Junior School Teaching Staff

Vikki Meier
Head of the Junior School
I started working at Eltham College in 2016, after nine years at Chigwell School, where I sat on the Senior Leadership Team, developing Pastoral Care. I have also previously taught, and been a Head of, Science and ran a Sixth Form boarding house for several years.
My background means that I am passionate about the role of STEM education in schools and the critical importance of wellbeing, particularly with regard to respect towards others and embracing difference. I believe that a love of reading underpins everything in both education and life, and would like to see all children ‘living’ thousands of lives through books.
As a person, I would describe myself as approachable, methodical, calm and reflective, ever striving to become a better version of myself. My two greatest interests are travelling and reading, but I am also a keen amateur photographer, theatre-goer, hiker, swimmer and wildlife-watcher. I am also a ‘Tolkienite’, who has amassed close to 400 English language editions of his books, but do not despair, I never raise it in conversation. One thing I do like to raise, especially when reminding students how different things were in the past, is the only time I have ever won anything in a competition: an Atari Lynx, in 1992, via a ‘finish the sentence’ tie-breaker question on the back of a cereal box. I still have it today.

Andrew Taylor
Deputy Head of the Junior School (Pastoral)
My previous teaching experience has seen me work in a range of schools, from relatively small to very large, all located in Surrey or SW London. I served as Head of English at both Notre Dame Preparatory School in Cobham and Wimbledon High Junior School before moving to a Senior Leadership Team position at Kew Green Preparatory School. It was always going to take a special school to motivate me to transition away from SW London, but I’m delighted to say that Eltham College Junior School is indeed a very special place, and when I was offered the chance to take up the Pastoral Deputy Headship here, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. I have always believed that pastoral care of the pupils is our foremost responsibility as educators, and that nothing is more important than keeping the children happy, safe and nurtured; I am pleased to say that these are core values at Eltham College, which is one of the many reasons I felt so at home here the moment I first walked through the door. Having spent most of my teaching career as an English and Drama specialist, it feels a little strange to find myself (mostly) away from the classroom, but in fact my role as Deputy Head now affords me the opportunity to get to know all of the pupils in the school in a way that was far more challenging as a classroom-based practitioner. Away from school, I am an avid reader and theatre enthusiast. I have written and directed several plays and musicals which have been staged at venues as diverse as the Soho Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre, Pleasance Islington, Battersea Arts Centre, Lowry in Manchester and the Edinburgh and Latitude Festivals. I am also a keen cyclist who enjoys the freedom of riding out into the countryside on a summer’s day; I’m less enthusiastic when it’s cold, and decidedly averse to cycling in the rain – mostly because I once did so in a heavy downpour and broke my arm as a result!

Nicki Devon
Deputy Head of the Junior School (Academic)
Before coming to Eltham College Junior School I was Head of English at Blackheath Preparatory School, where I worked for 13 years. Teaching was a career change for me; I worked as a professional orchestral violinist in my twenties, touring with various orchestras and opera companies including the Halle, Carl Rosa Opera and the Malaysian Philharmonic. Though I still love playing the violin - I can regularly be seen playing in the band for the various musical productions at Eltham College - I decided the life of a touring musician wasn’t for me and that I would follow in the footsteps of both of my parents and my sister and become a teacher.
I believe that all our students have a right to access the very best that has been created both culturally and scientifically, as well as in thought and ideas. This philosophy underpins all work on curriculum design here at Eltham College Junior School, ensuring that the children are always challenged and enthused. Our students may still be very young, but I feel strongly that this should never diminish our expectations of what they might achieve here and now.
I’m dedicated and methodical in my role, and I get a real sense of enjoyment and pride from working with talented colleagues and fantastic students. I remain particularly passionate about English, and firmly believe that an enthusiasm for literature comes from great teachers reading great books with their students. I share a love of reading with many of my colleagues, and one of the highlights of my week is the Transition Book Club, which I run jointly with Senior School staff in the Mervyn Peake Library.
In my spare time, I like to combine my love of France and all things French with my passion for music by playing in a trio in a French wine bar! I counterbalance my French cheese-eating habits by going running regularly, and I am proud to have run the London Marathon in 2016. My greatest party-trick is counting up to 31 in binary on the fingers of one hand; I don’t seem to have been invited to many parties recently!

