Meet Our Staff


We’re proud of our teachers

Meet Our Staff

Abbey School is proud to employ teachers who are specialists in the field of primary or nursery education. Many members of staff have dedicated their teaching life to the development of educational programmes and curriculum subjects specifically designed to enrich the lives of young children.

Skills of developing self-confidence

Abbey teachers are aware that children succeed by gaining self-confidence and self-belief. Furthermore, once this can be firmly established in a young mind, the benefits to all areas of development and growth in academic success is measurable and beyond doubt. This is where the skills and knowledge of teachers dedicated to early education, coupled with informed and supportive parents, is of paramount importance to the early development of young children. This is also why our teachers achieve such truly remarkable successes for our pupils, in every field of development, whether academic or extra-curricular.

Policy for staff recruitment and training

Pupils attend Abbey School from birth to 11 years of age. In order that we can achieve our aim of providers of good quality education our staff are recruited with care from suitably qualified and experienced applicants. Members of Staff employed by Abbey School have relevant educational qualifications and receive appropriate and regular in-service training with regard to all advice from QCDA (Qualification and Curriculum Development Agency) and Ofsted (The Office for Standards in Education), regarding the health and welfare of children, all National Curriculum requirements and best current educational practice. Many staff undergo upgrading and development of their qualifications to the mutual benefit of both themselves and our pupils.

Teaching Vacancies

For current teaching vacancies please visit

Meet Our Principal

Mrs Sylvia Greinig, CertHE BAHons PgDip MA(Exon)

Mrs Sylvia Greinig, CertHE BAHons PgDip MA(Exon)

I arrived at Abbey School 1979 from my role as Principal of a prep school in North Yorkshire. My particular expertise is developing educational programmes for young children, having been a school Principal now since 1970. In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was a National Curriculum Moderator in the South West Region for Key Stages 1 and 2 and spent the six years between 1997 and 2003 working for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate as an Ofsted Inspector of early years.

The main focus of my work lies in helping children to learn how to learn and amongst everything else we do in our industrious and cheerful primary school, this is something we encourage in all our pupils. My desired outcome for Abbey School is to develop independent learners. My role is to set about seeing that we do this throughout the time a child is with us so that they join their secondary school with appropriate skills and the confidence to tackle whatever comes their way.

While studying at Exeter University with the psychologist, Teri-Anne Hornby, I became interested in the work of the world-renowned philosopher, Professor Matthew Lipman and particularly in his concept of Philosophy For Children (P4C). Finally, 1996, I travelled to New Jersey, New York, USA, to study with him and his assistant, Professor Ann Margaret Sharp. We all need to learn how to think and watching thinking skills develop in young children is a revelation!

My out of school interests as a Trustee of The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust (owners of Paignton Zoo, Living Coasts, Newquay Zoo and other animal and environmental entities), led directly to my return to Exeter University to complete an MA in Anthrozoology, a somewhat arcane strand of Anthropology, every minute of which I loved.

Meet Our Management Team

Miss Fleur Greinig, BAHons MSc - Head of Pastoral Care

Year 6 Class Teacher

Miss Fleur Greinig, BAHons MSc - Head of Pastoral Care

My first degree, BA Honours Geography, was followed by an MSc in Policy Research at Bristol University, after which I became a lecturer at the University of the West of England where I initiated a new department responsible for introducing life skills to adults with learning difficulty. At UWE I was also on the interviewed panel for applicants to the Social Work degree and on the assessment panel at the end of the same course.

I have taught a variety of subjects at Abbey for over a decade, whilst being variously Head of Safeguarding, Head of Health and Safety, Head of Pastoral Care and From September 2015, Y6 form teacher. There isn’t much about Abbey that I don’t know! Two of my lasting innovations in the school have been a touch typing programme and the school traffic light behaviour system. Whilst at Abbey I have also been awarded the national accolade of First Aid Trainer of the year and have taken various groups of children from Abbey to become both regional and national winners of first aid competitions.

In Abbey School we want our pupils to be happy and to grow up contributing to society. My task is to progress my pupils in all areas of their development, to give them the confidence to be their own person, ready to tackle anything.  All Y6 children participate in a Civic Award, the junior version of the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, which, with everything else they achieve in their final year at primary school, helps to prepared them for their vital transition to secondary school.

