Working together for your children

Joan Tait

Owner

I qualified as a teacher a long, long time ago! My experience in Adult, Secondary and Primary education has let to my passion for the Foundation Stage and Early Years in general and the Children’s Workshop in particular.

Non-Workshop activities that keep me busy include my family, Bridge, friends, U3A and anything interesting which comes along. I am good at pottering, love gardens but hate gardening! I do a great deal of thinking but not enough exercise!

Sarah Abrahams, BA (Hons), PGCE

Senior Manager; Deputy DSL; Deputy SENCO

I first started working at The Workshop 13 years ago when my younger child started school. Both my children are now at university, their childhood seems to have passed by in a blink of an eye!

I have worked with young children all my life. I trained as an Early Years teacher at Roehampton University and taught in a Primary school for 6 years. I am passionate about ensuring that all children are given the best possible start on their ‘educational journey’ and strive to make the Children’s Workshop a happy, welcoming and exciting place to learn and thrive.

Everyday I am fascinated and rewarded by watching the children grow in confidence and ability. I love observing how the children learn and how they see everything with a fresh eye. It really is a rewarding job and a privilege to be able to spend time with your children. They make me smile every day.
I am very lucky that I work with a wonderful team of ‘pink ladies’ who help to make ‘The Workshop’ a very special place.

In my spare time I enjoy yoga, gardening and walking. I also have a degree in English and History so I do love a good book and a Period Drama!

Jacky Brown, BA(Hons)

Business Manager; Data Controller/Health & Safety

I have been working for the Children’s Workshop since 2008 when my younger child started infant school; firstly as a volunteer mum, then as an employed pre-school assistant and am now the Business Manager. I have a CACHE level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce and Level 3 ILM Leadership & Management in Early Year and have completed numerous other relevant courses. Prior to working here I specialised in marketing logistics, print and design (I have a Degree in English and Art) and worked for a couple of large, international companies – my switch to Early Years Education is certainly more fun and infinitely more rewarding!

I have two teenage children who both attended the Children’s Workshop and who have attended local schools. When not at work I enjoy exercise, going for lovely long walks in our local countryside with my dog and spending time with my family and friends.

Mrs Fiona, MA(Gen), PGCE

Red Group Manager; SENCO

I joined the Children’s Workshop team when my youngest son started at the Orchard Infant school 16 years ago. He attended the Children’s Workshop, as did his older brother and sister, who are twins. I am a qualified teacher, and in my current role I am a Group Manager, and Senco. I am passionate about helping all children to learn and to develop their full potential. Outside of work, I am active in the local community. I have been involved with 1st Molesey Sea Scouts Group since my oldest son joined over 16 years ago, and I am currently a section assistant in Beavers and the Group’s Secretary. I also enjoy watching sport, particularly football and tennis.

Mrs Helen

Blue Group Manager; DSL

I started working at the Children’s Workshop in January 2001 having had a career as a Registered General Nurse (RGN) specialising in critical care and A&E. I have extensive knowledge and experience of all age groups at the pre-school having managed the setting and both Red and Blue Groups. I have CACHE level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce and my area of expertise is Safeguarding - I am the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL).

I have three grown up sons and when not at work I enjoy spending time with my family, skiing, singing in a local choir and taking my dog for lovely long walks.

Mrs Angela

Deputy Manager – Blue Group

I joined the Children’s Workshop in 2012, while my son attended. I became the deputy manager of Blue group in 2017. I have a level 3 Diploma in Early Years and just recently I gained a level 5 in Leadership and Management. I thrive on providing stimulating activities for the children (the messy the better).
As a busy mum I don’t really get time for hobbies but I enjoy going on walks, fitting in exercise and generally spending time with my family and friends. In the summer holidays we pack up our campervan and head to Europe for an adventure.

Mrs Alison

Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop since 2010 and am married with two teenage children. I have a CACHE level 3 Diploma in the Children and Young People’s Workforce and started my career in childcare when I worked as a one-to-one in special educational needs for a year. I thoroughly enjoy my job, and particularly enjoy providing the children with opportunities to develop their learning, creativity and imagination through art and crafts, which I enjoy myself, and through small group work.