Mark O'Dwyer
Head of Co-curricular and Head of Games
I've worked at Eltham College since 1994. This has been my one and only job (excluding being the Head of a Language School during my University holidays.)
I am generally a patient person and I'm a good communicator. I approach most situations from a fun-loving point of view and try to make learning accessible and enjoyable. Games is my real passion, though, with Rugby being the sport I love most. I also really enjoy teaching Maths.
I am a keen scuba diver and have travelled to far-flung places to pursue my underwater adventures. I'm also a keen snowboarder and lead the Junior School Ski Trip. Music is somewhat of an obsession of mine and I am an avid record collector.

Nicki Chamberlain
Head of Years 3 and 4 and Head of Art
I have been working at Eltham College since 2002; before this I worked at a Primary School in Lewisham. I am Head of Years 3 and 4; this means that I look after the overall pastoral care of all the students in the lower years. This gives me the opportunity to get to know the students and their parents really well. I believe that if you feel secure and happy in your environment, that is when you work at your very best academically. We want to cultivate students who have a positive outlook and plenty of resilience and determination to take on their future lives. At Eltham College, we work on the basis of respect and integrity and these skills are really important. We know that everyone makes mistakes, but it is how you deal with these and move forward that is the key.
I am also mum to two boys who have studied at Eltham College and a teenage daughter. My dual role as a teacher and a parent has given me a great insight into the needs of the students in my care as well as their parents. I like to think I am firm but fair in my approach, with a good sense of humour, a vital skill required for any teacher! I am also lucky enough to be Head of Art in the Junior School, which allows me to share my love of Art. I enjoy teaching new Art techniques and discussing artists and current exhibitions with my students. I also work hard to provide lots of opportunities for the students throughout the school to visit galleries and participate in workshops led by professional artists.
I have a gorgeous Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Alfie, whom I love to go on long walks with. I also enjoy skiing – I have been a regular member of the school ski trip for many years and feel there is nothing better than zooming down a mountain in the fresh air.

Iain Wearmouth
Head of Years 5 and 6
I have been at Eltham College since 2017 and love the challenge and variety that my role offers. As a Head of Year, I am really passionate about the pastoral side of the job – I believe that the social and emotional wellbeing of a student lies at the heart of what education is all about. As well as ensuring our students thrive academically, we want them to succeed as happy, confident and respectful people, ready to take on the challenges and opportunities the world provides. I believe in creating a culture in which mistakes are embraced and celebrated as a critical part of human development. This can only be achieved in a supportive and positive environment like the one at Eltham College Junior School, where having a sense of humour and positive attitude is key. It is important to me that children enjoy coming to school and lessons are fun and engaging. Having a good sense of humour is something that all children and teachers should embrace; it is key to taking on challenges, both inside and outside the classroom, with a positive mindset.
I have four daughters, who keep me on my toes and I love playing/watching sports like rugby, cricket, 5-a-side football and cycling. Other interests include cooking, photography, craft beer/coffee and going to the cinema. Aside from my children, my greatest achievement in life is running a sub 4 hour marathon and once being mistaken for Michael Cera.

Amanda Carey
Head of English
I have been teaching at Eltham College Junior School since 2014. I have had a diverse teaching experience, starting off as an English teacher in secondary schools. I taught GCSE and A levels at Ravens Wood and Blackheath High School before deciding to broaden my horizons firstly at Breaside Prep School then at Eltham College. My strongest attributes as a teacher are my compassion and my clear understanding that effective learning is not linear. I am keenly aware that each student learns in an individual way at an individual pace and as such I prepare and deliver bespoke lessons. I have an intrinsic passion for English and all things literary. Because of this, I have a very wide subject knowledge. I enjoy thinking of different ways to engage and inspire the children in my subject; English will never be dull for the students at Eltham College Junior School! I enjoy getting away from the city and will try and get to the beach as often as possible. Recently, I have been enjoying stand up paddle boarding. I also had my first surf lessons in Cornwall last year, though I need many more. I also love photography. When I was at school I ran for Kent and London South East in the 100m and 4th leg in the 100m relay. I also swam backstroke for London South East. I'm a very proud Old Elthamian and will always be a passionate member of Chalmers house.

