Chris Stokes

Principal

Chris Stokes graduated from the University of Leeds in 2007 with a degree in Business Management. Whilst completing his degree, Chris gained significant ...Read More

Chris Stokes

Principal

Chris Stokes graduated from the University of Leeds in 2007 with a degree in Business Management. Whilst completing his degree, Chris gained significant leadership experience outside of education as a Retail Manager for WH Smith. Upon graduating, Chris completed his PGCE in Business Studies at Leeds University and began teaching as a Business Studies and Mathematics teacher at Abbey Academy in 2009.

Within his first year at Abbey Grange, Chris took on leadership for e-learning and developed both the school infrastructure and day-to-day practices that ensured all students had significant access to ICT. This eventually led to securing a programme which provided all students with an iPad, with the school being highly recognised for its use of IT in the classroom. Whilst teaching, Chris completed his Masters in ICT and Education, gaining a distinction in 2011 from the University of Leeds and completed an Advanced Certificate in Mathematics Education at York St John University.

In 2013 Chris began working for White Rose Academies Trust as Assistant Principal: Mathematics, successfully taking Leeds West Academy from 50% to 66% A*-C in his first year in post and Leeds City Academy from 23% to 51% A*-C in 2015. After a series of promotions, Chris achieved the role of Principal at Leeds East Academy in 2016 and led the school from the bottom 5% of secondary schools to the third most improved school in the country with results in the top 10% in 2017. This improvement was viewed by the Department for Education as one of the most impressive nationally and led to Chris and Leeds East Academy being selected to appear in the prestigious Parliamentary Review in 2017.

Chris became Principal of The Farnley Academy in 2018 and has established a bold new vision for the Academy that will see it ranked in the top 1% of secondary schools by 2020.

Scott Cosgrove

Senior Vice Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Scott Cosgrove graduated from Leeds University in 2000 after completing a BSC in Environmental Science: Energy Option. He completed his PGCE in Mathematics ...Read More

Scott Cosgrove

Senior Vice Principal and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Scott Cosgrove graduated from Leeds University in 2000 after completing a BSC in Environmental Science: Energy Option. He completed his PGCE in Mathematics at Leeds Trinity University in 2001. Scott spent the first 10 years of his teaching career at Crofton High School in Wakefield where he quickly established himself as a Head of Department which achieved the highest progress for mathematics in the Local Authority.

In 2011 Scott moved to The Farnley Academy as a Director of Mathematics, in his first year in charge, mathematics results improved by over 15% and have since been consistently one of the highest in the local authority. Scott joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2012 and has been Vice Principal from 2015. In addition, he is a Specialist Leader of Education and has worked his school leaders to transform Mathematics Departments across the region.

His responsibilities have included CIAG, Student Outcomes and Director of Teaching School and his current role is Head of Key Stage 4. As a member of the local community, Scott is driven by his desire to see students from the area gaining the best qualifications possible to allow them access to the best possible opportunities.

Scott has great admiration for The GORSE Academies Trust and knows the transformational work of the Trust is vital in improving lives for young people in the West of the City.

Philippa Lark

Vice Principal – Curriculum & Standards

Philippa Lark graduated from the University of Leeds in 2004 with a 2:1 BA in Politics and Communication Studies. Upon graduating, Philippa joined ...Read More

