There are excellent relationships between teacher and pupils themselves, who are highly supportive of one another
ISI Inspection Report 2017
Senior and Sixth-Form
Jane Gandee MA Cantab – Headmistress
Ms Jane Gandee is only the ninth headmistress in the school's 127 year history and took up her post in September 2010.
Ms Gandee was previously director of studies at The City of London School for Girls, a position she held since 2005. She read French and Spanish at Girton College, Cambridge before spending two years as an accountant prior to commencing her teaching career. She taught languages at two schools before moving to Queenswood, where she became head of languages in 1999.
Ms Gandee is a keen sportswoman, having represented Cambridge at athletics and cross country and captained the university's women's football team. She still runs competitively when time allows and is married with three children.
Graham Yates MA Brunel - Deputy Head Pastoral
Mr Graham Yates joined St Swithun's School in September 2017. He had previously held the position of deputy head at Hampshire Collegiate School. Before this he was assistant head at Kingston Grammar School.
Mr Yates read geography at Nottingham University and went on to study for a Master's in Education at Brunel University, where he also spent six years running a geography PGCE course.
Charles Hammel AB Princeton MLITT St Andrews – Deputy Head Academic
Mr Charles Hammel joined St Swithun’s in September 2014. Mr Hammel read history and medieval studies at Princeton University and then completed a postgraduate masters in medieval history at the University of St Andrews.
He was previously head of history at King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham, prior to which he was head of scholars at Warwick School, where he taught history, politics and Latin.
Martyn Gamble MA Cranfield - Bursar and Clerk to the Governing Council
Mr Martyn Gamble joined St Swithun’s in January 2019 after a career in the army which spanned 34 years. He was educated at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Cranfield University and the Royal College of Defence Studies, London.
He enjoys family and the outdoor life, and is passionate about most sport.
Alice Ludlow MA Nottingham - Head of Boarding
Ms Alice Ludlow joined St. Swithun’s in September 2021 as an acting housemistress before taking on the role of head of boarding at the start of the 2022/3 academic year.
Ms Ludlow has worked in boarding schools both internationally and in the UK. Before joining St. Swithun’s School, she held the position of assistant principal in an international school in Lusaka, Zambia. Prior to this, she worked at Oakham School and a boarding school in Malawi.
Ms Ludlow is also passionate about her additional role as a teacher of English. In her spare time, she can be found with her head in a wonderful book or walking in the countryside.
Ben Walker BA Cardiff - Head of Marketing and Communications
Mr Ben Walker joined St Swithun’s in January 2023. Previously he worked at the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Chance to Shine schools charity prior to that.
Mr Walker read English Literature at Cardiff University. He enjoys time with his two daughters when not at work.
Liz Norris BSc King’s College, London, PGCE Anglia Ruskin - Head
Mrs Liz Norris joined St Swithun's school in 2023 from St Helen's School where she was interim head of prep. Prior to being appointed, Mrs Norris was also head of junior school at St Margaret’s School in Bushey, Hertfordshire. She was also responsible for pastoral care as phase leader and senior management team member at Bancroft’s prep school.
Recently, she has worked as a private education consultant, supporting reviews on curriculum design and assessment protocols while also undertaking an MA in education.
Away from the classroom, Mrs Norris is a talented musician, playing the piano, flute and cello, and has been a youth leader at her local church.
Kate Grosscurth BSc Plymouth PGCE Exeter – Deputy Head
Mrs Kate Grosscurth joined St Swithun’s School in 2009 from Barfield Prep School in Farnham, Surrey, where she was head of pre-prep. She was appointed deputy head at St Swithun’s in 2015. Prior to this, Mrs Grosscurth taught early years and key stages one and two across the curriculum. She read geography at the University of Plymouth before going on to gain a PGCE at the University of Exeter.
Mrs Grosscurth races offshore yachts and runs the St Swithun’s sailing club.
Sue Powell BEd Reading - Head of Early Years Foundation Stage
Mrs Sue Powell who has been an integral part of the school community since 2020, joined the Senior Management Team in September 2023.
With an impressive career spanning various independent schools and spanning the entire age range of children educated in the primary phase, Sue has gained extensive experience working with children aged 3-11.
As a member of the Senior Management Team, Sue plays a pivotal role in shaping the school's Early Years Foundation Stage provision and ensuring its alignment with best practice in pursuit of excellence in all aspects of children's development.