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8th - Staff Training Day

9th - School opens for start of Spring Term

16th - Y5/6 Swimming competition at Thirsk Leisure Pool.

17th - KS2 Young Voices Concert at Sheffield Arena.

19th - Maple and Rowan Class Collective Worship at 8.55am.

23rd - Key Steps Gymnastics Competition at Thirsk School & Sixth Form College.

23rd - Swimming starts for Year 2, 3 & 4.

23rd - Phonics Workshop for parents/carers of children in Seedlings, Willow and Ash Class at 6pm.

24th - Young Voices Concert for parents/carers at Topcliffe Academy 6.30 - 7.30pm.

26th - Silver Birch Class Collective Worship at 8.55am

31st - E-Safety Workshop for children and parents, 6 - 6.45pm.

31st - E-Safety Workshop for parents only, 6.45 - 8pm.  There will be a Film Club provided for children during this workshop.



2nd - Music for Life Day.  Parent/Carers invited to concert at 2.45pm.

6th - Sports G&T Academy at Carlton Miniott School.

6th - Maths Workshop for parents/carers of pupils in KS2 (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6) at 6pm.

8th - KS2 Dodgeball Competition.

9th - School closes for half term.

19th - School opens for 2nd half of Spring term.

27th - East Barnby Residential Parents Meeting at 3.30pm.

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There will be a Young Voices mini concert for Collective Worship this Friday, 12th January at 8.55am.

Meet the Staff


Mrs Abigail Clay - Headteacher
Ba hons, AST, NPQH

Abigail became head at Topcliffe C of E Academy in September 2015. Prior to becoming a headteacher she was an assistant head at an outstanding school where she taught across the primary age range from reception to year 6. Abigail has also worked as an Advanced Skills Teacher supporting modern foreign language development across the county. Abigail has written a book to support teachers in delivering languages to young children. Abigail enjoys sport, reading and spending time with her husband and three children.



Mrs Nicky Hartley - School Office Manager

Nicky became School Office Manager at Topcliffe C of E Academy in September 2009.  Prior to starting a family, she worked in the publishing industry first in Battle, near her home town of Hastings, East Sussex and then for a publishing company in Boston Spa, West Yorkshire after she married her husband and moved to Yorkshire.  During her years in publishing, she has gained experience in Marketing Management, Circulation & Distribution and Sales. Nicky has 2 children who are now at High School but both enjoyed their primary school years at Topcliffe School.  


Miss Alison Somerville - Willow Class Teacher

Alison joined Topcliffe Academy in September 2015 after her first year of teaching at Carlton Miniott. Prior to becoming a teacher, Alison trained to teach at the University of Chester, gaining a First Class Honours Degree and worked as a Nursery Assistant across York during University holidays. Alison enjoys spending her weekends and holidays visiting family and friends around the country, going to music concerts and to the theatre. 




Mrs Rachel Whatley - Higher Level Teaching Assistant

Rachel left university with a Joint Honours Degree in Biology and French and worked in logistics and then sales in the wine industry in London. After getting married and starting a family she returned North and had a change of career. For the past 14 years Rachel has worked in Early Years in both Nursery and Primary school settings. Rachel has gained her Early Years Professional Status qualification. Rachel joined Topcliffe Academy in 2014 and is currently enjoying working as a Higher Level Teaching Assistant with children in Reception and Year 1.



Mrs Hannah Parsons - General Teaching Assistant  

After a successful 13 year career in Financial Services, Hannah joined Topcliffe Academy as a Teaching Assistant in September 2015.  She spends time in all the classes in school.  Her interests are literature and writing.  She is currently studying an Honours Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and she would like to inspire children to develop a passion for reading. 





Mrs Maureen Kildin - Higher Level Teaching Assistant 

Maureen has been a Teaching Assistant since 2009 and qualified as a HLTA in 2012 whilst working at Topcliffe Academy. At present she is studying for her Early Years and Family Foundation Degree at Leeds Trinity University and will go on to complete for her Honours in 2018. Maureen’s strengths lie within her HLTA experiences and pastoral support, enhanced by her ELSA training which was completed this year.




Mrs Emily Thornton-Shaw - Ash Class Teacher

Emily studied Primary Education at York St John University gaining a 1st class honours degree. She started working at Topcliffe C of E in March 2012. Since starting teaching Emily has taught Years 1-6 so has a good knowledge across the primary curriculum. More recently Emily has taken on the role of Senior Teacher at Topcliffe. This role involves close work with the headteacher. She is also our subject leader for; maths, reading, phonics, science and ICT. Outside of school Emily enjoys spending time with her family and dogs: often going for walks and taking the dogs to shows. She also helps her fiancé on their farm and has recently started riding lessons again. 


