The first appointment is Linda Culling, Principal.
Linda was appointed in December 2016 through a rigorous selection process and against fierce competition.
Linda trained as a teacher of Physical Education at Bedford College of Higher Education graduating in 1991 with a Bachelor of Education (Honors) degree.
Linda began work as a teacher of Physical Education at 2 secondary schools in Swindon (Oakfield and St Joseph’s). A keen sportswoman, she played hockey for North Wilts and Swindon, football for the staff team at St Joseph’s and rugby for Chippenham Ladies. She then moved to John Cabot Academy in Bristol where she worked for 13 years gaining extensive pastoral and academic experience. Linda was co-author of a project based learning curriculum, which became nationally renowned and provided a unique learning experience for students.
She moved to Nova Hreod in Swindon in January 2013. Following the conversion to Academy status, she was appointed as Vice Principal (Raising Standards) and subsequently Nova Hreod became the most improved school in the southwest region with a 29% improvement in 5A*-C (including English and maths) GCSE
Linda’s teaching experience includes many subjects – Physical Education, Humanities (Geography, History and RE), PSHE, Project Based Learning and citizenship. Her expertise now lies in teaching mathematics. She studied for a Masters in Education at University of West of England and is currently continuing studies there at Doctoral level. Her research is focussed on improving the teaching of mathematics, especially for students who suffer with maths anxiety.
Linda is a committed Christian and has been a Licensed Lay Minister in the Bristol Diocese since 2000. She is a very experienced worship leader and youth leader, currently working in the Benefice of Corsham and Lacock.
Her core principles, a positive mind set, prayer, discipline, humility and perseverance are equally as important to her in her personal life as they are at school. Her main interests include golf and walking with her beloved cocker spaniel.
Our Assistant Principals are Mr Peter Scutt and Mrs Naomi Kear-Luckman
After completing a degree in Human Communication: Speech and Language Therapy and a PGCE I began teaching in Swindon in 2008.
My first school was similar to The Deanery in that it was a brand-new school which grew year on year. By being part of a new school there were a wealth of opportunities open to me. In 2010 I was awarded a teaching award for Outstanding New Teacher.
Since then, I have held a number of posts in several schools including being an Advanced Skills Teacher in an outstanding national support school; Head of Science and later Head of Science and Mathematics; Lead Practitioner and then a STEM Ambassador.
I have also been fortunate enough to be a national winner in the Let Teachers Shine competition and was awarded £35k to develop a science website to support students, teachers and parents with the new GCSE. More recently I was awarded a further £35k to support science in primary schools with the aim to inspire the next generation of scientists.
Outside of my teaching role I have been a parent governor at a Primary School, where I have supported its expansion from an infant to a primary school.
I have two children, my wife is a primary headteacher, and I love spending time with my family and walking our dog.
I knew from a young age that I always wanted to be a teacher and that I always wanted to teach PE.
I graduated as a secondary school teacher of Physical Education at the University of Gloucestershire in 2005. I went on to work in several Gloucestershire schools as a Head of Girls PE, with a personal focus on raising the profile of hockey. My path in education then took a different direction, where I followed the pastoral route, working in two very challenging, yet rewarding city schools; in Bristol and Birmingham. My drive and passion in this area of education has enabled me to progress to become a successful leader of safeguarding, behaviour and welfare, but fundamentally first, a leader and teacher of all students, who have been given the tools to thrive and flourish.
I am an avid sports fan and player, and I have recently been selected to represent Wales in the Home Nations and European Hockey Championships in 2019 and the World Cup in Tokyo next year. I play for Lansdown HC and will really enjoy playing Swindon HC on our fantastic new pitch!
My other interests include the theatre, snowboarding and spending time with my family. My favourite quote by Joyce Meyer represents my daily mind-set of determination, self-trust and positive affirmations:
Having a rough day? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason. Don’t give up.