Our writers

Our comprehensive planning is written by a range of experienced teachers and subject specialists. 

Ann Searson

Ann is a science graduate from Exeter University and she has been a primary teacher in Hampshire, The Isle of Wight and Devon schools. Her teaching experience (which spans 30 years) has seen many changes in education in terms of curriculum, technology, assessment and workload but there are some things that have remained the same. Children learn best when they are actively engaged in exciting and inspiring learning experiences and it is this element that she seeks to bring to the topic and science plans she writes for the Hamilton Trust. Ann is also a mother of 4 who loves singing, painting and walking her dog on Dartmoor!

Fe McKerrel

After studying anthropology at Durham University, Fe qualified as a primary school teacher. She also has an MA in Museum Studies and loves a good wander round a gallery or exhibition. Fe has spent 20 years working in the education sector as a teacher, EYFS and KS1 manager, museum education officer, governor, researcher, writer and trainer. She is a huge advocate of creative and purposeful teaching and loves getting her teeth into a good bit of role play - she tries to filter this passion into her Hamilton topic and science plans. When she is not writing, Fe can be found with her nose in a good book or out running through the local woods (usually with her two children in tow!).

Gavin Bishop

Gavin Bishop graduated from Westminster College, Oxford, with a Bachelor of Education degree. He has a specialism in Early Years Education and has completed postgraduate qualifications in Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented Education. Gavin has taught all age groups from Nursery to Year 4 in schools across the South West and has held a range senior leadership roles. He believes that learning should be engaging, exciting and relevant to the needs and interests of pupils. This is at the heart of the English planning he writes for Hamilton Trust as well as the advisory work he undertakes. He has a young family and a classic car, all of which occupy every minute of his spare time!

Jill Ling

Jill studied for three years in Birmingham to obtain her Certificate in Education which she later upgraded to a B.A. (Professional Studies in Education). After a teaching career spanning 35-plus years in Key Stage 1 and Early Years settings, she is now enjoying retirement. Jill believes that children learn best when they are highly interested, active and included in making decisions about their learning. Jill writes topics for Hamilton, organises weekly craft sessions at a local toddler group and children’s church, and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and visiting National Trust properties with her husband.

Jim O’Brien

With a BA Hons from University College London and a PhD in the History of Art from Sussex University, Jim studied for his PGCE at St Luke’s, Exeter. He went on to teach in early years and primary settings for over ten years and believes strongly in creative, individualised learning. Now outside the classroom, Jim has worked for Hamilton for four years, mainly writing English plans. In addition, Jim works as a copy editor on film and cultural history titles.

Kate White

Based in Northamptonshire, Kate White has over twenty years’ experience of primary teaching across all year groups. As well as writing for Hamilton, Kate works at St Loys Academy, Northants, where she is specifically employed to develop reading and writing in the curriculum by making literacy links within topics and across subjects. Kate also writes integrated curriculum plans for secondary schools. She is passionate about equipping children to be independent learners who write without reluctance, and with the skills to explore and develop their own creativity.

Kelly Higgins

Kelly is a mother of three and general play enthusiast! Her qualifications include an MA in teaching, a PGCE and a BA in art. During her seven-year teaching career, she has specialised in Early Years education and is passionate about putting ‘hands on’ experiences into her Hamilton topic sessions. She currently teaches Year 1 in her local school.

Kim Biddulph

Kim is an archaeologist, she studied at Nottingham University and UCL. She has taught educational workshops in museums, historic houses and schools for over 15 years. She believes in getting children hands on with active learning and minds on assessing evidence for the past. She specialises in writing immersive and challenging history topic plans for the Hamilton Trust as well as for other organisations such as the British Museum, the V&A and English Heritage and runs her own business, Schools Prehistory and Archaeology

Philippa Danvers

Philippa studied art in Cardiff and did a PGCE in Reading and an MA while teaching. She amassed a wealth of experience in schools and provided leadership for many years. She began writing for Hamilton over 10 years ago and feels that to motivate learners an element of creativity and fun should be brought into the classroom every single day. She is enjoying having more time now for story writing, drawing, painting and illustration as well as walking the Devon countryside and being a new granny!

Sian Lewis-Bending

An English Literature and PGCE graduate from University of Exeter, Sian has been a primary school teacher for more than 12 years, and has experience in Key Stages 1 and 2, and is currently a Foundation Stage teacher. Sian writes maths and English plans for Hamilton and is passionate about making learning fun and memorable for the children, and her creativity flows through her plans and teaching. In addition to teaching part time, Sian is busy being a mummy to her two girls and enjoys interior design, living in the countryside and camping trips with her family!