Mrs Cathy Mousette - Advanced Teaching Assistant 

Cathy has been a TA for 16 years, primarily working with children with SEN. She has a degree and Masters in Autism. Cathy is married with 2 boys, and her husband is the Pilot for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Cathy enjoys gardening and looking after her hens! and long distance walking.






Mrs Helen Trueman - Advanced Teaching Assistant 

Helen has been an ATA and MSA at Topcliffe Academy for many years. Mainly working in kS2 but now enjoying new challenges in KS1,  as well as delivering Art skills throughout all the year groups. She has enjoyed a varied fun-filled time over the years from residential trips to the proud moments leading the blue team (Neptune) to win on sports days. Helen is happily married to John, a farmer and has two grown up children, Andrew and Catherine. Booking holidays and gardening are her specialty, along with the pride she gets from her displays around the school.



Mrs Josie Johnson - Silver Birch Class Teacher

Josie Johnson is in her 4th year of teaching. She has worked in several schools in North Yorkshire. Before becoming a teacher, she had a successful career in Public Relations, running media campaigns for large companies.  Josie has also enjoyed spending time at home with her two children while they were growing up, getting involved in various community projects and helping out in their primary school.





Miss Sophie Howard - Rowan Class Teacher

Sophie only recently joined Topcliffe in September 2017. She studied for a BA hons in Childhood Studies, gaining a first-class honours degree, before undertaking her teacher training. Prior to teaching, Sophie has worked for many years as a sports coach, responsible for many aspects of athlete development and guidance, working with a range of different abilities from the complete beginner, to two Olympians! Sophie was also a competitive diver herself before she became a coach. Sophie enjoys nothing more than spending time with her two boys outside of school; walking, cycling or just relaxing and watching a film.


Mrs Rebecca Kaufman - Maple Class Teacher

Becki joined Topcliffe in May 2017 after working as a Y6 teacher in St. Helens for 10 years. She studied at St Martins College, Ambleside with a PE specialism and then continued her further education by gaining a MaST degree in Specialist Maths Teaching in 2012. Since then, Becki has continued to work in a maths team and lead on the subject throughout the school. More recently, Becki has taken on the role of Senior Teacher at Topcliffe. This role involves close work with the headteacher. Furthermore, she is lead teacher for KS2; Maths; PE; OAA and Computing. Outside of school, Becki is a keen swimmer, in 2000 she was a national swimmer in numerous events; she uses her 15-years’ swim teaching experience to weekly coach county level swimmers at Ryedale. In addition to this, she enjoys running, walking, cycling and spending time in the outdoors with her husband and 2 children.


Mrs Milly Bottomley - EYFS & KS1 Teacher









Mrs Gillian Weightman - Higher Level Teaching Assistant 

Gillian Weightman works as HLTA, her son Sam is seven and is in Silver Birch Class. Prior to having her son she graduated from Leeds University and worked in PR and Marketing. After having her son she changed her career and started working with Early Years until joining the school in September 2015. Gillian loves to run and is currently training for the Manchester Marathon in April.





Mrs Emma Driffield - General Teaching Assistant

Emma has lived in the village of Topcliffe for 18 years. She has a dog and two teenage children who both now attend Thirsk High School, both of them attended Topcliffe during their primary years. Emma worked in the Seedlings Nursery for 10 years before joining Maple class, so she is  familiar with a lot of the children in the school. Emma enjoys walking, running and playing netball for Thirsk Ladies Netball Team.




Mrs Jessica Robertson - Senior Advanced Teaching Assistant (Seedlings Class)









Miss Katie Watson - General Teaching Assistant (Seedlings Class)









Mrs Jackie Balderston - General Teaching Assistant (Seedlings Class)

Jackie joined Topcliffe nursery in September 2016 having spent the previous 15 years working in administration and finance.  She successfully completed her Level 3 Diploma for The Early Years Workforce in July this year. Jackie has 4 children who attend the school and in her spare time she enjoys relaxing with her family, cooking and reading.





Mrs Cat Cowton - General Teaching Assistant (Seedlings Class)

Cat first began working in Early Years in 2001 where she began my NVQ level 2 at the age of 18. Since then she have gained my level 3 in Early Years Education and an NCFE level 2 teaching assistant.  Cat joined Topcliffe Academy in the summer of 2017 where she is currently working in Seedlings Class. She has 2 sons, Dylan who is 6 and Oliver who is 2, both of whom attend the school. Cat has a real passion for baking which she does in her spare time and also likes to attend music concerts and festivals when she can.




Miss Carol Adams - Midday Supervisory Assistant









Mrs Jackie Hemingway - Cook









Mrs Cari Parker - Kitchen Assistant





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