We are delighted to confirm the following new academic staff appointments for September 2021.

Kate Ellis, Teacher of Art
Kate will be joining both the Art and Design departments from September. She is a graduate of Fine Art from Kingston University and in 2017 completed her PGCE. She has worked most recently at Hardenhuish and Malmesbury Schools. Kate is a practicing artist and is currently completing an MA in Fine Art at Bath Spa University. Her own work incorporates stitch, textiles as well as paint, print, sculpture and installation.

Jessica Doherty, Artist in Residence
Jessica is a graduate in Fine Art from Falmouth University. Since graduating she has worked in a range of art related roles including a freelance photographer, tutor of fine art technical drawing and a set production designer at Hurtwood School. She is currently working at Hauser and Wirth gallery Somerset. Jessica also runs a growing business as an artist with her focus on realism, a sense of place and the landscape around her. Jessica paints light, atmosphere and perspective in great detail and she endeavours to create a sensual illusion of space. She is very excited about exploring the landscape around Downside.

Jill Eckford, Teacher of Business and Economics
Jill joins Downside from Peter Symonds Sixth Form College in Winchester. An experienced and enthusiastic teacher of both economics and business, Jill offers not only previous expertise in the teaching of each subject at GCSE and A level but also has previous examining experience.  Her broad range of interests across the two disciplines will enable the department to enhance its extra-curricular offering and this should help to engage and enthuse more pupils into studying these subject options. An experienced Sixth Form tutor, Jill also offers extensive pastoral and ICT skills, making her an invaluable addition to the department.

Siobhan Allen, Teacher of Computer Science
Siobhan has spent the last three years at Bridgwater & Taunton College teaching Computing, Business and Economics. She is a certified Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, can program in Visual Basic and Python (which we teach here) and has published many training videos online. Like all good computer scientists, Siobhan can tell the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek characters at 100 paces!

Christopher Stowell, Teacher of Religious Studies
Christopher is currently teaching Religious Studies at St Bonaventure’s in the East End of London, a large Catholic comprehensive of 1,500 boys, and an outstanding school. He has an MA from Heythrop College and a BA in Theology and History from Birmingham University. He has also spent a year teaching English with a Salesian Community in Pallithammam, a rural village in south India, two years as a youth retreat team leader in the UK, and a year volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity Sisters in Liverpool helping to minister to the homeless, where he also participated in a Lectio group. He has attended a Manquehue retreat here at Downside. We very much look forward to the enthusiasm and vitality he will surely bring to the department and School.

Olivia Johnson, Sports Graduate Assistant
Currently completing a BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science at the University of Bath, Olivia is an experienced netball player and coach. Prior to a Gap year travelling the USA and Canada, Olivia represented the British Colleges Netball team. Olivia now represents the University of Bath Netball team and has worked for the University as a development coach in the sport alongside her academic studies. A former gymnast, Olivia has a strong passion for all sports coaching and is looking forward to working to support athletic development and netball across the School.

Rebecca Culverwell, Sports Graduate Assistant
Currently completing a BA (Hons) in Sport and Business Studies at the University of Stirling, Rebecca has represented Scotland at curling and is captain of her University hockey team. A qualified umpire, Rebecca has significant experience of coaching and officiating hockey at university and school level. Rebecca has worked as a teaching assistant for Physical Education in schools across Edinburgh and been a volunteer Young Leader for Girl Guiding UK and will combine her role within the Sports department alongside being the Resident Tutor in Isabella House.

George Maddams, Sports Graduate Assistant
Having completed his BSc undergraduate degree at Bedfordshire University, George has recently also completed a Masters degree in Strength & Conditioning alongside his current role as a Resident Sport assistant and strength & conditioning coach at Oundle School. An experienced rugby player, representing Bedford Blues, George has also worked as an Academy Strength & Conditioning coach at Northampton Saints for the last two years. Having gained experience as a resident tutor and boarding assistant at Oundle, as well as coaching experience across all sports, George will add significantly to our rugby coaching programme and provide significant athletic development support for all pupils.

Jack Knight, Sports Graduate Assistant
Currently completing a BSc (Hons) in Sports Coaching at the University of Gloucestershire, Jack has significant experience as a hockey coach and player (Gloucester men’s 1st XI, Great Britain Colleges, Midlands Regional Performance Squad). Jack has been the Head Coach for Gloucestershire U15 girls and will provide vital developmental support to all hockey players across the school, especially those involved in Junior Development and Junior Academy Centre pathway programmes.

Bethany Ackerley, Resident Graduate Assistant (Performing Arts)
Bethany is a recent Dance Graduate who has worked at Saint Gregory’s School in Bath and has experience in technical theatre (creating lighting cue sheets, props and designing costumes, operating the audiovisual/sound mixer, editing, stage management), which she is keen to build on during her time here.