Westholme Crest

Meet the Staff


 Mrs Barnett

Mrs Rebecca Barnett (Headteacher), BA (Hons), MA, PGCE

Mrs Barnett joined us in September 2016 when she relocated from Kenya having worked as Head at Braeburn Mombassa International School for 3 years. Mrs Barnett lives in Blackburn with her husband, Dan, and their two daughters, Poppy and Willa, both of whom attend Westholme Junior School. Mrs Barnett has settled into Westholme life well and is enjoying the warm family and community atmosphere and loves being part of a dedicated staff team.


Mrs Judith Dixon (Deputy Head/Early Years Lead), BA (Hons) QTS in Primary Education with English Language and Literature

Mrs Dixon is delighted to part of a wonderful team of staff at the Nursery and Infant school. She has been lucky enough to have taught in every year group at Westholme Infants and has worked closely with every teacher. As well as being Deputy Head, Mrs Dixon leads the Early Years department, working closely with Mrs Church and the Early Years Team. She teaches phonics and maths to the children who attend ‘Superstars’, our Pre School class, and LAMDA to Year 1 and 2 children. This year she is very excited about teaching year 5 boys and girls RE. In her spare time Mrs Dixon enjoys spending time with her husband, three young children and Labrador, Jess. As a family they love the outdoors, walking in the Lake District and camping in the UK and abroad.


Nursery Staff

Mrs Church

Mrs Joanne Church, Nursery Manager

Mrs Church is delighted to be leading the team at Nursery, especially with the addition of the babies. Her role is to manage the Nursery and work alongside the staff team to ensure that the children have the very best in childcare, learning and development experiences.

Since qualifying in 1985, Mrs Church has gained a wealth of experience in various roles. She was manager of a setting for 16 years and also held roles of Quality Development Officer, Early Years Training Coordinator and Area Childcare Manager, supporting nurseries throughout the North West of England. Continuing her own professional development, Mrs Church achieved an Early Years Specialist Degree in 2000 and more recently updated her knowledge through a Foundation Degree in Early Years Practice. She is passionate about quality childcare and creating the best possible learning opportunities for children.

Mrs Church is married and has 1 son. When not at work, she can often be found in Scotland, where her love of the outdoors is combined with a long-term project to 'lovingly' restore a small cottage in preparation for her retirement! Mrs Church is also a keen photographer.

Mrs Wearden

Mrs E Fox, Early Years Teacher, BA (Hons) & EYT- Deputy Nursery Manager

Mrs Fox has worked at the nursery since 2009, starting as a nursery nurse and progressing to Senior Deputy Manager and Early Years Teacher. Mrs Fox is passionate about ensuring the children gain the very most from their nursery experience, planning and leading an exciting and stimulating curriculum. Mrs Fox has recently got married. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and is often kept busy with her two goddaughters.


Miss S Baxter

I am currently working as an Apprentice in Early Years and working towards a Level 2 Qualification. I work in both the Shining Stars and Rising Stars rooms which gives me a wealth of experience with children from 3 months to 4 years; this practical experience helps me build on my theoretical knowledge learned in college.
I enjoy taking the children to Gym Tots sessions where I assist in their PE lesson. I am also responsible for leading the Mini Einsteins session, where I plan activities for children to develop their interest in all things scientific.
I am a very creative person and like nothing better than getting out the art materials and helping the children to create wonderful things for their displays.

Mrs Ghanbari

Mrs A Ghanbari, NVQ3 in Children's Care, Learning & Development

Mrs Ghanbari comes in every morning with a big smile and individually greets every child with a big cuddle. She enjoys spending time in the imaginary home corner cooking up a culinary storm with the children. Mrs Ghanbari also loves to help children make 3D models out of play dough and the recycling area.

Miss Hitchen

Miss C Hitchen, BA (Hons) in Early Years

Miss Hitchen is a key person within the nursery and will often be found covered from head to toe in flour after getting messy with the children. She loves to work with the children in small groups, carrying out one to one activities to build on skills as well as using group times to share favourite stories and songs.


Mrs D Holland

Mrs Holland works part time at nursery and leads our Forest Friday activities . Before joining the Infant School, Mrs Holland worked at the former Boys' Junior School for 4 years. She loves being with the early years children and finds each day very different and rewarding. Mrs Holland enjoys craft activities, outside play and of course, most of all loves the cuddles!

Miss Mitchell

Miss C Mitchell, BA (Hons) Education

Miss Mitchell is a key worker in the rising stars room. After qualifying as a practitioner in 2011 she went onto study a BA Honours degree in Education before joining Westholme in 2016. During the day Miss Mitchell can be found playing in the nursery garden or leading 'wake up, shake up' getting the children energised and ready to learn. In her spare time, when not at Ewood Park, Miss Mitchell is still in early years mode planning lots of fun things to do with her four nieces

Miss Nield

Miss C Nield, BTEC National Diploma in Children's Care - Level 3

Miss Nield works in the baby room and is Key Person for the Panda Group, she enjoys getting messy and creative alongside the babies and can often be found singing and reading stories while enjoying lots of cuddle and snuggle time.

