Lynda Burke, Reception Teacher
I always wanted to be a teacher and as a young child played schools with my dolls and teddies. When I was a bit older, I converted the garage at home into a classroom where I would ‘teach’ the younger children in the street. During my twenties, I travelled extensively and tried out different jobs before finally qualifying as a teacher. I began my teaching career in London where I taught Year 2 and then Reception. After three years, I decided to fulfill my ambition to teach in Africa. In September 1997, I arrived in a hot, dusty, desert town in Eritrea to teach Grade 2 English and train teachers to teach the new English curriculum. When war broke out between Eritrea and Ethiopia, I returned to my home town of Leeds. In January 1992, I arrived at Moortown for a three week placement – I’ve been here ever since! Teaching Reception at Moortown is so rewarding and it has been wonderful to see so many children progress through the school and beyond. In my spare time, I enjoy swimming, cycling, walking, reading and planning my next holiday!
The teaching assistants in Reception are Gemma Burgess, Emma Gaunt and Sharron Stewart.
Jackie Freeman, Year 1 Co-Teacher
My journey at Moortown Primary began when my own children attended the school. The ‘family feel’ within the setting was the first thing that struck me whilst searching for a primary school. I’m so glad, even after all the years, that feeling is still evident. During my time at school, I have been given many opportunities to develop my role and responsibilities. Because Moortown Primary is quite a small school, I’ve been able to get to know many children and their families. Outside of school, I like to keep busy. Being a keen gardener, enjoying a swim and spending time with family and friends are always on my agenda. My greatest passion, and the one I am most proud of, has been watching my own children flourish. We all enjoy family time and visiting new and exciting places together. I suppose the next stage for me is the role of ‘granny!’ A little while yet though – I hope!
Caroline Taylor, Year 1 Co-Teacher and Health Leader
I’ve a degree in geography and after working as a cartographer (creating maps) and a waste management scientist, I decided to have a change of career and become a teacher. I’ve been at Moortown ever since! As a teacher, each day, week and year is different to the last. It’s so rewarding to see how the children grow and learn. I’m passionate about health and encouraging children to be happy and healthy. My role as Health Leader covers Living and Learning to School Council, PE to school meals and everything else health related! When I’m not at school, I’m spending time with my family including my two daughters. I also enjoy yoga and running. I love to visit the beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorkshire Moors, too.
The teaching assistants in Year 1 are Subby Bharath and Nanaki Roth.
Ben Parker, Year 2 Teacher
I was born in Middlesbrough and lived there until I moved to Leeds in 2017. I love living in Leeds and love working at Moortown Primary School. I originally completed a degree in Sports Science with the ambition to becoming a PE teacher. However, after volunteering in a primary school, I knew this was the career path I wanted to take. Every day as a primary school teacher is fun, exciting and interesting – I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy watching and playing a variety of sports, especially football. I also love listening to music, collecting vinyl records and going to gigs.
Alice Needham, Year 2 Student Teacher
Originally from Manchester, I studied History at Newcastle University from 2014-2017. I then chose to move to Leeds in 2018 to start my job as a Teaching Assistant at Moortown Primary School. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a TA and have embarked on my teacher training this year. I feel so lucky to be able to train in such a lovely school that is full of fantastic children. My favourite subject is Art – any children who know me know I always love an excuse to get the paintbrushes out! I also love exploring new places and have spent time travelling across South America, Australia, and South East Asia. My favourite thing to do when I’m away is to try new foods – I’ve even eaten a scorpion!
The teaching assistants in Year 2 are Christine Potter and Nicky Russell.
Maria Rushbrooke, Additional Key Stage 1 Teacher
I grew up in Rotherham, lived in Liverpool for University, York for my teacher-training and have now lived in Leeds for several years. Having studied Ocean Sciences at university, I’m still obsessed with all things ocean. The children and other staff in school will often hear about my attempts to rid the world of plastic and pollution – I don’t even mention it that much! When I’m not in school, I enjoy heading into the Yorkshire Dales for unnecessarily long walks, now dragging my little boy along with me. He’ll tolerate it as long as there’s water to play in and snacks to munch on. After many happy years at Moortown, I still love my job which brings with it new joys and challenges each day.