Chris Curtis (Head of Department 2016-17)
Chris graduated from Oxford University with a BA in Physics, followed by a PGCE. His first placement school was Bicester Community College, as was his first teaching job. In 2011, he left to go the Lord Grey School in Bletchley, before returning to The Bicester School in 2015 as Second in Science.
At school, Chris’s favourite subject was maths, although by the end of his A-Levels he realised that it was the application of logical thought processes and mathematics to real world situations that he enjoyed the most. Physics uses mathematics to explain how the universe works on every scale, from the expansion of the Universe to the forces holding individual atoms together.
Chris loves teaching when students start to become curious as to why things happen. Once you start to recognise the basic patterns and rules that govern one process you realise that you can apply the same logic and thinking to other subjects as well.
Chris Bridge (2nd in Science, 2016-17)
Chris read Biochemistry at Bristol University and spent a number of years in research before completing his PGCE also at Bristol University. Whilst studying for his PGCE, he started his first company, a recruitment agency. Several companies later, Chris was seconded to the Government to set up the “computers for work” scheme. Spending lots of time with schools rekindled his enthusiasm for teaching and he returned to the profession in 2012.
Chemistry is the science at the heart of everything that we do and as such plays a vital role in all aspects of life on earth. Chemists spend their lives solving problems and Chris spends most of his time in class encouraging students to think and work independently to solve problems. Chemistry is valued highly by employers because it equips student with skills that are transferable to virtually any career.
Jenny graduated from the University of Leicester in 2014 with a Masters in Physics. She then went on to achieve a PGCE in Physics with Core Science.
Teaching allows Jenny to combine her love of learning with her passion for Physics. Being able to challenge students to look at the world in different ways gives her great satisfaction.
Gareth Ladd (Head of 6th Form, 2016-17)
Gareth graduated from Sheffield University with a Masters degree in Zoology in 2003. Following a brief spell working in banking, he completed his teacher training at the University of York in 2006 and moved to work in Bicester the same year. He has held a variety of roles while working at Bicester, including Head of Year and Head of Faculty.
Gareth has a love of the natural world and enjoys doing anything that involves being outside.
Alistair McAulay (Head of KS4)
Alistair has a BSc in Biology and an MSc in Immunology, with 18 years experience in medical research and the pharmaceutical industry. He has taught Science at the Bicester School since entering the teaching profession in 2007. During this time, Alistair has held the posts of Head of Year, Head of House and Raising Standards Leader. As Head of House he was a part of the team that managed the successful introduction of our House system and vertical tutor groups.
Alistair has always been committed to the success of the school from both a teaching and parental perspective (both of his daughters attend the school.) He has a strong belief that the key to academic success is an environment which ensures pupils of all abilities are supported and their success celebrated.
Wayde Vardy (Assistant Headteacher)
Wayde graduated from Kingston University with a BSC in Analytical Science. He then worked in the field of pharmaceuticals for 10 years. Wayde qualified as a teacher in 2004, spending a year at The Cherwell School before moving to the Bicester School, where he has occupied a number of posts, including Head of Year and now Assistant Head.
Wayde has a passion for teaching and is an innovative practitioner and thinker. In 2013, he started the successful Saturday School, which offers all students in year 11 the opportunity to complete extra studies and catch up on coursework and revision.
Wayde grew up in Woodstock. He is married with three children and has a passion for travelling.
Kate Kirk (HLTA)
Kate started working at The Bicester School as a Learning Support Assistant for the Science Department in 2013. She became the Department’s Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) and now has a split timetable of teaching her own classes, supporting the Science department and the wider school subjects.
Kate previously taught on a Military preparation course, getting young adults prepared for selection into the Armed Forces or into Harrogate Foundation College, where she completed part of her teacher training. Kate also has experience of teaching in primary schools and special schools working with a wide variety of students with special educational needs and disabilities.
Kate recently completed a Degree in Business and Management with History. She lives on a working farm and helps out there when not at work. She also enjoys all sewing and art and has exhibited her work in a gallery.
Linda Bradbury (Technician)
Linda started work in 1974 as a trainee laboratory technician at the University of Oxford and now has more than 30 years’ experience as a laboratory technician, including ten years as a school science technician.
Linda joined The Bicester School in 2013 and enjoys the enthusiasm of staff and students and the variety of the role, where no two days are the same.
She is married with two grow up children and three grandchildren. She enjoys keeping a variety of pets herself, ranging from tarantulas and lizards to cats and dogs. Linda loves gardening, sewing and handicrafts.
Yvonne Goodson (Technician)
Yvonne arrived at The Bicester School in 2003, following a career in accounting and retail. She was made to feel at home right from the start.
Yvonne enjoys working here, as the staff and students are a great community and she finds it very rewarding to be a part of something that is so worthwhile.
Alison Steptoe (Technician)
After jobs in offices, microelectronic assembly and retail management, Ali decided she needed a new career and in 2005 applied for the post of trainee science technician at the Bicester School.
She loves the opportunity to learn something new every day. The tasks a technician does can range from helping year 6 students on their transfer days to planning year 13 physics practicals.
Outside work, Ali enjoys many styles of handicrafts and design. These hobbies have continued from her school days, when she started a handy crafts shop in Kidlington. More recent interests include Zumba fitness, swimming and travelling.