Senior Leadership Team

Mr John Marston - Headteacher

John Marston graduated from Leeds University with a degree in English Literature in 1996 and following a year’s travelling returned to Leeds to study for his PGCE.  He also has a Masters in Educational Leadership and Management from the Open University. John began his teaching career as an English teacher at a boys’ school in Hertfordshire where he was a Head of Year for a number of years before being a Head of English in Hampshire and Head of Sixth Form at a school in Berkshire.  John joined St Birinus in 2011 as Deputy Headteacher and became Headteacher when St Birinus joined Ridgeway Education Trust in 2015.
 
John lives with his wife and three sons near Reading and spends weekends either on the touchline or the side of the swimming pool or following Watford FC.

jmarston@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mr Graeme Irwin - Deputy Head

Graeme Irwin graduated from Swansea University with a degree in Geography. After spending a year volunteering for a campus-based charity, Graeme returned to his studies in order to complete his PGCE in Geography Teaching. Starting his teaching career at Didcot Girls’ School, Graeme experienced a range of roles, including Head of Year & Assistant Headteacher, Head of Key Stage 3 before taking up a post in Hampshire as Deputy Headteacher of a rural Secondary School for three years.
Graeme returned to the Ridgeway Education Trust in January 2017, becoming Deputy Headteacher of St. Birinus School September 2017.
 
Graeme lives locally with his wife and two young children and is a passionate sports fan, particularly as a supporter of the Scottish Rugby team.

girwin@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mr William Manning - Deputy Head

William Manning graduated from Kings' College London with a degree in French and Latin in 1994 and left university to pursue arabic studies in Egypt and then work in industry before completing a PGCE with Oxford University in 1999. William worked as a teacher of languages and a Head of Year at the Marlborough School, Woodstock and then subsequently as a Head of Year and Assistant Headteacher with pastoral responsibilities at Tanglin Trust School, Singapore.

William has responsibility for all matters relating to student behaviour including rewards and consequences, student support, care throughout Years 7 - 11 inclusive. William, a keen sportsman, lives with his wife and three children in Freeland.

wmanning@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mr Paul Willett - Director of Sixth Form

Paul Willett was born, raised and educated in Oxfordshire. He was awarded a scholarship to read music at The Queen's College, Oxford, and graduated more years ago than he wishes to recall.

He joined DGS in September 2000 as Head of Music having previously been a professional musician, Director of a Saturday Music School with over 200 students, and Head of Music at another Oxfordshire school. He is responsible for the Didcot Sixth Form, working across both St Birinus School and Didcot Girls' School.

pwillet@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Ms Julia Hopkins - Assistant Head

Julia Hopkins graduated from the University of Gloucestershire with a degree in English Literature and Studies in Modern Writing in 2001. She then spent two years working as part of the occupational therapy team at a dual diagnosis unit for adults with learning difficulties and mental health illnesses at Oxfordshire NHS Learning Disability Trust. Following this Julia qualified as a teacher in 2004 and began teaching English at St Birinus in September of the same year. Prior to being appointed as Assistant Head Teacher, Julia held a range of posts across the school, including Head of English, Head of Year and Literacy Co-ordinator.

As Assistant Head Teacher Julia is responsible for ensuring consistently high quality teaching and learning at St Birinus and supporting its delivery through a programme of carefully designed CPD tailored to deliver the best for the students.

jhopkins@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mrs Marianna Tottman - Assistant Head

Marianna Tottman graduated with a first class honours degree in Drama in 2004 and went on to complete a PGCE at Reading university. Having worked in several schools in Hampshire and Berkshire, Marianna spent seven years as Head of Performing Arts at a school in south Oxfordshire, before moving to St Birinus as Assistant Headteacher in 2016.
 
Marianna is responsible for student behaviour and attendance as well as being the school's Safeguarding lead. Marianna lives in Newbury with her husband. She loves being out in the countryside with her horse and dog and is a competitive dressage rider.
 

Mr Andrew Binnington - Associate Senior Leader

Andrew Binnington studied Biology in Bath before moving to Oxfordshire to complete his PGCE at Oxford University. He worked at Bartholomew School, Eynsham as Head of KS3 Science and G&T Coordinator. Whilst working at Bartholomew School, Andrew returned to Oxford University to complete an MSc in Learning and Teaching. He joined St Birinus School in January 2018 as an Associate Senior Leader and the Faculty Leader for Science.

Andrew lives with his wife in Wantage and, having hung up his rugby boots, enjoys playing cricket and golf in his spare time.

abinnington@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mrs Briony Bowers - Associate Senior Leader

Briony Bowers is a graduate of Cambridge University; she began her teaching career at a mixed school in London before taking up a post as an English teacher at St Birinus School. Having worked at both St Birinus and Didcot Girls’ School for the past twenty years, Briony is now in her tenth year of senior leadership with the Ridgway Education Trust. Her previous roles have included Assistant Headteacher for Inclusion, Deputy Headteacher for Teaching and Learning at Didcot Girls’ School and Director of Teaching School. She is currently Acting SENCO and supports the development of teaching and learning in the school.

Briony is a Specialist Leader of Education for the Didcot Girls’ School Teaching School Alliance. She has particular expertise in improving teaching and learning, including managing change, systems for quality assurance, and professional development for teachers and middle leaders.

Briony has recently completed her first novel and she enjoys sailing on the south coast with her husband and dog.

bbowers@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

Mrs Zoe Gothard - Associate Senior Leader

Zoe Gothard graduated from the London College of Printing with a degree in Photography and spent some happy years freelancing in London and worldwide working for different companies, including the London Borough of Brent and the International Childcare Trust. After three years she decided to retrain in Computing, gaining a Masters in Computing from Oxford Brookes University and working as a computer programmer for Focus Micro Systems in Oxford. Wanting to spend time with her young children during their holidays she completed a PGCE and found her true vocation in teaching.
 
Zoe has a love of reading fiction and also enjoys finding out more about education research and the twitter Maths community.

 


 

 

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