Ms L Clarke

Regional Director

Before joining Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy as Executive Principal, Lorraine Clarke was Principal of Blacklands, successfully leading the school from special measures to outstanding in all areas within 3 years. Blacklands continues to achieve results that are significantly above national averages.

Prior to her current role, Lorraine worked as the Deputy Head of a large primary school in Little Common. The school raised its early years, Phonics and end of key stage 2 standards significantly in the three years Lorraine worked there, moving the school from an Ofsted category of Requires Improvement to Good. Prior to that Lorraine worked as an Assistant Headteacher in Hailsham, once again being part of the leadership team that moved the school from a category of Requires Improvement to Good. In 2005, Lorraine was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to relocate to Arizona, U.S.A. in order to teach in the local community and lead on innovation based on her experience and knowledge of the British education system and curriculum.   

Lorraine graduated from the University of Plymouth with a 2:1 Degree (Hons) in Psychology.  She has since obtained a Post-Graduate degree from the University of Sussex in Policing Studies and a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of Brighton.

As a teacher, Lorraine spent a number of years supporting colleagues in both England and America to improve literacy standards within the classroom, whilst also delivering end of KS2 results in her own school that increased year on year. With a passion for literacy and the performing arts, she has choreographed several amateur stage productions, including Hairspray, Bugsy Malone and Joseph & his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.  She has also coached an American cheerleading squad to success in their state and national championships.


Ms N Rankin

Head of School

Natalie Rankin began working at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy  as an interim Head of School in January 2016, having demonstrated a successful track record as Vice Principal at Ark Blacklands since September 2014.  Before joining Blacklands, Natalie was Leader of Learning for Mathematics at a junior school in Hastings. She was a pivotal member of the leadership team responsible for having Special Measures removed from the school in January 2014. The school improved its Quality of Teaching and Leadership to Good in the time Natalie was there.

Natalie graduated from the University of Exeter in 1998 with a degree in Primary Education. Her specialism is Mathematics and she believes that every child can achieve high standards and enjoy the subject if taught creatively. She is passionate about providing children with the chance to learn the skills required to achieve excellence both academically and beyond the curriculum.

Prior to working for the Ark Network, Natalie provided support to a number of schools in East Sussex to develop Curriculum and Quality of Teaching. As Instructional Lead Teacher at Ark Blacklands, Natalie continues to improve the quality of teaching and has implemented a coaching cycle with opportunities for teacher-led reflection and research. This ensures teachers share best practice and work together to improve.


Ms M Quinn

Assistant Headteacher

Mary Quinn joined Ark Blacklands Primary as Assistant Headteacher in 2016. She has a proven track record of consistently improving Key Stage 2 results. Before joining Ark Blacklands, she worked for ten years at a large primary school in Bexhill, most recently working as Leader of years 3, 4, 5 & 6. Under her leadership of Upper Juniors, KS2 attainment and progress results improved in all areas of the curriculum every single year since 2012.  She has also successfully nurtured and coached teachers, developing their skills and raising their performance, from good to outstanding within a year. As Instructional Lead Teacher at Ark Blacklands, Mary will continue with this role of improving teachers' practice.

During her time at Little Common, Mary led Art and then English across the whole school. Mary has a passion for reading and the necessity for children to keep reading as they progress through school, in order to reach their full potential. She has been instrumental in changing the function of school libraries and the teaching of Guided Reading in order to support and encourage children to read widely.

Prior to teaching, Mary achieved a 2:1 Hons degree in History and Politics from Reading University. She worked for an academic publishing company before securing a Post Graduate Certificate of Education from the University of Chichester. She has taught in primary schools in West Sussex and Shropshire, teaching years 2 through to 6.  She lived in Shropshire for ten years, where she working part-time for SureStart, developing community relationships with travellers' families  as well as bringing up her three daughters.


Ms R Saxby


Prior to joining Ark Blacklands as a SENCo, Rachael was a Year Two teacher for five years at a local primary school. In her time there, she was a part of the development and implementation of a writing scheme which later lead to the school becoming a training centre. Rachael would be observed teaching in class and make presentations to teachers and heads of school from far away as Brighton to support their understanding of the writing scheme. 

Rachael was also a member of SLT as the joint KS1 lead and helped the EYFS team earn the grade of 'outstanding' at a November 2016 Ofsted inspection. During her time teaching Year Two, Rachael was able to achieve strong KS1 results consistently, often exceeding national expectations. Rachael was also a leader of PE, introducing new clubs each year and ensuring the children took part in as many of the local competitions as possible. Her dedication to improving the PE provision meant the the school was awarded back to back 'gold' sports marks. Science was another subject that Rachael was a leader of, creating targets for each child to support teachers with their science assessments and setting up two science weeks a year to promote enthusiasm for the subject. In her final year, Rachael was also an NQT mentor and completed her NPQML course. 

