Our Staff

Staff at The Ridge Academy are committed to ensuring every pupil at the school finds their remarkable. Meet our staff below:

Principal

My name is Peter Hales and I am Principal of The Ridge Academy and have been in post since April 2015. I have been at The Ridge Academy since September 2005 and have held a variety of roles including class teacher, Assistant Principal and now Principal.

I have three children at home including two who are adopted and I love spending time with my family. I also love football and am an avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club and have an extensive knowledge of their history.

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Assistant Principal

Hello my name is Kirsty Doorbar, I started at The Ridge Academy as Assistant Principal in September 2020. I have enjoyed 20 years of teaching and as an Inclusion lead in both special and mainstream schools. I am passionate about helping children reach their personal and academic potential.

I live with my husband, daughter and foster daughter in Stroud after living in Wales for many years. I like to read, do crafts with my family and walk our crazy cocker spaniel Ginger

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Assistant Principal

Hello, my name is Rob Meggs and I am Assistant Principal here at The Ridge Academy. I have been teaching for over twenty years and only came to The Ridge for one day to help out as a teacher. That was over eight years ago and because it's such a special place to be, I never left!

I live in Bussage with my wife and daughter, who I love spending time with. I love all things Star Wars and superheroes but Marvel is my favourite.

Health and Wellbeing Lead

My name is Charles Shaw and I have worked in a variety of roles over the past 10 years at the Academy. I have worked across all ages from adults with severe Mental Health needs, secondary aged children and now primary aged children. I have a family of four who are mostly grown up. I also have personal experience of the difficulties and challenges of managing a child with special needs.

In my spare time I enjoy the outdoors including walking, cycling and travelling.

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Health and Wellbeing Officer

My name is Sarah Loveridge and I started at the Ridge Academy in January 2012 when the school relocated to Cheltenham. I started as a Teaching Assistant before moving over to Family Support which is now called Health and Wellbeing.

I thoroughly enjoy my role working with the children and their Parents and Carers.

I have a husband and two daughters and enjoy spending time with them. I also enjoy walking my two dogs and enjoy cooking when I have the time!

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Senior Teacher

My name is Laura Geatches and I have been teaching at The Ridge Academy since 2012. I began my teaching career here and I absolutely love my job!

I have had an opportunity to work across all year groups and I am currently teaching Year 6 in Remarkable Raccoons. I am a bubbly, happy person who likes to have fun whilst learning in the classroom. I share a class with the wonderful Mrs Pillinger and I work on a Monday, Thursday and Friday.

I live with my husband and two daughters who are aged 5 and 3. Outside of work, I enjoy taking my girls out on day trips, seeing my friends and helping with the kids work at my church. Life is loud in my house but I wouldn't have it any other way!!

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Senior Teacher

My name is Rachel Jones and I have been a class teacher at The Ridge Academy since September 2015. Previously I have been a TA, working in a school for children with ASD, and have also had various roles in outdoor education and conservation.

I have a gorgeous therapy dog called Ruby, she's a Romanian Shepherd who I rescued in 2018, when she was 4 months old. Ruby was born in the streets of Romania and travelled to England to be rehomed here. She is great with the children and has a lovely calming influence. I love the outdoors and like to spend weekends going for a run or long walks and spend the holidays travelling to new places.

Senior Teacher

My name is Hayley Pillinger and I have been a class teacher at The Ridge Academy for 11 years. I am MFL subject lead and am proud to be a part of the Mental Health team at The Ridge. I currently job share with Mrs Geatches in Remarkable Raccoons. I enjoy working at The Ridge and love helping children find their 'Remarkable' everyday!

I have a husband and 2 daughters at home, who keep me very busy! I enjoy family time, walks in the countryside and going to the seaside in my campervan!!

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Senior Teacher

My name is Rachel McDaid and I am a class teacher and leader of literacy at The Ridge Academy. I have been teaching for over 20 years and started at The Ridge in 2018 following a move to Cheltenham from London.

I have two children who keep me pretty busy but when I do have free time I enjoy reading and I love to travel and discover new places.

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Class Teacher

My name is Harvey Matthews I have been a Class Teacher at The Ridge Academy since 2012. I have been teaching for 20 years, in various local Primary Schools and spent 4 years teaching abroad in the Middle East and Asia.


Outside of school I live with my wife and 3 children, we all love to get outdoors, visiting friends, travelling to new places and going on holiday in our caravan!!

Class Teacher

My name is Annie Martin and I am the class teacher in 'Brave Bears'. This is my third year teaching here, previously being class teacher in Starfish. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my partner and my two dogs - 'Rosie' the staffy and 'Possum' the Romanian rescue. I enjoy running, cycling, long walks and generally being active. I am also a big football fan and season ticket holder at Bristol City FC; as well as a player for Swindon Town FC in the fourth tier of Women's football.

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Class Teacher

My name is Emma Loveridge and I am a teacher in Discovering Dinosaurs. I started coming to The Ridge as a student and began working full time here in 2019.

Outside of school I enjoy spending time with my two dogs, going on walks, baking and reading.

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Class Teacher

My name is Poppy Noble and I am very happy to be a Newly Qualified Teacher at The Ridge. I first arrived in 2019 as a teaching student, and enjoyed my placement so much that I never left! I have worked at The Ridge as a Learning and Therapeutic Partner and Class Teacher. Before qualifying as a teacher in the UK, I taught English in French primary schools.

Outside of school I love drawing, reading and playing the piano (maybe in assembly one day!

Class Teacher

Hello! My name is Bethany Kennedy ! I am a class teacher at The Ridge Academy. I am always looking for new, fun and engaging ways to allow children to fall in love with learning. I enjoy getting to know your childrena nd focusing on their interests and hobbies.

