Junior School Staff

Mrs Julie Lewis - Head of St Nicholas House

I have lived in Brecon for 20 years, but was brought up in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire. I studied in the University of Wales and spent the first six years of my career teaching in Merthyr Tydfil. With a young family, I decided to move closer to home and started working for Powys Local Education Authority and it was here that I spent 14 years of my career. Before joining Christ College as Head of Juniors in January 2014, I was Acting Head Teacher of a local Primary School, where I also taught Year 5/6 classes so I have a wealth of experience in developing, supporting and inspiring children. With over 20 years in the teaching profession I believe I effectively use the skills learned in my career to lead a successful and high quality Junior School at Christ College with the best possible team.I am married with two children, both of whom attended Christ College as senior pupils. I have lots of interests out of school, but my main interests are running, cooking and taming my garden! I am delighted to hold the privileged position of Head of Juniors at Christ College Brecon. This is an extremely exciting and successful addition to the school and I am thrilled to be part of it.

Mr Graeme Kerr - Teacher

Until the age of 10, I lived in a small mining village in Scotland where I gained a good sense of family and community. I then moved to rural Somerset where I trained as an agricultural engineer. From there on I have enjoyed a number of careers including banking and accountancy. Music is a passion of mine and it was when I started teaching piano that I realised that teaching is where my future lay! I then decided, with great support from my wife, to retrain as a teacher, studying at the University of Wales, Newport. Since then I did a year of supply work, which gave me a good grounding in a range of different age groups and environments, before spending the last 5 years at a high performing state school. It is here that I have been given the opportunity to develop my skills further in a broad range of curriculum areas. I believe that this, combined with my own experiences and interests, allows me to give pupils a well rounded education both personally and educationally. At St Nicholas I am the current Year 5 teacher with responsibility for Maths, ICT and provision for the more able and talented. I am thrilled to have joined Christ College at the start of  the St Nicholas House journey.

Miss Alexandra Hallinan - Teacher

I grew up in West London and moved to West Herefordshire in 2005. I began teaching in 2003 and over the years I have taught in both large urban primary schools and small rural ones. 

Being a part of the development of St Nicholas House has been such an exciting opportunity and I am honoured to be teaching the oldest of our pupils in Year 6. Having always wanted to work with children, I studied Psychology at University. With plans to follow a career in Educational Psychology, I then completed my PGCE and have remained in the classroom ever since! It is where I love to be and where I feel I am at my best. 

The ethos of a small school is very special and I believe that the opportunities and experiences it can provide are exceptional. My own particular passions include singing and language teaching. I also lead Literacy, Religious Education and French at St Nicholas. Singing is a very important part of life in St Nicholas. I have had some wonderful moments leading our choir and am well known for dancing and crying whilst conducting! It is a pleasure to teach the children of St Nicholas House and to watch them fulfil their potential both personally and academically.

Miss Jessica Brunsden-Brown - Teacher

I was brought up in Cornwall until I moved to Wales in 2007 to complete University studies in Swansea. As my dad is in the Navy I was given the opportunity to have an independent education and boarded from the age of six.  

I understand first hand the benefits and opportunities that independent schooling can provide, both inside and outside the classroom. 

I have always been a keen sportswoman and my experience in coaching children netball led me to pursue a career in teaching. Prior to completing my PGCE I was a teaching assistant in a comprehensive school in Swansea and PPA cover teacher specialising in PE and Art. Fortunately I have the opportunity to lead these subjects at St Nicholas House. Once qualified, I was employed by a secondary school in Merthyr Tydfil. During this post I taught Literacy in a range of feeder primary schools and English to Key Stage 3 pupils. This provided me with invaluable experience of teaching across all ages. At St Nicholas House I teach the Year 4 pupils.

My hobbies include netball, swimming, reading and art. I also enjoy walking and you may find me lost somewhere in the Brecon Beacons on a rainy Sunday afternoon!

