Staff Profiles

Mrs Alice Bennett (EYPS) and Forest Leader


The development of Madresfield Early Years Centre has been my life’s work and leadership of such a superb staff team continues to be a great privilege. The opening of a purpose designed new Centre in Worcester is the fulfilment of a long held dream. A fundamental belief in the importance of outdoor learning drives these Centre’s forward in a very creative and innovative way on our two beautiful farm sites, one in Malvern and one within the City limits of Worcester.Children are encouraged to design and build bridges and dens, to cook on open fires and to invent songs and stories in the great outdoors. They are supported as they pick and crush berries and apples to make juice or perhaps collect Elderflower to make cordial. The outdoor environment provides limitless opportunities for learning development and self actualisation for both children, parents and staff.

The dramatic and powerful learning opportunities provided by our farm based outdoor environment has been a constant source of inspiration. As I witness the life changing opportunities of outdoor play and learning, I am convinced that outdoor learning is and should remain a basic human right and entitlement for all children. It is during our outdoor and woodland sessions that children become highly motivated and totally engaged in self initiated play. They ask questions, confront risk and challenge, problem solve, cooperate, lead and follow, reason and reflect and have great fun too. These are the experiences that contribute most dramatically to their learning, their spirituality, their self confidence and their personalities.

Overseas travel to study Early Years Practice and Philosophy has helped to enhance and strengthen my beliefs. I envy the simplicity of the Early Years Curriculum in New Zealand compared to the complicated nature of our own bureaucracy that I discovered in Denmark where young children were free to roam and play out of doors from morning until dusk. If outdoor play is available at all times, children are calmer and more relaxed. They are highly motivated and responsible. The traditional ‘patrolling’ role of the adult is changed to one of shared wellbeing and mutual support as child initiated projects are investigated, explored and developed in sustained and rewarding ways. The traditional ‘stop-start’ routines of many school classrooms actually inhibit children’s engagement, concentration and involvement… the very dispositions we are actually trying to encourage and foster! Staff should also free themselves from the overpowering burden of evidence based testing and record keeping demanded by OFSTED and devote themselves and their talents to better support the children’s learning and development.

The holistic approach to outdoor and physical education at both Madresfield and Worcester Early Years Centres is having a dramatic and life changing impact on the education of many generations of young children. There is no doubt that the children from our two Farm based Centres carry with them a special love of the outdoors and a spirituality and sense of wellbeing that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. The daily outdoor learning is both innovative, inspirational and very powerful and many of the Staff Team have witnessed the almost miraculous progress of children with special needs who are free from the overpowering restrictions of the indoor classroom during our woodland sessions. By sharing our beautiful environment and philosophy with outside groups and also with parents and local community groups we can successfully enhance and extend our commitment to learning outside the classroom for all. This is the task we have set ourselves and to date I feel we have made a tremendous contribution to the holistic and full development of many hundreds of children and families.

Charleigh Hobbis

Nursery Practitioner

Nursery Practitioner

Charlotte Taylor

Pre School Practitioner

Nursery Co-Manager

Chelsea Prosser

Nursery Co-Manager

Nursery Co-Manager

Dawn Jeffrey

Pre School Manager

Pre School Manager

 

Emma Harris

Baby Care Deputy Manager

Nursery Practitioner

Isabel Gill

Nursery Assistant

Nursery Assistant

Jane Myhill

Bursar

Nursery Co-Manager

Jessica O’Keeffe

Baby Care Manager

Baby Care Practitioner

 

Jo Graysmark

Catering Manager

Catering Manager

Lisa Lock

Nursery Assistant

Nursery Assistant

Mandy Sharp

Nursery Assistant

Nursery Assistant

Nicky Thompson

Catering Assistant

Catering Assistant

 

Nicola Martin

Pre School Practitioner

Pre School Practitioner

Trish Griffiths

Pre School Practitioner

Pre School Practitioner

Sarah Beazley

Centre Manager

Centre Manager

Nicola Lannie

Baby Care Practitioner

Butterflies Department Manager

 

Julie Margetts

Deputy Centre Manager & Under 3’s Coordinator

Centre Under 3's Manager

Judith Thompson

Nursery Assistant

Nursery Assistant

 

Lara Mitchell

Nursery Practitioner

Baby Care Department Manager

Kerry Smith

Nursery Practitioner

Laura Hands

Deputy Manager Robins Department

Caroline Peachey

Manager – Butterflies Department

 

Naomi Summers

Manager – Ducklings Department

Natasha Parry

Apprentice within Level 2 Childcare Provision

Lorraine Henderson

Training Manager

Kerry Richings

Nurturing Hands – Baby Care

 

Joanne Durnford

Nursery Practitioner

Stacey Middleton

Nursery Practitioner

Lyn Harris

Catering Assistant/Garden Educator

Hannah Burch

Deputy Manager – Ducklings Department