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Our Team

Jonathan Robinson - ALP Director/Induction Tutor

Jonathan Robinson has been teaching Modern Foreign Languages for 19 years and is a professional mentor for ITT. He graduated with a First with Distinction in German and Spanish from the University of Wales and has taught English in Germany and lectured in Education and Linguistics in China. He has led over 30 international educational study visits and exchanges and has run many extra-curricular clubs from the Arsenal Double Club for younger linguists to Linguistics for Beginners and German Cultural History for A Level students.

Jonathan currently teaches German and Spanish to A level, but has also taught Latin, Mandarin and Portuguese. He has a Masters with distinction in Leading Learning from Hertfordshire University. Jonathan has held many posts in school including subject and departmental leadership, and is currently on the senior leadership team with accountability for driving the Advanced Learning Partnership as well as promoting the Single Equality Duty at Dame Alice Owen’s School and is the Professional Mentor for Initial Teacher Training. Jonathan has been a teacher tutor for MFL at Hertfordshire University for several years and works closely with the university on the delivery of their school-led PGCE.

He is a well-respected CPD trainer, resource developer and consultant in languages, an experienced leadership coach and a champion for tackling homophobia in school.

Jane Hart - Director of Teaching and Learning - Watford Grammar School for Girls.

In over 30 years of teaching History, Jane Hart has enjoyed the challenge of a number of roles in a variety of contrasting schools. During the last 17 years she has been Assistant Head, Director of Teaching and Learning and Acting Deputy Head at Watford Grammar School for Girls. She has specialized in Initial Teacher Training and Professional Development and recruitment. Jane also enjoys line managing several academic departments. She has recently been working on research based on how to evaluate progress through lesson observation.
She has worked very closely with Hertfordshire University, as a member of the Professional Advisory Group to the School of Education and chair of the School Direct Strategy group. She contributed substantially to the development and delivery of ‘Developing Professional Practice’ modules for PGCE students.
Jane has responsibility for the School Direct Programme for the Partnership, working as Lead Professional mentor and works closely with other members of the Partnership team to ensure that the CPD offer is innovative, broad and balanced. She has delivered training and professional development for a number of schools, Universities and in her role as a senior A level examiner.
She is a highly experienced A level teacher who relishes enhancing her knowledge of her own teaching subject.

Ian Cooksey - NLE

Ian Cooksey is the Headteacher of Watford Grammar School for Boys, which is a partially-selective comprehensive school. During his career to date, he has led a great variety of schools, including single sex (boys and girls), mixed, comprehensive and selective, representing schools in every Ofsted category. He joined a comprehensive school in Special Measures in 2010 as Head of School and helped to lift it out of that category in one year.

Not all schools need to change so much, so quickly, but all schools have a duty to their students to ensure that they do not stand still. Even outstanding schools need to change, for ‘outstanding’ is a relative term. Whilst it is true that all change does not lead to improvement, all improvement requires change.’

Ian has led CPD in several different schools to support the development of exceptional teaching and learning across the educational system. He has also supported schools seeking to enhance their self-evaluation frameworks and their approach to strategic planning. Having led one of the most financially efficient schools in the country, he has also developed some expertise in managing financial constraints, without adversely affecting outcomes – a challenge that many schools are being required to engage with in the current climate.

Most recently, Ian has been involved in the development and opening of a new Free School in the London Borough of Barnet.

Adam Cotton - Mentor

Designated specialisms: Leadership of CPD, PE, ITT and ECT development. Based at Dame Alice Owen's School.

Adam has been teaching physical education for 18 years, has been a head of department for 10 & an AST for 7. He is also now Head of the House System at DAOS. He has a passion for all things teaching & learning, & in particular engaging learners, his specialist area being PE at exam level.

It is in the area of Engaging Learners that Adam has delivered INSET to over 20 schools both in Hertfordshire & further afield. Adam was invited to speak at the Sports Colleges National Conference in 2010 & for 5 years led the Advanced Practice Seminars programme for the Youth Sports Trust across the whole of England.

As a county AST Adam has provided INSET as part of the NQT programme on topics such as classroom practice, literacy & Outdoor Education. He also works with individual departments on developing practice and has also worked one-to-one with teachers in Hertfordshire.

At DAOS, one of Adam’s main roles is the sharing of good practice, through INSET - the PE department meet weekly for an INSET session - coaching & providing a toolkit of resources for teachers to use in the classroom.

Adam still displays his passion for teaching all facets of PE, curricular & extra-curricular. He has coached a National Cup winning football team, was invited to be a selector for England U18 Schoolboys, and has organised football competitions in the county for 20 years.

Amanda Davighi - ALP Education Expert

Based at Dame Alice Owen's School

Amanda has been teaching Design Technology for 34 years, having been a head of a very large successful department for 20 years and she was the first advanced skills teacher in England (June 1998). Recently she has been promoted to a Lead Practitioner specialising in teaching & learning. She has a real passion for her subject and can advise in the teaching and management for all specialisms in this subject. She enjoys all things related to teaching and learning, particularly assessment for learning, progress and planning in DT.

