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Maya Angelou painting by students in Enrichment week 2016
Maya Angelou portrait painted by students in Enrichment Week 2016


Angelou School is named after Maya Angelou, the famous poet and civil rights activist. Maya Angelou was an advocate for the importance of language and education, particularly for young women, and believed wholeheartedly in the rights of all people. Her words and actions teach each Angelou students about the importance of resilience, compassion, self-improvement and self-love. The incredible work of Maya Angelou is an inspiration and sets the tone for the ethos that we aim to instil within our students. 

We promote and celebrate growth mindset within the school and as Maya Angelou said,

We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Head of Angelou School - Mrs V Anstiss

I am delighted to be head of Angelou School. In Maya’s words “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” I am passionate about education and instilling a life long love of learning in our young people. 

I have taught and led in many great schools, but I knew when I started at Varndean in 2018 that this was a very special place. Our students, families and staff reflect the artistry, vibrance and energy of Brighton. 

I aspire to providing Angelou students the best possible care and support through this part of their educational journey. Instilling strength, resilience and positivity so they can thrive and flourish both now and in the future.

Deputy Head of Angelou School - Mr S Whiteman

Hello, my name is Mr Whiteman and I am the Deputy Head of Angelou School. I studied teaching at the University of Brighton completing a BA (Honours) in Physical Education. After completing my degree, I went on to teaching PE and later introduced the teaching of English as well. I progressed my career on to middle management with a real focus in the pastoral element of school life and have been enjoying this role for the last 7 years.

My vision and ethos is to be firm, fair, consistent and approachable. I want Angelou to be the best school at Varndean and will strive to make this happen. If you have any questions or need any support please either contact me by phone or email on .

School Leader - Miss L Ventura

Hello, my name is Miss Ventura and I am a School Leader. I studied Psychomotor Rehabilitation (Movement Therapy) at the University of Human Kinetics (Faculdade de Motricidade Humana) in Lisbon, Portugal. I've studied up to the Master's Degree having specialised in Therapeutic Intervention and Behaviour Management in Education settings. After completing my studies I've worked in pastoral roles and middle management for about 12 years. I've furthered my career using my therapy background as a guide towards student wellbeing and academic success. 

My vision and ethos is to have and inspire a growth mindset in others, guiding and supporting students to fulfil their individual aspirations through motivation and discipline. I want the schools I work in to thrive and reach their maximum potential and will do my absolute best for this to happen. If you have any questions or need any support please either contact me by phone or email on

School Leader - Miss F Hall 




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