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.
Amber O’Sullivan, 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! I am really enjoying being the lead for Geography; the subject is a particular passion of mine, as my love of travel indicates!
Tina Brabham, Reception Teaching Assistant
Debbie Wright, Year 1 Class Teacher and SENCO
After completing her BEd at Birmingham University, Debbie spent the first 12 years of her teaching career at a school in Merton for pupils ages 3-19 years old with learning difficulties. She was fascinated by the psychology of learning and through part time study with the Open University she completed a Psychology degree, followed by a Masters in Education. Since joining St David’s in 1996 she has taught across all of Pre-Prep and Lower Key Stage 2, had responsibility for several curriculum areas and enjoyed co-ordinating the SEN provision. Outside of school she enjoys spending time with family and her menagerie of animals to look after at home!
She says: At St David’s, I feel privileged to work with such lovely pupils and their parents. There is a real sense of family within the school. We are lucky to have a beautiful school field and it is a pleasure to be out there on a sunny day watching the children enjoying the space.
Judy Thorpe, Teaching Assistant
Judy joined Pre-Prep in 1999 and has really enjoyed her role ever since, working with pupils and inspiring teachers. Her passion for art and an earlier career in retail display has benefited her to encourage pupils in their creativeness and she takes every opportunity to assembly displays of pupils’ art work.
She is a collector of old pottery, has a fascination with Japanese traditions and would like to visit Kyoto one day. Her family gives her immense pleasure and she loves to spend time with them during the holidays. She enjoys relaxing with a good historical fiction book, visiting galleries and pottering in her garden with her cat.
She says: ‘my days are very rewarding, in all aspects of my roles, and it is a pleasure working with our lovely pupils. I enjoy being a part of their progress and achievements, however small or large.
Anouska Blaza, Year 2 Form Tutor and MFL Co-ordinator
After graduating from Oxford University with a Modern Foreign Languages degree, Anouska worked at several advertising agencies in London. Realising she wanted to make full use of her degree whilst working with children, Anouska spent time teaching in South America before doing her PGCE. She has headed up MFL at several schools, teaching Italian, Spanish and French.
In her spare time, Anouska enjoys spending time with her young family, travel and theatre trips.
She says, “I am so thrilled to be a part of St David’s Prep. It is a lovely school where the children come first, and their happiness and achievements are clear to see. I would love to raise the profile of languages at St David’s, and look forward to getting to know all the children and celebrating the rich diversity we have here.”
Pamela Woodhouse, Teaching Assistant
Pamela works with Mrs Blaza in Year 2 and says she has her ‘dream job’.
She comments: ‘not only do I get to know and work with everyone across this amazingly friendly school, but I also get to use all the skills and knowledge gained in my Open University studies. The staff here are incredibly supportive of each other, which seems to have rubbed off on the children’s approach to one another, resulting in daily acts of kindness. Who wouldn’t want to work and learn in such an atmosphere!