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The Kernow English Hub Team are always available to help. Please contact us to discuss any early reading support that your school requires.

Pamela Waters


Pamela Waters (M.B.E.) - Kernow English Hub Strategic Lead

Pamela is an experienced teacher and leader; she has been working in Cornish primary schools since 1999. She was Head at our hub school, Trenance Learning Academy, and has led the Kernow English Hub since 2018. Pamela worked closely with the DfE as South West representative on the English Hub National Council. Pamela has been Strategic Lead of OneCornwall Teaching School Hub West and has worked with secondary colleagues to develop professional development programmes bringing national speakers to Cornwall. Pamela has a passion for school improvement and is currently School Improvement Lead for Kernow Learning Trust, she is determined to ensure all pupils get the best start in life - it is for this work that she has recently been awarded her MBE.

Vanessa Morley - Co-Hub Lead - Engagement and Growth

Following a successful career in business working as a director of a corporate services agency, Vanessa’s love of learning led her to retrain to become a primary practitioner. In this setting, she worked across key stages. Vanessa was rapidly promoted to be on the SLT and lead English and RE in a Trust school in Hertfordshire which was rated by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ across all areas in July 2022. 

Despite coming from a background in English, Vanessa had found writing the most challenging area to work with. Understanding the cognitive complexities involved in this process led her to undertake a Masters’ degree at the University of Oxford. She has recently been awarded a distinction for her research project which focused on the teaching and learning of writing. 

Vanessa is passionate about all aspects of teaching and learning. She is excited to be working at the Kernow English Hub to promote best practice and enthusiasm in the delivery of outstanding reading and writing pedagogy to enable both teachers and children to feel confident and to flourish. 

Holly Lewis - Co Hub Lead - Partner School / Literacy Specialist Team Lead - Early Reading Auditor

As the Co-lead and a Literacy Specialist for the Kernow English Hub, Holly lives and breathes reading. From her earliest memories, books have been her place to lose herself, and they are a source which feeds her soul.

As a seasoned early years' teacher, Holly has had the privilege of nurturing young minds and sharing this love of books with hundreds, if not thousands, of children. Learning to read is hard work and Holly relishes the opportunity to introduce children to the world of words and stories - supporting them to expand their imagination.  

Holly’s work with the Hub allows her to partner with fellow educators, aspiring teachers and children. This collaborative approach improves the teaching of reading across our county in a supportive manner - giving everyone the best opportunity to be successful. 

Alison Downing - Co Hub Lead - Oracy Specialist

Alison has 30 years of teaching experience and has taught in a range of schools, including inner city schools in London and rural schools in Cornwall. She is currently an Assistant Head and English Lead and has successfully led the teaching of phonics in her current school for many years, developing the SSP, and developing the reading culture of the school. She was also instrumental in supporting the transition to R.W.I. in her previous school and saw the impact of a rapid increase in scores in the Phonics Screening Check.

She is an expert in early language development and has worked across the Trust, providing training in Oracy and reading with fluency.

Alison believes that every child deserves the best teaching and wants to train and support teachers to improve their skills so that every child can become a reader. She realises that every school is unique, and she tailors the support they need.

Helen O'Kane - Early Reading Auditor

Helen is Headteacher of Nancledra School where she also leads on English and assessment. She has previously led the Kernow English Hub alongside facilitating the Transforming Your School's Reading Culture. She is a current NPQLL facilitator and assessor. She has taught across the primary phase but primarily in Year Two and Year Six. She developed a vast amount of experience and success when leading English across the Primary Phase during her time as an Assistant Head Teacher and curriculum lead at a 1.5 form entry school. 

Helen is passionate that all children leave primary school able to confidently seize all the opportunities that await them in their future educational journeys; she believes being an effective reader, writer and communicator is key. 

She has experience of building a comprehensive whole school reading and writing curriculum which delivers not only the required content of the statutory National Curriculum but also offers students a rich, current, and varied literacy diet. As an Assistant Head, she successfully integrated reading into the curriculum outside of English and developed and implemented a successful robust vocabulary approach, as was noted in the school’s Ofsted report: 

"Pupils have access to a diverse range of texts, including those that support them to expand their vocabulary and subject knowledge across a range of curriculum subjects. 

