A leading day school in Midhurst for 2~13 year olds

Senior Leadership Team

Mrs Emma Smyth, Headmistress, Conifers School

Emma began her career in Oceanography, where she worked on two main projects in the North Atlantic and the EEZ of the US. Emma is a former Head of Science at both Barfield School in Farnham, and More House School. Before joining Conifers as Head in 2013, Emma led the Science and Geography departments, Outdoor Learning and the Extra Curricular provision at Barrow Hills in Witley.

Emma lives in Haslemere with her husband and sons.

Mr Aaron Stewart, CEO, Quo Vadis Education

Aaron co-founded QV Education in 2014 and is now Proprietor of Boundary Oak School in Hampshire and Conifers School in West Sussex.

Aaron started his school life at Confiers School and has always had extremely fond happy memories of his time there. Aaron lives near Petersfield and two of his boys attend Conifers School.

Mr James Polansky, ​Co-Proprietor of Conifers School, Co-Founder, Quo Vadis Education

James co-founded QV Education in 2014 alongside Aaron Stewart. Now Headmaster and co-proprietor of Boundary Oak School, James is a former Meridian committee member of the Assoc. of Teachers of Mathematics and UK Mathematical Assoc. He is also a member of IAPS (Independent Association of Prep Schools), ISA and the Chartered College of Teaching as well as ISI (Independent Schools Inspectorate) Compliance and Educational Quality Team Inspector.

James qualified as mathematics teacher in 2009, achieving a 1st Class (distinction) in his PGCE. He then went on to teach in secondary school 2008-2014 as Head of A level Mathematics and tutor and mentor for trainee teachers. Prior to this, James was Derivatives trader for Schroders, DrKW, Citigroup and Barclays Capital in London for 11 years. He studied at Colegio Monteagudo in Spain, followed by Bradfield College and Downing College, University of Cambridge. James lives with his young family in Hampshire.

Mrs Becky Thorpe, Deputy Head, Conifers School​

Becky has been teaching for 8 years, since graduating from Chichester University in 2012.  She began her teaching career at Shottermill Infant School before moving to Liss Infant School. While at Liss Infants, Becky was Head of Science then moved onto Head of Sports. She also worked at the Learning Tree nursery leading the Pre School room prior to joining Conifers.  Becky has been a form teacher at Conifers for 2 years, she became Head of Pre-prep and has now become Deputy Head and DDSL.

Becky lives in Midhurst with her husband and two children, both of whom attend Conifers School.

Mrs Juliette Pearce, Designated Safeguarding Lead, Conifers School

Juliette began her career as a professional ballet soloist having graduated from Central School of Ballet, London. She then retrained as a teacher and Graduated from the University of Surrey (BA Hons) and Brighton University (PGCE). She was then asked to set up the Performing Arts Department at Eastbourne College of Arts and Technology, which soon became a Centre of Excellence in Performance studies with Edexcel. She also gained her teaching certificate at the Royal Academy of Dance, London.

Juliette has worked as a teacher at Conifers since 2016 in the Early Years Department.

She lives with her family in West Sussex. Both of her children have been educated at Conifers.

Mrs Lucy Willett, Head of Sport and Health and Safety Officer, Conifers School

Lucy started at Conifers in 2007, before which she studied Physical Education BA (Hons) at Chichester University. Along with her expertise Lucy’s determination, passion and enthusiasm made her the ideal person to start our PE and Sport department. Since this time Lucy has driven the sport and PE at Conifers forward with many sporting opportunities, including regular games and PE sessions as well as weekly fixtures in place for our pupils.

Outside of school Lucy competes in Trail Running with her dogs, currently holding the title locally. She also trains and competes in cross country running twice a week, is a county level gymnast and is passionate about women’s football.

Lucy lives in Chichester with her husband and two young boys.

Mrs Chloe Pestell, Head of Marketing and Admissions, Quo Vadis Education

​Chloe has worked across PR, Marketing and Media for almost 20 years. Graduating from University of Gloucestershire, she went on to work for London based broadcasters Capital Radio and GCap Media before joining Tui Marine in 2006. Here, she worked across high end and luxury brands such as Sunsail, The Moorings, Le Boat and Club Vass.

​Before joining Quo Vadis Education in 2014, as part of the acquisition with Boundary Oak School in Hampshire, Chloe worked in PR as well as successfully running her own Design and Digital Marketing agency.

Chloe lives in Hampshire with her husband and two children.