Long Marton

Community School

Who's Who

“You and your governors sustain your experienced team of teachers and support staff, who underpin the success of the school. With your strong leadership and direction and support from knowledgeable governors, these staff continue to ensure pupils’ good outcomes in their personal and academic development. ” Ofsted February 2019

Rachel Smith - Headteacher

 Hello there! I am the school’s headteacher and the SENCO. If you or your child have any problems please contact me and I promise I will do all I can to sort them out. I started my teaching career in a large rural school in Derbyshire where I worked for three years, moving onto an inner city school in Sheffield where I also worked for three years, eventually settling and  working in a range of schools in the Eden Valley. I have been head teacher at Long Marton school for over 24 years. In my spare time I like running, walking and watching cookery programmes like Masterchef and Bake Off. 


Helen Dixon - Teacher - Class 1 (currently on maternity leave)

Hi! I am the teacher of the Early Years class (N/R) - Class 1. I will be the first teacher that your child works with in school. I started my teaching career in a nursery school in Kendal then I moved to Wakefield and taught in a large reception unit. I returned to Cumbria in 2006 to teach in a small rural school near Carlisle for a year before joining the Long Marton School  staff. When not at school I enjoy spending my time riding my horse and walking my dogs.    

Lucy Peart - Teacher - Class 1

 Hi, I will be teaching the Nursery and Reception children in class 1 this year. I am very excited to help the children to settle in during their first year at school! I studied 'Early Years and Childhood Studies' at Northumbria University before moving home to Carlisle to complete my PGCE at the University of Cumbria. I taught the Nursery class at Brunswick School for 2 years before starting here at Long Marton. I love teaching in the Early Years as we can get involved in all kinds of creative and 'hands on' learning! In my spare time, I enjoy baking and going for walks in the Lake District.        

Alison Birkett - Teacher - Class 2

At Long Marton I work with the year one and two children (class 2), my specialisms and interests lay in the Arts so I also work with Key Stage Two children teaching Art and Design. Outside school, I enjoy days out in the lakes with my family and visiting new places. I have  a BEd with HONS from the University of Derby, along with 'many' years experience working in a range of village or city schools, here in Cumbria and overseas.  However, I believe that it is the 'community' within this whole village that enriches the school and encourages the children to continue learning outside the classroom.

Charlie Ellison - Teacher - Class 3

I teach years 3 and 4 in class 3 as well as teaching Computing to classes 2,3 and 4. I have a master’s degree in Town and Country Planning and was a town planner before seeking a career change in teaching. I gained my PGCE from the University of Worcester in 2012 and returned to Cumbria in 2014 and have taught at Long Marton school since 2015.

Fiona Eva - Teacher - Y4/5

It has been a lifelong dream to move north and in 2020, my family and I were fortunate to be able to fulfil that dream, relocating to the Eden Valley. It is fair to say that I am feeling like a very lucky lady and to now be the newest member of the Long Marton community is definitely the icing on the cake. I have taught for ten years across key stages one and two as well as being a qualified Forest School Practitioner. I believe that being outdoors encourages children to take risks and challenge themselves in different ways to the classroom - I love the curiosity and confidence that it develops. The outdoors is a huge part of my life when I am not in school too. I can often be found getting my hands dirty in the garden or exploring new parts of the Eden Valley or hiking in the Lakes with my husband and our boys.

John Davis - Teacher - Class 4

I teach Class 4, plus Class 3 for PE. After taking a BA in English Language & Literature and MA in 19th Century Studies at the University of Sheffield, I qualified from Newcastle University with a PGCE in Primary Education. I taught in Sheffield for two years before returning home to Eden, where I grew up, when appointed at Long Marton in 2009. I love to read, play sport and to travel, and spent five months volunteer teaching in 2016 in Nepal while on sabbatical from Long Marton.

Jane Bainbridge - Music Teacher

I teach music to classes 2,3 & 4 and individual instrumental lessons. I also run the schools choir. I am also the accompanist for our community choir,  Middle Eden Voices, which meets in school each week. I began teaching piano at home aged 16 after learning from the age of 7. I started working at Long Marton in 2001 and both my children were pupils here. Outside of school I teach private instrumental lessons at home and I also teach these in another primary school. I love to ride my bicycle, read, knit or crotchet and help to look after our herd of cows!!

Kate Walsh - French Teacher

I love French having lived in France for a couple of years! I teach in 6 primary schools within the Eden Valley.  I began teaching in secondary schools but now thoroughly enjoy introducing the language to younger learners.  Out of school, I enjoy mountain biking, skiing and running with the rest of my family and dog!