Sam Oliver
Head of Maths
I have worked at Eltham College Junior School since 2016. Prior to joining the school I spent nine years at Balgowan Primary School in Beckenham, where I was the subject co-ordinator for Maths.
I am a passionate and committed teacher of primary Maths. I am determined to give children the grounding in conceptual understanding and mathematical communication alongside a pure, simple enjoyment of the subject which will hopefully lead to a desire to study it for a long time!
I have run tag rugby clubs and teams throughout my teaching career, and am a specialist in this form of the sport which is played in Year 3 at Eltham College Junior School. Since joining the school, I have also had my interest in chess rekindled as I attempt to avoid being beaten by a child during the weekly chess clubs I am involved in!
My current sporting activity of choice is running. Every weekend you'll more than likely see me taking part in one of the many local parkruns - sometimes 'buggy running' with my daughter Bethany accompanying me as an extra challenge!

Neil Dale
Head of History
I have been at Eltham College Junior School since 2015. Prior to joining, I spent 20 years working at co-ed Junior Schools in Biggin Hill and Chislehurst. I started my working life as a field archaeologist, having graduated with a degree in Ancient History and Archaeology.

Unsurprisingly, History is the subject I am most passionate about, with Games a not-too-distant second. However, I enjoy teaching a whole range of subjects. One of my biggest strengths is my enthusiasm for the subjects I teach. I always feel that if I can demonstrate my interest in a subject it draws the children in and brings them along on the learning journey. My experience and the wide subject knowledge I have gathered mean that I can deliver all aspects of the curriculum to children - taking into account different ways of learning and their specific needs.

I enjoy being active and play both five-a-side football and rugby on a regular basis. I love to travel and visit new places and spend much of my time on walking holidays. I have a strong interest in history and always enjoy visiting places of historic interest. I combine the love of travel with history when I take part in historical re-enactments in different countries. Being at Waterloo for the 200th anniversary of the battle was a special moment. I have always enjoyed using computers and spend time using 3D art packages as a creative outlet. Last, but no means least, I love getting lost in a book.

Nicola Tutchings
SENDCo and Head of Wellbeing and PSHE and the Library
I have worked at Eltham College since 2013, having previously worked at St Peter Chanel Primary School, a co-educational school in Sidcup.
I am committed to my role as Head of Learning Support; I studied at UCL University in London and am delighted to have completed the NASENCO course there. I’m also extremely proud of my contribution to the development of the library, having been involved in its complete refurbishment during my time here.
I have an interest in swimming, reading and, in particular, travelling. Recently, I have enjoyed exploring places such as Costa Rica, Australia and Bali. I have really enjoyed participating in the exciting sports these countries have to offer, such as white-water rafting, canyoneering and zip-lining. I have also loved learning about the local culture and the wildlife during my travels.

Mark Alexander
Head of Music
I have worked at Eltham College since 2014. Before that, I was Director of Music at Hallfield School, a co-educational Prep School in Birmingham after initially starting my career in secondary at Selly Park Technology College for Girls.
Outside of work, I have sung with Birmingham Opera Company in the Chorus on productions from Mozart to Verdi and nowadays I sing Bass in The Fourth Choir. It is a privilege to perform new music which we have commissioned, promoting contemporary music alongside well-known repertoire in some amazing venues across the city and in mainland Europe.
One of my biggest strengths is my understanding of how confidence in performance is built up. Students need to have opportunities on a small stage before being thrust in front of a huge audience if setbacks are to be avoided. I want students to experience the excitement of performing despite their nerves, leaving them wanting to get back out on stage rather than feeling crippling performance anxiety. For me, this is absolutely crucial; monitoring students' stress levels and mental health, and not putting them under undue pressure is one of the most important things that as adults we can do for children.
Spotting a student’s potential and drawing something out of them that they didn't realise was there is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job, along with a joy and satisfaction of a concert that has taken months to prepare coming together smoothly and seamlessly and being thoroughly appreciated by those on and off the stage.
Alongside Music, I have a passion for languages. Music itself is a language which transcends national borders and is able to unite us all. It evokes memories of people and places, makes us happy, makes us cry; we remember the lyrics to that 80s song but can't remember the name of the person that we were just introduced to! Languages, too, have a musicality to them and there is a plethora of repertoire in foreign languages which opens up a huge range of opportunities from opera to choral music. A language reveals something of a nation - its history and outlook on life. Speaking foreign languages also gives us access to literature and connected opportunities and experiences. This allows us to share our lives and to realise how much we have in common with one another, rather than focusing on our differences. Exactly the same is true of Music.

Hugo Timbrell
Head of Drama
I have been teaching at Eltham College Junior School since 2021. Before Eltham College I was teaching at Bute House Preparatory School for Girls, all the way in Hammersmith. As an inner London school there was often a fight for space, so I am thrilled that I can look out of my office window on sunny days and see the lush green playing fields of Eltham now instead. Prior to my education career I worked in various theatre venues in both London and New York City.

