award MA. This award for SEND Co-ordination was more than just a qualification, it has empowered her to be the drive to ensure that all children are seen as individual. Miss Bowden achieves this by encouraging staff to think about their practice and instil the question of ‘How is this benefiting the children?’ to ensure the best possible practice for our children.
Miss Olivia Ransome
Miss Ransome is one of the EYFS teachers at Poplar Farm. She loves her job and is proud to be a part of helping children to become confident and happy learners. Miss Ransome has worked within a range of schools and nurseries. She completed a degree in Early Childhood Studies before going on to train to teach.
Miss Ransome is passionate about ensuring that the children are at the heart of every decision she makes, in order to ensure her learners feel valued and happy. She feels this is crucial in order for children to feel excited and engage with their learning. Having grown up on a farm, Miss Ransome is also keen to use the outdoor area to nurture children’s curiosity and develop their independence. She is excited to be a part of creating a child-centred curriculum at Poplar Farm and developing this new community!
Mrs Rebecca McGettigan
Mrs McGettigan is one of the Teaching Assistants at Poplar Farm School. Specialising in Speech and Language, she has completed the Special Educational Needs Diploma. Mrs McGettigan has worked in EYFS for the past 7 years and believes all children can reach and exceed their potential given time and opportunities in an enriched environment. She feels strongly that taking a child centred approach to learning is of upmost importance in order for the children to be engaged and excited about their learning, and as such, helping to fulfill their potential. She is currently in the process of developing our Poplar Farm garden area and will be completing Forestry training this year.
Miss Becky Smith
Miss Smith is one of the Teaching Assistants at Poplar Farm School. For 12 years, Miss Smith worked in Foundation Stage and Year One as a Teaching Assistant within an Outstanding school in Sleaford. Whilst there, she took the children on many residential trips to Malham Cove and York. She also ran the School Infant Choir where they attended many events which the staff and children thoroughly enjoyed!
Miss Natasha Botham
Miss Botham is very excited to be working at Poplar Farm. She is now entering her third year working in education. Miss Botham spent one year training to be a PE coach whilst gaining qualifications in Gymnastics and Swimming. On top of that, she spent another year training to be a Teaching Assistant.
Miss Botham is passionate about ensuring all children get the most out of their learning. She is always motivated to help support members of staff as well as the children. She is looking forward to seeing what the year brings.
Miss Charlotte Middleton
Miss Middleton is one of the teaching assistants at Poplar Farm School. She is entering her fourth year of working within education and has completed a teaching assistant apprenticeship within CIT. Miss Middleton has experience working as a general teaching assistant and a 1:1 within EYFS and KS1.
She is excited to work with the children and adults at Poplar Farm School and is looking forward to helping children get the best out of their learning.
Mrs Lucinda Thorpe
Mrs Thorpe works in the school office at Poplar Farm School.
Mrs Thorpe loves being part of the Poplar Farm team, she is friendly and approachable, so please feel free to speak to her if you have any questions. She has worked in Early Years for many years including as a Nursery Manager.
Mrs Natalie Whotton
Mrs Whotton started working for CIT in July 2018 as a Financial Administrator based at Poplar Farm School. She also works for Caythorpe Primary School and Isaac Newton Primary School
Mrs Whotton worked in the hotel industry for over 10 years but changed her career to become a PA which she really enjoyed for the last eight years. Mrs Whotton hasn’t worked in the financial sector before so this is a completely new role for her and she looks forward to the challenge.
Mrs Whotton lives in Grantham with her husband of 19 years and her two joyful teenagers.
Miss Holly Sparks
Miss Sparks is a Sports Apprentice at Poplar Farm School. She is looking forward to working with the children and alongside the staff members at the school. Miss Sparks feels strongly about all children having the opportunity to participate in sport and is looking forward to showing the children all the enjoyment sport can offer. She believes sport is an important part in the development of a child's confidence and team working skills.
Miss Sparks has completed her A-levels at Kesteven and Grantham Girls School and will be studying Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Hull in 2020.
Mr GianCarlo Velasco
Mr Velasco has worked in the catering industry for 21 years, both here in the UK and abroad.
Mr Velasco is glad to be part of children’s growth in school. He believes in a little way he is helping to educate the children by exploring their senses by introducing them to different ingredients and textures.
Mr Velasco thrives to produce freshly prepared nutritious food every day.
Miss Frankie Guilfoyle
Mrs Hannah Clayson
Mrs Clayson grew up on a farm in the middle of rural Lincolnshire, but now lives in Grantham with her husband, 2 boys & her beagle.
Outside of work, she loves sunny days in the garden, walking the dog, spending time with her family & going on holiday! Mrs Clayson aims to cycle to work as much as she can and get all the way up the hill without wishing she had brought the car instead!!
Mrs Julia Birch
Mrs Birch began working at Poplar Farm in November 2018. She enjoys her job as a Midday Supervisor and also helps out as a classroom assistant when needed. She really enjoys being with the children and is always ready to greet them with a welcoming smile and listening ear.
Prior to working at Poplar Farm she spent many years in the embroidery and logistics industries, working mainly in accounting but also with some time in sales and manufacturing.
Mrs Birch grew up close to Grantham and lives here with her husband and three children, along with her dog and cat.
In her spare time she loves to walk the dog, listen to audiobooks and podcasts and spend time with her family. She is very interested in gardening although admits she knows very little about it and needs to learn how to not kill her plants!
Mrs Mandy Eden
Mrs Nivedita Jena
Mrs Jena is a mother of two children settled in Grantham. She has a Computer Science Engineering degree and some teaching experience.
Mrs Jena loves to help people out whenever she can. She is a creative and energetic person.
Mrs Jena loves being with children in school and is amazed with what they can do or achieve with a little bit of love and care. Mrs Jena also volunteers in school time to time, especially the school trips!
Mrs Jena loves singing and dancing.
Mr Tony Williams
Mr Williams joined Poplar Farm School as Site Manager in February 2019. Prior to this he had a long (33 years) and fruitful career with Royal Mail spending 15 years in Internal Audit as an Audit Manager before becoming a Senior Contracts Manager in HR. After being retired he went on to work at a local Care Home as a Maintenance Manager.
He is now responsible for all areas of site management at Poplar Farm School. He ensures that the school is a safe place for children to grow and develop. His role therefore includes security, ensuring the school cleaning team maintain high standards, ensuring Health and Safety and statutory rules / regulations are adhered to by carrying out the necessary audits, as well as routine maintenance and refurbishment. Mr Williams really enjoys the security part of his role.
One of his favourite times of the day is opening and closing the school and meeting and greeting children and parents. Mr Williams says it is so nice to see how eager they all are to get into school as the gates are opened.
Mrs Sharon Munton