Rachael's career started at a small village primary school where she taught Year five/six. During her time, she achieved some of the school's best SATs results in recent times and lead PE. Rachael has always worked with children, working at a local private nursery while at university and volunteering as a TA and MDSA during her gap year. 

She graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2009 with a 2:1 BA Hons degree in education with recommendation for QTS. When she isn't teaching, Rachael enjoys days out with her family, particularly going to theme parks and the cinema.


Mrs D Jones 

Phase Leader:  EYFS / KS1  & Year 2 Class teacher              

Diana graduated from NEWI Cartrefle (affiliated to University of Bangor) in 1988, with a B’Ed in early primary 3-8 years. Her diploma in Special Educational needs led to her first position as an NQT in a Hailsham School with challenging behaviour.

She then moved to work in an Infant School in Bexhill for 8 years. She has been subject lead for many areas of the curriculum during her career, including computing, DT, R.E and Maths. In 1998 she moved to a rural Eastbourne school where her interest in assessment and performance data led to her taking on the role of KS1 Co-ordinator.

Diana joined Ark Blacklands in September 2014, working initially in Y1. She has a passion for all children to succeed and achieve their very best.

Outside of school Diana enjoys country walks and bike rides especially if there is a tea room along the route! She also makes preserves and chutneys in season.


Ms C Shaw

Phase Leader: KS2 & Year 5 Class teacher       

Catherine Shaw joined Ark Blacklands in 2003 as a class teacher and leader of the Core Curriculum Team. Previous teaching roles in primary and middle schools were in schools in Staffordshire and Buckinghamshire and Los Angeles, USA, after graduating and gaining Qualified Teacher Status from Nottingham University with specialism in Art and Education. She moved to USA in 1985 where she worked in Los Angeles as an elementary school teacher with special responsibility for planning and developing the art curriculum. In 1992 she returned to Scotland (her home country) and returned to Stirling University where she gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing and Business Management. Mrs Shaw also qualified as a Counsellor with the Scottish Counselling Authority and worked on a voluntary basis with The Samaritans until 2003.

Mrs Shaw worked as a Marketing Manager for a map publishing company in Central Scotland while raising her now grown-up children, until 2003, when she moved to East Sussex due to her husband’s job relocation. At this time she returned to teaching. She has held the roles of Core Curriculum Leader, Maths Leader and now Leader of Upper Key Stage Two.

In her early years of teaching Mrs Shaw was qualified to teach gymnastics and swimming as well as organising inter-school sports events and leading many outdoor pursuits trips. Her out of school interests lie in sport (particularly ski-ing), reading, theatre and art. She has participated and help produce amateur drama productions in addition to being involved in designing and creating props and costumes for many plays and musicals. Mrs Shaw has worked extensively at the upper end of primary education and particularly loves to see children develop a love of writing and feel success in their understanding of maths.


Ms B Hackett-Evans    

Leader of Learning: Read, Write Inc... & Year 1Class teacher

Bryony joined Ark Blacklands as an Early Years teacher in 2015. Prior to training as a teacher with Teach First, Bryony taught skiing in Australia and France and also taught sailing in the UK, India, Spain and Greece. Bryony remains passionate about sport and spends most weekends and holidays outdoors. 
Bryony achieved a 2:1 degree in Religion and Philosophy from Kings College London and is currently studying part time for a Masters in Educational Leadership with Canterbury Christchurch University. Bryony's Masters dissertation will explore how parents and teachers working together can improve children's reading. 
In her role as Read, Write Inc lead Bryony works with the Early Years and KS1 teams to ensure that every child receives excellent phonics teaching which enables them to develop into a confident and independent reader.


Mr D Barton

Leader of Learning: Maths Mastery & Year 2 Class teacher

Dan joined Ark Blacklands as a Year 5 Teacher in 2015. Prior to training as a teacher though Teach First, Dan worked as a TA in a special needs school in his hometown of Reading.
Dan achieved a 2:1 degree in History from Oxford Brookes University and is currently studying for a Masters in Educational Leadership through Canterbury Christ Church. His dissertation will explore a topic that means a lot to him; how developing reading for pleasure can close the gap for lower attaining students.
Last academic year, Dan ran inset training for the staff of Ark Blacklands and Ark Little Ridge that was aimed to get children to think more critically and creatively. 




Mr Coram

Leader of Learning: Computing & Year 4 Class teacher

Jon joined Ark Backlands in 2016 as a Year 5 Teacher. He has many years experience throughout KS2, having mostly worked with year five and six. Jon has also been a Computing subject leader for two years at a school in Bexhill, and is enthusiastic about developing the Computing Curriculum here at Blacklands. In addition to this, he is studying his NPQML this year.

