Executive Principal: Mr R Burman
"I have been a Headteacher for 18 years in three schools. Following an Ofsted grading of Outstanding in my last school, I became a National Leader of Education which meant I could work in schools in challenging circumstances and I took on the Executive Headship of an MLD Special School in Special Measures. That school has just been judged as Good in every area which means those students now get a good deal. This process took two years.
I studied at Leeds University following a BEd and later on a MEd. I have a real passion for social mobility through education and I believe that all students should have their life chances improved immeasurably because of what we do in terms of organising school resources and staffing, creating an achievement culture where all students make at least good progress.
I have worked in a number of schools in Yorkshire before coming to AVA.
I have played professional rugby and enjoy watching it and going to the gym. My sons are at University studying Civil Engineering and working as an actor, respectively."
Primary Headteacher: Mr J Walker
“Having worked in primary education for twenty years, I am thrilled to be part of a through-academy, working together with primary and secondary colleagues to ensure the highest expectations, leading to excellent outcomes for children from Nursery to Sixth Form.
Following the completion of a BA QTS in primary teacher education, I worked in a variety of schools in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire before being appointed to previous headships of a small village school and then a large urban primary school and nursery. Having led both schools to good OFSTED judgements, my aim has been to bring the best of both to Berryfields by creating a nurturing ethos where children feel happy, valued and safe and where they can develop the confidence and well-being that is crucial for them to learn and thrive. Together with a challenging and engaging curriculum, this helps to ensure pupils make rapid progress and attain well in readiness for their progression to the secondary phase.
I am married (to another teacher!) with 2 children. We enjoy time together on weekends and holidays walking, visiting new places at home and abroad, playing music and socialising with friends and wider family.”
Vice Principal: Mr G Gibson
"I graduated from the University of Dundee 1997 with a degree in English Literature. After completing a certificate of English Language teaching to adults, I travelled to Japan where I taught in a private language school in central Tokyo teaching students with ages ranging from two to eighty two.
After four years as a teacher and Director of Studies in Tokyo, I returned to the UK where I embarked on a PGCE at Goldsmiths, University of London. I taught for ten years in schools in South West London before moving to an upper school in Leighton Buzzard.
I have held a range of roles including Head of English and more recently, Assistant Headteacher in charge of teaching and learning. My passion has always been the development of students as leaners and if my career has taught me one thing it is that we are all lifelong learners.
Away from school, I enjoy watching rugby and being with my family."
Primary Deputy Headteacher: Mrs F Stewart
“I was inspired to become a teacher after getting involved in my son's school as a classroom assistant. On my road to gaining appropriate qualifications, I developed a love of Maths which remains a passion to this day.
After graduating from Oxford Brookes University in 2006, I began my teaching career at Brookside Primary School in Bicester. Here I held a number of responsibilities as a teacher and latterly as an Assistant Head including leading Maths and Key Stage 2. My love of Maths led me to complete a MAST course which allowed me to support other schools in Oxfordshire to develop their Maths curriculum and practice.
Since joining the Academy as Deputy Head of Berryfields, my focus has been on supporting the team which will take our first year 6 through to year 7.
My leisure activities include running, cycling and spending time with friends and family.”
Finance Director: Mr H Copas
“After graduating in Economics and Economic History at University College London, I trained as a Chartered Accountant with an International Firm of Accountants before furthering my career at the National Audit Office where I led audits of a number of Central Government Departments. I went on to work for a number of years in the European headquarters of the Xerox Corporation, enjoying a mixture of different roles supporting business divisions and special projects. I joined the Academy when it formed in 2009 and have helped to sustain its development through to its recent transition to a new site and state of the art facilities.
I enjoy walking and caravanning with my wife and two teenage boys.”
Assistant Principal: Mr K Ahmed
"I graduated from the University of Manchester in 1995 with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. I then went on to complete my PGCE in Mathematics at Oxford University. I have worked in both middle and secondary schools in Oxfordshire and Wiltshire.
I have held numerous roles over the course of my career within education. These have included Head of Mathematics, Head of Year, and more recently, Assistant Principal Director of Behaviour. During my 21 years of teaching I have also had the opportunity to be a NUT rep, PTA chair, Staff Academy representative and Director of a DBMAC (Multi Academy Company compromising of 7 primary and a secondary school).
I passionately believe that not only is every child entitled to a good education but also they should be able to enjoy their time in school in a safe and encouraging environment.
In my spare time I enjoy going to cinema and captaining both my local Hockey and Cricket teams."
Assistant Principal: Mr R Cooper
"I was incredibly lucky to have inspirational teachers who encouraged me to apply to study English at Cambridge University. I graduated in 2001 and went straight into teaching – initially because it was the only way I could carry on talking about literature!
During my career, I have worked in a wide range of schools, from a Technology College for boys in the centre of Birmingham to a rather tranquil independent school for girls. However, most of my teaching has been done in state-maintained academies in Hertfordshire. Most recently, I’ve had four very successful years as Head of English at an outstanding school in St Albans. I’m passionate about literature, literacy and ways to use educational technology to enhance a learner’s experiences.