Mrs Anna

Pre-School Assistant/SEND

I began working at Children’s Workshop after my two children attended, who were very happy here. I am employed as a Pre-School SEND Assistant and am in my sixth year. I have also undertaken the Pre-School Assistant role for three of those years. I am passionate about early intervention and inclusion for children with additional needs and helping them reach their full potential. I have a CACHE level 3 diploma in Early Years and completed the Early Bird course ran by the National Autistic Society. During my free time I love to spend time with friends and family, walking our dog Daisy, running (I have run over 150 Parkruns) and going to the theatre.

Mrs Anne

Pre-School Assistant

I joined the Children’s Workshop team when my 2 children started school – they had both attended the Workshop. I have Level 3 in Childcare and Education. During my years at the Workshop I have worked as part of the Management team and as SENCO. I am committed to ‘Learning through Play’ ensuring that each child gains confidence and feels valued.
When not working I enjoy gardening, reading and spending time with my 5 lovely grandchildren.

Mrs Becki

Pre-School Assistant

I care about many things! Helping your smaller family members learn skills to be happy, healthy & connected is one of my cares.
I’m passionate about Yoga, Philosophy, protecting the Earth & all beings.
I try to squeeze in a walk in nature & a cup of tea with a friend where possible.
I have been working at Children’s Workshop since 2005, volunteering when my son attended and then subsequently as an employee. I have a CACHE level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce.
I love practicing Aromatherapy & creative arts. Did I mention I have bronze medal in disco dancing?

Mrs Christine

Senior Pre-School Assistant

I have worked with children for over 30 years. My jobs have included a being children’s nanny, managing a crèche and I’m currently in my 14th year working at the Children’s Workshop… you could say I quite like children! The children make me smile every day. I love teaching and watching how they develop and flourish within the stimulating environment of the Children’s Workshop.

Mrs Claire

Senior Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop for over 10 years. I am a married mother of two teenage boys. I have a CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce and have completed numerous varied training courses which include Safeguarding, First Aid and I have recently completed a Mental Health Awareness Course. I love music, dancing, going to music events and festivals. My hobbies are going out with family and friends enjoying life especially in London and Brighton! I have an obsession with buying Vans Shoes and trainers…. Luckily for me my boys have followed in my footsteps!

Mrs Clare

Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop since 2016, firstly as a parent volunteer while my son attended and then subsequently as an employee. I love being part of the team at the Children’s Workshop and helping the children enjoy their time at pre-school. I have a CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Young People’s Workforce. I also have a BSc in Geography. I have two children who keep me very busy. As a family we love spending time together and in particular enjoying being outdoors. I love both playing and watching sport. I played hockey for over 20 years and my favourite rugby team is the Springboks. I was once lucky enough to play at Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club.

Mrs Debbie

Pre-School Assistant

I joined the Children’s Workshop team when my own daughter was in Red Group. First as a volunteer and then as a permanent member of staff. I am currently studying for an NVQ level 3, Early Years Educator, at Brooklands College and am enjoying learning all about child development. I have two children and love being outside in nature with them. I also enjoy cinema, reading and the odd night out…

Mrs Karen

Pre-School Assistant

I joined Workshop once my children had started school, initially working two afternoons a week and then becoming a core member of the team in 2007 working mornings. I have worked in both Blue & Red group finding the rotation good for my self development.

I value attending courses and training to keep my skills relevant. Some of the most interesting have been using Puppetry to encourage talk, a CACHE level 3 Diploma in Childcare and an NVQ qualification in Dyslexia and other learning difficulties.

I honestly do not know where the years have gone since first seeing the vacancy on the Orchard notice board and am thrilled that the Workshop still holds my attention and interest everyday. Having come from an incredibly high pressured job prior to having my children I delight in each day’s interaction with small people and my colleagues in such a nice environment.

Needless to say everyday remains a school day, long may it last!

Mrs Louise

Pre-School Assistant/SEND

I have a CACHE level 3 Diploma in Children and Young People’s Workforce. I joined The Children’s Workshop in 2013 as a Special Needs Assistant after working with adults with special needs. I get great satisfaction from seeing the children develop and gain skills and confidence; they also make me smile and laugh every day. Outside of work I relax by gardening and have a diploma in horticulture. I also love going on long dog walks especially by the sea.

Mrs Melanie

Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the pre-school for four years. Presently I am working towards gaining a CACHE level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce. I enjoy working with young children and seeing them flourish. I am a busy mum of 2 who enjoys spending time with my family as well as exercising when I have the time!