I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to transfer my own positive schooling and boarding experience to the children here in St Nicholas House.  I believe that this combined with the teaching skills I have developed enable me to be a mentor to the children both on a personal and academic level in order to deliver a well-rounded and supportive education.

 

Mrs Harriet Allen

Having been born in the beautiful city of Bath, I was fortunate to move with my parents, who were artists, to a number of seaside locations in the South and West of England, settling near Brighton in Sussex for the majority of my education. I returned to the South West and after a few years in accountancy I decided to complete an Exeter University degree in Art and Social Science. Following this I realised that teaching was to be my future career; feeling challenged by the possibility of taking part in the hugely rewarding opportunities which teaching provides and completed a PGCE. Richard and I married and I began my teaching career in a primary school in Exeter. During the following 5 years I broadened my experiences teaching in both urban and rural settings alongside developing a vibrant children’s work in our local church. We also travelled widely in the UK and Europe leading children’s holiday clubs and events as well as expeditions for both teenage and young adult groups.

Richard took on the leadership of Christ Church, Exmouth and we were blessed with three fantastic children in less than 2 years, a son and twin daughters. I began teaching at a small independent school in Exmouth. Here I realised the great benefits that small classes and a close caring family community can have on the all-round development of a child. I can certainly see the similarities with St Nicholas House and feel privileged to have joined a small and exceptionally dedicated team of staff.

On leaving Exmouth, I have spent the last 15 years at Millfield Prep School in Somerset. This large and exceptionally busy day and boarding school has provided me with diverse opportunities to develop my teaching skills. I have had the opportunity to teach across the age range from 7 to 13. My highlights have included teaching, encouraging and attempting to see the full potential achieved in many varied junior tutor groups as well as teaching art, history and RS in the senior part of the school. Outside of the classroom I have celebrated victories, learned from defeats and inspired enthusiasm while running teams in hockey, netball and rounders with both talented pupils and those who have learned that sport can be fun! Taking part in many memorable extracurricular activities both on and off campus has also broadened my experience.

My own interests include visiting the theatre, walking and enjoying the natural environment, usually with our black lab Bluebelle, I feel very privileged to be living in a National Park! Travel is a passion; hiking in the Swiss Alps is a favourite location. Although relaxing with an amazing book is also a welcome treat!

I have felt warmly welcomed into the staff and life of St Nicholas House which combines the great benefits of a smaller school with a huge range of events, activities and opportunities for the children which is not dissimilar to my last and must bigger school. I am excited to have the opportunity to share my skills and experiences with this inspiring new school. 

Mrs Jo Gardner - Classroom Assistant

Although born in Scotland and having lived in various areas of the British Isles, I finally settled in Llangynidr more than 20 years ago.

Both my husband and daughter work in an educational setting, while my son is an electrician.

Throughout my career children have been the key focus.  Previous positions include paediatric nurse, foster parent, childminder, youth worker and a higher level teaching assistant.

Hobbies include walking, travelling and cycling.

 

 

Miss Deryn Brown - Gap Assistant

I have lived in Brecon for Fifteen years with my mother, father, brother and family Jack Russell.  Living in a small town enabled me to gain a sense of community from a young age.  I went to Brecon High School, which is the local comprehensive.  However, I have always had links to Christ College through my father being an Old Boy.  Children and sports  have always been a passion of mine, and it was when I started teaching netball that I found my path.   I lived in the French Alps for six months, whilst leading activity groups (and learning how to snow board).  Once my time in France was over, I came back to Wales to furthur my studies as a hopeful teacher.  I attended The University of Wales Trinity St David, where I gained a BA, and I currently working towards my MA.  Whilst completing my BA I taught in an elementary school in New York, USA where I gained an understanding of play based and child centred learning, which incorporate into my teaching style.  I hope to travel through my career, as it is one of my passions.  I am working in St Nicholas House as a Gap assistant to furthur my knowledge and experience.  

 Outside of school, I enjoy travelling, swimming, netball, rugby, walking, surfing and socialising with friends and family.