Meet the St Dennis Team and read about our favourite children's books!
Senior Leadership Team
Mrs Cathy Brokenshire
Designated Safeguarding Lead
Designated Teacher for Children in Care
Online Safety Lead
Curriculum and Assessment Lead
Trust Wider Curriculum Lead
Matilda by Roald Dahl is a true favourite of mine. I was a huge fan of Roald Dahl as a child and remember it being published and buying my own copy. Just like Matilda, I would often be lost in a book and I continue to read every day! I love that no matter how difficult life is at times for Matilda, she is always positive, kind and brave in every way. The way Matilda uses her superpowers and pranks to outwit Miss Trunchball made me laugh! As a teacher and head teacher, I would definitely see myself as more of a Miss Honey!
Mrs Rachael Nash
Year 6 Class Teacher
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Teaching and Learning Lead
One of my favourite books, EVER, is Holes by Louis Sachar. I simply love the plot and the way that it is three stories all told at the same time, with years separating them. When all the connections are made at the end and the writer reveals how the stories and characters overlap, it still amazes me every time! I love the main character, Stanley. I feel like he is an unlikely hero, but never the less he triumphs in the end. It is a story of hope, friendship and pig stealing descendants. It will make you laugh and cry in equal measures.
Mrs Jo Waters
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
TIS Lead Practitioner
My favourite children's book, at the moment, is The Fox in the Dark by Alison Green.
I love this book because it is so much fun to read aloud: there are lots of great sound effects, you can use different voices for all the animals, it has a rhyming pattern and repetition for the children to join in with! My son loves foxes and other wild animals, so he loved this story.
There is also a really funny part, that makes us giggle every time we read it, but you'll have to read it yourself to find out!
Miss Lizzie Stokes
Reception Class Teacher
PSHE and RHSE Subject Lead
Mental Health Lead
Trust Lead Practitioner (EYFS)
One Snowy Night by Nick Butterworth is my favourite story.
Reading this story makes me feel happy and safe. Percy is a kind character, who cares for all of the creatures in the park no matter what mischief they are making!
I can't believe this story always makes me laugh, even though I've read it hundreds of times!
Mrs Becca Bateson
Reception Class Teacher
Maths Lead (EYFS and Key Stage 1)
Eco Council Lead
My favourite book is Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery. It is about an orphan who is adopted by a sister and brother who live on a farm, called Green Gables. She turns their lives upside down through her adventures, mishaps and imagination. I think the main reason I love it so much is that when I was eleven and first read it, I really wished I could live Anne's life or be her best friend. It all seemed so fun, free and exciting!
Mrs Michelle Lawford
Year 1 Class Teacher
My favourite book is The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson. It’s about a tiny snail who wants to go on great adventures, so he rides on a whale’s tale and sees magnificent places around the world! I love how the snail is so adventurous and that he gets to travel and explore different places. He even ends up saving the whale! It truly is a magical book filled with exciting adventures, and it even makes you think about how humans affect sea life and how to help them. It truly is an awesome book and makes you want to explore faraway places, although perhaps not on a whale’s tale!
Miss Phoebe Williams
Year 2 Class Teacher
Design Technology Lead
My favourite book is Knee-High Nigel By Laurence Anholt. The big giants have the brawn, knee-high Nigel has the brains, and together they build perfect castles. But when they fall out and split up, the result is a perfect mess. In the end, Nigel and the giants realise that teamwork is the only thing that will save the day. This book tells you all about how you can achieve everything! Even if there are things that may hold you back, you can still achieve what you set your heart to.
Mrs Beth Hay
Year 3 Class Teacher
Maths Lead (Key Stage 2)
The Boy Who Grew Dragons by Andy Shepherd is my absolute favourite because all the unexpected and hilarious events. Tomas is a normal school-age boy who leads a very normal life and loves to garden with his grandad. One day, he takes notice of an unusual tree at the bottom of the garden. Being the curious character that he is, he takes one of the tree's fruits home to inspect it. It turns out that this peculiar fruit is in fact a dragon egg grown from a dragon fruit tree! Suddenly, Tomas has to tackle raising a very mischievous baby dragon whilst hiding it from his unsuspecting family.
Mr Dave Bradbeer
Year 4 Class Teacher
I remember reading Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce and feeling that I had been transported into the book, wherever I might have been in real life. It is the first book that I could not wait to pick up again, to read the next part and find out what was about to happen.