Mrs Rasheed

Mrs L Rasheed, Shining Stars Room Leader, Level 3 NVQ, Children's Care, Learning & Development 

Mrs Rasheed joined Westholme in 2015 as Room Leader of our newly established Baby Room. Looking after the "Shining Stars" Koala group Mrs Rasheed has been working with babies and toddlers since qualifying in 2005. Mrs Rasheed enjoys teaching the babies and toddlers sign language in sing and sign sessions and developing the babies’ culinary skills in Baby Baking. Mrs Rasheed has 4 grown up children that still keep her busy when not in Nursery.

 Miss Rasheed

Miss J Rasheed, Level 3 Diploma in Children and Young Peoples Workforce (Early Years Educator)

Miss Rasheed is a level 3 qualified nursery practitioner who has been working at Westholme for 2 years. Miss Rasheed is a key worker to the Purple Star Key Group and enjoys getting creative. Miss Rasheed also enjoys music at circle times where the children use different ways to make sounds such as musical instruments, body parts and other objects. On Monday afternoons, Miss Rasheed assists in Mini Gym Tots where the children develop their physical skills and gain confidence by challenging themselves.

Mrs Turner

Mrs J Turner, Level 4 Children's Care, Learning and Development

Mrs Turner joined Westholme Nursery in 2016 and has been working with the babies and our youngest toddlers in the Shining Stars Room. Mrs Turner’s love of the outdoors is portrayed in her activities through Discovery Babies where she plans exciting experiences for the children to explore, find out, challenge themselves and learn to think critically.

Miss Whaite

Miss R Whaite

Miss Whaite is delighted to join Westholme Early Years Department as an Apprentice Early Years Practitioner working towards a Level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce ( Early Years Educator). She enjoys creating new experiences for the children to learn and have fun. Miss Whaite leads a Mini Bakers session on a Thursday afternoon and assists with other activities in our Enrichment Curriculum such as, Gym Tots, Music and Dance. She enjoys reading stories to the children and’ bringing them alive’ through puppets and props.

Infant School Staff


Mr Nick Appleton, BSC (Hons), Northumbria, PGCE

Mr Appleton is in his second year of teaching at Westholme School having started his career as a primary school teacher. His passion is sports and he is thoroughly enjoying having the opportunity to work closely with children from the infants, juniors and seniors. Mr Appleton works with many of the sports teams and clubs here at Westholme and finds the commitment from the children invigorating and their attitude towards works and play extremely infectious. He hopes that his love for competition, team work and physical activity will enable children to progress both inside and outside of the classroom and stay with them long after leaving Westholme School.

Mrs Barrett

Mrs Susan Barrett, BEd (Hons)

Mrs Barrett has a long association with Westholme, being an Old Girl, starting school at Billinge House when she was three years old. She has one of her own children at the school and is presently teaching in Year 2. Mrs Barrett loves cooking for her family and friends, and reading a good book!


Mrs Helen Burton, BA (Hons), QTS Edge Hill College

Mrs Burton began her connection with Westholme in 1983 when she joined the school as a Year 7 pupil. After completing her degree she returned as a Year 4 class teacher before taking a break with her two children. Mrs Burton then returned to teach music at the former Boys' Junior School and then back to the Junior School. She is now also enjoying getting to know the smallest members of the Westholme family whilst teaching music at the Infant School. Mrs Burton lives in Blackburn with her husband, children Charles and Ella and their recent addition to the family, a puppy called Barney. 


Mr Dan Barnett, BEd (Hons), Cantab

Mr Barnett enjoys sports, travel and outdoor pursuits. He is enjoying working with the Nursery and Infant School children in his weekly Gym Tots sessions.


Mrs Caroline Carr, BA (Hons), PGCE

Mrs Carr is our Reception teacher. She has an interest in sewing and crafts as well as enjoying sailing, skiing and spending time with her family.

Miss Cole

Miss Stacey Cole, BA (Hons) Early Years and Health

Miss Cole is classroom assistant in Year 2. During the holidays, she is one of the leaders for W Club. She loves going on leisurely bike rides, swimming and attending a Zumba class twice a week. She has a huge collection of wacky and unique earrings (over 1000 at the last count!), many of which she has made herself. She enjoys catching up with friends and family, eating out and trying new places.


 Miss Maxine Furness, BSc (Hons), Edge Hill, PGCE

Miss Furness is excited for the forthcoming academic year as she will be teaching Swimming to the Infant School children. In her spare time, she plays netball, runs and goes to the gym. 


Mr Phil Harrison, BA (Hons), Manchester, PGCE

Mr Harrison looks forward to his weekly trip to the Infant School! He enjoys doing computing lessons with both Year 1 and Year 2 classes and the boys and girls really impress him with their skills on the keyboard and with the mouse.