In 2011 Jon studied a 7-14 Maths PGCE through The University of Sussex, as he was open to becoming a secondary Maths teacher or a Primary teacher. He achieved a 2:1 Hons degree in Marketing Management from Southampton Solent University. Jon decided to become a teacher because he loved learning and enjoyed helping people. 


Miss N Edouard

Writing Lead & Year 6 Class teacher

Nicole joined Blacklands in 2008 as an NQT. She spend the first four years of her teaching career in year 6 before teaching for two years in the mixed year 3/ 4 class. Following her experience in the lower juniors, she then spent 3 years teaching in year 5 before returning to year 6 this year.

Nicole graduated from the University of Brighton with a 2:1 degree (Hons) in Social Sciences. During her final year she specialised in psychology and obtained a qualification in Introductory Counselling. Following this, a brief stint on the airlines ignited Nicole’s passion for travel and led her to go backpacking across South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand before eventually making her way up Africa.

Once she returned from her travels, Nicole worked as a TA and INA in year 6 at a local primary school before completing the Post Graduate Certificate of Education.

Nicole is always keen to develop the wider opportunities school life can offer.  In 2014, Nicole spent her half term teaching at our link school in Sierra Leone which she found to be a humbling and memorable experience. She has since run the Pupil Council and has organised numerous trips and visits across the year groups.

Nicole has recently completed a Critical Thinking course which promotes children’s independence and involvement in their learning. She is also a Lead Practitioner at Ark Blacklands. 


Ms N Bartlett

EYFS Class teacher


Mrs L Denyer

EYFS Class teacher


 Miss K Stenou

EYFS Class teacher


Ms N Caush

EYFS Class teacher


Ms K Meek

Year 1 Class teacher


Mr H Orsbourne

Year 1 Class teacher


Miss O Emary

Year 2 Class Teacher


Ms F Parker

Year 4/5 Class teacher


Miss N Lozada                        

Year 3 Class teacher


Miss A Mitchell

Year 3 Class Teacher


Miss B Tooze  

Year 4 Class teacher


Miss O Rue

Year 6 Class teacher


Miss A Benford

Year 6 Class Teacher


Support Staff – Teaching Assistants



Kane Jenner

Pastoral Manager


Janet Jarvis

Higher Level Teaching Assistant




Letitia Banford

Higher Level Teaching Assistant


Annie Webb

Higher Level Teaching Assistant


 Marie Paine

EYFS Teaching Assistant


Claire Gasson

EYFS Teaching Assistant


Gemma Luxford

EYFS Teaching Assistant


Shelley Rosati

Year 1 Teaching Assistant


Loubna Bouzid

Year 1 Teaching Assistant


Inga Pretorius

Year 2 Teaching Assistant


Nikki Burgess     

Year 2 Teaching Assistant


Jacqui Warden

Year 2 Teaching Assistant


Katie Rhodes


Year 3 Teaching Assistant


Jason Tomlin

Year 3/4 Teaching Assistant



Year 4 Teaching Assistant



Karen Osmond                                        



Year 4 Teaching Assistant


Ruth Pettit

Year 5 Teaching Assistant


Kim Bates

Year 6 Teaching Assistant


Chris Vaughan

Year 6 Teaching Assistant


Michele Cook

Learning & Engagement Mentor


Emma Winter

Learning & Engagment Mentor


Deana Coleman

RWI Learning Tutor



Breakfast/After-School Club


Emma Winter


Michele Cook





Loraine Fuller





Individual Needs Support Staff



Mandy Golfin

Individual Needs Support

Carol Wardroper

Individual Needs Support

Deana Coleman

RWI Support TA


Support Staff – Midday Supervisors



Amanda Turnbull

Senior Midday Supervisor



Teresa Baldock

Midday Supervisor




Midday Supervisor



Loraine Fuller

Midday Supervisor


Emma Parkes

Midday Supervisor

Loubna Bouzid

Midday Supervisor



Deborah Smith

Midday Supervisor




Office/Site Supervision Staff





Gill Hulls

Business Manager

Gill has been the Business Manager at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy since December 2007. She has responsibility for Finance, HR, Health & Safety and line management of the Office, Site and Midday Supervisory Teams. Gill gained the Certificate in School Business Management in March 2013 and became a Member of the Institute of Administrative Management. She also gained the CIPD Level 3 qualification in Human Resource Management in 2017. Before working at Blacklands, Gill was the Multi-Agency Co-ordinator for The Grove College, a secondary school in Hastings which has since become The St. Leonards Academy. She worked with outside agencies to improve the lives of the young people by encouraging communication between the school, home and other agencies, and by putting support in place to help the young people succeed.  Before having children, Gill worked for various large companies, dealing with sales ledger accounts.




Kim Evans

SEN Admin



Emma Gasson

Finance Assistant/School Secretary


Jacqui Childs


Inclusion and Admissions Officer

Dave Haines

Site Manager

Anita Holohan



Cheryl Pook




Dawn White


Richard Harvey-Sharp