Miss Laura Easlick
Year 5 Class Teacher
I love reading because it transports me to faraway places and takes me on exciting adventures. My favourite book is The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis because it’s such a magical story. When I first read it as a child, I was captivated by the idea of finding a hidden world during a game of hide and seek. The children in the story are evacuated from London during World War II and go and stay in a big, country house. Lucy discovers the land of Narnia inside a wardrobe, full of talking animals, mythical creatures and a White Witch. At first, her brothers and sisters don’t believe her, but they soon embark on unimaginable adventures together. I love reading this story aloud to the children in my class.
Mrs Hannah Pickford
Year 6 Class Teacher
Year 4 Class Teacher
Religious Education Lead
Physical Education Lead
My favourite book is The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson. It is about a dog called Nell who accompanies her owner Peter to school to hear the children read. One Monday, school smells wrong. The books have vanished! A thief's been at work. I began reading this story to my little girls at the beginning of the lockdown. It soon became a family favourite and we all know it off by heart. Besides the brilliant story and wonderful illustrations, I love the way Julia Donaldson's stories are written like a rhythmic poem and sound even better read and shared aloud.
Administration and Library
Mrs Julie Crawford
Enid Blyton was my absolute favourite author as a child and I think I had every book she had ever written. The Faraway Tree books were always my favourite as a young girl. I loved the wonderful characters that lived in the tree such as Moonface, Saucepan Man, Dame Washalot and Watzisname! I always tried to picture what all their little houses in the tree looked like. In every chapter, a ‘magical’ land would arrive at the top of the tree, which the children would visit and have amazing adventures. Truly magical!
Mrs Kylie Purshouse
My favourite children’s book is We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. This story reminds me of all the walks and adventures I go on with my own family and who knows, one day we may come across a bear? This book is a favourite bedtime story in my house. It’s a fun book to do all the actions and sounds as we read it together.
Mrs Shirley Truscott
Animalcolm is the first book I have read by David Baddiel and it will not be the last!
The story revolves around a boy called Malcolm and he just does not like animals! Imagine his horror when his school trip is a visit to a farm!
No more spoilers, but if you want to laugh aloud (which I did), this book is just for you!
Learning Support Assistants
Mrs Tanya Edmunds
My favourite book is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.
I would love to be like the little caterpillar as I love food and I would get to eat lots of different foods, especially chocolate cake! It would be great to turn into a beautiful butterfly and be able to fly wherever I wanted!
Mrs Dana Tippett
Nursery Teaching Assistant
The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith is a new favourite book of mine. One of my children got it for Christmas and we have read it many times. It has brought lots of laughter at bedtimes and I enjoy the way it rhymes. It is a bit of a tongue twister and it makes me giggle when I read it.
Mrs Julie Henderson
|Nursery Teaching Assistant|
One of my favourites books is Harry Potter. The detail in the writing by JK Rowling is truly amazing and her imagination is beautiful. The books are about much more than witches, wizards and magic. The book teaches the values of friendship, trust and love. My daughter now has her own box-set to read and enjoys reading a few chapters most evenings before she goes to sleep!
Mrs Kimberley Casper
|Reception Teaching Assistant|
My favourite book is Tiddler by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. This is my favourite children's book as I love how Tiddler uses his imagination to create wonderful stories for his friends. This book shows children that no matter how young and small they are, they are able to create big magical adventures of their own!
Miss Tash Caust
Reception Teaching Assistant and HLTA
EYFS Intervention Lead
My favourite children's book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter, follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he gets into sticky situations, and is chased around the garden by Mr. McGregor. The moral of the story is that you should always listen to your parents. This book is a true childhood favourite of mine as it brings back so many wonderful memories of receiving the book on my 6th birthday from my Nan and grandad, to then sharing and reading it at bedtimes with my three younger brothers and for many bedtimes after.
Miss Emily Schooley
|Year 1 and Year 4 Teaching Assistant|
|As a child I was hooked into reading Matilda by Roald Dahl. Matilda reminds me of myself, being innocent and wanting to get on with my learning, I remember reading this book as a little girl. It's a book full of laughter, jokes and pranks. I just remember laughing the whole way through this book!|
Mrs Karen Hancock
Year 1 Teaching Assistant and HLTA
Year 1 Intervention Lead
My favourite book is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. I really enjoy the storyline with the mouse and how he outwits the Gruffalo! I love all the characters in it, but the mouse is definitely my favourite! It was also both of my sons' favourite book to have read to them at bedtime.
Mrs Amanda Rickard
Year 2 Teaching Assistant and HLTA
Year 2 Intervention Lead
My favourite book is the series of Secret Seven by Enid Blyton. The Secret Seven are a group of children who hold regular meetings and organize things to do, whether it's helping the community in some way, solving mysteries that turn up, or just having fun playing in the woods. They have a secret password, a badge, and a secret headquarters in a garden shed! I enjoyed reading how they solved all the mysteries that they went on. It takes our value of great ‘teamwork’ to solve the clues!