Philippa Lark

Vice Principal – Curriculum & Standards

Philippa Lark graduated from the University of Leeds in 2004 with a 2:1 BA in Politics and Communication Studies. Upon graduating, Philippa joined a local advertising agency. Within 4 years she was promoted to Account Director and spear-headed a number of national and regional campaigns for both public and private sector organisations. After 9 years in the advertising industry, Philippa decided to pursue a more rewarding career. She joined the Teach First English teacher training programme in 2011 and was awarded Qualified Teacher Status in 2012, whilst working at Laisterdyke School in Bradford. During her NQT year she was promoted to Assistant Leader of the English Department, with additional responsibility for promoting enterprise within the school.
In September 2012, Philippa became Assistant Leader of English at The Farnley Academy, supporting the Curriculum Team to deliver outstanding English GCSE results in the summer of 2013, which placed the department in the top 3 of all Leeds' schools. During this year, Philippa completed her Masters of Education with the University of Manchester, achieving a distinction and igniting her passion for education research.
In 2013, Philippa took over leadership of the English Department, before quickly being promoted to Director of English and returning results in the summer of 2014 that put Farnley's English results joint first place in the Leeds' City region. After another year of outstanding results, Philippa was subsequently promoted to Assistant Principal in September 2016, designated as a Subject Leader of Education for English and achieved an Excellence in Teaching award from Pearson. She has since worked across a number of areas, including: significantly developing the Academy's careers offering and reducing the number of students who go on to become NEET (not in education, employment or training); establishing The GORSE Centre for Education Research and developing a literacy strategy that was subsequently used across the whole Trust. In addition, Philippa has worked to support a number of local schools, has presented at a range of regional and national conferences and is an experienced exam marker with AQA and EDUQAS. In September 2017, Philippa was promoted to Vice Principal and took over the directorship of The GORSE Farnley Teaching School, leadership of CPD and continued line management of English, Literacy and Careers.

Sam Sheedy

Vice Principal – Behaviour & Safety

Sam Sheedy Studied at the University of Leeds and completed his BSc and MSc in Geological Science and Geological Engineering respectively. In 2005 ...Read More

Sam Sheedy

Vice Principal – Behaviour & Safety

Sam Sheedy Studied at the University of Leeds and completed his BSc and MSc in Geological Science and Geological Engineering respectively. In 2005 he completed his PGCE in Geography at the University of Birmingham undertaking placements in areas of significant socioeconomic disadvantage which inspired him to strive to ensure a level playing field for all students as a core aspect of his career.

Sam took up his first teaching post as an NQT at Brentside High School in Ealing West London. Having been promoted to Internatinal Development Coordinator. After two years, Sam moved to his second Inner London School in Camden as Key Stage 3 Coordinator for Humanities where he worked for 3 years where he became heavily involved in Pastoral care accross the school.

In 2012 Sam moved to Thomas Tallis School in South East London and was Head of Geography and Head of Faculty for Humanities/Social Sciences. During this time he worked with schools and universities across London to develop the Geography Curriculum and oversaw improvements in subjects to become ranked within the top 10% of schools nationally at KS5. He was subsequently promoted to Associate Headteacher and Director of Key Stage in 2014. During this time he oversaw progress and behaviour, Year 6-7 transition, the GCSE options process and the whole school Pupil Premium strategy.

Sam was awarded an Assistant Headteacher Post for Community and Engagement in 2015 With responsibility for whole school behaviour. In this role he was responsible for line managing heads of year and the Pastoral Welfare team to ensure high quality wellbeing provision across the school. He has undertaken significant work to improve attendance and reduce fixed term exclusions at the school, developing trauma informed practice and clear behaviour support structures. Sam decided to relocate to Leeds with the expansion of his family and is passionately aligned with The Gorse Academies Trusts vision to ensure an exceptional education for all.

Natalie Pickering

Assistant Principal: Attendance & Mathematics

Natalie Pickering graduated from the University of Leeds with a First Class Mathematics degree specialising in statistics. She received a scholarship from the ...Read More

Natalie Pickering

Assistant Principal: Attendance & Mathematics

Natalie Pickering graduated from the University of Leeds with a First Class Mathematics degree specialising in statistics. She received a scholarship from the University for her outstanding degree result and the Royal Society of Statistics awarded her lifelong membership. Natalie remained at the University of Leeds to complete her teacher training and was awarded a Mathematics Teacher Training Scholarship. She began her teaching career at BBG Academy. It was the first year of the new GCSE curriculum and she lead on subject knowledge and changes to specification. This resulted in excellent results for her students which contributed to a fantastic departmental progress 8 figure of 0.79, meaning that students at BBG Academy achieved over three quarters of a grade better than their peers nationally in mathematics. These were the best mathematics results in the local authority. Natalie then joined Leeds East Academy in September 2017 and was promoted to Assistant Leader of Mathematics within six weeks of joining. She took on increasing responsibility and by Easter 2018 was running the department on a day to day basis, helping to secure the best mathematics results in the school’s history in June 2018.

