Our Staff

Vicky Ellis

Head

BSc (Hons), Cardiff QTS, MA Warwick

Vicky Ellis

Head

About me…

I joined The Study as Head in September 2020 and I have extensive experience teaching in a variety of both state and independent schools, with a particular specialism in Early Years Education. Most recently, I was Head at Banstead Prep, having previously taught and been Director of Studies at Redcliffe School, Chelsea and taught and been Head of Early Years at Guildford High School. I worked in Accounting at Andersen/Deloitte, before turning to a career in teaching and I subsequently completed a MA in Educational Leadership and Management at Warwick University.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

Opening the new building at Wilberforce House. Not only was this a much awaited moment – unveiling our fabulous new classrooms, performing arts hall, library and Reception welcome area – but it also signified the return to school after the second lockdown. It was a real cause for celebration.

Tell us something that we might not know about you

I love to be active. I’m a keen yogi and a terrible but happy surfer.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I have a real passion for travel and have been fortunate enough to travel all over the globe with my backpack – I’ve trekked in the Himalayas, camped my way through Africa, been fortunate to see a lot of Asia and explored the ‘Stans’ whilst they are unspoilt and have limited tourist infrastructure.

What was your favourite toy or game as a child?

Anything to do with art and crafts – an empty shoe box and some scraps of card could keep me occupied for hours. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.

Joanna Gay

Deputy Head

BA (Hons) Exeter, PGCE Chichester

Joanna Gay

Deputy Head

About me…

I read Economics and Social History at Exeter University and I worked in the publishing industry before doing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. I worked in a variety of school settings before joining The Study as Deputy Head twenty-one years ago. I am responsible for pastoral care, timetabling and the school’s charity giving and I teach RE in the Prep Department. I regularly join inspection teams for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

The tens of thousands of pounds that we have raised for local and national charities over the years. The ideas that the children come up with for fundraising and their enthusiasm to get involved never ceases to amaze me.

Sarah Lee

Assistant Head of Wilberforce House and Year 1 Teacher

BA (Hons) Kingston, PGCE Birmingham

Sarah Lee

Assistant Head of Wilberforce House and Year 1 Teacher

About me …

After gaining my PGCE in 1998 I taught in the state education sector for a few years before joining The Study team as a class teacher in 1992. I am now thrilled to be responsible for Wilberforce House as Assistant Head and a Year 1 class teacher.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

Where can I start?! There are so many moments, from school birthday parties and being involved in the planning of the new building to helping with whole school productions.

Tell us something that we might not know about you

I love walking, travelling and being with my family. During COVID-19 lockdowns I started to walk the Thames Path and continue to do so in my free time.

What was your favourite toy or game as a child?

My stethoscope – I wanted to be a doctor!

Chris Baalham

Assistant Head of Spencer House and Year 6 Teacher

MSc, Essex, NPQSL, Anglia Ruskin, BEd (Hons) Cantab

Chris Baalham

Assistant Head of Spencer House and Year 6 Teacher

About me…

Having started my career in a village primary school set in the heart of Constable Country, I have enjoyed teaching in a variety of settings, all with a focus upon educating in a nurturing environment. Before joining The Study in 2017, I held the position of Assistant Head at a leafy prep school in North Essex. In my current role as Assistant Head of Spencer House, I enjoy helping our pupils to discover their strengths and interests, and to feel confident that they are valuable individuals.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

When Year 6 held a mock election. I loved seeing the girls so motivated and confident in forming their manifestos and delivering their speeches to Spencer House.

What was your favourite toy or game as a child?

I was a great fan of Lego. My brother and I had a whole town in the playroom, with frequent demolition and construction projects.

Vicky Moreno headshot

Vicky Moreno

Director of Studies and Year 5 Teacher

BA (Hons) Liverpool, PGCE Somerset SCITT

Vicky Moreno

Director of Studies and Year 5 Teacher

About me…

I started my teaching career in state primary schools within inner London and loved it from day one! I had the good fortune to gain a wealth of experience in a number of different positions, notably Head of Mathematics, Head of History and as an Assistant Head. I began teaching at The Study in 2017 and have enjoyed every step of the journey.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

Taking the girls on an end of year trip to ‘Clip and Climb’ and watching them overcome their fears, by taking part in daredevil activities such as the ‘Leap of Faith’. It was such an eye-opener.

What was your favourite toy or game as a child?

As a child my favourite ‘toy’ was actually my pet dog! We had a gorgeous, cheeky rescue Jack Russell Terrier called Cracker and I adored him. I remember spending many weekends running around the garden playing ‘fetch’ and teaching him tricks.

Susan Johnson headshot

Susan Johnson

Head of Early Years and Reception Teacher

BEd (Hons) London, Cert SpLD

Susan Johnson

Head of Early Years and Reception Teacher

About me…

I completed my BEd Honours degree at Froebel College in Roehampton and after three years teaching in state schools, I joined The Study in 1992. Having closed the school’s senior department and opened an additional Reception class, I joined as the form teacher of the new class. I have enjoyed seeing the school grow and develop with the purchase of Wilberforce House and more recently have enjoyed the amazing facilities in our new build. I have been privileged to teach many wonderful girls throughout my time at The Study.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

I will always remember fondly the day one of our pupils, who was an elective mute, spoke for the first time in my class. It was not long into our Autumn Term and I was so thrilled that she felt secure and comfortable enough to say her first words to us. She never looked back!

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

One of the most adventurous things I have done is staying and helping on a subsistence farm in Luquina, a small village on Lake Titicaca in Peru. I helped to milk the cows by hand and lead the pigs and sheep to graze by the lakeside.

What was your favourite toy or game as a child?

My Tiny Tears baby doll and cot.

Philip Walker

Bursar

BSc (Hons) Loughborough, FCA

Philip Walker

Bursar

About me…

In the late 80’s I studied Mathematical Engineering at Loughborough University, but a sandwich year convinced me engineering was not for me. After qualifying in 1993, I spent 20 years as a Chartered Accountant in the commercial world, mostly at General Motors. For a complete career change, in 2010 I studied for a PGCE at the Institute of Education in London and took up a post teaching secondary mathematics in Kent. In 2018, I combined my finance and teaching backgrounds to join The Study as Bursar.

Tell us about a moment that stands out for you from your time at The Study

A stand out moment for me was watching the temporary classrooms being winched into the staff car park of Wilberforce House on a sunny summer’s day in 2019. It was a spectacular operation, which signified that we were on our way to creating something special that would improve the school for many years to come.

Tell us something that we might not know about you

When I was 19, I learnt to fly a light aircraft – a skill that I have, sadly, allowed to lapse.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I once delivered someone’s old car across the USA to New York. It was originally in Los Angeles and I had to drive through Death Valley in the summer, praying it would not break down!

Interested in working with us?

As a renowned prep school for girls in South West London, we pride ourselves on our academic and creative excellence, but believe learning means so much more. Our values – compassion, courage, creativity and curiosity – are as relevant to the way we work with our staff as they are to our girls.

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