Wonder Speakers

Chris Pearce – Director of the Institute of Education

As an experienced primary headteacher, Chris has held three highly successful headteacher posts. Each headship has bought very different challenges and opportunities. He has led an outstanding school in York and held two headships within North Yorkshire. Chris has also been able to influence education for pupils on a wider stage as one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMI). Providing invaluable insight into Ofsted’s inspection practice and pedagogy across a wide range of settings, including Initial Teacher Training provision.


Gareth Davies – Trust Head of Curriculum and Assessment

Gareth has been a senior leader since 2009, having held roles leading teaching and learning, intervention, and curriculum across three different secondary schools. Gareth has been a Deputy Headteacher and stepped into the role of acting Head of School at Woldgate during the pandemic. He has led CPD and ran shared training with Huntington School, feeder primaries, local Teach Meets, as well as, delivering school-to-school support of Driffield School and Cannon Lee; and has also worked on a project for the Trust to review and re-write the long-term curriculum planning for every subject at Longcroft School and Woldgate School.

Kirsty McMurdo

Previously Kirsty was employed at Archbishop Holgate School in York and during her time there was a Head of Department, Assistant Headteacher and part of a Teaching and Learning Team. She delivered whole-school training on effective reading strategies, exam techniques, and marking and feedback; implemented a whole-school marking and feedback policy; worked with members of staff to improve their planning and teaching; led ITT training sessions; and mentored both ITTs and NQTs.

Nicola Massey – Headteacher 

I have over twenty years’ experience in education across the cities of Manchester, London and York with headships in primary schools in Hackney and York. I hold a strong belief that children only get one chance at their education and it is our duty to make it the best it can be. I am highly dedicated to excellence in all areas of school life. The needs of the children are always paramount in the life and decision making within a school. I strongly believe in providing the children with exciting, inspiring and meaningful learning experiences, which build their enthusiasm for learning and help them to grow and develop positively.

Kelly Foxton – Headteacher

Over the course of my 16 years of teaching I have taught in three schools across two local authorities. The schools I have worked within include those situated in an inner city, large town and village. I have been incredibly fortunate to teach all year groups from the Foundation Stage through to Year 6 and couldn’t possibly select a favourite! I have held a range of leadership positions throughout my career including: Phase Leader, English Lead, Curriculum Lead, Assessment Lead, Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator, Deputy Head and more besides. These positions have provided me with a vast range of experiences, knowledge and skills.

Luke Sloman – Headteacher

With over 13 years’ experience in teaching I have held roles including being a history teacher, Head of Careers, Head of Care & Achievement, Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher before becoming a Headteacher.

I believe that universal, high-quality education is the single most powerful force for good and positive change in the world today. Teaching our children to value knowledge, culture and ideas for their own sake, identifying and interrogating evidence, whilst nurturing the ability to question what they are told will ensure that our world and the lives of everyone who live here will constantly improve.