Committee Members & Officers
Chair: Dorothy Coombs
Dorothy Coombs retired from teaching Life Sciences at a sixth form college in North Yorkshire in 2011, but continues to take a keen interest in issues relating to the teaching and learning of psychology. Her degree is in Biology with Education but she taught psychology for the last twenty years of her career. In 2008 she was honoured with an award from the BPS for her outstanding contribution to the teaching of psychology. Dorothy represents the ATP on the board of the European Federation of Psychology Teachers’ Associations and is the current Vice President. She is a member of the OCR Forum which meets to discuss issues relating to the psychology specification and assessment procedures and since her “retirement” Dorothy has also organised the Annual ATP conference, edited the ATP Today magazine and represented EFPTA at various events in Brussels and Copenhagen. No rest for the wicked!
Deputy Chair: Laura Quaife
Laura teaches Psychology AS and A level at Holy Cross College in Bury, Manchester. Although she is relatively new to teaching, she has worked in sixth forms for nearly 10 years in various careers departments and completed her post 16 PGCE part time whilst managing the Holy Cross College careers service. An organiser at heart, she recently coordinated a BPS careers event for local students interested in the wonderful world of Psychology. On a personal note, Laura likes to spend time with family and friends, eating good food and drinking wine (preferably a good dry Sauvignon!). She enjoys walking and attending her local gym’s Pilates classes – stretching away the various stresses of teaching!
Treasurer: Deb Gajic
Deb Gajic is the ATP Treasurer and a Chartered Psychologist. She is Head of Psychology at The Polesworth School. On a personal level she enjoys travel, shopping, wine and Zumba. She also enjoys spending her time with her family (husband Nik and two grown up daughters, Sophie & Emily and, of course, Colin the cat). Professionally she is interested in active learning techniques, coaching to improve teaching and developing psychology as a science. She occasionally pops up in Onlineclassroom DVDs.
Secretary: Morag Williamson
Morag Williamson is ATP Secretary. She teaches psychology at West Lothian College and Edinburgh Napier University; she is a former Principal Assessor for SQA Higher and Intermediate Psychology, and a Higher Psychology textbook author. Her special interests are developmental psychology, research methods and data analysis in psychology, and learning, teaching and assessment in the social sciences. Active in ATP Scotland, she represents the Scottish branch on the Board of EFPTA (the European Federation of Psychology Teachers’ Associations). Sunny days will find her out hill walking, or visiting ancient stones, preferably rounded off with an evening of live jazz.
Janet Brennan teaches Psychology in London. She did an MSc in intelligent systems and continues to have an interest in human and machine intelligence. She also has a strong interest in research methods and cognitive psychology. When not stuck in a classroom, she likes to travel, attend musical events, read, and do DIY.
Helen Gibb is currently Head of Psychology and Sociology at The Bland ford School in Dorset. She is also a member of the sixth form management team in her role as Achievement and Attainment Co-ordinator. The school environment is relatively new to Helen as most of her 23 years in education have been spent teaching psychology in the college sector. Her academic interests, lie mainly within social psychology with particular focus on in and out group behaviour in its many guises. This is linked to a lifelong passion for the promotion of equality of opportunity, having served on a number of equal opportunity committees and working parties. Helen enjoys walking and cycling, and she has something of a reputation amongst her friends for hosting never to be forgotten parties.
Jackie Moody studied for her psychology degree with the Open University whilst serving overseas in a clinical capacity as a Senior Welfare Worker. Jackie retired after 25 years service and was fortunate to be offered a GTP route into teaching. She teaches at an International School in Luxembourg. Jackie sees herself as an eternal student and is thoroughly enjoying her ‘new life’ in teaching in particular developing the scientific aspects of psychology. Her main passions are travelling, walking, food and wine and a new one to the list is attending the ATP conference.