Wendy Swinbank - School Business Manager

Hello, my name is Wendy Swinbank, I am the Small School Business Manager (SSBM) and clerk to governors here at Long Marton School. I have had an association with Long Marton School since 1995 when our daughter started school and have worked here since 2001. I am the first person you meet when you come into school at the office. I am always willing to help with any queries or questions parents and children may have. I am a farmer's wife and our three children all attended Long Marton School.

Rebecca Bird - Teaching Assistant in Class 1 and Breakfast Club Leader

I started my career at 19 working with children in a school with special educational needs. After gaining my NVQ level 3 in Children and Young People I soon realised that this was the path my career would take. My experience as a nursery assistant with pre-school children is where I'm happiest watching young children first experience the joy of the classroom is something I feel very privileged to be apart of. In my spare time I enjoy swimming and taking my children on fun filled days out in the Lake District which I'm fortunate enough to have been my home my whole life.

Andrea Hodgkinson - Senior Teaching Assistant in Class 2

In 2007 I gained the NVQ level 3 qualification in Teaching and Learning. I live locally and have worked for Learning Support Services, Appleby Grammar School and Appleby Primary School.

I started at Long Marton School in 2015 but have had strong connections with the school since 2007 when my daughter started Nursery. I have also supported the school as a member of Friends for most of this time. I now work across the school supporting children in most age groups. In 2016 a parent and I set up a Gardening Club now  "Greenfingers" which is run by a Committee of children and is proving very popular.

Nikki Birtles - Teaching Assistant in Class 3

In 2019 I made an exciting career change, and began training as a Teaching Assistant.  Since then I have been fortunate enough to work with children at both Appleby Primary School and Appleby Grammar School, providing me with excellent experience across the Key Stages.  In this time I have also achieved my Level 2 and 3 qualifications in Supporting Teaching and Learning.  I am thrilled to be joining the Long Marton team, and look forward to getting to know everyone within the school community.  Outside of school, I am kept very busy by my three young daughters, and together we enjoy lots of wild swimming, camping, sports, and shopping!

Val Stamper - After school Club Leader

Hi! When I’m not running the After School Club, I’m a professional artist working from my home studio in the Scordale Valley. Born and raised in Kendal, I completed my BA(Hons) in theatre set design and spent a few years in the colourful environment of the theatre before joining the Royal Navy. After a rewarding 16 year career serving around the world, I departed the Royal Navy and returned home to Cumbria to raise my young son and pursue my first love of painting. I spend my quieter times walking and running in the hills with my dogs and looking up at the stars through my telescopes whenever there is a clear night.

Lilian Rowlings - Teaching Assistant in Class 1, 2 and Senior Midday Supervisor

I have been a Midday Supervisor for over thirty years, helping the children during their lunchtime break. I also work one afternoon in class 1 and 2. Out of school I enjoy visiting National Trust houses and gardens, reading and spending time with my grandchildren.

Sandra Longstaff - Cleaner in Charge and Midday Supervisor.

My two daughters attended Long Marton school in the 1990's and I started working here as Cleaner-in-Charge in 1996. Before that I had helped out with dinnertime supervision because of high pupil numbers. Out of school I enjoy looking after my dog and helping out with the grandchildren.

Sheila Banks - Midday Supervisor

Originally from Edinburgh. Married for 50 years to Alan. I have three children, Sarah Cameron & Johanna and two grand children, one attends the school.  In my working career I have worked in 2 school offices – George Heriot’s in Edinburgh and Dumfries Academy.  We came to Appleby 6 years ago after retiring from our Newsagents Business in Cuper, Fife to help with childcare. I do a lot of Bowling both outdoors and short mat indoors.

Sharon Brockbank - Orian Team Leader 

Hi, I'm Sharon, your new kitchen team leader. Not many people are aware of my catering background as I have been self employed for over 20 years dabbling in other things while my children grew up. However, my catering experience dates back 27 years, including A.G.S kitchen, management, and local pubs and restaurants. My passion has always been food and I never tire of it hence I am delighted to be joining this lovely Village school and looking forward to meeting all the staff, the little people and parents in due course. Please do not hesitate to contact me should anyone have any special requirements, questions or concerns about your little ones regarding food.

Laura Cade - Orian Team Member My family moved to Cumbria three years ago and were lucky enough to choose this school for my boys. I have volunteered in the school and am really happy to be joining the team. When not cooking you'll probably find me out on the fells with my dog or growing veggies in my garden.