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Teaching Staff

Information about our teaching staff can be found below:

Alanda Phillips

Alanda Phillips

Nursery Roles:

Head of Prep and Early years

About me:

I live in Alweston, in an old cottage. I have one brother and one sister, and two nephews (Jasper, 21 and Charlie, 8) and a niece (Rosa, 6) who stay with me often.

Interests:

Art and craft, gardening, cooking, countryside, pilates, travel.

Qualifications:

  • OCN Maternity Nurse (Level 4)
  • BA (Hons) (First Class) – Early Years Education
  • PGCE Early Years (3-7)
  • MA Early Years Professional Practice
  • MA (Cert) Educational Leadership
  • Full paediatric First Aid, Fully qualified SENCO and Phonics trainer
  • How long have you been working with children?
  • I have been working with children for 15 years, and have been teaching for 10 years.

What do you love about your job?

I am passionate about watching children’s progress and am strongly motivated by this. I feel really lucky to work with young children; they are so bright, engaged and inspiring and they make me laugh every day.

Career highlights?

2nd place in International ‘Early Years Teacher of the Year’ awards (2014)

Walter Hines Page scholarship winner (2013) – I travelled the USA examining schools and developed a teacher training programme with Florida’s state office for use with their 10,000 teaching staff.

Running an educational blog with 28,000 followers.

Jessica Millard

Nursery Roles:

Transition 2 Class Teacher

About me:

I live locally, close to my family. I have been teaching for four years and at Leweston for a year.

Interests:

Horse riding, art, playing sport and spending time with family and friends.

Qualifications:

BA (Hons) in Primary Education with First Class Honours with Qualified Teacher Status from the University of Winchester.

How long have you been working with children?

I have been working with children for eight years.

What do you love about your job?

Each day is different because there are always new challenges when working with children! I get to provide exciting opportunities for learning to take place and then watch the children I teach make progress and enjoy learning.

Career highlights?

Presenting my research relating to outdoor learning and den building at a research conference at the University of Latvia.

Beth Ford

Beth Ford

Nursery Roles:

Toddler Room Lead Practitioner

About me:

I live in Yeovil with my family and my two dogs called Cooper and Nellie. I have two goddaughters who I enjoy spending lots of time with.

Interests:

  • Baking/socialising/walking my dogs/arts and crafts/trips to the theatre.

Qualifications:

  • Level 2 & 3 Children and Young People’s Workforce.
  • Currently at University studying the first year of my Degree in Childcare.

How long have you been working with children?

  • 6 years

What do you love about your job?

  • Gaining close relationships with the children and watching them engage in activities as they play and learn.

Career highlights?

  • Having the opportunity to have worked in two private school settings.
  • Progressing my career and becoming Toddler Room Lead at Leweston.

Miss Gillett (Jessica)

Miss Gillett (Jessica)

Nursery Roles:

Early Years Practitioner

About me:

I am 19 years old and have recently finished sixth form in July 2017 after studying ‘Health and Social Care’, ‘Applied Science’ and ‘Psychology’. I have been a part of Leweston for several years now, as I carried out my work experience here whilst in year 11 and never wanted to leave.

Interests:

I have done Ballet since the age of 1 and ½ and have taken lots of Royal Academy exams up to Grade 8. I love to go shopping with my family and friends and would class this as a hobby!

Qualifications:

I left school with 10 GCSE’s grade C+, and then sixth form with Level 3 Health and Social Care, Level 3 Applied Science, a B in Photography and a C in Psychology. I am now at university part-time studying my Foundation degree in Early Years care and Education. I will then go on to complete my BA (Hons) Childhood Studies, Care & Education (Level 6).

How long have you been working with children?

I have been babysitting for many families since the age of 15, and have been to several different placements to carry out work experience. I have worked at Leweston (work experience + helping out) for coming up nearly 2 years now.

What do you love about your job?

I love the fact that I get the pleasure of watching the children develop into their own individuals, whilst supporting them in everything they do. I also love the fact we have such a wonderful Nursery where we can carry out some fantastic activities and go on the most amazing walks.

Career highlights?

One of the most memorable highlights of my career was getting to spend my 18th birthday with the Reception class, where they presented me with a cake and a card. This was lovely for me as I felt a big part of everyone.

Mary Harris

Mary Harris

Nursery Roles:

Early Years Practitioner

About me:

I am a fun loving, caring and conscientious 35year old. I live with my partner on our farm in Yenston. We have two dogs and our own beef herd – we also calf and heifer rear too!