 Mrs Milnes 1

 Mrs Vicki Milnes, BA (Hons), QTS Primary Education with Geography

Mrs Milnes is a Year 1 class teacher. She has a son who attended Westholme and a daughter who is a current pupil at the School. In her spare time, Mrs Milnes enjoys skiing, cooking, reading and spending time with her family and friends.

 Miss Shaw

Miss Natalie Shaw, NVQ3 Early Years Care & Education

Miss Shaw works as a classroom assistant in Reception with Mrs Carr


Mrs Deborah Thorpe, BA, PGCE, Dip.RSA

Mrs Thorpe is passionate about all things French, especially the food! She teaches French at the Infant, Junior and Senior Schools and finds it particularly satisfying to see the progress the children make as they move through from Reception to Year 7. It is fortunate that she enjoys travelling as apart from moving between the three school sites she has a daughter who lives in Brussels and two sons who both live in London. Whenever she has any free time she enjoys walking with her husband, reading, cooking and visiting friends all over the country

Mrs Waddicor

Mrs Susan Waddicor, NNEB

Mrs Waddicor works as a teaching assistant in Reception. Mrs Waddicor has three daughters; two who have now left Westholme and one who still attends. In her free time, she enjoys travel, watching sport, reading and spending time with her family, especially her new grandson.


Mr Simon Warburton, BA (Hons), PGCE

Mr Warburton teaches Swimming and is looking forward to seeing the pupils progress all the way through to Senior School! Keeping fit and healthy is a passion of his and he is regular visitor of the gym. He is currently completing a part-time Masters Degree in Education. Mr Warburton also enjoys swimming and is working hard to improve his golf swing.


Miss Rachel Oliver, Secretary, Level 3 NVQ in Business and Administration

Miss Oliver is our School Secretary and joined us in January 2017 when she relocated to the area with her partner. Miss Oliver is enjoying getting to know all of the staff and children and is settling in well. In her spare time she loves to renovate old furniture, paint, take photos, garden and cook and has a cat called Pippin, 3 giant African land snails and 2 fish.

Tony McKenna

Mr Tony McKenna, Maintenance Team

Mr McKenna is a member of the Maintenance Team at Westholme School who works mainly at the Infant School, having previously worked at what was the Boys' Junior School. 

 A Hoole

Mr A Hoole, Maintenance Team

Mr Hoole joined us in 2016. He was a self employed joiner by trade and he is making full use of his skills in his new role at the Infant School!

Pre School

Miss Bibby

Miss A Bibby, BA Hons in Special Educational Needs, Super Stars Room Leader

Miss Bibby qualified as a Nursery Nurse in 2011 and then continued her professional development by achieving a BA Honours in Education and Special Educational Needs in 2015. Miss Bibby carries out Circle Time activities to promote the children’s understanding of Personal, Social and Emotional learning and helps them to explore, express and discuss their feelings. In her spare time Miss Bibby enjoys baking and is currently busy planning her wedding.


Miss Khurshid Garda, Foundation Degree in Childhood Studies

Miss Garda enjoys being at Westholme and has commented that it is like one, big, happy family!


Mrs Amy Jenkins, BA (Hons), Primary PGCE

Mrs Jenkins is the newest member of the Pre School team. She is enjoying getting to know her key children very much. Mrs Jenkins enjoys spending time with her family at weekends and also loves being outside with her black Labrador, Trigger! Mrs Jenkins is also a keen runner and is waiting to find out whether she has been successful for the London marathon!


Mrs H Ahmed, Level 3 Childcare NCC, Level 3 Special Education Needs NCC, Level 4/5 Teaching and Learning Primary Education (STAC)

Mrs Ahmed is currently in her final year at University where she is studying for a Teaching and Learning Primary Education with SEN FdA qualification. Miss Ahmed is lucky to have experienced working with all of the Infant School, from the baby room to Year 2. A mother of 3 children who all attend Westholme School, Miss Ahmed enjoys spending time with her family and visiting new and exciting places on holiday.


Miss Jess Cowgill

Miss Cowgill has recently joined the Pre School team as an apprentice where she will be focusing on outdoor learning. In her spare time, Miss Cowgill enjoys baking, cooking, DIY, exploring, trampolining and jogging. Her favourite part of her job is seeing the progress the children are making, and the cuddles!


Miss Julia Tudda – Teaching Assistant

Miss Tudda is a qualified Nursery Nurse who is currently based in Pre School.  She has worked at Westholme for 11 years and has recently completed a full time degree, graduating in July 2015. Miss Tudda is now enjoying her assignment free weekends, however, is spending time renovating her new home!

Nursery & Infant News

The Crown Jewels!

21 May, 18

A visit to Peter Jackson Jewellers

Royal Wedding 2018

18 May, 18

Celebrating the big day! 

Out in the Wild

14 May, 18

Reception visit to Brockholes

NSPCC Campaign

11 May, 18

Speak out, stay safe! 

Rugby Fixture

09 May, 18

A Friendly Fixture