Angie Browne - Principal
"I was born in London and grew up in Devon where I attended a comprehensive school on the south coast and Sixth Form College in Exeter. I was lucky enough to spend my youth rambling green lanes and exploring Dartmoor hedgerows before moving to Bristol to take up work in publishing.
I’d always had a love of literature and, while I indulged in Creative Writing courses in my spare time, I formalised my studies completing a degree in English Literature at The University of the West of England. It made sense that after my degree I follow in the footsteps of many of the women in my family and train to become an English teacher. And so I did.
I have had a varied career in education having enjoyed working as a Head of English in a large rural comprehensive school in Wiltshire as well as working for a number of years as a middle and then senior leader in an inner city comprehensive school in the St George / Easton area of Bristol. More recently I have been leading the service for children out of mainstream education in South Gloucestershire."
I have considerable experience of building teams of teachers in new education settings. I have also worked extensively with community organisations and other agencies to support and work in a range of ways with young people and their families.
I love working in education and finding creative ways to facilitate children’s academic and personal growth and I am passionate about inner city education providing excellence, offering meaningful opportunities and ensuring a good entitlement for all. It is for these reasons that I am delighted to be taking up the position of Principal of Steiner Academy Bristol and to be a part of this new direction for Steiner education."
Deidre Pyzer - Kindergarten Teacher KG1
My long term interests have been in education and care, with children and young adults, including those with additional needs, behaviour that challenges or mental illness, as well as care of the land. Taking opportunities to live my values has led me around the U.K, and given me varied and rich experiences: community living, residential care, differing organisational structures, leadership and management styles and enjoying nature in different landscapes. I have four, now grown up, children and three grandchildren. As well as being a parent in three different Steiner schools, comprehensives and sixth form colleges, I have worked for the last 13 years as a kindergarten teacher and parent and child group leader. I’m excited to be part of a project that enables potential access to Steiner education for all, celebrating its potential to equip future generations for the inner and outer challenges of our time.
Floredia Hrissikou - Kindergarten Assistant
My involvement with Steiner-Waldorf education started 15 years ago when my eldest son, now 20, joined Rowan Tree Kindergarten. S-W education was also the choice for my other two children and has given me the opportunity to experience the S-W approach from kindergarten all the way up to upper school. Since we first joined the Bristol Steiner School as a family we immersed ourselves in all aspects of School life and this lead me eventually to work as an Assistant both at Main School and latterly at Kindergarten. But kindergarten life and atmosphere were particularly special to me that was the direction I decided to go.
The creation of the Steiner Academy in Bristol is such an exciting initiative for the future of Steiner-Waldorf education, fulfilling the many have held dream of making it truly accessible to all and I feel very privileged to be part of this pioneering project from the start.
Anna Pope - Kindergarten Teacher KG2
I have been a part of Steiner education ever since I can remember. Both my parents were teachers and my own Steiner education started at the age of 3 in Kindergarten and went right the way through to the end.
I experienced three different schools over that time and although they were all very different it was deeply reassuring for me that the educational thread tied them all together.
When I was older I began to realise the value of this unique education and that there were so many other people out there in the world who would have loved to attend a Steiner school but couldn’t access that, mostly due to the school fees.
I felt deeply frustrated by this injustice and so, in those late teenage years, a dream was born to one day be in a situation to help provide Steiner education to anyone who wanted to access it. I was therefore thrilled to learn of Steiner Academy Bristol and to finally bring the dream I had all those years ago into reality.
Lucia Waltner-Sandler - Class 3 Teacher
Lucia started with the Academy in February 2016. More to follow.
Tara Young - Class 7 teacher
Tara began her Steiner teacher training 10 years ago, and since having her children who both attend the school, she helped to set-up the Willow Tree Kindergarten and is a founding member of the steering group which brought together Steiner Academy Bristol. Tara has been a class room assistant in Class 6 and is now Class 7's main lesson teacher.
Matthew Barton - Religion
Formerly (a long time back) a class-teacher and kindergarten teacher at Bristol Steiner School, I have since worked as a teacher of creative writing in schools, prisons and universities (Bristol and Oxford) and as a book translator and editor specializing in Steiner-related publications. I am a father and grandfather, and a poet, with two published volumes and a third forthcoming. I believe passionately in Steiner education, and, after a transformative 'pilgrimage' through the UK which I undertook earlier this year, I feel very grateful to have emerged from behind the computer again (for some of the time at least) to find myself with classes of children in our new and budding school, and engaged with a wonderful, energetic and committed group of new colleagues in turning ideas into creative realities.
