01604 210017    nucleus@northampton-academy.org   

Introducing our Nucleus STEM Leadership Team

Shreeja Ashton

Director of Nucleus STEM

My passions for strong teaching and learning, high engagement in Science and equality in the education system have shaped my career path and professional development to date. My enthusiasm, attention to detail and forward planning, has enabled me to lead teams from early in my teaching career successfully. I have a passion for travel and work, which has led me to settle down in England from India, 20 years ago after meeting my husband.

I build upon my perception of my influence over factors that contribute to student learning. I graduated from Delhi University with a BSc Honours degree. Before completing my teaching qualification, I had also completed a Masters Degree in education. I was awarded the Jack Petchy Outstanding Leader of the Year in March 2008, in recognition of the work and support in developing staff.

My varied experience has equipped me with practical and social skills that time at university and school alone could not provide and I am thrilled to be leading Nucleus STEM Stream at Northampton Academy.

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Samantha Staff

Key Stage 3 Nucleus STEM Co-ordinator and Year 7 Tutor

I am originally from Newcastle and moved down south in 2008, after completing my degree in Web Design at the University of Teesside. My dissertation focused on building an educational system in STEM subjects for Primary School students. Since moving down south I have worked in schools in Milton Keynes, Bedford and Northampton. I originally trained as an ICT teacher but later found my love for Computer Science.  

When I am not teaching I am a regular camper with my husband and daughter. During the summers we love to travel the UK exploring the different areas. I love experimenting with new food and tasting the variety of cuisines.

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Gemma Williams

Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning and Year 9 Tutor

I graduated from Staffordshire University with a degree in Design: Media Production. After working in the TV industry for a few years, I decided to go back to university to pursue my teacher training. 

I have been an English teacher for 18 years, holding different leadership positions, both within the English faculty and the whole school Teaching and Learning team. Prior to joining Northampton Academy in 2019, I worked in a school in Milton Keynes. 

Alongside teaching, I have a strong passion for travelling, and I love to explore new places.

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Hayley Pipkin

Head of Computer Science and E-Safety Lead and Year 10  Co-Tutor

I graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Web Systems Design before studying to become a Computer Science Teacher. Throughout my school, college and university years, I noticed a very low percentage of females taking the subject compared to males. For my teaching year dissertation, I under took research into reasons why Computer Science is a subject girls don’t tend to choose and thrive in. I found that just being a good role model in this subject area can have a huge impact, and that is what I aspire to be to all students at Northampton Academy. 

In my spare time I like to bake cakes and get creative with different crafts, from making candles to up-cycling furniture and I am currently learning new skills in the art of pyrography.


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Sam Humble

Geography Teacher and Year 10 Co-Tutor

During my A-level studies in Geography and Geology, I developed a strong interest in Earth science. Later, I earned a BSc in Geology and Physical Geography from Keele University and an MSc in Soil Science from The University of Aberdeen. In 2019, I completed another MSc in Geoscience Research, where I studied permafrost and glacial features on Mars, applying my knowledge of Earth to another planet. 

I strongly believe that understanding how our planet works and the systems that support life on Earth is crucial. As climate change and food security become increasingly important issues, it is vital that we teach our young people about them. This is why I began my teaching career in 2017, having taught in Leicestershire, Northampton, and Kuwait.

Maddie Dorey-McGriele

Key Stage 5 STEM Co-ordinator and Year 12 Tutor

Growing up, I had many potential career paths in mind, including Archaeologist, Astronomer, and Veterinary Surgeon. I decided to study Forensic Science at the University of Kent, which I completed with first-class honours. During my degree, I discovered my passion for teaching through delivering Forensic Science and Physics Outreach events to local schools. I became a post-graduate demonstrator in the undergraduate laboratory classes and a UCAS team leader for the School of Physical Sciences Open Days. During my post-graduate research, I decided to pursue a career in teaching.

I have been teaching students and trainee teachers for over ten years now. I am passionate about high-quality teaching to facilitate the best learning experience possible. I wanted to ensure teachers new to the profession had the knowledge to put into practice, too. This aspect of my career allowed me to develop my mentoring and coaching skills.

I joined Northampton Academy in 2023 as the KS5 STEM co-ordinator, with particular responsibility for mentoring students in our Nucleus VI Medicine and Engineering programmes. This new path in my career feels like a return to the best memories I have of my university days, and I love igniting students' passion for STEM subjects in higher education.

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United Learning

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