Meet The Staff


Senior Leadership Team

Stuart Nicholson, Principal of Cambridge Centre for Sixth-form Studies

Mr Stuart Nicholson

MA (Oxford), MBA (Edinburgh), PGCE (Cambridge), NPQH

Principal

A graduate of the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh, Stuart holds senior educational posts in addition to that at CCSS. He is currently Chair of CIFE, the national association of independent sixth-form colleges, and is treasurer of The Independent Schools Association.
He has wide-ranging experience in the education sector in the UK, including 25 years variously as teacher, housemaster, and headmaster at schools in Devon, Edinburgh, and Suffolk.

Stuart’s professional interests include the National Professional Qualification for Headship and serving as a team inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate.

His teaching experience at A-level covers Physics, Business Studies, and Accounting. Outside the classroom he represented Oxford University at cricket and squash.


Mrs Denise Hammersley

BSc (Loughborough), PGCE (UEA), NPQH

Deputy Principal

Denise is a graduate of Loughborough University where she studied Mathematics and Physical Education. She spent time travelling with her husband in Asia and South America before returning to the UK to continue her teaching career.

Denise has taught mathematics in a variety of schools including a girls’ grammar school, a boarding school and a large international school in Abu Dhabi. Her most recent post was as Deputy Head of a North London school where she furthered her academic career by completing the National Qualification for Headship as well as becoming a team inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate.

Outside school Denise continues to enjoy sport, knitting and travelling with her family.


CCSS Trustees

Adrian Bennett

Mr Adrian Bennett

Acting Chairman

Adrian is a chartered accountant and a director with a big 4 firm. He works with a range of different clients from small entrepreneurial start up businesses to large listed multinationals and a number of private schools in East Anglia.  He specialises in providing assurance services and advice to growing businesses. He also holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from Imperial College.

Adrian lives in a village just outside Cambridge and enjoys a number of different country pursuits in his spare time. He serves on the main Board of Trustees and the Finance, Property and Personnel sub-committee.


Graeme Lockhart

Mr Graeme Lockhart

Trustee

Graeme is an Architect and property developer, has worked in Cambridge for over 35 years and has been a director of various firms since 1987. He is married to Heather, a special needs teacher and has three grown up children all now living in London.

He has recently completed the design and construction of a carbon neutral eco house in Ely which won the RIBA 2009 Eastern Region residential project of the year award and sustainability commendation .

He spends his free time enjoying sports including rugby and skiing.


Mrs Tricia Pritchard

Trustee

Tricia is currently the Director of Education for the Ely Diocese and has a distinguished career in school management, training and policy.  A headteacher in Oxfordshire from 1990 until 2001, she then joined the Local Authority to mastermind the strategy for inducting newly qualified teachers and to work as a schools’ adviser.  In 2001, she was appointed to HMI and served as an HMI until 2011.

From 2009-2011, she was principal officer for initial teacher training and a member of Ofsted’s senior management team. Tricia was a member of the Board of the Teacher Training Agency from 1997-2000 and represented Ofsted on the Board of the Training and Development Agency from 2009-2011. Since leaving Ofsted, she has worked as an operational associate for the National College for School Leadership on their licensed leadership development provision.

 


Randall White

Mr Randall White

Trustee

Randall grew up in the New York City area but describe himself as a “sort of restless soul, probably due to immigrant Norwegian and Irish ancestors”.  He studied at Stanford University and then worked in Europe for a couple of years before heading back to Boston and Harvard Business School.

Jobs followed in Hamburg, Switzerland, England, France and then back to England again, finally settling down in Cambridge.  Over his career, Randall has managed a wide variety of businesses in Europe, Africa and the Middle East from large manufacturing operations for producing sausage casings to a sales & distribution business for marine hardware.  Now semi-retired, he works for his daughter who runs a horse safari business in Botswana, and fits in as much golf and tennis as time will allow.


Senior staff

Mr Rizvan Ali

Biology BSc (Hull) MSc (Nottingham) PGCE (Sussex)

Head of GCSE and Academic Foundation Programmes, Child Protection Officer

Rizvan graduated from the University of Hull with a BSc in Biology and went on to complete an MSc in Environmental Science at Nottingham and a PGCE at Sussex. He has been teaching for 16 years: at a grammar school in East Sussex prior to joining CCSS in 1997, where he combines the roles of Head of Environmental Science, Head of GCSE and teacher of GCSE Biology!

