Meet Our Staff

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Mary-Ann Ridgway

Head Teacher/Coordinator

Mary-Ann has been involved in Inwoods since its early beginnings in 1998. Having attended a few pilot group meetings with her eldest son (then only a few months old) she moved to the Brockwood area very excited to be part of a growing alternative educational project for young children supported by the Krishnamurti Foundation Trust. She has had the functional role of ‘Head Teacher’ for the past thirteen years, which includes ensuring everybody working at Inwoods sustains a deep, shared sense of responsibility for the place and each individual child.

Mary-Ann was a student at Brockwood Park from 1984 to 1989 having attended the gatherings at Brockwood with her parents and siblings for a number of years. She feels privileged to have had a few interactions with Krishnamurti in which she was touched by his unique affectionate presence. This, the teachings, and her enriching experiences at Brockwood have formed the key principles for her work at Inwoods Small School.

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Mariamah Mount

Teacher, SENCO

Mariamah was born in the US and spent much of her early life in areas of great natural beauty and diverse nature. She has lived and worked in different parts of the world and the love of nature and travel has deeply informed her interests in and connection with education. She attended the progressive Evergreen State College in Washington, where an integrational approach, global perspective and respect for the world are basic attitudes reflected upon and learned. There she finished a BA in English and Fine Arts and also discovered the books of Krishnamurti. She has settled in the UK with her husband and four children and began teaching at Inwoods in 2009.

Mariamah especially loves to help people learn to write creatively, work topically and make art and pottery. She sees all of these as exercises in observation and expression which are opportunities to let go of pre-conceptions of many kinds. She delights in the close relationships with the children at Inwoods, which allows both engagement in fun and light-hearted play, but also in guiding them towards – and through – challenges. The family feeling of Inwoods is more than a metaphor for Mariamah as her daughter attends Inwoods, and one of her sons just graduated last school-year.

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Suseela Kumaravel

Teacher

After completing a master’s degree in Biochemistry, Suseela began her career teaching secondary level Chemistry in the Blue Mountain School, in India. It was there that she discovered her heart was in education from a journey of understanding that occurred through dialogue, inspired by Krishnamurti’s teachings. She later worked as an assistant in a Waldorf Kindergarten, in New Zealand, an experience that kindled an urge to integrate art and craft into academic disciplines, and encouraged her to move into primary education, which she did at The Centre For Learning in Bangalore, where she worked in the Junior section for nine years.

Throughout her career, Suseela has been in schools that have cultivated and nurtured a spirit of enquiry in her, thereby equipping her to encourage the same in children. She has had the freedom to develop her own curricula and having been for many years in residential schools, has honed her natural skills in looking after the domestic needs of children. She joined Inwoods in 2010 and enjoys not only teaching Math, English, Science and puppetry but also being part of a child’s wholesome growth. She finds tremendous satisfaction in creating learning materials that match the needs of the children. At Inwoods, as in all the other schools where she has worked, she cherishes the importance given to connecting with the natural world.

She feels blessed to be part of a community of parents and a small team of teachers which poses challenges but also is supportive of meeting these challenges.

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Evelyn Mackintosh

Teacher

A qualified Montessori and Primary School teacher, Evelyn joined the team at Inwoods Small School in 2012. She has a degree in Creative Writing, and has been working in education for several years in primary schools and Montessori nurseries. She started off working with children in their homes, alongside their parents as a nanny.  These experiences  have allowed her to develop her own style and approach to teaching, with a willingness to include a plethora of alternative approaches to her teaching and learning. Evelyn in especially interested in observing how children learn through play and learning through real-life situations.

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Jez Quinton

Teacher

Coming from the south of England Jez chose Scotland as the venue for a first degree in languages and social sciences, before moving abroad to Spain for most of his adult life. It was through teaching English there that a calling to education was discovered, hence the decision to train at the Institute of Education with a PGCE Primary and modern languages specialization. Work in primary schools in London, the south of England and running a language school in Spain had led up to this wonderful chance to learn and teach with the children and adults at Inwoods.

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Heather Baseley

Part-Time Teacher

Heather has been clear about her interest to work with children for sometime, having enjoyed that sense of responsibility that came with looking after siblings and younger members of her family. 

Whilst completing her BA (Hons) Education at Roehampton University, she discovered alternative education styles but felt they were out of her reach, assuming that the only way into teaching was to do the standard mainstream training. She went on to get a SEN TA position at Holland Park School in London for a year, then returned to Portsmouth and was a SEN TA at The Petersfield School before beginning a Primary PGCE at Chichester University. She taught for 6 years in mainstream settings but never truly felt comfortable with the pressure and speed of teaching and learning that was imposed. She attended a weekly meditation class and that’s how she came to discover Inwoods’ existence.  

Finally, after volunteering at Inwoods on and off for about a year, Heather was offered the chance to join the staff team. She works mainly with the youngest group of children, in particular exploring the Montessori Maths materials with them, and enjoys offering craft and sewing activities for the older ones, as well as teaching songs to everyone.

When Heather is not at Inwoods she supply teaches in Portsmouth schools, carefully bringing in some of Inwoods’ ethos into the mainstream setting and enjoying seeing how much more the children appreciate being more fully listened to and how her manner is calmer and less rushed as a result.

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Yasmin Page

Part-Time Teacher

Yasmin was born in Sweden and moved to the UK in 2010 after travelling in India, Central and South America. She has a degree of Master of Education from Uppsala Universty specialising in in History and English. She has experience and taught in Swedish, international and UK schools, and prior to joining Inwoods worked as a learning support teacher and as a specialist one-to-one teacher for EAL and for children with additional needs.

Art and creativity, together with nature, are some of the most inspiring parts of the learning journey according to Yasmin.

She is very happy to be a part of the Inwoods community, to deepen her understanding of education and the teachings of Krishnamurti.

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Julie Munslow-Webster

Part-Time Recruitment Officer
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Joe Summerfield

Part-Time Cook and Guitar Teacher

Joe has three great passions: music, natural health, and creating a better experience for and with young people. He first visited Inwoods in 2012 and the approach of the school resonated deeply with him. He began teaching the guitar at Inwoods in 2014. Now in 2016, he also cooks at Inwoods.

Having taken up the guitar at an early age, Joe began gigging at the age of 14, and has performed, written, and recorded ever since. He has been teaching the guitar since 2004 – privately, in schools, and also assesses degree level applicants for the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM).

Joe has a life-long interest in food, movement, and wellbeing. He has worked in this field since 2008, establishing his own consultancy in 2015. His work as a nutritionist and lover of food lead him in to healthy catering for families and wellness events. The cooking he loves makes use of fresh seasonal ingredients and lots of herbs and spices. He is an advocate of the power that the right foods have to nourish us physically, emotionally, and socially. He considers it a great privilege to be cooking for the students at Inwoods.

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Eleanor Bodenham

Part-Time School Counsellor

Eleanor is a Person Centred therapist. Beyond the remit of formal therapy, she has worked for over twelve years in both a supportive and pedagogical capacity with children and young people; within residential, educational and medical settings. She has worked privately in London for the past six years: in schools providing specialised support and in private homes on a one-to-one basis with out of school children.