When I am not working, I enjoy watching football, listening to and writing music and spending time with my young family.”
Assistant Principal: Miss E Kitter
“I graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2004 with a degree in English Literature with Drama. I immediately embarked on a career in the media industry, working in advertising for publications such as ‘The Times’ and ‘The Scotsman’, before completing my PGCE in Secondary English at the University of Hertfordshire in 2006.
I have held numerous roles over the course of my career including Advanced Skills Teacher, Head of Department and more recently, Year 11 Achievement Director.
Having been lucky enough to have been taught by inspirational teachers at school myself, I am very passionate about providing the same standard of education for our students. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and working with young people.
I love to travel and enjoy spending my spare time venturing to new places, both at home and abroad. I also have two very boisterous dogs and I enjoy taking them on long walks around my local area.”
Assistant Principal: Mr A West
“I graduated from the University of Durham in 2000 with a degree in Natural Sciences.
Having spent a year rowing and coaching rowing to secondary school children in Australia I become a full time athlete, representing England and Great Britain, between 2001 and 2003.
Following up on my coaching experience I completed a PGCE at Nottingham University in 2004 and then moved South where I have taught at secondary schools both in Henley and Oxford over the last 12 years.
I have held a range of roles including Head of House and Head of Science and I have throughly enjoyed taking responsibility for the coaching and development of middle leaders.
Away from school I enjoy cycling to keep fit, camping trips with my family and going to see live music."
Assistant Principal: Miss J Gibbs
"I graduated from Brunel University in 2009 with a degree in Physical Education and Secondary Education with QTS. I began my teaching career at Aylesbury Vale Academy in July 2009. During my time at AVA I have had many roles including Head of College and Achievement Director.
I have been fortunate enough to work with some amazing young people throughout my time at AVA, this has reinforced my belief that all students deserve the opportunity to succeed in life and I am committed to giving every student the skills necessary to achieve their dreams.
Outside of school, I love to travel and keep fit whether that is going for a long run or playing a game hockey!"
Associate Assistant Principal: Mrs K Briggs
"I graduated from the University of Birmingham with a BSc degree in Geology and Geography in 2002. I continued my studies and was subsequently awarded a MSc in Meteorology and Climatology again from the University of Birmingham. I then worked for the Environment Agency, at which point I decided teaching was how I wanted to spend the rest of my working life. I studied at The University of Hertfordshire for my PGCE in Geography which I gained in 2005.
Fundamentally I believe that education is the cornerstone to all other aspects of life. Providing people with life skills and improving their life opportunities are always at the back of my mind as a teacher. I have held a variety of roles in previous schools: I started teaching in a Grammar school and led PSHE and Gifted and Talented. I then became Subject Leader in an outstanding comprehensive specialist Geography school in Hertfordshire. I was in this role for 10 years. I have also been Deputy Director of the sixth form, and most recently a Specialist Leader in Geography education. I have also recently facilitated the training of a group of other schools in adopting a national pupil premium strategy.
Outside of school I enjoy travelling the world with my husband, although probably not as frequently as I used to, since the addition of two small children to my family. I have a Springer Spaniel who likes to join us on camping holidays, walks, and runs."
Associate Assistant Principal: Mrs C Kirk
“I graduated from Stirling University with a degree in Molecular and Cell Biology in 1997. After working in the DNA Sequencing Laboratory at Oxford University for a year I decided to pursue a career in teaching and completed my PGCE at Oxford University. I then taught in two schools in Oxfordshire where, alongside teaching Science I held positions as Head of Biology, Assistant Head of 6th Form and Director of Science before moving to AVA as Curriculum Leader of Science in 2014. I have taught in a wide variety of schools ranging from those requiring improvement through to an outstanding school in an advantaged area. Not only am I passionate about teaching Science, I am also passionate about importance of education in improving the life chances of students regardless of the area you live in or the school you attend.
Away from school I enjoy camping trips with my family, travelling and cooking but more recently seem to be spending an increasing amount of time watching my young son playing football and rugby”.
Primary Assistant Headteacher: Mrs C Heale
“After finishing my studies in Southampton with a BA (Hons) degree, I later went on to complete a PGCE whilst starting a family and began my teaching career in the Aylesbury area. During my previous teaching post, I was given the responsibility of Early Years Leader as well as being the Music co-coordinator, where I lead weekly music assemblies.
I joined Berryfields in 2013 where I helped with the enormous task of opening a brand new school. I have subsequently supported its growth and development ever since. Having spent four years as Early Years Leader and building its foundations, I then took on a new challenge in 2017 of Assistant Headteacher, overseeing inclusion and community in the primary phase of the Academy.
In my free time, I enjoy playing hockey, running, playing the piano as well as spending time with my friends and family.”