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Meet the St. Mary's Church Team


Rev. Mandy Elmes

I was appointed as the Priest in Charge of St. Mary’s Church, West Bergholt, on 31st July, 2014.  As Heathlands is a Church of England Voluntary Controlled School it is my pleasure and privilege to be an ex-officio Governor of the school.  I really enjoy coming into school to lead collective times of worship and to spend time with the children. The church community loves it when the children come to St. Mary’s Church for services, particularly the harvest, Christmas and Easter services, and it supports the school in prayer and other practical ways.  Prior to this appointment I was a dentist as well as a priest in the Church of England and was based on Mersea Island.  You can contact Rev Amanda at:


Mrs Joanne Jeffery- Families and Children's Worker

I qualified as a teacher of Modern Foreign languages in 1999 and taught in two secondary schools for 15 years, expanding my teaching experience into other subjects from 2006 gave me the opportunity to teach English, Maths, Geography, RE and Citizenship. I used this experience to transfer my skills to primary school and became a supply teacher at Heathlands in 2010 alongside 1:1 tuition and maths in secondary school.  The opportunity to teach across EYFS and 4 Key Stages has given me a valuable and in depth comprehension of a child’s journey through education and I think this is very useful in my work as a governor. I now run my own tuition business, supporting children to GCSE level. I enjoy exploring the value of creative arts as an enhancement of individual learning styles as well as researching ways to optimise brain development by creating more cognitive pathways between the left and right brain.
Whilst in post in secondary education I spent three years working as an Assistant Head of Year and a year covering absence as Head of Year 7. In these roles I worked closely with families, outside agencies, subject heads and classroom teachers to ensure that each child’s welfare was of paramount importance. I also led a tutor team of 12 teachers, particularly working with year 6 to 7 transition and motivation for years 8 and 9. This experience gave me further opportunity to follow my passion which is to see both staff and children thrive. This continues to be my passion and it motivates my work as DBE governor.
Over the last 2 years I have worked voluntarily with St Mary’s church and this has enabled me to work on some projects with Heathlands, namely the River of God creative art project, The Year 6 Retreat, and supporting the worship team in the Christmas and Easter services.
I have two children. Caleb and Arrielle are now at St Benedict’s School having previously attended Heathlands. I love creative arts, running, swimming, reading, good food and spas!



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