Proud of our People

Nabeel Bhatti

Nabeel BhattiTo answer briefly the questions below:

1) I’ll be re-joining as a Science Teacher (Biology specialism). When I left in 2018 I was PAL of Year 8 River and look forward to returning to this position in the near future! 
2) Surprisingly, I was at Weydon for only 3 weeks before I had to leave on the 19th Sept 2018. However, it seemed I never left as the school and I kept constantly in touch- it was this loyalty that attached me stronger to the Weydon family. 
3) There was a real possibility I wouldn’t have been able to return to work. This thought had a great impact on me psychologically- working was my pillar of independence and losing that was having to lose a great amount of normality. However, by the Grace of God I began making progress and now at a point where I won’t look back. 

4) Teaching and being a mentor for my students. 

5) Genuine. Friendly. Loyal. 

My last day at Weydon was on the evening of the 18th September 2018 where I was staying late due to attending a Parent’s Evening meeting. 

That night, I started to feel slightly feverish and had an intense headache. I went to sleep, but struggled to wake up. My wife and parents were at home at the time and came up to see me the following morning. They were shocked to see my face turned purple and so called an ambulance in a state of panic. 

I was rushed to hospital, and on arrival was instantly surrounded by a team of over 20 healthcare professionals. Although alive, my blood pressure was dropping and  organs were failing. I was diagnosed with Sepsis. 

The next hours were crucial, as I was transferred to St Thomas’s hospital in London to be put on their ECMO machine (which temporarily replaces the function of the heart and lungs).

I was on this machine in the ICU for about 9 days. Sadly, as a result of poor blood flow, I’d also been left with gangrenous hands and feet. My stomach had also been badly affected, and was given less than a 1% chance of survival. After about 6 weeks in the ICU, the doctors decided there was nothing more they could do and I was consequently put onto palliative care and made to be as comfortable as possible. 

Everyday was a heart-breaking battle for my family and my daughter, who was 8 months old at the time. My parents did their best to keep Weydon updated and staff continued to offer their support. 
It was through the grace of God I miraculously began to recover. 

My vitals began improving day-by-day, and I slowly regained consciousness. However, feet were badly damaged, and I needed to have the forefront of my right foot and right little finger amputated. I spent over 5 and a half months in hospital before I was allowed to return home. Unfortunately, the effect of the illness proved too overwhelming for my left leg where I had to have a below knee amputation last year. 

It has been a difficult journey and there were a lot of battles to overcome. However, 3 years on, I’m now walking with a prosthesis and getting stronger everyday. Im back at work and embracing new challenges. 

I’ve learnt to love life, cherish family and have faith. It’s important to never give up. 

Caroline Hyland

Caroline Hyland 2021● Explain your role.
This is my second year at The Abbey School teaching Maths and it has flown by! I am the KS3 coordinator for Maths, continually focussing on developing our curriculum and its’ delivery to meet the everyday Maths needs of our students. I work with a fantastic team of committed staff who work together to create the very best opportunities for our students in all aspects of school life. I thoroughly enjoy teaching a range of other subjects alongside Maths, impacting on the student’s lifelong learning journey.

● How long have you worked for the school?
I began teaching at The Abbey School in January 2019 amidst Covid – an interesting time in education. Prior to teaching here, I have taught in nursery, mainstream secondary and primary schools and now, being involved in special needs education, my teaching career spans 28 years in a huge variety of settings.

● Why do you work in education?
I have always enjoyed teaching young people of many different ages and seeing joy in their personal development through education. No day is the same and although lessons present many challenges for students and staff alike, this makes for an exciting role. Seeing students flourish and gaining independence through education is a privilege to be part of and provides a deep sense of personal purpose. This is certainly true with the students at The Abbey School, who will always strive to achieve their very best however challenged by the world around them. The motto at The Abbey School, ‘Together We Can’ resonates each and every day, providing me with a constant vision for working in education and being part of such a great school community.

● What is the best element of your job?
Working at The Abbey School has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing students I have ever met. They are incredibly resilient, creative and curious, and it is an absolute delight to spend time with them every day. Witnessing their progress and growth is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in such an amazing school and be part of the student’s lives. 

● In three words describe your job.
Inspiring, rewarding, exhausting (but worth it!)

Lucy Evans

Lucy Evans Photo

● Explain your role.
This is my second year as Subject Lead for English at Rodborough.  I am lucky to lead a brilliant team of colleagues, all of whom work tirelessly to support and motivate students - and each other!  We work together to develop confident readers, writers and speakers and aim to foster a love of language and literature that will enrich Rodborough students’ life experiences.  Along with Lavinia Webster, I am also a DEI Lead, working to review our curriculum from a diversity and inclusivity point of view and to collaborate with staff and students to create strategies that will improve representation.

● How long have you worked for the School?
I joined Rodborough in 2018, having recently moved back to the area with my young family. Prior to that, I taught in schools in Walthamstow and Lewisham.

● Why do you work in education?
I love teaching young people and I love my subject! One of my favourite aspects of teaching English is that no class and no student is the same and all experiences lead to different interpretations of texts and the subject as a whole.  This also means that every day is completely different; the ultimate challenge!  Teaching is a hugely rewarding profession. 

● What is the best element of your job?
Seeing how words have the power to unlock imaginations and ideas.   That, and working with fantastic and supportive colleagues every day.   I also love those playground/corridor/lunchtime chats with students and staff - essentially, being part of the Rodborough community.  

● In three words describe your job.
    Collaborative, challenging and fulfilling. 

Kirsty Watts

Kirsty wattsI am a teaching assistant for The Abbey school and I have worked there since 1st September this year. I have always wanted to be a teaching assistant; helping children grow and to learn. My role involves helping the teachers get through the lesson by offering support, guidance and helping the students have a little bit of fun!

The best element of my job is seeing the children achieve their goals by believing in themselves and even going beyond their own expectations. Being part of that is amazing.

The three words I would use to describe my job are:
Fun       Rewarding       Fantastic


Tony sparksTony Sparks

1) Explain your job role
As the Premises Manager at the Abbey School I see my role as a facilitator. I focus on ensuring the school is safe and runs smoothly so the teachers and students can concentrate on learning and having fun. The role is so varied, I could be wheeling my trolley around replenishing hygiene and safety products or building a new workbench for the DT room. Most of my time though, is spent making sure the property and grounds are in good and safe working order.
2) How long have you worked for the School?
Following a career in Corporate Business Consulting and spending 8 years in Melbourne Australia, I decided it was time to move into a new phase of my work life and in November 2019 I joined Rodborough school as their DT Technician. In September this year I joined The Abbey School as their Premises Manager and have been blown away by the passion, commitment and friendliness of my colleagues at the school and the courageousness of the students.
3) Why do you work in Education?
At the Abbey we support children with learning difficulties and additional needs and I am convinced that everyone at the Abbey has a special and exceptional talent that provides our students with an environment like no other. To see the joy and happiness in the faces of our student every day lifts me and makes everything I do have a little extra meaning.
4) What’s the best element of your job?
I’ve always been good at working with my hands to make, fix or repair things and this job allows me to put my passion to good use. With our expansion (Project 22) about to kick off at full speed, I’m sure I will need to be at the top of my game and the next 2 years will be full of challenges and personal reward.
5) In three words describe your School or your colleagues...

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