He has an outgoing and patient personality, along with a firm but fair manner, all of which equip him well for the myriad of tasks that come his way. Being the former Head of Boarding, he also has a wealth of experience on the pastoral care the college provides.

One of the things Rizvan most enjoys about teaching at CCSS is the small class environment, allowing the development of a relaxed and positive atmosphere and plenty of time to get to know each student. He also likes the diversity of the student body at the College.

His main interests lie in the sciences and technology, although he also enjoys sport, particularly swimming and judo, and is a keen traveller.


Mrs Sylvie Chastagnol

MA (Limoges) PGCE (Cambridge)

Head of Modern Languages: teaching French

Sylvie is from rural Limousin in France. She completed both her first degree (in English Literature and Social History) and her teacher training diploma at the university of Limoges.

She then came to the UK to work for one year in Welwyn Garden City as a language assistant, but was soon drawn to Cambridge because of the wealth of resources available for further study. She completed her PGCE (French and Mathematics) at Homerton College and also went on to achieve her Masters, producing research on the English journalist, novelist and political activist, Winifred Holtby.

Sylvie still loves Cambridge, but plasters the walls of her teaching room at CCSS with pictures from her native land. She is married to research scientist Robin Hodgkinson and is the fond and delighted (usually!) mother of Celia and Clement. When not pestering her children by bringing teaching and education home, she loves reading, especially social history, gardening, ancient and classical music and dreaming of travels off the beaten track.

The Department has eight teachers.


Ms Rona Landragon

MA (Aberdeen)

Senior Tutor

Rona studied English Literature at Aberdeen University. After a move to Cambridge in the Autumn of 1981 she had the privilege of working for Paul Redhead, Hilary Kirby and Alan Dawson at the newly established CCSS, initially as administrative assistant, subsequently as Head of Lower Sixth and Vice Principal prior to taking up her current role as Senior Tutor.

She has stayed with the organisation for over 30 happy and busy years for many reasons: the calibre of the students, the cosmopolitan atmosphere and student-centred ethos of the college, and the pleasure of working with such dedicated and experienced colleagues.

Rona’s ties to Scotland are as strong as ever and her interest in hill walking and a new generation of nieces and nephews clamouring for attention call her back regularly. She has a longstanding interest in literature, cinema (with a special interest in Japanese and Russian film), live music and Italian art, which has drawn her back to Venice and Tuscany many times in the past two decades.


Mr Charlie Ritchie

MA (Aberdeen)

Head of Visual Arts and Media, Media & Film

Charlie Ritchie (Head of Visual Arts and Media) completed a Joint Honours degree in Literature and Philosophy at Aberdeen University and won a scholarship to pursue research at Cambridge. He gradually became part of the then fledgling CCSS operation and was appointed Head of English, although nowadays he teaches Film and Media almost exclusively.

He was impressed and attracted by the completely open brief CCSS offered him and the opportunity this gave him to develop students’ interests and enthusiasms. He still remembers the anxious thrill of piloting his first set of students through Literature A-level and gets the same kind of kick out of the current Film Studies curriculum, in particular. He is an experienced exam board moderator in this subject. He finds that an international college is the ideal place to develop an understanding of the world’s greatest popular art form, and is continually surprised and impressed by the ideas his students bring to the course. Possibly the greatest of many great moments at CCSS was when John Peel gave a talk on the media in his classroom.

For the last six years he has been Course Director for the University of Cambridge Certificate in Film Studies programme which means, among other things, that he is a regular fixture at the local Arts Picturehouse. He also runs a summer film course at Pembroke College.

Films, football, music and hills occupy his leisure time. Ozu, Joyce, Milton, The Fall and Nina Simone occupy his heart.


Mrs Anna Russell

BA (Kent) PGCE (London)

Head of Humanities: teaching English

Anna Russell (Head of Humanities) graduated from The University of Kent with an honours degree in English and American Studies, followed by a postgraduate teaching qualification from The University of London. Her subsequent career in teaching and educational management has been very varied and includes senior posts in secondary schools, distance learning, and higher education. Her main focus has always been on promoting individual learning styles and student support and guidance.

Anna has two children and two step-children, so has a parental as well as ‘educational’ understanding of young adults, and of the challenges and choices they face in the modern world. Her youngest daughter studied for her A levels at CCSS and Anna was so impressed by the high quality of teaching and outstanding pastoral support at the college that when the post of Head of English came up, she jumped at it – and has never regretted it. She enjoys working closely with small groups of students and committed and supportive colleagues, and values the international nature of the student body.

