Meet the Pre-Prep Team, the form teachers and subject specialists that provide such an engaging and exciting learning experience for our boys and girls.
Jayne Grainge, Pre-Reception Teacher
Coming from a family of teachers, Jayne’s particular interest is within the Early Years. Jayne also has a love of elocution and drama, having won many cups and medals in various festivals as a child and young adult. In her spare time, she enjoys going to the theatre, reading and going on country walks.
She says: I am proud of my profession and appreciate the extreme importance of the work I do. I’d like to think of myself as approachable, enthusiastic and caring, with the good sense of humour essential for this job. Our role here is to focus on the all-round development of children in our care, supporting them in their quest for independence and encouraging their various endeavours.
Karen Jackson, Pre-Reception Teaching Assistant
Karen is an experienced and dedicated early years teaching professional who reverted to her childhood passion for working with children following a period in the fashion industry. Since her own school days, Karen has worked with children of all ages – starting in the church creche at sixteen and then as a nanny during her college years. Having obtained a degree in fashion product development, she took a change in career path and went on to gain a Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching. Karen began working in London as a pre-school teaching in 2001. After having two children of her own she spent ten years working in a pre-school in Orpington where her role included support work for children with additional needs. Karen has been associated with St David’s since 2007 as both her son and daughter attended the school.
She says ‘working with young children is always interesting and challenging. It is work I am passionate about and I am delighted to be part of the wonderful teaching team at St David’s Prep.
Tierney Gibb, EYFS Teaching Assistant
I first joined St David’s in September 2019 in a small role helping out at before school club. The St David’s team welcomed me with open arms and I soon took on more roles helping out with the early years children. I’ve enjoyed working with children since 2016 and I love the way individual children respond differently to different learning experiences. Working in a school environment, I soon realised that this is a passion of mine and a career path I’d love to take! I feel very privileged to be a part of such a brilliant team and I look forward to gaining many more fantastic experiences at St David’s.
Amber O’Sullivan, Head of Early Years, Reception Teacher and Forest School tutor
After doing her degree in Primary Education and working in a school for two years, Amber was ready for a change. She spent seven months on a round-the-world trip, giving her a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring back into the classroom. On her return, she began working at St David’s.
She says: I feel extremely grateful to be able to work at St David’s and cannot wait for the years ahead of me!
Lauren Weaver, Reception Teacher
Gemma Hughes, Pre-Reception Teaching Assistant and Girls’ Games
I joined St David’s in September 2019, alongside my son and two daughters who all love the experience! As a qualified swimming coach, I have previously coached many St David’s children to be successful swimmers. I have also coached gymnastics for over 20 years! I am studying for my ‘higher level teachers assistant’ qualifications and am incredibly excited to have joined both the sports team and Reception team at St David’s.
Gemma says, “in the short time I’ve been at St David’s, I realise it is the dream job for me. The strong nurturing culture within the school means that every teacher is passionate about providing the highest teaching standards and care for each and every child”.
Sinead Tierney, Reception Teaching Assistant
I joined the St David’s family in September 2019 with my three sons being either current or past pupils. After a brief career break to raise my boys, I have previously spent 6 years in the Metropolitan Police Service and 6 years in the NHS as an Emergency Specialist Nurse. I believe many of my previous skills and experience will help me in my new role at St David’s. I am now supporting Miss O’Sullivan and Miss Weaver as a Teaching Assistant in the Reception classes, alongside studying for a further qualification!
Sinead says, “it is a privilege to work in such a nurturing environment and I consider myself lucky to join the staff, especially having seen how my own children have progressed academically and socially since joining St David’s”.
Susan Hills, Year 1 Form Tutor
All Susan ever wanted to do was teach and after completing a Primary Education Degree at Greenwich, she began teaching in a school in Bexleyheath. She then moved around the country with her husbands job, so has taught in places from Ross on Wye to Frinton on Sea. She has been back in this, her home area, for six years and has been teaching at a local outstanding state school throughout that time.
Janey Jones, Year 1 Form Tutor
Brooke O’Sullivan, Teaching Assistant Year 1
Holly Bishop, Year 2 Teacher and Librarian
It was always my ambition to become a teacher. After leaving school, I completed a Geography degree at the University of Southampton, followed by a PGCE at Goldsmith’s College, London. I started my teaching career in Bromley, then spent 13 years working in Dulwich, leading Year 3 and working in a variety of year groups. I am thrilled to have joined the team at St. David’s. On my first visit I was struck by the warmth and enthusiasm which radiates from both the staff and the pupils, and I am thoroughly looking forward to working with all the children both in the classroom and during their visits to the library. Reading has always been a great passion of mine, and I love nothing more than escaping the hectic pace of daily life with two small children to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book. The value of reading for young children is undeniable, both to broaden their vocabulary, and develop their imaginations. I really look forward to helping your children enjoy their reading journey and sharing my love of reading with them.
Helen Younger, Teaching Assistant Year 2 and 3
Helen gained her diploma in 1996 and having worked in several schools and pre-schools in the local area, she feels very privileged to now be working at St David’s.
Helen says: ‘ Since joining the school in September 2017, I have been made to feel a very valued member of staff. St David’s is a very happy friendly school and I have settled in very quickly. She will be working with Mrs Kinnes in Year 3 and Mrs Bishop in Year 2.
The staff believe in working together to meet the aims of the school whilst working towards common goals. I believe in encouraging children to be able to live up to their potential whilst promoting their education and care. I look forward to seeing the children grow in confidence and knowledge throughout their time at St David’s.’
In her spare time she enjoys eating out (by the way she says the school dinners are fantastic!), theatre trips and holidays abroad.