Ofsted: 7th April 2022 

She has a clear understanding of what lies ahead for each age group due to her experience working in and leading throughout Key Stage one and Key Stage two. Helen also loves to learn, which means she keeps up to date with the latest research and best practice linked not only to the development of English but also in the fields of cognitive science and teacher development. She understands the complexities which face both classroom practitioners and school leaders and is therefore passionate about building effective relationships to ensure her support improves the outcomes of the children within your own unique school community. She looks forward to meeting you and your children in the near future. 

Eve Vollans - Literacy Specialist

Eve Cairns Vollans began her teaching career in 2002, teaching EYFS and KS1 in a small school in Yorkshire. She has then experienced teaching across all year groups, primarily focusing on KS1. In 2006, Eve was seconded by the DfE to The European School in Frankfurt, Germany for a period of nine years. During this time, Eve became the Early Years Lead for 5 different language sections of the EYFS unit. Eve developed her love for the English language during this time, and was especially interested in early language development, phonics and reading. Feeling inspiredve successfully completed her MA in Early Education from The University of Sheffield, researching the transition between EYFS and KS1.

Upon her return to the UK, Eve relocated to the south west and began teaching at a large primary school in Plymouth, teaching KS1 as well as being Phonics and Reading Lead, KS1 Phase Lead and CPD Lead. Throughout this time, Eve's interest in reading and phonics was further ignited and Eve began to research further into improving children's life chances through reading. In 2020, Eve was awarded Experienced Teacher of the Year in Reading for Pleasure, by The Open University, UKLA and Egmont Publishing.

Eve now works as a Head of School and MAT KS1 Improvement Lead. She leads Liskeard area Open University Teacher Reading Group as well as co-leading Transforming Schools Reading Culture meetings and facilitates the NPQLL for Taunton area.

Eve is determined that it really is the right for every child to be a reader. As a Literacy Specialist, Eve supports with all areas of phonics, but especially RWI and Bug Club Phonics and of course reading for pleasure!

Kyja King - Literacy Specialist & Early Reading Auditor

Kyja has been teaching for 20 years and is an experienced KS1 practitioner. She has many years of school leadership experience in a range of settings. Kyja believes that Reading is ‘the heart’ of the Curriculum and is passionate about ensuring that all children learn to read and develop a love of reading.

As an experienced Literacy Specialist and SLE, Kyja loves supporting schools across the region as part of the Kernow English Hub, driving high standards of phonics and reading so that every child achieves their full potential. Kyja has supported many different settings across Cornwall, developing reading and phonics across EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Kyja has been a KS1 moderator for Cornwall Local Authority and currently leads on writing moderation across a large Trust.

Kyja is passionate that we equip every child, regardless of their background, needs or abilities with the skills needed to promote and sustain a fair and equitable society. She believes supporting early language development through quality first teaching is an essential part of the journey. As a dedicated delegate of the National Oracy Project led by Voice 21 and ICAN, Kyja has led and managed change across her own school. She now relishes the opportunity to support other schools on their journey.

Through recent national training led by Professor Teresa Cremin, also complimented by the English Hub’s Reading for Pleasure: Transforming your School’s Reading Culture project, Kyja is keen to support schools in implementing whole school ‘structural’ changes required to create a reading for pleasure culture.

Kyja is very much looking forward to continuing to support schools to ensure the delivery of rigorous SSP programs to improve practice, attainment as well as practitioner’s confidence.

Tania Findley - MBE - Reading for Pleasure Specialist

Tania Findlay MBE has a wide experience of teaching and supporting pupils and staff across different multi-academy Trusts. She is a Specialist Leader in Education for English and has worked with schools to create their English Curriculum, implement libraries, and supported them to embed and sustain a 'Reading for Pleasure' culture. She is currently the Deputy Head at Newquay Junior Academy and enjoys sharing effective practice within schools, across Newquay and the rest of Cornwall. She is also the Kernow English Hub's Reading for Pleasure Literacy Specialist.

Having implemented and supported English curriculums across a wide range of settings both primary and secondary, she is passionate that all children are successful, fluent readers with a lifelong love of books and reading. Through diagnostic support and precise coaching, Tania has supported schools build upon their strong start in Early Years and Key Stage 1 to ensure they receive consistent and high-quality teaching throughout the rest of their primary education. She has worked with ITT students, ECTs and has a particular interest in the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 and beyond. As such, she has been influential in improvements in English in many settings across the county.

