OUR PEOPLE

project based learning

Hayley Peacock
Head of School and Founder

Having followed the global progressive school movement very closely for a decade, Hayley wanted to bring all of her learning from the best schools in the world together to create a curriculum that fits with the way children in the UK will grow up. So they are ready to take exams eventually but have a far more joyful and self motivating learning experience and gain transferable skills to apply in all areas of their future lives.

Q1.  What excites you most about the Atelier 21’s approach to education?

I’m so excited about giving back children their voice at school through our democratic approach and endless opportunities for agency and self-direction in our project based learning.. Our model means children’s educational experience is curated with them as co-pilots, rather than education being something that’s done TO them. To be honest, every part of what we are doing excites me!

Q2. What are you most looking forward to about working at Atelier 21?

Working alongside the incredible, creative minds of my colleagues who never cease to impress me with their heart, expertise and motivation for what we do.

Q3. What was your favourite book when you were growing up?

I loved Judy Blume books and Enid Blighton, and Goodnight Mr Tom – which is a beautiful story of childhood bravery.

Q4. If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

Definitely invisible. I could go and listen in on the most inspiring people in the world, and also find out what my children get up to when they think I’m not around!

project based learning

Rebecca Gooding
Headteacher and Deputy Safeguarding Lead

My journey to Atelier 21 began with my children, both of whom attended Little Barn Owls nursery where they thrived: discovering and exploring their creativity and love for the outdoors. When I saw that Hayley was opening a school, I knew that not only did I want both of my kids to go there – I wanted to work there too!

I have spent 22 years teaching secondary English and Drama and although I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching and building relationships with some amazing children over the years, I realised that there was little joy in the delivery of the curriculum. As Drama Lead, I had worked hard to incorporate project-based learning into the performing arts and saw results soar when the pupils had the autonomy and independence to follow their passions and interests. This is what excites me about Atelier 21.

The incredible teaching team at Atelier have the ability to work with what makes the children curious and what fascinates them about the world around them and use that to drive their learning. They develop an awareness of what it means to be a global citizen and learn financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills from the age of 5. Being able to do this in a small, nurturing environment means that the relationships established between the staff and students are incredibly close – a place where everybody truly knows your name! Leading such a revolutionary vision in education is an incredibly exciting opportunity and, having been instrumental to the school since its launch, I can’t wait to see what the Atelier alumni achieve in the future.

project based learning

Richard Keightley
Assistant Head 

Guider of the ship. Richard has many years of teaching experience. It is his job to make sure the children are safe, happy and achieving well whilst at school, to give them the best learning experience possible.

Q1. What excites you most about the Atelier 21 approach to education?

I’m very excited to see how children translate what I am sharing with them into their own expressions. I love the idea that children explore and investigate their own learning pathways both in the classroom and the wild outdoors and that I can be a part of the experiences they are going to enjoy.

Q2. What are you most look forward to about working at Atelier 21?

Learning doesn’t stop when you leave school and so I am looking forward to working alongside a team that is not only passionate about the children in the now, but also in the journey they have ahead of them. Atelier 21 offers an incredible learning experience and I am looking forward to being a part of something special that gives your children the very best opportunities to secure a future of their choosing.

Q3. What was your favourite book when you were growing up?

I was quite late to the party as far as reading for pleasure was concerned but when I finally arrived my go-to book was ‘Magician’ by Raymond Feist. It is a book that draws inspiration from Tolkien and really transports you to a world of escapism and spawned many equally good sequels. Before teaching, I travelled extensively and Raymond kept me company for many a long, dark hour.

Q4. If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

I would choose flying. I love the idea of wearing a GoPro to capture images of earth to then broadcast to remind people we are just one small planet in a vast expanse and that we should look after it and each other.

project based learning

Jo Epps
SEN Co-ordinator and Designated Safeguarding Lead

Q1. What excites you most about the Atelier 21’s approach to education?

The uniqueness of the approach and how the pupils are empowered over their learning.

Q2. What are you most looking forward to about working at Atelier 21?

Watching pupils have those lightbulb moments that help them grow in confidence and challenging myself to work in this new approach.

Q3. What was your favourite book when you were growing up?

George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Q4. If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

Invisible – because I want to be in the room where it happens! (Can you guess the show reference?).

project based learning

Danni Hayes
School Business Manager

Q1. What excites you most about the Atelier 21’s approach to education?

A new fresh approach to education that is based around a child-centred approach. The idea that children are learning skills ready to tackle life, whilst taking in to account each child’s individual skills.

Q2.  What are you most looking forward to about working at Atelier 21?

Developing my own skills, working alongside a diverse and inspiring team and ultimately making a difference.

Q3. What was your favourite book when you were growing up?

I had a passion for reading at an early age and will find as much time as possible to read a good book. Growing up I fell in love with J. R. R. Tolkien and all of his work, the way he creates his own world to escape in to and makes it come alive.

Q4. If you had a choice between two superpowers, being invisible or flying, which would you choose and why?

Flying. I’d love to be able to see the world from a different view point.