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Northgate Primary School

Northgate Primary School

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Our Inclusion Team


Mrs S Stringer

Deputy Head Teacher;





After initially training and working as a nurse for 6 years, I then retrained as a primary teacher at the University of Sussex in 1998. I taught in three different schools across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove (mainly in Key Stage 2) before arriving at Northgate as a Year 5 teacher and Phase leader for Years 5 & 6 in 2007. There is something very special about Northgate and I immediately felt it when I joined the staff team.

After two years, I became Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning, covering for a maternity leave and then taking on the job permanently. I then had some maternity leave of my own to have my eldest daughter and I then returned in the same role but on a part-time basis. I have been Deputy Headteacher for Inclusion for nearly 5 years now and have grown to love the role. Every day brings with it new challenges and obstacles, but these can be overcome with the support and expertise of the dedicated team with whom I work.

It is an absolute privilege to work with the children and families of Northgate. I am excited for the future of the school under its new leadership and for the development of our Nurture group and trauma informed approach across the school.



Mrs R Risby-Tester











I come from a teaching background, with both my parents and 3 sisters all being teachers. My dad worked in a special needs school in Chichester and my mum went from West Green to being a teacher in charge of a SEN unit in Reigate and then went onto being a special needs advisor for the early years and childcare service in surrey, so you could say working with special needs children is in my DNA. I have been teaching for 12 years, starting at a small school in Surrey before moving to Northgate 10 years ago, I started as an intervention teacher, moved into reception before being based in Nursery for 8 years, 5 of which I was early years leader. 

Being in nursery was certainly a learning curve but I loved every minute of it, it is the first port of call for all children especially those with higher needs, this is where my passion for children with special needs developed. I have had many children through my doors, all at different parts of their journeys, I learnt how to support and develop families and their children’s needs. In order to continue to do this I decided it was time to move from Nursery, although I am still their SENCo into the mainstream.

My job involves ensuring the best possible provision is in place for every child with whom are on the SEN register, to liaises closely with colleagues and external professionals to support this provision. I ensure I am up to date with best practice in a multitude of SEN areas.  I endeavor to build strong relationship with the children under my care, and with the adults who support them.  This enables me to develop each child's provision in a personalised, bespoke manner. I am currently learning all about Trauma and supporting the school with a nurture room provision. 



Mrs T Hollands

Inclusion Assistant

I joined Northgate Primary School  18 years ago as a Teaching Assistant, mainly in upper KS2, a role in which I became  interested in Special Education Needs, in particular how to assist children with Dyslexia to access learning.

I became a part of the inclusion Team in my role of Inclusion Assistant in June 2019.


As part of the team, my responsibilities include liaising with Mrs Risby-Tester and Mrs Stringer to assist them with administration and collation of evidence that we need to apply for Educational Heath Care Plans for our children.  I also work with our SEND children and administer screening programmes to ensure that we are providing our children with the best possible support in school.


I feel very privileged to be part of the wonderful Northgate Team, who always strive to provide the best environment for the children’s learning and overall well-being.



Our school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) is Mrs Rebecca Risby-Tester 

If you have any SEN concerns please call on 01293 526737  or send us an email.

Mrs Risby-Tester  or Mrs Stringer

Inclusion at Northgate Primary


The dictionary defines inclusion as “the action or state of including or of being included within a group or a structure”.


At Northgate Primary School, this means that every child and every adult who learns and works in our school is valued and whose educational and personal needs are met. Inclusion is also about parents and the community in which the school exists. Inclusion is not about treating everybody the same, instead, it’s about meeting individual needs, being prepared to be different. It’s about equality of opportunity and an inclusive framework that carries through all policies and actions.

At Northgate we are passionate about inclusion and ensuring that we do not put children into ready-made boxes. We look at a child’s individual needs and break down any barriers to their learning – academic, social and emotional.


The SEND Code of Practice (2015) says that every teacher is a teacher of special needs. We, as an inclusion team, are here to help those teachers with provision for the children and their families.


As Deputy Head for Inclusion, I am proud to lead a team of committed and passionate professionals, all working to achieve the very best for all of our children, families and the wider community.


We have Mrs Becca Risby-Tester, our SENCO; an Inclusion assistant, Mrs Tracey Hollands; a Learning Mentor, Mrs Frances McAloon; a Family Link Worker, Mrs Louise Moule; a play therapist, Sarah James; two Nurture Room leaders, Miss Sammie Edmonston and Mrs Hannah Cooper and a wonderful team of Pupil Support Assistants, all of whom support children with their speech and language, autism support and a variety of interventions including Precision Teaching, Attention Autism, Lego therapy and narrative therapy.


Our well established Nurture room supports children who have social and emotional mental health difficulties and struggle to access learning within the classroom. The room follows the 6 principles of nurture as outlined by Marjorie Boxall, the founder of the Nurture Group approach. These are as follows:


• 1. Children's learning is understood developmentally

• 2. The classroom offers a safe base

• 3. The importance of nurture for the development of well-being

• 4. Language is a vital means of communication

• 5. All behaviour is communication

• 6. The importance of transition in children's lives

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