Tania has worked as a teacher across all year groups, but mainly in Upper Key Stage 2, predominantly in Year 6. She is particularly passionate about embedding a love of reading throughout the school both within the curriculum and wider reading for pleasure. She knows this starts with teachers who read and readers who teach and is experienced in creating reading spines and 'blethering' about books. Being mixed race, she feels it is important for children to read books which are packed full of stories which represent a diverse range of authors, illustrators and characters that children can 'see' themselves and others in.

This year is the second time she has run the Kernow English Hub's 'Transforming Your School's Reading Culture' programme which enables English Leads to develop their own school's reading for pleasure journey. She regularly reviews books for national newspapers and blogs and is fortunate enough to be able to preview a wide range of children's literature before release. This has given her an extensive knowledge of books and enabled her to build relationships with a variety of publishers, authors and illustrators.

In the 2020 New Year Honours List, Tania was awarded an MBE for Services to Education primarily for class teaching, school improvement for English and promoting a love of reading.

Amy Hooper - Literacy Specialist - Early Reading Auditor

Amy is an experienced KS1 teacher and reading lead, having taught in Cornish schools for more than 15 years.  She is currently a Year 2 teacher and KS1 lead, leading English across her school and across the 8 schools in the ANDARAS MAT. Having worked extremely hard to raise the attainment and standards in her own school, she now relishes the opportunity to support other schools on their journey.

Amy has a lot of experience working in schools that have a significantly above average number of pupil premium and SEN children. Knowing that reading ability has a considerable impact on both educational attainment and wider life outcomes, ensuring that all children regardless of their background or ability become readers, is something that she feels very strongly about.

She has a passion for promoting the love of early reading, ensuring that we inspire children to be confident, fluent readers with the ability to unlock the whole curriculum. Amy feels very privileged to be able to work with a team of Literacy Specialists who are dedicated to developing a love of reading for all children.

Amy Rutter - Literacy Specialist - Early Reading Auditor

Early reading and phonics have been a huge passion of Amy’s since beginning her teacher career. She specialised and completed her final dissertation about the effects a highly effective Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme can have on children’s overall outcomes when leaving primary school and has continued to develop her practise since this day.  

Amy is an experienced teacher who has taught across a range of year groups, primarily focussing on KS1. She currently teaches Year 2 and successfully leads English across her school. Amy has previously worked in larger, inner-city settings in the Midlands, where she worked within the English team developing their phonics teaching. Amy also works closely with Cornwall SCITT, delivering phonics training to their new trainee teachers.  

Amy was one of the first schools to implement Little Wandle and has since become a huge advocate for the scheme. She works closely with her academy trust and helps support schools who join the scheme. Reading for pleasure is also a huge focus of Amy’s in-school role. She is an avid reader with a real passion for children’s literature. Amy is continuing to develop her school’s reading for pleasure ‘ethos’ after completing the ‘Transforming your school’s reading culture’ course. 

Amy is extremely enthusiastic about quality teaching in English, reading and phonics. She believes that strong foundations in these subjects allows for children to succeed in all areas of the wider curriculum. She relishes in the opportunity to support schools with their reading and phonics journeys, offering guidance and expert knowledge along the way.

Jo Pethick - Literacy Specialist

On her journey to teaching, Jo completed a degree in Education Studies. During this, Jo focused her studies on understanding how social class can act as a determiner of educational success. This underpins her whole drive for working in education, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, receives access to great teaching as this is one of the most powerful levers we have for change. Jo passionately believes that every child can become a reader and, most importantly, love reading.

Jo is an experienced teacher who has been fortunate enough to teach in a wide range of year groups. Currently, she teaches a year 1 class and has exemplary practice in delivering phonics. Jo leads early reading in her setting and has supported the introduction of RWI, which saw phonics screening scores rocket to 100% after its first year of delivery. Scores remain consistently high and school practice is championed by visitors and the trust. Jo is a RWI fanatic, and her love of phonics radiates to all. All reading leaders in the school approach phonics with the same positive attitude and this contributes to a school-wide, palpable ethos of positivity about reading.