Rowan Hibbett - Games
Since 2006 I have been working with children as an outdoor activities instructor both in this country and overseas. I enjoy nothing more than being outdoors, in amongst all that the natural wonders of the world can offer up; whether that be climbing up a cliff or playing games in the woods. Working with children is an absolute passion of mine and something that I will always do.
Educated at the Bristol Steiner school and with Steiner teacher relatives, I was drawn back to the education and completed my teacher training at Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley in 2013. During my time at the school I began an outdoor after school club centred around fun activity. Aside from coaching outdoor sports such as kayaking and archery I have also recently taught sports in mainstream schools such as football, rugby, golf and fencing. When I am not teaching, I run a business which provides outdoor fun and learning for primary school aged children throughout Bristol.
I am thrilled to have found my perfect role in my hometown in a forward thinking initiative with such a great crew of staff, children and parents and I am very much looking forward to helping to create a thriving sports curriculum and generation of children who's love for the outdoors does not diminish with age.
Matthew Graves - Woodwork
Matthew grew up surrounded by crafts, and his passion has always been in Educating through them. Not just for what they offer as a standalone subject, but their powerful ability to work on the inner development of the child and young adult. Matthew studied ‘Sustainable Design’ at Goldsmiths University in London, where he began developing craft curriculum programs for schools.
He is interested in helping Steiner Academy Bristol Develop, not just an exemplar Crafts department, but also interested in how the crafts integrate into the curriculum as a whole. He is also interested in how we, in this modern age, introduce working with technology for Art, Craft and Design.
Although Matthew is primarily focused at the moment on teaching woodwork, and festival coordination, he is also involved in curriculum development, and is keen to drive forward a cross curricular Craft and Technology program, one that would engage the students and take them on a journey through many different crafts.
Matthew aims to introduce and be able to offer a variety of other crafts in the coming years, for example Wood Work, Metal Work (copper and iron), Jewelry Making and later a design and build module.
Charlotte Cook - Handwork
I went to the Bristol Steiner School from 4-16. It was here that my interest in colour and all things woollen was first kindled. Handwork sparked my enthusiasm for using my hands and I’ve been hooked ever since.
After leaving school I went to London to work for the textile artist Kaffe Fasset where I spent the next 5 years immersed in his exuberant, richly coloured world. If was here, that knitting and colour was imbedded into my core.
Since then I studied Fine Art, specialising in sculpture at University and then moved on to train as an Art teacher.
I worked for several years teaching Art and textiles in Secondary schools before working as a Primary school teacher in Bristol.
I’m thrilled to be now teaching Handwork in the Steiner Academy Bristol where I hope to give the children a confidence to make and mend and of course to have a love of colour and all things woollen!
In brief... The team.
Senior Leadership Team:
Principal: Angie Browne
Assistant Principal / SENCO: Regan Crum
School Business Manager: Joe Evans
Teachers and Classroom Assistants:
Hazel: Deidre Pyzer
Cherry: Nicole Earley
Chestnut: Anna Pope, Catherine Dewhurst
Oak: Lily Clark
Kindergarten Assistants: Magdalena Palinska, Hannah Bone, Pheadra Mawle, Gabrielle Hudson, Oonagh Thorn, Su Crozier, Anamieke De Villiers.
Class 1: Natalie Alcock, Bea Martinez
Class 2: Ellie Verey, Hannah Kemp
Class 3: Lucia Waltner-Sadler.
Class 4: Alex Lockett, Hannah Doe
Class 6: Ben Seal, Anna Willis, Tom Lilley.
Class 7: Sophie Barlow, Charlotte Burke
Class 8: Tara Young
Science: Aggie Forster
Maths: Emilie Graham
English: Rhiannon Kitchen
Modern Foreign Languages: Sara Viguera (Lower School), Maru Lopez-Soriano (Middle School)
Religion: Matthew Barton
Woodwork: Matthew Graves, Huw Jones.
Art: Kamar Finn-Wierkus (Asst. Soili Smurthwaite)
Pottery: Soili Smurthwaite
Music: Mary-Ann Joyes
Games and PE: Rowan Hibbert, Huw Jones
Handwork: Charlotte Cook (Asst. Jo Sharples, Alice Watts)
Gardening: Sarah Compson, Begonia Miranda
Office Manager: Katie Sobol
Admin Assistant: Anna Martin-Smith
Reception: Kathryn Stefanovich
Admin asst and Communications: Maddy Longhurst
Admissions Secretary: Louisa Skinner
Finance Officer: Evie Roberts
Hannah Doe, Jade Le Lohe, Rachel Manley, Bea Martinez
Gabrielle Lobb, Mateja Perosa
Ian Meachin, Marta Sila, Pedro Moya, Louisa Burn