Natalie joined The Farnley Academy in June 2018 as Curriculum Leader of Mathematics. Her ambitious leadership style and high expectations of all has meant for continued improvement in mathematics from what was already a strong starting point. Middle Leaders across the academy have adopted her strategies. In March 2019 Natalie was promoted to Assistant Principal, leading on Mathematics and Attendance.

Natalie firmly believes that excellent attendance is the first step to securing excellent progress and outcomes. She wants to ensure that all of our students have access to the World Class opportunities provided at The Farnley Academy.

Lyndsey Naden

Assistant Principal: Behaviour

Lyndsey Naden joined the The Farnley Academy in 2009 after graduating from Leeds Becketts University with a degree in Physical Education. Lyndsey joined ...Read More

Lyndsey Naden

Assistant Principal: Behaviour

Lyndsey Naden joined the The Farnley Academy in 2009 after graduating from Leeds Becketts University with a degree in Physical Education. Lyndsey joined the academy in post as a Teaching Assistant and within a year progressed to become a Cover Supervisor, alongside delivering PE lessons to the feeder primary schools. With key contacts developed, Lyndsey was given the role of Head of Year 7 in 2012, delivering The Farnley Academy’s transition programme. In 2013 she gained her teaching qualification through the assessment only route at the University of Cumbria and received Certificate of Excellence from the Pearson Teaching Awards for her studies during this time. Lyndsey was Head of Year 7 for four years leading a team of enthusiastic form tutors, ensuring they effectively supported and monitored the progress of their students both academically and socially, encouraging high standards of work and behaviour. In 2016 Lyndsey was promoted to Strategic Leader of Key Stage 4, supporting Year 10 and following them through to Year 11 to study for their final GCSE examinations. The core values of The GORSE Academies Trust are a true reflection of her own values and ethos, showing that Positive Discipline, passion and dedication ensure that every child reaches their true potential. Lyndsey widened her experience and skills by becoming an Academic Progress Leader in 2018, helping to provide support and drive in Year 11 outcomes and to ensure every student left The Farnley Academy with the gift of choice. Lyndsey’s appointment to Assistant Principal in charge of Student Experience is reflective of the positive relationships with students and the community she has built over her time here.

Joanna Booth

Assistant Principal – Community Engagement & Science

Joanna Booth graduated from the University of Leeds in 2005 with a BSc in Medical Science. Upon graduating she completed her PGCE in ...Read More

Joanna Booth

Assistant Principal – Community Engagement & Science

Joanna Booth graduated from the University of Leeds in 2005 with a BSc in Medical Science. Upon graduating she completed her PGCE in Biology at the University of Huddersfield and began teaching at Norton College in Malton, North Yorkshire. Within the first couple of years Joanna took on her first leadership role as Key Stage 4 Cooordinator for Science, responsible for the Key Stage 4 curriculum and assessments. Whilst teaching Joanna developed a passion for research and completed a MA in Education for Teaching and Learning. This provided Joanna with the opportunity to run CPD sessions to share good practice and improve the teaching of others. She also completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Chemistry Education giving her the knowledge and skills to teach both A Level Biology and Chemistry.

In 2012 Joanna began working at The Farnley Academy as Assistant Leader for Science and also became a marker for the exam board AQA. As a result of her curriculum and exam rubric expertise and excellent track record of student success behind her she was promoted to Deputy Leader in 2016 then shortly after to Curriculum Leader in 2017. Under her leadership the Science Department have developed an engaging and ambitious curriculum which has continued to produce outstanding results for our students.

Joanna joined the Senior Leadership Team in 2020 leading on community engagement. This is an area she feels very passionate about and believes strong links within the Farnley community are vital for our students to be the best that they can.