Interests:

I love being and working in the countryside and therefore love walking the dogs, taking road trips to the coast and being out on the farm – weekends I enjoy helping out on the farm with my partner (plus my parents farm when I have time!). I also enjoy eating out and socialising with friends and family. Furthermore, I have an interest in the Young Farmers’ movement and currently hold positions within a local club and at county level.

Qualifications:

I originally qualified as a nursery nurse many years ago! Then in 2013 went on to study and gain my Fda degree in Early Years. I have also attended lots of training in relation to my role to keep me updated with my skills set and knowledge within this ever evolving childcare sector.

How long have you been working with children?

I have been working within the Early Years for the past 16 years.

What do you love about your job?

Making a difference… The early years is a fundamental time, therefore providing these little people with wonderful opportunities and experiences is so important for their foundation. Watching my little friends grow and blossom into independent and competent learners is very rewarding! When you work with these children on a daily basis, build secure and strong relationships and see happy children flourish in readiness for their next learning journeys - then that’s when you know your job is done!

Career highlights?

Achieving my degree and furthering my knowledge and understanding - putting what I learnt into practice. Moving a pre-school which was operating from a village hall over onto school site within its own purpose built building, plus working my way up to management by leading and creating a successful early years setting - getting it to an Ofsted rated outstanding setting was the icing on the cake for me!

Lucy Hillier

Lucy Hillier

Nursery Roles:

Early Years Practitioner

SENCo (0-3 years)

About me:

I like to keep busy; I spend a lot of time with family and friends, especially my two year old niece. I have two pet rabbits.

Interests:

I like to visit new places, live music, theatre, walking and keeping fit.

Qualifications:

BA (Hons) degree in Early Years.

How long have you been working with children?

Over 9 years.

What do you love about your job?

Watching the children grow and develop and being a great support and role model to them. Spending time outdoors and going for walks in the woods, interacting with the children whilst they explore games and resources and observing the children learning and developing. Most of all the best part is having lots of fun.

Career highlights?

Having the opportunity to work in two wonderful settings and being privileged enough to work and visit schools in South Africa and Asia.

Miss Cross (Emma)

Miss Cross (Emma)

Nursery Roles:

Early Years Practitioner

About me:

I’m 26 years old and joined Leweston in July this year. I have always had a love of animals; In addition to almost every house pet, I spent many years with horses competing most weekends. However I have since downsized considerably to a budgie!

Main Interests:

Country walks, keeping active & socialising with friends.

Qualifications:

I started childcare in 2007 where I completed my level 2 with Yeovil College and Baby grows nursery. I have a level 3 in childcare which I completed as part of an apprenticeship with the same setting, where I stayed until 2016.

I then joined a preschool, to gain further experience, for 1 year, giving me a total of over 10 years’ experience.

How long have you been working with children?

I have over ten years’ experience in childcare. During this time I have fulfilled many roles including room manager, and deputy.

What do you love about your job?

I love being able to impart my knowledge onto the younger generation and help shape the minds of the future.

Career highlights:

Seeing my key children develop each day and feeling like I’ve made a difference.

Miss Erin Kelly

Miss Erin Kelly

Nursery Roles:

Senior Early Years Practitioner

Deputy Safeguarding Lead

About me:

I run a Forest School playgroup every Thursday and believe the dirtier you get, the better! I enjoy cooking, cleaning and being super organised! I also enjoy farm life, helping my partner to milk our cows.

Qualifications:

Foundation Degree in Child Care and Education (Level 5), NVQ Childcare and Education (Level 3), AS Level Psychology, Biology and Health and Social Care. 11 GCSE’s, A* - C grade, Level 3 Safeguarding Children (Deputy DSL) Paediatric First Aid.

How long have you been working with children?

7 years and counting!

What do you love about your job?

I love to see how children develop in their Nursery life and to play such a crucial role in this feels amazing. I enjoy planning fun, messy and stimulating activities. On a daily basis I aim to ensure that each child is safe and happy in their Nursery environment. I like to make sure that I have planned fun and appropriate activities to ensure the needs of all children are met, whilst having fun too.

Career highlights?

When I first began running my parent and toddler group, just weeks after starting, parents wrote amazing reviews about my practice with the children online on websites such as ‘Net mums’. This felt amazing and has been a memorable career highlight for me.




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