Mr Nick Harrison, BAHons PCGE PgDip Assistant Head

Year 5 Class Teacher

Mr Nick Harrison, BAHons PCGE PgDip Assistant Head

Following a degree from Leicester University and spells in both the personal and private banking sectors, I chose to teach and gained a PGCE from Gloucestershire University. After working in contrasting schools across Hampshire, Gloucestershire and Devon I settled in Torquay in late 2009.

Learning should combine challenge, reward and excitement. I provide the opportunity for my pupils to excel in their strengths and improve what they find difficult. It is particularly wonderful when enthusiasm for learning is shared between academia and extra-curricular interests. I encourage pupils to develop a positive attitude towards work and the school community, and embrace their passions in the wider curriculum, wherever this takes them.

My priority as a teacher is to support pupils through this intellectually and emotionally challenging year. I strive to help children become independent learners and adopt the responsibility for creating their own positive learning environment.

Mrs Kirsty Porter


Mrs Kirsty Porter

I joined Abbey School in 2006 and as School Administrator my job is to process all new admissions to the school and nursery and maintain parent / pupil accounts. Whatever you say to me is, of course, always confidential and please remember, I am here to help. I am the first port of call for many admin and all financial queries from parents and, on the business side, I also deal with all our suppliers.

I am trained in the finance of government grants for our eligible nursery children and am happy to explain the intricacies of these so as to maximize the benefit to you and your child. I am usually in the reception office at the start and end of every day and you have to pass me, so please keep in touch!

Ms Emma Schofield


Ms Emma Schofield

I was delighted to join Abbey School in June 2014 as School Secretary after 8 years of experience at a large credit referencing agency.

My role is to assist both the parents and staff in the day to day running of the school so if you have any queries, I’ll be happy to help.

I’m also a mother so can relate to parents on a personal level should you have anything you’d wish to discuss.

I have a passion for music and was fortunate enough to be involved in various woodwind ensembles and a symphony orchestra throughout my life with my main instruments being the flute and violin.



Meet Our Teachers

Mrs Sue Viney, BA BSc

Reception Class Teacher

Mrs Sue Viney, BA BSc

After gaining a BA in Primary Education and a BSc in Early Years Development at Bristol, I returned to Torquay and taught both KS1 and KS2. I joined Abbey School in 2007, initially in the nursery and following the birth of my own son, returned to teach Y1 and I now teach in the reception class.

As Reception Class teacher, my job is to ease the transition from Nursery to the main school. I focus on developing the children’s confidence and independence, and ensuring that they feel comfortable and happy within the larger school environment. The progress children make during this year is very exciting –it’s an amazing year to teach! The Foundation curriculum introduces a variety of subjects and topics, encouraging children to build self-belief and initiative. At this stage much of this is achieved through songs, games, and practical multi-sensory activities, rather than formal written work.

Interest, enthusiasm, a desire to have a go, and an enquiring mind will give the children a firm launch pad from which to begin their educational journey.

Miss Anna Payne, BA PGCE

Year 1 Class Teacher

Miss Anna Payne, BA PGCE

Following my first degree from Exeter University, BA in Creative Writing and Sociology, I went on to gain a Distinction in my PGCE in primary eduction from Marjon. I have loved all of my learning experiences and wish to develop a love of learning in all of my pupils. I strongly believe that every child should have the opportunity to reach their own potential, which is one of the reasons why I was drawn to Abbey School. I started my teaching career in Tavistock and moved to Abbey School in January 2013.

Year 1 is a great age group to teach as the children are starting to grasp so many vital skills that will be with them for life. I enjoy hearing children read regularly and helping them to develop different approaches to their reading. Year 1 chidren build on what they have learned during their reception year and start to complete work on their own. As well as developing academically they continue building their social skills, getting on with each other, sharing and taking turns. It is a busy and happy year, with front teeth falling out and so much development going on in so many areas of life. All very exciting!

Mrs Leonie O'Connell, BAEd

Year 2 Class Teacher

Mrs Leonie O'Connell, BAEd

Once I had completed my BEd degree in 2000, I taught KS1 at various schools within the East Devon and Exeter area. I also taught at KS2 before uprooting and moving to Cape Town in 2007 where I settled for 4 years. There I accepted a KS3 post at an all-girls school in Wynberg. This was a richly rewarding and very different experience which presented the new challenge of dealing with the aches and pains of a class of girls who were quickly growing into young adults! Following the birth of my two daughters I returned to education as a Remedial tutor for 7-13 year olds before returning to Devon where I joined Abbey School in 2013.