Amanda has previously worked at St Michaels (3 years); Garston and Mill Hill County High school for (24 years), and outreach work in a variety of Barnet schools.

Amanda has supported several schools with teaching and learning needs in DT across the county. Amanda has qualifications in coaching, through working with London Challenge and many years of coaching teachers in school and through her outreach work. She has attended most schools in Barnet and has a reputation for having excellent knowledge of the DT curriculum, advises on refurbishments, recruitment interviews, health and safety and has vast experience in observing and supporting teachers across the authority. She has assisted several primary schools in supporting the delivery of new Scheme of Learning in DT.

As a local authority AST Amanda has provided twilight networking events and INSET. She has been part of the NQT & middle leaders programmes. She also works with individual departments on developing good to outstanding practice and has worked one-to-one with teachers in several schools. She has advised head teachers on curricular developments, staffing abilities, writing of bids related to school specialism and sponsorships. Amanda has created school partnerships with Middlesex University and more recently Goldsmiths and encouraging close links within the STEM subjects throughout schools. Her students have successfully won several national design competitions, including The London Design Museum, Design Ventura Teacher of the Year 2016, STEM competitions and National Technology Challenges.

Alice Edmonds - ALP Education Expert

Designated specialisms: Geography. Based at Watford Grammar School for Boys.

I am a dynamic teacher of Geography, with experience of working within my own department, at a whole school level and with colleagues from various schools in the local area. 

As Head of Geography, I have experience of leading a successful and forward-thinking department. I have responsibility for the coordination and monitoring of teaching and learning across key stages 3, 4 and 5. I have worked as part of a team of external examiners for the GCSE Geography course and therefore I have a developed understanding of what is required for examination success. I am passionate about promoting the place and importance of Geography in the school curriculum and I have an MA in Geography Education. I am an effective manager of a team of specialist teachers and enjoy taking opportunities to share our department’s good practice with other schools and educators.

A particular interest of mine is the increasingly important role of Geographical Information Systems in school Geography. I am currently conducting research in to the benefits of using technology for learning in geography and how this is relevant to the new GCSE and A-level examination specifications. As a department, we are working on the introduction of ArcGIS software in to our schemes of work across all key stages and, in the next academic year, I intend to lead a ‘GIS in Geography’ support workshop for local geography teachers.

In 2016 I was awarded the Certificate of Teacher Leadership by the HertsCam network. I conducted a project about the use of growth mindset theory in schools and the role that this can play in ensuring effective feedback to pupils. This work has implemented new marking and assessment systems within my own department but also informed feedback policies both at a whole school level and across other schools in the area.

I have mentored several trainee teachers, some outside of the subject specialism. I understand how to support colleagues new to the profession and how to improve their teaching to maximise student progress. In addition to this, I work closely with a range of middle and senior leaders as part of various initiatives.

I am an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher and I am excited by the work that I may undertake as a Specialist Leader of Education.

Robyn Gibson - ALP Education Expert

Robyn Gibson – SLE

Designated specialism: Curriculum Development and Sociology. Based at Yavneh College.

I completed a degree in Psychology before completing my Secondary PGCE in Social Sciences at the Institute of Education. In 2014 I completed the Early Professional Development Course with the University of Hertfordshire and the Middle Leader’s course with the Advanced Learning Partnership.

I have had a passion for teaching and learning since being an NQT. I strive to stay up to date with innovative new practices. I have run whole school CPD sessions on implementing the flipped classroom, using Twitter, motivating students, strategies for teaching sixth form and delivering outstanding lessons.

After successfully establishing Sociology at Yavneh College as one of the most popular and successful A Level subjects, I worked as the Assistant Head of Humanities. I have helped to strengthen the teaching across the department by providing support to members across all key stages.

Keen to encourage team work, sharing ideas and to help teachers cope with changes to the new A Level specifications, I formed the Sociology Alliance in 2015. The initial event was attended by 20 sociology teachers from across the country. It was very successful. The second annual conference took place in June 2016 and follow up meetings have been held since then. I have worked as an examiner for AQA Sociology for several years.

In 2017 I took up a pastoral role as Deputy Head of Sixth Form.


Sian Jays

Designated specialism: Biology/Lead Practitioner Based at Dame Alice Owen's School.

Sian has been teaching for 24 years and joined Dame Alice Owen's School in 2005 as Science KS3 coordinator. Prior to this, Sian taught in Banbury for two years and at the Kensington School in Barcelona for five years.

In 2008, she became an AST and in 2017 completed a MEd in Leading Teaching and Learning. Sian is also now a Facilitator, providing training and support to local ECT mentors.

  • Our Team