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.


Mr S Hawthorne

Inclusion Manager


Prior to joining Ark Blacklands as Inclusion Manager, Simon Hawthorne worked at a secondary school in Brighton for six years as the Head of Year Seven & Transition.  He was responsible for managing the pastoral care and welfare of all Year Seven pupils as they transitioned from their primary settings.

He was a member of the leadership team that improved pastoral support across the school, including improving standards of behaviour, attendance, and the level of support for disadvantaged and SEND pupils. Simon also taught Mathematics from Years 7 to 11 to GCSE A* Grade, and designed a number of initiatives that transformed teaching approaches across the school, including the introduction of the Growth Mindset Initiative. He was also responsible for organising and leading the School Ski Trip for three years.

Simon graduated from Kingston University with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Primary Teaching in 2000. He has since achieved a Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Professional Education Studies from the University of Brighton, as well as a Post Graduate award pending as part of his SENCo role from the University of Chichester.

Simon has worked for a number of Primary Schools in Sussex, Surrey and London, where he has taught Years 3 – 6. Simon has a specific passion for working with vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils, and firmly believes that every single child should have access to an aspirational and high quality education regardless of their social background or their specific needs.


Ms S Bowe     

Leader of Learning: Reading

Sam is an experienced teacher who has worked in a range of different settings. 

As the lead for Read, Write inc at Blacklands, Sam has developed our amazing team of readng teachers and helped ensure our children develop the phonics skills they need to become fluent readers. Our phonics results in year 1 have improved year on year due to the effective leadership in this important area of early learning. 


Ms V Harrington

Leader of Learning: Writing

Victoria has always wanted to pursue a career in education as she was inspired by both her parents who work in the education sector as teachers. Victoria completed her BA (Hons) in Primary Education at the University of Brighton before completing her NQT year at a small village school in Rye and then joined the Blacklands team in 2008. Her specialism at University was Mathematics, however, being involved in the Talk for Writing project over the last 4 years has led to her becoming the lead of Writing for the school. She began her teaching in lower Key Stage 2, working in Year 4, then moved to Year 5 and has been teaching Year 6 for the last 2 years. Before leading on writing, Victoria led Art and was involved in computing in Key Stage 2, running a computer programming club.      

As the lead of Writing, Victoria runs INSET and staff training days on Talk for Writing and Grammar. She is also involved in the lead teacher programme which involves mentoring colleagues to ensure as teachers we share best practice and continue to develop our own skills.

Sport has always been a keen interest and Victoria, as a child, has competed at county level in badminton and swimming. In her NQT year, Victoria completed an ASA swimming coaching qualification and enjoyed coaching the children at Blacklands when required in the summer term.


Ms R Bevan

Phase Leader: EYFS 

Rebecca studied at the University of Brighton completing a BA Honours degree in Education specialising in Advanced Early Years before joining Blacklands in 2008. 

Rebecca began her career teaching in Year 1 and taking on the role of Design and Technology Coordinator. She then joined the EYFS team and became the Computing subject lead. 

In 2015 Rebecca became the EYFS lead teacher and has a clear focus on developing the Early Years at Ark Blacklands to become outstanding. Rebecca is currently participating in the Lead Practitioner programme and has taken on the role of a mentor for Teach First Participants.


Mrs D Jones

Phase Leader:  KS1                

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 K Meek

Phase Leader: LKS2                

After graduating from Bath Spa university in 1995 with a BSc(QTS) honours degree, Karen returned to the local area to begin her teaching career. Karen has taught in a number of large primary schools throughout the area. As a class teacher she has taught across all year groups of the primary range. She has held various responsibilities including Humanities curriculum leader and mentoring newly qualified teachers. Currently, Karen is Phase leader for Lower Key Stage Two and Instructional lead teacher. She particularly enjoys seeing every child given the opportunity to develop educationally, socially and emotionally into unique individuals. After school, Karen loves spending time with her young family,  visiting the theatre and places of interest.


Ms C Shaw

Phase Leader: UKS2                  

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 L Vincent

Maths Mastery School Lead

Lynsey studied at the University of Roehampton, gaining a BA (Hons) degree in Art for the Community with Qualified Teaching Status, specialising in 3-6 year olds.

After graduating, Lynsey moved to East Sussex to start her teaching career in Hastings. She was responsible for leading the Art curriculum across the school and later went on to lead Literacy across Key Stage 1 and 2. During this time, Lynsey gained experience in teaching in EYFS, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

In 2008 Lynsey went to manage a school-based nursery in Hailsham, securing an OFSTED grading of Outstanding. As part of her role as English Lead teacher, she supported the implementation of Talk for Writing across the school, leading training for teachers and TA’s.

Lynsey joined Ark Blacklands in 2013, where she has developed a passion for raising the standards in Maths through teaching the Mathematics Mastery Program. She is now working as the Mathematics Mastery Lead, developing the program across EYFS, Key Stage One and into Key Stage Two.

When she is not at school, Lynsey enjoys spending time with her family and a new found interest in baking and cake decorating.


Ms N Bartlett

EYFS Class teacher


Miss B Hackett-Evans

EYFS Class teacher


Mrs R Golding

Year 1 Class teacher


Ms F Hunt

Year 1 Class teacher


Miss N Childs

Year 2 Class Teacher


Mr D Barton

Year 2 Class teacher


Ms F Parker

Year 3 Class teacher


Ms P Harvey

Year 3 Class teacher


Ms J Humphreys


KS2 Class teacher

Ms P Gray

Year 4 Class teacher


Ms D McDonald

Year 4 Class teacher


Ms N Edouard

Year 5 Class teacher


Mr J Coram 

Year 5 Class teacher


Mr D Regnier

Year 6 Class teacher


Support Staff – Teaching Assistants


Janet Jarvis

Higher Level Teaching Assistant


Debbie Bolton

Senior Inclusion Teaching Assistant


Annie Webb

EYFS Teaching Assistant


 Marie Paine

EYFS Teaching Assistant


Claire Gasson

EYFS Teaching Assistant


Katie Rhodes

Year 3 Teaching Assistant

Inga Pretorius

Year 1 Teaching Assistant

Nikki Burgess     

Year 2 Teaching Assistant


Jayne Rowe

Year 1 Teaching Assistant


Jacqui Warden

Year 1 Teaching Assistant


Faye Wright    

Year 2 Teaching Assistant



Year 3 Teaching Assistant 


Jason Tomlin

Year 3 Teaching Assistant


 Kimberly Booker

Year 4 Teaching Assistant


Emma Winter


Year 4 Teaching Assistant

Karen Osmond                    


Year 3/4 Teaching Assistant


Ruth Pettit

Year 5 Teaching Assistant


Letitia Banford

Year 5 Teaching Assistant/HLTA



Year 5/6 Teaching Assistant


Chris Vaughan

Year 6 Teaching Assistant

Michele Cook

Learning & Engagement Mentor

Deana Coleman

RWI Learning Tutor


Breakfast/After-School Club



Emma Winter


Michele Cook





Lorraine Fuller


Anita Holohan



Individual Needs Support Staff



Mandy Golfin

Individual Needs Support

Deana Coleman

Individual Needs Support

Carol Wardoper

Individual Needs Support


Support Staff – Midday Supervisors




Donna Martin

Senior Midday Supervisor



Teresa Baldock

Midday Supervisor




Midday Supervisor



Lorraine 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. 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 such as Children’s Services, the Police, Substance Misuse Team and the School Nurse to improve the lives of the young people at the school 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 Barclays Commercial Services in the Factoring department, dealing with sales ledger accounts. She is currently undertaking a CIPD course in Human Resource Management.




Kim Waters

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