My name is Miss Atkinson and I teach the Year 3 and 4 children in Ocean Class. I moved to Dorset three years ago after seven years living and teaching abroad.  Prior to that I taught at inner city schools in London.  So moving to Dorset has been quite a change, but I absolutely love it, and I'm excited to have joined Shillingstone Primary School.  In my spare time I love to walk in the Dorset countryside and along the beautiful coastline.  I also like to travel, read and cook. 

My name is Mr Wharton and I teach in Desert Class on a Thursday. I have worked at Shillingstone Primary for many years as a supply teacher but I am now pleased to be at the school on a more regular basis.

My name is Mrs Dowling and I joined Shillingstone Primary in September 2019. My career in teaching spans seventeen years and I have worked in a variety of schools, across three counties. I am the school's SENCo and work on Wednesdays. I am passionate and committed in supporting the children and staff team. I live locally, with my husband and young daughter. We have a horse named 'Santo' and a dog called 'Bear'. I love horse riding, dog walking, family days out and reading great books.

My name is Mrs Jane Whitehouse-Sharpe and I am the Headteacher of Shillingstone CE VA Primary School.  In school, I am the Assessment, Pupil Premium and Inclusion Leader. My role also includes being the Designated Safeguarding Officer, Looked After Children teacher, a main first aider and a member of the governing body.  I thoroughly enjoy working in the school and working alongside such a dedicated team.  When I am not at school, I really enjoy walking my dog and I love to go sailing and swimming.


My name is Sarah Vail. I teach the oldest children in the school, Years 5 & 6 in Desert Class. I joined Shillingstone Primary in September 2008 and thoroughly enjoy my job! I joined the Governors in Spring 2010 and I have been part of the Senior Leadership team since September 2010, in the role of Deputy Head. In school, I am also responsible for leading Numeracy and French, co-ordinating Educational Visits, Deputy Safeguarding Officer and E-Safety leader. Whilst Mrs Swaffield is on maternity leave, I am also leading PE. Our school building and grounds are fantastic; I feel very lucky to work in such a lovely place! I live in Wimborne with my husband, Matt and my two sons, Joseph and Thomas. We have two Golden Retrievers: a sensible nine-year-old called Roo and a three-year-old called Arla. We also have a cat called Marble. When I am not at school, I like to spend time with my family and be outdoors as much as possible. Our favourite family activity is walking with our dogs in the local woods or on the beach.


My name is Mrs Bray and I teach mainly in Jungle Class alongside Mrs Panther. I teach in Jungle class at the beginning of the week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On Fridays, I teach in Woodland Class. I am the RE and Worship Co-ordinator which is a role I really enjoy because being a church school is an important part of what makes Shillingstone Primary school special.  When I am not at school, I am being ‘Mummy’ to my three lovely boys. We really enjoy going for walks and having any excuse to get messy.


My name is Mrs Panther and I teach in Jungle Class with Mrs Bray. I started in September 2016 and teach at the end of the week, on Thursdays and Fridays. I have been a teacher since 2007 and have spent most of my career in Cornwall, moving back to Dorset in 2015. I live with my husband Chris (a detective in the police force), my four-year old son, Archie (who goes to school in Spetisbury), Rose, my three-year old daughter and our dog, Peanut and cat, Rocket. I love to read scary books and run as often as I can. I did my first triathlon last summer and hope to do more this year.

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My name is Mrs Hillier and I teach Years 1 and 2 in Woodland Class. I joined at Shillingstone Primary in September 2016 and feel extremely lucky to be working in such a fantastic school. I live in Gillingham with my husband, three children - two of whom are now at University - and three cats. When I am not at school, I enjoy watching various sports, especially rugby, as well as playing badminton.


My name is Charlotte Swaffield and I am teaching Years 3 & 4 in Ocean Class. I moved to Dorset, after working in Basingstoke, and absolutely love working in such a wonderful school! I started teaching at Shillingstone in September 2014. I am responsible for leading Literacy and P.E. I am really looking forward to supporting the children in the upcoming sporting events! I live in Milborne Port with my husband, Gavin and our very lazy cat, Hugo. My favourite thing to do in my spare time is curl up on the sofa with a good book!


SAST Company information

Sherborne Area Schools' Trust is a company limited by guarantee.
Registered office: Bristol Road, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 4EQ
Registered in England: 08130468


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