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Hartside, County Durham Crook DL15 9NN

01388 766686

Support Staff

 Miss Hilary Cardwell - School Business Manager

Hello! My name is Hilary Cardwell and I am School Business Manager at Hartside Primary School.

I have enjoyed working with children and since I left college having worked in a variety of educational settings, initially as a Nursery Nurse and in most recent years as a member of support staff in primary and secondary schools in County Durham before coming to Hartside Primary School. I have also been very fortunate to have lived and worked abroad in both childcare and administrative roles.

My greatest satisfaction is being able to contribute to an environment that is safe and secure, that supports learning and therefore achievement.

I spend a lot of time outside of work with my two grown up children and have a third ‘baby’, my cat Toffee who thinks that he is a small child and behaves as one! I enjoy all the usual things like shopping and eating out and some less usual things like going to stock car racing and classic car events, listening to progressive rock and ballooning in my spare time.

 Miss JP Gent 

Senior Administrator

As the Senior Administrator I work in the Main Office, where most of you will see me busying away each day! I love my role here at Hartside and I do as much as I can to be as helpful as possible to all of the children, parents and staff members. I’m very down to earth and I always treat people as I would like to be treat! I’m friendly and efficient and I want people to know, and feel, that no request or query is a problem to me.

Outside of my professional role I am still always on the go! Whether it be days out at the beach, cinema trips, surfing or seeing my favourite bands. I adore family time, including my farm-ily - this is the name I have given to the variety of pets we have which include: one donkey, two sheep, five rabbits, one goat, three pygmy goats, two tortoises, four ducks and five chickens!!

I live in a small, 1800’s cottage and I’ve filled it with my favourite treasures, making it almost like a home from Beamish! I’m very ‘olde worlde’ and have a soft spot for art work by Sam Toft, Norman Cornish and Rob Ryan. Penny, my little rough-haired Jack Russell, fits in very well as she’s almost 13… but still mischievous and adorable as ever! We enjoy putting our feet up (and paws) together on a night time, me with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other.

 Joe Smedley - Family Support Worker

Hi my name is Joe Smedley and I am pleased to have joined the staff of Hartside Primary taking up the post of Family Support Worker each Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 

I have worked in both Primary Schools and Further Education Colleges for the last twelve years in Merseyside, Cumbria and County Durham.  I am also a Forest School Practitioner and enjoy passing on various outdoor skills to children of all ages and abilities.

Difficulties may arise that can have an effect on either school or home life and I get tremendous satisfaction from being able to support and help parents and children to overcome these. 

I am always available to listen to any problems that may be having adverse effect on children’s wellbeing and education. Please catch me on a morning on the school yard or via the school office.

Our Lunchtime Supervisors

Mrs Pratt Mrs Grime

Mrs Sproat Mrs Nicholson

Miss Courtney Varley

Business Admin Apprentice


I am the Business Administrative Apprentice at Hartside, I work alongside Miss Gent and Miss Cardwell. I have completed my Level 2 here at Hartside and am absolutley delighted that I can stay to complete my Level 3! 

There is never a dull moment at Hartside and I look forward to coming to work every morning (even though I’m not a morning person!). I love being able to see the children progress each day as well as developing relationships with parents, children and staff members and giving 100% help and support when needed.

When I’m not at work I love to travel and see new places whenever I have the chance to, if the opportunity is there – I’ll take it.

I also enjoy reading, when I was little my favourite book was The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson but now my favourite book is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – although it made me shed a tear a few times!

Extended Services Staff

 Tracy Thompson

You'll find me in school with the children first thing in the morning, last thing in the evening and even during school holidays.  I make sure those using Breakfast Club and Kidz Club have a good start and end to their school day with a healthy breakfast, afternoon snack, games and activities and generally make sure they're kept entertained in a happy, caring environment.  No two days are ever the same and I love working with the amazing children we have here at Hartside.          

Away from work I have three children and a couple of cats so I'm always on the go, either at home or off on some kind of adventure together.  We especially like visiting farms, safari parks, castles and camping... although that's mostly so we can toast marshmallows on a campfire!

When I do get some free time, I like to go for a run or just relax with a book.  I enjoy reading Julia Donaldson books to my little boy.  My favourites to read aloud are The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom.  I still remember my very first library book from primary school - Teddy Robinson's Christmas.  I read it over and over again and I've loved books ever since, although I've moved on from Teddy Robinson! 

 Joe gillis  Carla Shepherd

 Margaret Compton  Courtney Varley

Kitchen Staff


Donna Barress - School Cook 

Kathryn Fairhurst - Kitchen Assistant

   Alison Atkinson - Kitchen Assistant