I previously worked at The Ridge Academy as a TeachingA sistant and I loved it so much that I have returned four years later after completeing my teaching degree. I ahve a huge passion for Special Educational Needs and can't wait to learn so much from your children over the next academic year.

E Twinning Consultant

My name is Steven Hales and after 47 years of teaching, I’m delighted to be working voluntarily with the Ridge Academy. It just so happens that my son, Pete, is the Principal. I think it’s really important that young people can explore their world - locally, nationally and internationally - celebrating similarities and differences. I am supporting The Remarkable Racoons 🦝 in an eTwinning project, ‘Countdown to the Tokyo Olympics 2021’, working alongside 11 schools from across Europe. Our lessons are virtual as I live in Norfolk and I am being well-supported by Mrs Geatches. ONWARDS AND UPWARDS!

Intervention Lead

My name is Beverly Keen. I have a background in art but chose to enter education at a later point in my life.

I have worked within the school since March 2007, as a teaching assistant, a teacher, and currently, in a therapeutic role, as a Thrive practitioner. I am fortunate to be able to work 1:1 with children in the school, using art, craft, and play, to offer them individual support, or in small groups to develop friendships.


Thrive Practitioner and Outdoor Edcuation Lead

Hi, my name is Leonie Ravell, I am one of the Thrive Practitioners providing both therapeutic and academic interventions. I am also the Forest School leader which means that I'm in the very privileged position of being able to spend time getting to know all the children, across the whole school, while exploring the great outdoors.


School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Nurture and Thrive Practitioner

My name is Emmajane Green and I work as a Nurture and Thrive practitioner in our lovely Amazing Ark room. I have been at the Ridge for nearly 2 years now, and I love supporting the children here, but previously I have worked in primary schools around Gloucestershire for over 14 years.

I live with my husband and my 3 children who are 14, 7 and 4 and I enjoy spending quality time with them at the weekend.

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Nurture and Thrive Practitioner

My name Diane Aldridge and I work as a Nurture and Thrive practitioner in the Amazing Ark. I have worked at the Ridge since 2008.

I have 4 children and a dog called Arlo.

In my spare time I love walking,baking and spending quality time with my wonderful family.

Thrive Practitioner and Forest School Leader

Hi, my name is Leonie Ravell, I am one of the Thrive Practitioners providing both therapeutic and academic interventions. I am also the Forest School leader which means that I'm in the very privileged position of being able to spend time getting to know all the children, across the whole school, while exploring the great outdoors.


Learning and Therapeutic Partner

Hey everyone! My name is Nicola Noon and I am a Learning and Therapeutic Partner in the Brave Bears class. I joined The Ridge Academy in 2018 and have had the privilege too see many little ones grow and thrive during their time here. It’s wonderful working with such a fabulous team and everyday is super rewarding. My goal everyday is to make it a fun and engaging learning experience for the children, and as I always say “When life hands you Monday; dip it in glitter and sparkle all day!”


Learning and Therapeutic Partner


School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Learning and Therapeutic Partner

My name is Leanne Tocknell, I am a Learning and Therapeutic Partner for the Kind Kangaroos. I started in September 2020. Previously, I worked for a residential college supporting young adults with learning difficulties. I thoroughly enjoy working with the children to help them develop and find their "Remarkable".

I have two daughters and three crazy cats called Daisy, Fluffy and Swiper. I enjoy spending time with my family, going on holidays and collecting anything and everything Harry Potter related!

Learning and Therapeutic Partner

My name is Rhiannon Mills. I have been working at The Ridge Academy for a number of years. I work in Kind Kangaroos on Thursdays and Fridays and spend Wednesday mornings in the front office assisting with admin related tasks.

I have three children of my own that are 2,3 and 11 and also have three rabbits named Oreo, Liila and Babbit.

Learning and Therapeutic Partner


School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Learning and Therapeutic Partner


Learning and Therapeutic Partner


School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Learning and Therapeutic Partner

My name is Lily De Bank and I am a Learning and Therapeutic Partner in Raccoon class. I started working at the Ridge Academy in September 2020 and I am looking forward to helping the children find their remarkable.

I enjoy riding my bike, reading and playing the piano.

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Learning and Therapeutic Partner


School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Learning and Therapeutic Partner

Hello, my name is Gemma O’Hara and I have worked at The Ridge Academy since the end of 2012. I love reading to all you children and I enjoy sing song however, I very rarely know all of the lyrics. I spend most of my time in Respectful Ravens with Miss Jones and Miss Crockford. Will look forward to seeing you around school.

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Office Manager &

PA to SLT

Hi, my name is Jo Scriven.

I came to help out at the The Ridge Academy in September 2013 for 4 weeks and loved it so much I never left!

The staff and the children here are amazing and I am very lucky to be able to work with them.

At home I live with my husband, 2 children, 2 dogs and 2 cats, so life is never boring .

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Admin Assistant

My name is Jessica Thomas and I am the school receptionist at The Ridge Academy. I have been at The Ridge Academy since 2015 and I have to say working here has been my favourite job to date.

I always enjoy getting to know the children here and look forward to them visiting me in the front office (not when it is for First Aid though ).

Outside of work I love spending time with my family (2 kids and a husband (so 3 kids) and friends. I am a keen runner and I love to cook.

Buildings Operations Assistant

Hello my name is Ian O'Hara.

I have worked at The Ridge Academy since it moved to Cheltenham in 2012, before this I was the caretaker of the original School here.

I am a trained capenter and DIY is my hobby so this helps me to ensure that the premises are kept up together.

I have three children and six Grandchildren who keep me busy outside of work.

School Photographs courtesy Sharon Mallinson of  Symply Photography

Kitchen Staff