Having acquired a BSc (Hons) in Psychology (2004) Debora D’Auria started teaching A level Psychology at South Essex college immediately and attained a PGCE (FENTO) in 2006 . She went part time for 2 years in order to achieve a Merit in the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at the University of the Arts (Camberwell). She was offered at place at Central Saint Martin’s to study the BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2008. Unfortunately due to ELQ funding cuts she was unable to take up this place. Hence Debora founded artists’ critique group M:E:E:T to provide an alternative art education. She ran this for 5 years and participated in a number of exhibitions and commissions. In 2009 Debora became Head of Psychology at Southend High School for Girls and in 2011 acquired QTS. Finally marrying her interests in Art and Psychology Debora was commissioned by The Psychologist Magazine to produce a bespoke piece of art to celebrate 25 years of the Psychology. This on-going project can be seen here: www.thepsychologistbath.org.uk
Wendy is getting on and has taught psychology since the days when there was virtually no one to teach psychology (ten practicals was it?!). She is currently teacher in charge of psychology at St. Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy in Sunderland. When I am not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, climbing mountains, playing music in a community band and, more recently, growing vegetables in our allotment.
Helene has taught Psychology for 16 years starting in the days when we did 5 pieces of coursework as part of the A level, consequently she has seen many changes to the A level specifications. Before this she had many years experience as PE teacher in an inner city secondary school in the south of England. Currently she is Head of a very large Department at the Chetwynd Centre in Stafford and also set up and runs the Staffordshire Psychology Teachers Network. For many years she was involved in ITT for Psychology trainees at Keele University both as a partner school and for 3 years as the psychology link tutor for the AT’s at the University itself. On a personal note Helene is passionate about Athletics and while no longer in training as an athlete she does enjoy training at the Gym to distress from the classroom.
Heather taught at Prior Pursglove 6th Form College in Yorkshire for twenty years plus, primarily teaching A level Psychology, but also International Baccalaureate, A level Biology and Free Standing Maths Qualification (FSMQ). She has a passion for environmental issues, and has a Biological background, working in agricultural development in Zambia, before starting to teach science in the Secondary Sector in the UK. She completed an M.Ed. with the O.U. in 2009 and loves singing and Zumba in any spare time she has. Even though this year she is not teaching full time, she continues to be an A level examiner of Psychology with one of the main exam boards, contributes to an exam board forum, and is interested in the role of statistics in pre-tertiary Psychology. She came on to the committee as she had found ATP conferences, and contacts made there, invaluable when she was asked to develop psychology A level at her college in the early 1990s, and she currently coordinates the ATP membership team.
Harriet Ennis has been Head of Psychology for 12 years at Bootham School in York. Her school is a Quaker co-ed Independent School where she also teaches Biology 11-18 and co-runs Thinking Skills. She runs psychology workshops and events for students across the city of york as part of the operational steering group for the UKs most successful Independent-State Schools Partnership. She has a keen interest in eco-travel – from a sabbatical year in Sri Lanka to leading her school towards their third EcoSchools ‘green flag’ award. She enjoys time spent with her lovely husband and daughter Phoebe age 3. She notices a recurring wine appreciation theme amongst some of the other ATP committee members – and agrees – especially if washed down by an inspiringly good ATP conference.
Helen Kitching: Conference Organiser
Helen Kitching is a Chartered Psychologist and is a committee member of the Division for teachers and researchers in psychology (DTRP) for the BPS. She has mentored many teachers new to GCSE psychology across the South East and whilst coursework existed she was an internal moderator. She recently won an LSIS research grant and undertook research into engaging male learners with the use of technology.
When not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, writing Romance novels, travel, reading chic lit and crime novels and working as a Freelance Photojournalist. Helen has just completed a Master’s degree in Health Psychology. She is interested in transition between pre-tertiary and higher education in psychology and co-authored a paper looking at these issues which is being published in the Autumn 2013 edition of Psychology Teaching Review.
The next ATP committee meeting is: – 14th September 2013 – Carrs Lane Church Centre, Carrs Lane, Birmingham
25th January 2014 – Carrs Lane Church Centre, Carrs Lane, Birmingham
10th May 2014 – Bootham School, York
AGM Loughborough University, Saturday 5th July 2014