Our incredible team
The team of people, without whom these beautiful resources would not exist. They each carry expertise, passion and grace.
We are fuelled by a shared belief in supporting schools to create safe and healthy relational cultures.
The team has joined together around a shared vision to help create emotionally and relationally safe classroom communities. Our desire is to help children become emotionally intelligent, helping them understand their own worth, recognising the value of community and the importance of their contribution.
Our vision is to serve you by giving you comprehensive and easy-to-use resources that are creative, engaging, fun, and beautiful to use.
Kate Jane Neal
Author, illustrator, researcher
BA (Hons) PG Dip.
Published author and illustrator.
Founder, author and illustrator
Kate is a published author and illustrator. She is the author of 'Words and Your Heart', 'Wonderful You' and'Powerful You'. These picture books and Kate's illustrations form a foundational aspect to the resources as they focus on how illustrations and storytelling can work together to discuss emotional issues and bring home both poignant and inspirational messages to everyone (however young or old they may be).
She has spent over ten years researching and eight years working in schools and alongside teachers, creating, trialling and refining the material that has formed this resource. She is a coach and a trainer. Her time is now spent training whole school teams and supporting and training NQT's in EQ and values based education. Her joy and passion is translating current neuroscience and coaching techniques into practical resources that support mental and emotional health within schools.
She is the founder and director of the Culture of the Heart.
Dr Alison Stephens
BSc (Hons) DClinPsych CPsychol
Clinical psychology support
Dr Alison Stephens gained her doctorate in Clinical and Community Psychology from the University of Exeter in 2000. Her work has been varied, but always with an emphasis on enabling others to gain a meaningful understanding of themselves, their life experiences and the impact of those on one’s mental health and emotional well-being. Her clinical work is particularly informed by attachment theory and narrative approaches to therapy, enabling her to learn about the impact of early life experiences on the development of children’s concept of self and relationships with others. She has many years of experience working with children, their families and staff in the physical healthcare system, in the context of a general hospital and a children’s hospice, as well as family court proceedings.
She has undertaken a qualitative research project about the well-being of children in secondary schools in Cornwall and regularly provides teaching to Exeter University, where she currently holds a part-time position as a lecturer.
The vision for children through the development of CotH resonates strongly with Alison’s experiences of the vulnerability of children (and their families) to negative influences, yet openness to the development of a loving and positive community within which they may grow and develop as compassionate beings, to self and others.
Dr Margaret Elizabeth
BSc(Hons) Speech & Language Pathology and Therapeutics
MA Theology and Pastoral Care
Margaret Elizabeth has 30 years' experience of working as a specialist speech and language therapist in the NHS. She knows the significance of effective communication and the importance of being heard. While working she attained a master’s degree in theology with the purpose of enabling deaf people to use their cultural particularities in expressing faith. She is now completing a PhD working towards emancipation from patriarchy through paying attention to words. She shares CotH's values of working to enable the flourishing of children and so the flourishing of us all.
Retired primary teacher.
SENDCO and Head of unit.
Gwen Metcalfe is a retired teacher who, having worked her entire career in primary schools, is highly experienced, knowledgeable and respected. She became school SENDCo and head of a unit for children with a wide range of physical disabilities in a large primary school. The aim of the school was that all children with any special needs were integrated as fully as possible into the life of the school, appropriate to their needs.
Her belief is that emotional stability is one of the largest contributors to a happy life, and that it is very important that children are encouraged to like themselves, like others and be a person who is liked. Understanding and accepting are stepping stones to self worth, to valuing and being valued, and to knowing that we are valued. Her holistic approach and philosophy is to always see each child as a unique individual with their own skills, gifting and needs, and to give each child the richest experiences to prepare them for life.
SLE writing moderator
Dani Towe leads english for Bridge Schools, a multi academy trust of fourteen primary schools. She is also a writing moderator for the local authority and provides training to schools across Cornwall.
She holds a passion for enabling children and their families to develop a sense of community and make meaningful links with projects that create something both beautiful and sustainable. She has previously run large scale community projects in association with The National Trust, Heritage Lottery, Great Western Railways and BBC Countryfile. She is currently completing a master in education with a focus on improving reading skills in primary school settings.
Her work with Culture of the Heart is underpinned by the belief that in order to be happy and successful learners, children need and deserve a strong sense of belonging, connection and self belief.
MDes MISTD FHEA
Designer, author, musician.
Design & Logistical Support
Building this resource has been a journey of community and we are so grateful for all of you!
This resource would not be what it is today without the support of teachers, counsellors, EQ experts, psychologists, parents and children, sharing their expertise, experiences, knowledge and feedback, not to mention the support of friends who have championed and believed in this through the mountains and the valleys. The number of incredible conversations (and hugs) that have informed and still inform this resource are too many to note here. THANK YOU!!!!
( You know who you are! ) xxx
Particular thanks to Seedbed; Andrew, Marie and family; Chris, Noosh and Ruebs; Rachel, Dom and family; Rach, Dan and family; Jean Ashton; The Jory Clan; Mike & Gwen Metcalfe; for incredible kindness.