Mrs Becky Hawken
Year 3 Teaching Assistant
Year 3 Intervention Lead
My favourite children's book is Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andrea. I have always loved this book, because not only Giraffes are my favourite animal, but also this book just embraces our differences. Growing up I was always the tallest in my class. Like Gerald, I sometimes felt awkward when doing certain activities. This book teaches children that everyone is different, but we must embrace that and help each other build confidence and self-esteem. No matter how difficult situations get, never give up on your dreams.
Mrs Jenna Loveridge
Year 3 Teaching Assistant
Trainee Autism Champion
My favourite books as a child were Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. They are filled with intelligent, clever individuals and contained mystery after mystery. The fact that so few of those mysteries were resolved within the scope of the book, peaked my interest and sent me diving into investigations of my own. I loved the mystery and suspense. Most of all, I loved the characters. These books show we should never underestimate children!
Miss Robyn Yorke
Year 4 Teaching Assistant
Year 4 Intervention Lead
Mrs Jenny Carlyle
|Year 4 Teaching Assistant|
My favourite children's book is The Fish Who Could Wish by John Bush. Its my favourite because it is a fun, rhyming book that I love to read with my daughters!
Mrs Helen Belcher
George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl was the very first book I bought myself. I remember going into the local book shop with my pocket money and spending ages choosing which story to take home. I was fascinated by the idea of a small boy going up against his mean-spirited Grandma and trying to get his own back on her. I loved George deciding he has finally had enough of his 'grizzly old grunion of a grandma', to the hilarious consequences of not only her having the medicine, but the farm animals too. Who would have thought that leaving the flea powder and anti-freeze out of the recipe would have had such disastrous results?
Ms Donna Fisher
|Year 4 and Year 1 Teaching Assistant|
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis, is one of my favourite books because it is about a magical land called Narnia, where there are talking animals, a witch and lots of adventures. Four children: Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy stumble upon Narnia at the back of a wardrobe, whilst playing 'hide and seek'. One of the lessons I learned from this book is to forgive easily and fight for what you believe in.
Mrs Tracey Julian
Year 5 Teaching Assistant and HLTA
UKS2 Intervention Lead
My favourite book of all time is The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I have loved it since I was a small child, when it was read to me in school. I have read it to my children when they were small and now also my grandchildren who are both starting to love it too!
Miss Jessie Jaye
Year 6 Teaching Assistant
My favourite book is The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. I love this book because the main characters get to see a different world everytime they go up the Faraway Tree and make more friends as they go! Imagine being able to slide down the middle of a huge tree everytime you climbed it!
Mrs Theresa Dick
Year 6 Teaching Assistant and HLTA
Art and Design Lead
Dazzle Day Lead
Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson was one of my favourite ‘go to’ bedtime stories when my grandchildren were little and guaranteed to settle them for sleep! As well as a captivating storyline, the illustrations by Jane Chapman are amazing. The book is about a whole host of different animals and birds who find their way out of the cold and into Bear's cave to warm up whilst he is asleep. Even after the tea has been brewed and the corn has been popped, Bear just snores on!
Mrs Debbie Rowe
My favourite books are The Faraway Tree Stories by Enid Blyton. I loved reading these stories when I was younger and then read them to my daughters. I love the characters and the adventures they get up to in each of the lands they visit. After each chapter, I couldn't wait to read the next chapter to see what antics the characters got up to next! My favourite character was Saucepan Man when he muddled up his words! I have enjoyed sharing the book with Year 2 children over the last few years.
Mrs Emma Squire
One of my favourite children's books is The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by CS Lewis. I love the idea of finding a whole new world in the back of a wardrobe! In Narnia, they meet talking animals, a witch, a lion, lots of snow, there’s magic and so much more. The children learn lots about themselves and each other, including being brave and making the right choices, about loyalty and gain friendship with all the different animals they meet. If I were one of the characters, I would probably be Lucy, who is sweet and kind but also very brave and adventurous.
|Mrs Amanda Rickard - Lead||Mrs Debbie Rowe||Mrs Tracey Julian|
|Mrs Jenna Loveridge||Mrs Becky Hawken||Mrs Helen Belcher|
|Miss Jessie Jaye||Mrs Donna Fisher||Miss Emily Schooley|
|Mrs Jenny Carlyle||Miss Robyn Yorke|
|Breakfast Club Team|
|Mrs Amanda Rickard||Mrs Emma Squire|
|After School Club Team|
|Mrs Tanya Edmunds||Mrs Tracey Julian||Miss Jessie Jaye|
|Mrs Julie Henderson|
Mrs T Triggs
Mr B Hawken
Choir and Band
Mr L Oxenham