Since joining Eltham College, I have really enjoyed the co-ed environment, having come from a single-sex school. It really makes a difference to the learning environment in the classroom, and has meant that performances have been incredibly varied.

As the Head of JS Drama, I look forward to staging three productions a year with three different year groups. It is always the best part of the subject, watching the students work on the productions for a term, taking their ideas from little seeds to the final showstoppers.

As the curriculum lead, I like to offer a varied learning environment throughout the year to equip my students with a range of skills in the subject. They build these during their time in the Junior School, meaning they are prepared for Drama in the Senior School and beyond. Some of my favourite parts of the curriculum focus on my specialist knowledge in scriptwriting and comedy, something I have taken to Masters level at the prestigious Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

As a part-time member of staff, the time I don't spend at Eltham you can find me writing away, working on either plays or films, or facilitating writing workshops with theatres across London. My work has been produced and developed in various theatre around London and the UK.

Helen Sargeant
Head of Computing
I really enjoy teaching in the Junior School especially being able to welcome the new Year 3 pupils each September.
After graduating, I spent a couple of years working at different Media agencies but soon decided that an office job wasn’t for me! Once I’d completed my PGCE I spent four years working at Parish Church of England Primary school in Bromley where I taught both boys and girls. For three of those years I was Head of Design and Technology and for two of those years I was a Phase Leader across two year groups.
Having a degree in Physical Geography means that I am an active, outdoors kind of person and I enjoy hiking, canyoning, zip-lining and more. In my spare time, I also play golf and am trying to improve my tennis skills. When the weather isn’t so good, you’ll find me being creative indoors. I come from a musical family, and play the violin, harp and I love to sing. Cooking and paper crafts also keep me busy.
Having a wide range of interests and skills means I have a lot to offer in terms of lessons and co-curricular activities. I struggle to think of another profession which would provide me with the opportunities to engage with all of my hobbies and interests. Being able to do this brings excitement to my role as a teacher and I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm with our students. I’ll never say no to a challenge – perseverance and determination are what I’m all about.
If I had to choose one favourite subject, I would really struggle. I’ve always been interested in design and enjoy sharing this passion with my students. As my degree suggests, I also have a passion for Physical Geography and Geology. Having grown up with music teachers for parents, I have always been surrounded by music and love to celebrate our students’ achievements as well as listen to them perform, or even join in! My role as Head of Computing and E-Learning has helped me to develop more of an interest in coding and I am enjoying keeping track of the rapid advances in technology.

Toby Laubach
Head of Transition and RS
I joined Eltham College Junior School in 2017. Before joining I worked in a number of prep schools including Russell House and Eaton Square.

I am fascinated by current affairs; at university, I studied History and Politics. I like to read about the political changes happening around the world, and I'm always amazed at how History seems to repeat itself. RS is also a subject I feel passionately about. The world is an exciting and diverse place and it is so important that people know this so that mutual respect is fostered.
Throughout my life, Rugby has been a great love of mine. Limping off the pitch on a Saturday after a hard-fought contest is always a fantastic feeling. So of course I really enjoy teaching Games! So many important values are incorporated into sport and I really feel that a healthy body helps achieve a healthy mind.
I enjoy encouraging a love of knowledge and fostering in my students an interest in the world around them. I am part of a quiz team, so random facts and trivia are a great interest of mine!
I live in Kent with my wife Sophie, who is also a teacher, and daughter Ottilie and son Kit. I have a dog called Bear, whom I adore taking for long walks, which is just as well because I also adore food - both eating it and creating it – probably a little too much!

Michelle Johnson
Head of Design Technology
I started work at Eltham College in 2013 when I joined as a Year 4 form tutor and also Head of Design Technology. Prior to working here, I taught in a three-from entry, co-ed school in Bexley. During this time, I spent seven years teaching Year 6. Much focus was placed on helping to prepare students for their 11+ and SATs exams.

I like to think that one of my strongest characteristics is being friendly and congenial with my students. It is always important that the children feel they can share any problems, worries or concerns with an adult, without being afraid or hesitant. Having a good rapport with my classes takes away any anxieties that may be there, thus resulting in a positive learning environment.
I am most passionate about teaching English and Art and Design. Both subjects allow for children to be creative in different ways.
Outside of school my main hobby is horse riding. I have been riding for over 20 years and still like to go to the stables several times a week. I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity at Eltham to take students horse riding during one of our co-curricular clubs. I am also interested in keeping abreast of environmental issues that are happening all over the world, and leafing through a copy of National Geographic is a favoured pastime of mine.

