Pathfinder SLEs

Meet the Pathfinder SLEs

The Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance has a number of SLEs working in schools across Yorkshire and the wider area.



Kirstie Blything  

Burton Green Primary School

Specialist Area: Primary Education




Chris Charles 

Pocklington School

Specialist Area: Computing

I’ve been teaching for over 18 years. I’ve been in charge of Computer Science in multiple schools and I enjoy working with others to make Computer Science an interesting, useful and successful subject area.



Kirsty Gudgeon 

Westfield Primary School

Specialist Area: Primary Education


Steven Lever


Steven Lever

Archbishop Holgate's School

Specialist Area: Science


Philip McBride


Phil McBride

Archbishop Holgate's School

Specialist Area: Mathematics

I have been teaching for over 20 years in Yorkshire.  I have been a HoD and now Lead Practitioner.  I love supporting colleagues, whether new to the profession or established, to become better at what they do.

Molly newton


Molly Newton

Archbishop Holgate's School

Specialist Area: Music

I have taught music in York for 20 years and, since the birth of my two children, have worked part-time in a huge variety of music education roles. Currently, I am Arts and Culture Lead at Archbishop Holgate’s School (AHS). As well as teaching music, I plan and coordinate the Arts Award curriculum content for all of year 9 as part of our Character and Culture offer. A brand new addition to the curriculum designed to enable students to work towards a national qualification and have continued connection with the creative arts during this important transition year. 

I also work with our Pathfinder ITT students, and provide ongoing support to our music trainees. In previous years as part of the schools primary outreach work, I developed and delivered music transition projects with local feeder schools and, in 2012 I set up the York Schools Choral Festival, an annual event that celebrates the quality of singing in York Schools. 

Between 2009 and 2019, I transitioned into primary education working as music co-ordinator at three primary schools. In 2017 I was invited to work for two terms at Fulford School, where I was responsible for KS 4 music following the mid year departure of their head of music. In 2018 I was appointed as Specialist Leader of Education for Music at the Pathfinder Teaching School Alliance and then in 2019 I took on the position of Strategic Manager for York Music Hub before leaving that organisation in August 2020 to pursue my current role at AHS.  

I have a strong belief in the importance of music within the school curriculum and, while accepting that the priority will often be the core subjects, I feel we must not lose sight of the vital role creative arts play within education. I regularly champion arts education initiatives, feedback to parents and the wider community on the achievements of young people. Because of the variety of roles in which I have worked, I am hugely flexible in my approach, and have learned to carefully manage and prioritise complex work schedules.  



Oliver Stevens 

Rufforth Primary School

Specialist Area: Mathematics


Nicola towle


Nicola Towle

Fulford School

Specialist Area: English

As well as teaching English to all ages at Fulford School in York, I am also a part-time tutor on the PGCE course. I work with a range of trainee teachers as they develop their skills in order to become enthusiastic and effective teachers.

I have been an English teacher for nearly 30 years, working in range of schools and holding a variety of positions of responsibility, including Subject Leader in a large and successful comprehensive in York.

I also worked on the English PGCE course at Durham University for almost ten years. During my time as an English teacher I have taught English and Drama to all ages. I have been involved in a number of research projects focusing on effective learning, Grammar for Writing, verbal feedback and target setting. I have also developed CPD training materials for colleagues in school. I still find the classroom a highly enjoyable and stimulating environment and I hope that I communicate this enthusiasm to trainees and colleagues.