This year, a large part of Jo’s role has been ensuring that reading teachers feel confident in delivering phonics in the most up-to-date way, ensuring fidelity to the scheme. Jo is in her element supporting staff in this way and loves nothing more than to see progress in delivery and subsequently, children’s reading ability. Jo is extremely excited to not only learn and grow with an amazing, experienced team, but to also work with a variety of schools in supporting the deliver of a rigorous SSP and witness the positive impact this will have.

Sarah Hildyard - Literacy Specialist

Sarah was brought up in a close-nit family where reading was at the heart of family life. As a result, she acquired a love of reading which would stay with her throughout schooling and her career as a teacher and leader.

She began teaching in West Sussex in 2004 where she developed a passion for the Early Years Foundation Stage and a particular interest in early language development and reading. Internal promotion a few years later allowed her to take on the role of English leader, which gave her the opportunity to drive the development of reading and writing to not only children in her own class but to children across the whole school too.

She became Deputy Headteacher in 2015 in an Infant School in Crawley where over 50% of the school community were from disadvantaged backgrounds. This took her back to her childhood as she reflected on the life-chances she was given by growing up in a reading-rich family. She became a champion for promoting reading opportunities for every child in her care.

She moved to Cornwall 5 years ago and became Assistant Headteacher and Early Reading Lead in a large, two-form entry school in St Austell. She has been instrumental in the development of the Read, Write Inc. SSP and has led a team of 20 reading teachers to become experts in delivering the program with fidelity. She coaches the team regularly and has provided bespoke training to ensure every child makes the best possible progress.

She is incredibly excited to work alongside a team of like-minded, passionate Literacy Specialists who are dedicated to getting every child reading.

Kim Price - Literacy Specialist for SEND

As an Early Years teacher and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator (SENDCO) with a wealth of experience in supporting children and adults with additional needs, she is deeply honoured to be a part of the English Hub community. Her journey in education has been defined by a steadfast commitment to inclusive practices and a passionate advocacy for the holistic development of every learner.

She has had the privilege to be able to draw upon years of hands-on experience and believes she has a profound understanding of diverse learning profiles. She is dedicated to fostering an inclusive environment where every individual feels valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential.

Beyond the confines of the classroom, she is a firm believer in the therapeutic and educational benefits of nature. Living in Cornwall allows literature and nature to co-exist in a wonderful bubble of myths and legends, which she is known to get lost in.

As a new member of the English Hub, she is excited to collaborate with like-minded educators, share best practices, and explore innovative approaches to support learners with SEND on their literacy journey. She aims to collaboratively champion inclusivity, celebrate diversity, and empower every learner to unlock their full potential, one story at a time.

Tracey Milsom - Literacy Specialist

Tracey has been teaching for 20 years and is an experienced KS1 practitioner. She is  an Assistant Head and Early Reading Lead  and has successfully led the teaching of phonics in her current school for many years. Tracey has extensive first-hand experience in phonics teaching, monitoring pupil progress and delivering interventions. She is currently a SLE in reading and KS1 assessment and is part of Kernow Learning’s writing moderation team.
Tracey is passionate about supporting teachers, enabling them to use all the tools available to secure best outcomes for children. She leads regular training sessions and supports teachers to assess and group children effectively. Upon identifying children who need extra support, she works closely with teachers and support staff to put practical and achievable plans in place to ensure the greatest impact. Tracey has experience of the phonics screening check, managing the delivery as well as providing training to parents, student teachers and CPD for colleagues.

Helen Cobley - Administrator

Helen has worked in a variety of roles within education and business. She started her career in property and finance, then ran her own hospitality business, before completing her degree in Teaching and Learning. She has experience in primary, secondary and higher education, as well as outdoor activity.

Helen will be the point of contact for bookings and events for the hub, or any administrative tasks that may arise and is happy to help however she can.

Chris Gerry - I.T. Support and Website Administrator

Having worked in a primary school for 14 years as a teaching assistant and then a teacher, Chris is enjoying working alongside many of the wonderful English Hub staff.

Due to his background in computing and technology, he was brought onboard at an early stage to support with the I.T. of the Kernow English Hub. This included building the initial website to supporting at events with any technical requirements, and this is now his current role.