Will Schaper
Head of Geography
I have worked at Eltham College Junior School since September 2003. I previously worked at Merton Court in Sidcup, for four years, which was also co-educational.
I enjoy teaching a wide range of subjects to the students, including English, Maths, Humanities and Games, which I have done since the start of my career in 1999. I have also recently started teaching Geography to Year 7 students in the Senior School. I am currently a Year 6 Form Tutor, as well as being Head of Junior School Cricket and I am in charge of the Year 5 and Year 6 residential trips to Norfolk and France respectively.
I used to play rugby for many years at Old Elthamians before injury forced me to retire. Since then I have kept my fitness up by joining an off-road cycling club which meets every week in the evenings, come rain or shine!

Harry Mitchell-Morgan
Year 6 Tutor and Editor of The Elthamian
I have been at Eltham College Junior School since 2017. Before starting teaching here, I worked for the Girls Day School Trust before taking some time out to write my novel, H2Orphans.
I believe in ‘education with humour’ and a firm but fair approach. My qualities as a teacher include enthusiasm and self-motivation, but I am also self-analytical and am constantly trying to improve in my work. I try to instil these qualities in the students I teach. A world-champion public speaker in my youth, I now try to listen as well as I lecture! My particular passions are in the core subjects of English, Maths and Science.
Outside of school, I am a keen surfer and runner and I have recently taken up playing the bagpipes!

Beth Martin
Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Before joining Eltham College, I taught French for 5 years in Hong Kong at two excellent International schools; Harrow International School teaching at secondary level and Kellett School, where I taught Years 3-6.

I have 17 years' experience of teaching Modern Foreign Languages (French, Italian and German) at both independent and comprehensive schools. I have taught languages at GCSE and A level as well as introducing the Key Stage 2 French curriculum at Eltham College Junior School. I am a former Head of Department in a girls' school and I have also taught in a co-educational primary school. My real passion now is the development of the French curriculum at Eltham College Junior School. In addition to delivering French lessons to all students, I also love teaching Netball to the Eltham girls twice a week in Games lessons and in our after-school Netball club.

I enjoy travelling to far-flung places, cycling, swimming and socialising with friends. I used to row competitively, but with a busy job and two children I can’t quite fit in training five times a week nowdays!

Haishan Pan
Mandarin Teacher
Prior to my role at Eltham College Junior School I worked at Knightsbridge and Whitgift schools, providing Mandarin teaching, tutoring and language-support for students from reception through to secondary school age.
I was raised and schooled in China, which has a different type of approach to teaching from the UK, and because I have experience in both education systems my teaching methodology draws positive benefits from both.
As a languages teacher, I am particularly passionate about Modern Foreign Languages. However, I believe languages are not stand-alone subjects and the learning should not end when the language lesson finishes. Students’ learning is infinitely enhanced when they are exposed to cross-curricular activities and real life situations. Rote learning of a language is not enough; our students need to know the history and culture of a country to fully appreciate its language. I really enjoy collaborating with colleagues to encourage integration of language-learning across the curriculum.
I am a fitness fan, particularly in running and swimming. I have participated in Race for Life events, and run regularly. I am also a member of the badminton and table tennis clubs at my local gym. Cooking is also one of my interests, I grew up in a big family who treasured delicious homemade meals and this has been passed on to me. Last but not least, I like reading and listening to music. This is not just a hobby, but it’s a daily habit which I cannot live without. My own children have inherited this from me!

Lata Madduri
Cover Supervisor
I have worked at Eltham College Junior School since August 2018. Before this, I worked at Blackheath High Junior school as a Teaching Assistant for nearly ten years. I also have experience working with younger children in pre-schools and nurseries in the South East London area.
I am a caring, patient and hard-working person who enjoys teaching and works tirelessly to contribute towards the progress and overall wellbeing of the students. Being a Zoology graduate, I enjoy teaching Biology and have over the years developed a keen interest for teaching Mathematics and PSHE.
I have dedicated some of my time to teaching Carnatic music (a South Indian classical music form) to children in my community and to performing at some of the cultural gatherings.
In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, listening to music, travelling and meditating.