In Year 2, I feel that children’s development and progress is best achieved through high expectations and the fostering of independent learning. Throughout Year 2 the children are preparing to leave the infant department and join the juniors in KS2 where they will be reading, writing and completing the four rules of number on their own and so learning phonics and spelling, number bonds, times tables and masses of reading are the order of the day. I believe that we should encourage children to celebrate their unique abilities whilst building upon the foundations of the previous year’s curriculum. It is important that children enjoy their learning environment and there is no better reward than seeing success and achievement manifest itself in the lives of those whom you teach.

Mrs Paula Batty, BA Hons PGCE

Year 3 Class Teacher

Mrs Paula Batty, BA Hons PGCE

I completed my BA in Geography at Middlesex University and as education is my passion I immediately trained as a teacher at the Institute of Education. From there I taught geography at schools in challenging areas of inner-London, with a focus on raising standards. I gained a wealth of experience as head of department and faculty, initially in teaching and then also in training student and Newly Qualified Teachers. Subsequently I was invited to train student teachers on the PGCE course at Middlesex University.

In 2007 I paused my career to have my children and having a family gave us the impetus to leave London and relocate in Devon. Abbey School was very much a factor in our decision to choose to live in this region. My children have thrived at Abbey School and we have all thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the school community. Having ignited my interest in the primary sector of education by volunteering for a year, I was initially appointed by Abbey School on a short contract to support Year 6 and am now delighted to be the class teacher of Year 3.

Ms Natasha Horsburgh, BA Hons PGCE

Year 4 Class Teacher

Ms Natasha Horsburgh, BA Hons PGCE

I gained a BA (Hons) in Business Communications and spent seven years teaching English in Japan. This motivated me to return to the UK to complete my Primary PGCE at Bath Spa University. I have had a wealth of experience and adventures teaching in Somerset, Jordan, Slovakia, Kent and now very happily, in Devon.

I believe in challenging children to be the best that they can be, providing opportunities for inquisitive minds and teaching from a global perspective. I aim to build confidence through encouragement and support and to make school a happy experience, which will provide a lifelong love for learning.

Mrs Colleen Pomeroy, BAEd

Drama Teacher

Mrs Colleen Pomeroy, BAEd

During my teaching career I have worked in a variety of roles in the primary sector including Class Teacher, Language Support Teacher, and County Advisor for Reading and Language Development. Additionally I have been employed as a BEd lecturer teaching art and craft at Middlesex University and also an Educational Development Tutor to NNEB students at Kensington and Chelsea College.

I have taught at Abbey School since 2005 and enjoy each day and the exciting teaching opportunities that working with primary aged children affords.  I believe that all learning should have real purpose and a curriculum that challenges and excites children, at whatever academic or maturity level, leads to self-confidence, a pride in achievement, a positive attitude to learning and behaviour and above all, promotes maturing, independent learners.

In recent times I have transferred from classroom teaching to taking on the role of peripatetic Speech and Drama teacher, additionally supporting the spoken and drama part of the literacy programme in each year group in the school, which is such fun! It is wonderful to see children blossom in confidence as they learn to express themselves, first in the safe environment of their class, then in front of an audience in such as our regular teatime concerns, and eventually to receive critical appraisal from an external adjudicators in festivals and LAMDA exams.

Mrs Emily George

Spanish Teacher

Mrs Emily George

I first fell in love with learning languages at Secondary School, where my lively and enthusiastic teacher inspired me.

I followed this love, completing A Levels in French, Spanish and later Italian whilst at work.  I attended the University of Wales, College of Cardiff reading both Spanish and French and spent a fabulous year in Granada in Spain … where I played in the first women’s rugby team!

I started my career working within various South West companies using my languages travelling abroad, interpreting, translating and marketing for them.  Following the birth of my three children, I transferred my skills to nurseries and local Primary Schools, having been further inspired by completing a ‘Teaching languages in Primary School’ course.  I have now taught French and Spanish in several local schools, where I use vibrant and interesting lessons to enthuse our young learners.

With only ‘one in five’ people speaking English in the world,  our children only stand to benefit in their future careers if they continue to learn a language.  I would love to be the teacher that inspires them to carry on with languages, and wonder where it will take them on their own individual journeys.