Anna enjoys theatre, film and (obviously!) literature – especially 19th century fiction. She is a member of Cambridge University Chorus and loves Mozart, Bach, Randy Newman, The Kinks and Ry Cooder.


Mr Neil White

Dip Lit (Open), Dip Eur Hum (Open), BA Hons (Open)

Director of Boarding and Operations Manager

Neil White (Director of Boarding) was born in Cambridge approximately 100 metres, as the crow flies, from the St Barnabas boarding site that he has been running with his wife Anna since 1998. Anna and Neil joined CCSS in 1990 and have been residential House Managers in four Boarding Houses including all girls’, all boys’, mixed and upper and lower-sixth.

During his time with CCSS Neil has completed a first class honours degree in Literature and European Humanities with the Open University, a two-year counselling course with the Cambridge Consultancy, various Health and Safety courses and a two-year Professional Development Certificate (Boarding Education) with the BSA and Roehampton University.

Anna and Neil have three children, Daniella, Louis and Rosanna, all lifetime CCSS boarders. Football, Shakespeare, the Analytical Psychology of C G Jung, Eastern Philosophy, Soul music and dreams have all enhanced the ‘100-metre’ flight!


Teachers

Mrs Sylvie Chastagnol

MA (Limoges) PGCE (Cambridge)

Head of Modern Languages: teaching French

Sylvie is from rural Limousin in France. She completed both her first degree (in English Literature and Social History) and her teacher training diploma at the university of Limoges.

She then came to the UK to work for one year in Welwyn Garden City as a language assistant, but was soon drawn to Cambridge because of the wealth of resources available for further study. She completed her PGCE (French and Mathematics) at Homerton College and also went on to achieve her Masters, producing research on the English journalist, novelist and political activist, Winifred Holtby.

Sylvie still loves Cambridge, but plasters the walls of her teaching room at CCSS with pictures from her native land. She is married to research scientist Robin Hodgkinson and is the fond and delighted (usually!) mother of Celia and Clement. When not pestering her children by bringing teaching and education home, she loves reading, especially social history, gardening, ancient and classical music and dreaming of travels off the beaten track.

The Department has eight teachers.


Mr Charlie Ritchie

MA (Aberdeen)

Head of Visual Arts and Media, Media & Film

Charlie Ritchie (Head of Visual Arts and Media) completed a Joint Honours degree in Literature and Philosophy at Aberdeen University and won a scholarship to pursue research at Cambridge. He gradually became part of the then fledgling CCSS operation and was appointed Head of English, although nowadays he teaches Film and Media almost exclusively.

He was impressed and attracted by the completely open brief CCSS offered him and the opportunity this gave him to develop students’ interests and enthusiasms. He still remembers the anxious thrill of piloting his first set of students through Literature A-level and gets the same kind of kick out of the current Film Studies curriculum, in particular. He is an experienced exam board moderator in this subject. He finds that an international college is the ideal place to develop an understanding of the world’s greatest popular art form, and is continually surprised and impressed by the ideas his students bring to the course. Possibly the greatest of many great moments at CCSS was when John Peel gave a talk on the media in his classroom.

For the last six years he has been Course Director for the University of Cambridge Certificate in Film Studies programme which means, among other things, that he is a regular fixture at the local Arts Picturehouse. He also runs a summer film course at Pembroke College.

Films, football, music and hills occupy his leisure time. Ozu, Joyce, Milton, The Fall and Nina Simone occupy his heart.


Mrs Anna Russell

BA (Kent) PGCE (London)

Head of Humanities: teaching English

Anna Russell (Head of Humanities) graduated from The University of Kent with an honours degree in English and American Studies, followed by a postgraduate teaching qualification from The University of London. Her subsequent career in teaching and educational management has been very varied and includes senior posts in secondary schools, distance learning, and higher education. Her main focus has always been on promoting individual learning styles and student support and guidance.

Anna has two children and two step-children, so has a parental as well as ‘educational’ understanding of young adults, and of the challenges and choices they face in the modern world. Her youngest daughter studied for her A levels at CCSS and Anna was so impressed by the high quality of teaching and outstanding pastoral support at the college that when the post of Head of English came up, she jumped at it – and has never regretted it. She enjoys working closely with small groups of students and committed and supportive colleagues, and values the international nature of the student body.

Anna enjoys theatre, film and (obviously!) literature – especially 19th century fiction. She is a member of Cambridge University Chorus and loves Mozart, Bach, Randy Newman, The Kinks and Ry Cooder.


House managers

Support Staff