Mrs Sherrilyne

Senior Pre-School Assistant

I have been working at the Children’s Workshop since 1985, prior to that I helped out as a volunteer mum, whilst my third child was attending. I took a break when I had my forth child returning when she was old enough to attend. A few of my grandchildren have also attended Children’s Workshop. I hold a NVQ3 in Child-Care

Mrs Tracy

Pre-School Assistant

I found Workshop to be such a fun, nurturing environment for my son that I really wanted to work there.

I started working one afternoon a week and then studied my Cache level 3 at Kingston.

I love my holidays to Scotland and the Maldives and really enjoy all the Christmas art activities we do in the build up to Christmas as I used to be a model-maker in the film industry and loved making scenery for Thomas the Tank engine at Shepperton studios.

I really enjoy my time with the children, helping and watching their development grow.

Mrs Trudi

Pre-School Assistant

I have worked at Children’s Workshops for five years and have a CACHE level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator). I have a passion for early childhood development. I love to research current thinking and best practice and bring this into my daily work.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family including our two dogs and growing organic vegetables on my allotment! I also have a Diploma in the Restoration and Conservation of Objects in wood and stone!

Key Person Approach

As outlined in the EYFS statutory guidance, every child must be assigned a key person. This role is to help ensure that every child’s care is tailored to meet their individual needs, to help the child become familiar to the setting, offer a settled relationship for the child and build relationships with the parents and carers.

At the Children’s Workshop, we want every child to feel safe, valued and confident. Having a key person with whom the child builds a special relationship helps this. We feel confident that our staff wholeheartedly fulfil their key person role and really get to know their children exceptionally well.

The benefits to very young children are that the approach can provide them with a deeply satisfying and enriching experience of pre-school life. Children with strong attachments cry less when separated, engage in more pretend play and sustain attention for longer. This helps support and develop their emotional well being, self esteem, resilience, confidence and independence. Being emotionally attached to their key person helps the child feel secure that the person they depend on is there for them.

The key person approach aims to supplement rather than to replicate the love, care and quality time that the children get form their parents.
Each member of staff has a small group of key children who they get to know exceptionally well and can respond to each child’s needs sensitively and warmly.
Records of development and care are created and shared by the key person, parents and the child. Small groups foster close bonds between the child and the key person in a way that large groups cannot easily do. These groups allow the key person to better ‘tune into’ children’s play and their conversations to really get to know the children in the group well. Children feel settled and happy and are more confident to explore and as a result become more capable learners.

Why Attachment Matters

What is attachment and why is it important for young children? Attachments are the emotional bonds that young children develop with parents and other carers such as their key person. Children with strong early attachments cry less when separated. They engage in more pretend play and sustain attention for longer. They are less aggressive and are popular with other children and with adults. Their sense of who they are is strong. Children need to be safe in the relationship they have with parents or carers. They are vulnerable but will develop resilience when their physical and psychological well-being is protected by an adult. Being emotionally attached to such an adult helps the child feel secure that the person they depend on is there for them. When children feel safe they are more inclined to try things out and be more independent. They are confident to express their ideas and feelings and feel good about themselves. Attachment influences a child’s immediate all-round development and future relationships.

Staffing Ratio

We are registered to have a total 68 children per morning and have 19 staff: 14 staff are qualified at level 3 in a relevant Early Years Education qualification (2 are currently studying), 1 member of staff is qualified at level 5 and 2 members of staff have level 6 Qualified Teacher Status. All of our staff are part-time. Our staffing allows us to implement a ratio of 1 staff member to every 5 children attending per session. The Senior Manager and Business Manager (who both hold ILM Early Years Leadership & Management qualifications) are not included in the staffing ratios.

ALL staff hold current 12 x hour paediatric first aid certificates which are renewed every 3 years.

ALL staff attend relevant and regular safeguarding training. Helen Rowling has completed Modules 1 and 2 in safeguarding and is the named DSL lead. The Senior Manager has also completed this training.

3 members of our staff have had recent Makaton training.

2 members of staff are undertaking level 3 Early Years Education training and it is our aim to have all staff trained to a minimum of level 3 by the end of 2019.

All staff have completed ‘Prevent’ Training Level 2 on-line food hygiene.

Our staff retention is excellent and we have managed to retain our staff for many years. Our longest serving member has been with us for 35 years!