Mrs Elizabeth Lashbrooke, BA Hons PGCE

Music Teacher

Mrs Elizabeth Lashbrooke, BA Hons PGCE

I gained my degree at Exeter University in music and then went to complete my PGCE at Roehampton where I made a particular study on the role of arts within the school curriculum. I studied flute under Gezina Stegmann from the the prestigious Wells Cathedral school and piano with Harold Jones who was then head of the junior department at Trinity College of music. Harold Jones inspired me to explore not just music performance but chord progression and improvisation.

Over the years I have had the privilege to sing in many choirs, attending the Eton choral course and singing more recently with Counterpoint and Voces. It is from my experience of singing that has driven me to encourage both solo and group singing. I am particularly interested in engaging in music in the early years. Many studies have shown that engagement in music gives a sense of well being and promotes self-confidence. It is often through the individual music lessons that a child can gain the confidence to perform, as well as enhancing their accessibility to the rest of the curriculum.

Meet Our Teaching Assistants

Mrs Shani Mason and Miss Karla Mayne

Shani and Karla are our qualified Teaching Assistants. They work supporting the teachers where they are most needed. Listening to readers, helping in cutting and sticking, supporting children when writing and completing sums are all part of a busy day for a TA. Shani’s three children attended Abbey School and Karla’s daughter is presently with us.

Mrs Shani MasonMiss Karla Mayne

Meet Our Nursery Teachers

Mrs Karen Hunt, NNEB, Miss Mandy Nicol, BA Hons and Mrs Carrie Lee, NVQ 3

Miss Mandy Nicol, BA Hons, Early Years Teacher, Manager of Penguin’s Room.

Mrs Carrie Lee, Nursery Nurse, Manager of Squirrel’s “Baby” Room.

Mrs Karen Hunt, NNEBMiss Mandy Nicol, BA HonsMrs Carrie Lee, NVQ 3

Meet Our Nursery Nurses

Miss Karin Goodchild, Miss Rebekah Luscombe (BA Hons) Education Studies, Mrs Karen Welch NVQ 3 and
Mrs Chrissie Wray-Chance

Abbey Nursery Nurses have trained and are training appropriately in the care and education of ‘early years’, which is the care of children from babies to 8 years. They undertake regular updating in all curriculum areas as well as in safeguarding, and in health and safety matters. All, without exception, have regular updates for their first aid qualification.

Miss Karin GoodchildMiss Rebekah Luscombe (BA Hons) Education StudiesMrs Karen Welch NVQ 3Mrs Chrissie Wray-Chance

Meet Our Catering Team

Mr Peter England

Head of Catering and Domestic Services

Mr Peter England

Following hotel management training with Strand Hotels I was fortunate to be in one of the last cohorts of classical chef apprenticeships with that company.

This was followed by a move into the educational sector, initially training as a Kosher chef and then in chef or management roles in schools both large and well known and smaller and discrete. Industrial, military and hospital catering and my own businesses in training for the HCTB, outside catering, IT and retail were in the mix and latterly palliative care, residential home and hospital kitchen management.

I have been fortunate to have worked in both remote and dramatic locations from Algeria to Iraq via Lybia, the Gulf States, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.

Anticipating a more relaxed lifestyle and entirely better environment I moved to Devon with my family in 2014 but continued to be away from home for long periods. Happily I was offered the role at Abbey School in November of 2015 and, in this return to earlier days in my career, have rediscovered the rewards of working in a smaller, less pressured environment and particularly enjoy the interaction with our pupils and helping them to discover new tastes, textures and food experiences.



Lunchtime Staff

Mrs Lynette Allen, Mrs Peggy Lethbridge, Mrs Caryn Reynolds and
Mrs Caraline Woollard

Mrs Lynette AllenMrs Peggy LethbridgeMrs Caryn ReynoldsMrs Caraline Woollard

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What parents say about our school

We wrote after our daughters did so well in their GCSE's but have even more news to celebrate. In their A Level exams both have come in the top five results in the country for A Level Computing

Peter & Theresa Rogers

We are very pleased with the high standard of teaching and organised curriculum of Abbey school and would highly recommend sending your child to the school. The personalised learning style at Abbey school helps all of the individual needs of each pupil.

Mr R Cherry

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