Jonathan Rowe, MA (UEA), Head of Sixth Form
Jonathan read History at Reading University before completing a Master’s degree in History at the University of East Anglia. He began his teaching career in 2004 as a History Teacher at Plume School in Essex, before moving to Farlingaye High School in Suffolk. From here Jonathan moved to Colchester Sixth Form College where he led the Ancient History Department and taught Modern History and Classical Civilisation. He then moved to Battle Abbey School in East Sussex, undertaking numerous roles, including Head of History, Head of Lower School, Deputy Head of Boarding and Head of Sixth Form. Jonathan has a strong interest in assessment. He is a Principal Examiner for A-Level History and a fellow member of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors. Jonathan joined John Lyon in 2018. He has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of the Sixth Form.
Stephen Mepham, BD (King’s College, London), MA (London), Head of Higher Education and Assistant Head of Sixth Form
After completing a degree in Theology at King’s College London, Stephen entered the Anglican priesthood. In midlife he changed his vocation to that of teaching and began a teaching career at St Clement Danes School in Chorleywood where he was subject leader of the Religious, Ethical and Philosophical Studies department. Stephen was very actively involved in the life of the Sixth Form as a Form Tutor and as the Extended Project Qualification Coordinator. It was there that he developed an interest in the process for university applications. In January 2017 he moved to John Lyon as Head of Religious Studies and Philosophy and took on the role of Head of Higher Education. He became Assistant Head of Sixth Form in 2018.
Alex Ferguson, BA (Reading) (OL), Head of Lower Sixth
Alex is an Old Lyonian who went on to study a BA in French at the University of Reading, followed by several years living and working in both France and Spain teaching English and French. Alex returned to the UK to study a PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University before returning to John Lyon as a Teacher of French and Spanish. He is the Head of Butler House as well as the Head of Lower Sixth. Alex enjoys coaching School football and cricket teams.
Philip Berry, BA (Bristol), Head of Upper Sixth
After graduating from the University of Bristol with a BA in Hispanic Studies, Philip worked in the advertising industry for five years before undertaking a PGCE at the Institute of Education. He has been a Head of Year across different year groups and enjoys the pastoral opportunities that this offers. Philip is also Head of Spanish with the responsibility for ensuring excellent academic results. As Head of Upper Sixth, he helps guide boys in their final year of A-Level study, setting them on the path to their future studies and employment – a role he greatly enjoys.
Maria Trafford, MA (Glasgow) BTh (Brunel), responsible for Oxbridge, EPQ and Academic Excellence
Maria read Psychology at the University of Glasgow and, following her Masters degree, took her PGCE in English intending to complete a doctorate in Educational Psychology. She began her career in Easterhouse, Glasgow in 1990, an area of extreme urban deprivation. Maria was Head of English (Acting) in Easterhouse and then appointed as Head of English at Trinity High School, Glasgow where she worked for a further four years. She was also a marker for the Scottish Exam Board and involved in the launch of National testing for KS3. Maria took the opportunity to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Theology when she moved to London in 2000 and spent several years running childhood bereavement programmes for the NHS. Returning to teaching in 2006, Maria worked at Bishop Ramsey School, Ruislip as Second in English and with responsibility for KS5 attainment. She has also marked and moderated for the AQA A-Level Literature series. Since moving to John Lyon in 2016, Maria has developed the Excellence Programme and taken a leadership role in the Sixth Form responsible for the Extra Project Qualification, Oxbridge, Academic Excellence and Enrichment. Maria also co-organised and presented a talk at the 2019 TEDxJohnLyonSchool event. She is particularly interested in enabling students to find their passion and achieve the best they can.
Shira Patel, BA (Birmingham), Head of Careers
Shira has a BA Honours in Philosophy and Theology and completed a Postgraduate Certificate of Education at Roehampton University. She believes that career education is vital for our students as it provides motivation for learning and success. Learning is important, but having a goal adds stimulation and focus. The careers programme allows students to prepare for the transition into working life and informs the choices that will lead to fulfilment and success. Shira is a Teacher of Religious Studies and Philosophy.
Marion Harper, PG Dip CG (London South Bank), Careers Adviser
Marion has a Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance and has been employed as a Careers Adviser for 20 years. Her role in the Careers Department is to provide information, advice and guidance in an impartial and objective way both via personalised interviews and small group events. Working closely with Miss Patel, Marion organises a programme of events throughout the year including STEMNET (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) visits and talks. She also runs drop-in clinics, which are a great way to meet the boys in a more informal manner, enabling her to assist and guide boys as they research and consider their next steps.