Claire Hart

Assistant Principal – Teaching, Learning, NQTs, ITTs & English

Claire Hart graduated from the University of Essex with a degree in English Language and Linguistics. Upon graduating, she completed her PGSE in ...Read More

Claire Hart

Assistant Principal – Teaching, Learning, NQTs, ITTs & English

Claire Hart graduated from the University of Essex with a degree in English Language and Linguistics. Upon graduating, she completed her PGSE in English at The Manchester Metropolitan University. She began her teaching career in 2014, teaching at Barnsley Academy. After one year of teaching, she joined The Farnley Academy in 2015 as a teacher of English.

In 2016, she was promoted to Assistant Leader of English, taking on a year group of her own to monitor and support. Claire gained valuable leadership skills within this position and was able to make an impact with the year group through the design of curriculum and lessons for the year group. Alongside this, she continued to deliver impressive GCSE results with her year 11 classes, evidencing her expertise and knowledge in delivering outstanding teaching within the English Curriculum. In 2018, she progressed to be Teaching and Learning lead, working closely with The Senior Leadership Team to utilise her expertise and experience amongst other colleagues. In this, she delivered valuable CPD and helped to provide other teachers with rich opportunities to improve their own teaching within the classroom.

Her passion for teaching and learning alongside experience within a leadership role allowed Claire to become the Curriculum Leader of English in 2019. In this transition period, Claire transformed the team under her leadership. In this time, The English Department was able to boast of the best English GCSE results The Farnley Academy had seen.

Claire was promoted to The Senior Leadership Team in 2020 to continue working in the area she is most passionate about: overseeing the teaching and learning at The Farnley Academy. She continues to lead the English team in this position.

Gareth Cleasby

Assistant Principal – Inclusion & PE

Gareth Cleasby graduated with a degree in BSC Sports Studies in 2008, awarded by the University of Liverpool. In 2009 he completed his ...Read More

Gareth Cleasby

Assistant Principal – Inclusion & PE

Gareth Cleasby graduated with a degree in BSC Sports Studies in 2008, awarded by the University of Liverpool. In 2009 he completed his PGCE at Liverpool John Moore’s University after carrying out placements on the Wirral and in Cheshire.

Gareth started his teaching career in 2009 at Litherland High School in North Liverpool, a school located in one of the most socially deprived areas of the UK. After taking up an initial post as Teacher of Physical Education, Gareth was quickly given his first leadership responsibility overseeing Transition and Primary links.

Gareth next moved into the position of Co-ordinator of KS4 PHSCE, working with students to help them develop key skills and attributes that allowed them to stay healthy, safe and well prepared for life in modern society. Through involvement with Merseyside Police, Gareth played a pivotal role in educating students and the wider community about the dangers of gang crime and how they could make their community a much more positive place to live in.

After achieving great success in his PSHCE role, Gareth was given the added responsibility of taking charge of KS3 PE. This was a role he thoroughly enjoyed and eventually led to him assuming full leadership of the department, where with his team, he achieved the best GCSE PE results the school had ever achieved. In early 2016 Gareth was awarded his NPQML from The National College of Teaching and Leadership.

In 2016 Gareth relocated back to Leeds with his young family and was appointed as Teacher of PE and Curriculum Leader of PSHCE at Allerton Grange School. His role of PSHCE Curriculum Leader saw him play a key role in one of the biggest anti knife crime campaigns the city has ever seen. Through tireless hard work the school became the flagship school for anti-knife crime in the North of England.

In 2019 Gareth was appointed as Curriculum Leader for PE at The Farnley Academy. After a highly successful first term at Farnley, Gareth was promoted to the position of Assistant Principal with responsibility for Inclusion and PE in January 2020. Gareth is passionate about supporting the values and aspirations of both The Farnley Academy and the wider GORSE Academies Trust and believes that every student has the right to receive a personalised, high quality education that sets them on a pathway to great success in the future.