Senior Leadership Team

Nikki Cotterill

Executive Headteacher

Nikki has been the headteacher at St Columb Minor Academy since September 2016 having joined the school as an assistant head in 2006. She began her teaching career in Penzance in 1992 where her first classroom overlooked St Michael’s Mount. She went on to work for the Local authority to write the county guidelines for PE and then as a Numeracy Consultant (teaching teachers about teaching maths!). Following that she worked as a Deputy Head in Camborne and it was during that time that she had her two children.

Why did Nikki come choose teaching?
Nikki is passionate about teaching and learning and having grown up on a very deprived housing estate, she is determined that every child should have the highest quality education leading to the best life chances that they can. Children need inspiration, aspiration and opportunity – that is what she believes a school should be about.

Outside of school:
Nikki enjoys walking her two dogs who constantly escape the garden and go to the neighbour’s house for a cuddle! She has also grown to love gardening over the last five years and has re-designed both gardens at home. She can now be found in the gardens whenever she has a spare moment.

Most unusual unknown fact about Nikki:
She once jumped out of an airplane after a row with a friend (More to that story than meets the eye!)

Favourite quote: 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel' - Maya Angelou
Kyja King


Kyja has worked at St Columb Minor Academy since September 2013. She was appointed as an Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for Key Stage 1. She later became our Senior Assistant Headteacher and most recently, Co-Headteacher. She began her teaching career 20 years ago in a school just outside of St Austell. During her career, Kyja has been involved in school improvement across the county. She has worked as a County Moderator and now works for The English Hub as a Literacy Specialist one day a week.

Why did Kyja choose teaching?
As set out in our vision and aims, Kyja firmly believes that all children are entitled to a safe, caring and stimulating environment. She is passionate that all children, whatever their background, receive equality of opportunity and receive the highest quality teaching and learning at all times. This continues to be her mission every day!

Outside of school:
Kyja enjoys spending time outdoors with her family. Living near the coast, she can be found walking the coast path and then enjoying a cup of hot chocolate on those stormy days!

Most unusual unknown fact about Kyja:
When out and about, you may have spotted Kyja with her double! Kyja has an identical twin sister, and interestingly, she is also a teacher!

Favourite quote:
Kyja is passionate that every child is taught to read. This is reflected in her favourite quote!
'The MORE that you READ, the more things you will KNOW. The MORE that you LEARN, the more places you'll GO.' Dr. Seuss
Tamsin Irons

SENDCO/Assistant Headteacher

Having completed a degree at Cambridge University Tamsin stayed in the county. The first school Tamsin taught in was in the Cambridgeshire fens and then she moved into the city of Cambridge.. On returning to her home county of Cornwall a chance “popping “ into St Columb Minor academy to see if there were any vacancies culminated in being interviewed a few days later on a Friday. Tamsin found herself part of the teaching team in Year 4 on the Monday- and as they say “the rest is history”! Since becoming the SENCO Tamsin has developed into the Inclusion Manager and Assistant Head that she is today.

Why did Tamsin choose teaching?
Tamsin is not really sure why she chose to work in school as at the age of 5 she had to be bribed to stay in school!! However this may explain why she has developed her skills to support parents and children to try to get the most out of school despite all the barriers that can be put in their way.

Outside of school:
Tamsin’s family and friends are the key to her enjoying life. Starting horse riding on her return to Cornwall in 2004 was the start of a passion that has become a lifestyle. Tamsin has enjoyed cross country, pony camps and carriage driving with Bella, her black and white gypsy cob. She also enjoys walking around Cornwall with her two Labradors.

Most unusual fact about Tamsin:
Tamsin danced with Cliff Richard at the Royal Cornwall Showground at the age of 8! This has fostered a life -long enjoyment of Cliff’s movies and music- but is still the only time she has seen him live!

Favourite quote: 'It made a difference to that one.'
Steph Begley


Helen Willson

LKS2 (Year 3 & 4)

Russ Withers

UKS2 (Year 5 & 6)