Our team

Our staff each have a wealth of experience (both academic and practical):

Natalie Ellis, Manager

Natalie completed her teaching degree at the University of Pretoria (South Africa) before joining the education industry in the UK. Her passion is the early years of child development.

Natalie believes that children learn best through play so messy activities and fun experiments are a big part of how she approaches learning. Natalie’s two busy bodies, Reilley (3 years) and Raegan (soon to be 2 years), make stringent testers of new activities.

Natalie looks forward to growing and learning with the staff, parents, and children. She believes that together we can offer our children a good foundation and great learning experiences.

Kate Crofts, Deputy Manager and Special Educational Needs (SEN) Co-ordinator

Kate is NVQ Level 3 qualified in Early Years Care and Education and joined our Pre-School in February 2016. Kate is often found creating a wonderful imaginative story and is an amazing cake baker.

Chris Orpin, Senior Practitioner


Chris is NVQ Level 3 qualified and has been with us since 1994. She is a fully qualified SEN Co-ordinator (Levels 1-6). Chris loves messy activities; painting, jelly and spaghetti, the messier the better.

Charlotte Butler, Practitioner


Charlotte has both a BA and a BTECH in Early childhood studies. She has quickly become a valued member of our staff team after joining us in 2018.

Jess Watson, Early Years Assistant/Practitioner


I absolutely love my job and have always wanted to work with children to support them in this amazing time of their development. I love baking, messy play and the woodland session on Thursday mornings.

Erin Heffernan, Practitioner

Photo and statement coming soon.

Sally Durant, Pre-school Manager (acting)

Sally Durant is a qualified N.N.E.B. Nursery Nurse and has worked for many years in pre-schools and Nursery classes. She loves the company of small children and prefers to play with the children and the lovely resources we have at the pre-school rather than switch on her computer and keep up to date with all the admin!

About our staff

All staff have been police checked (DBS), have completed safeguarding, first aid and fire safety training and hold a food hygiene and food allergens certificate, all of which are regularly renewed. All staff undertake regular training to ensure they keep up-to-date with new developments and continue to grow their skills.

Key Worker

Each child is allocated a key worker when they start at Pre-School. The key worker scheme helps children to quickly become confident and secure in the Pre-School environment and ensures that they receive the individual attention and support that they need to help them develop. Your childs key worker will be your first point of contact when discussing your childs development and progress. We often find that children naturally develop a good relationship with a specific member of staff and there is always scope for your childs key worker to be changed if you and the Pre-School staff feel that this will benefit your child. Your childs key worker will invite you to attend a chat about your childs progress at least 3 times a year and is always on hand to talk to you and answer any questions you might have.