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.
Gemma Hughes, Pre-Reception Teaching Assistant
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 currently studying for my ‘higher level teachers assistant’ qualifications and am incredibly excited to have joined both the sports team and Pre-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”.
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!
Tina Brabham, Reception Teacher
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 Brabham 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”.
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.
Holly Bishop, 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.
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.”
Simon Hunter, Year 2 Form Tutor and Head of Games
Simon Hunter joined St David’s a year after leaving school in 2009. He joined us as a student and has progressed throughout his years here in a number of different roles. Mr Hunter is Head of Games and in charge of Boys’ Pastoral Care. He has enjoyed passing on his knowledge of sport to all the pupils from Reception to Year 6. He teaches Science to most year groups He is currently going through an Open University course to give him his degree in ‘Primary Education’.
He says: The family atmosphere and happy faces attracted me to the school. I have always enjoyed watching the children progress all the way through the school and I like to think I have helped in their progression. I feel very lucky to be a part of such a caring and happy school!