The Reception team:
Mrs Kate Rickard – Team Leader
Mrs Chris Wanostrocht – Class Teacher
Mrs Karen Duke - Class Teacher & Deputy Headteacher
Jon Dolman - Class Teacher
Mrs Sophie Scott - Teaching Assistant
Mrs Katy Holman - Teaching Assistant
Mrs Jackie Waldron – Specialist Teaching Assistant
I have been a teacher here at Shiphay for the past twelve years, teaching Year One and Reception classes. Prior to that I was employed as a Teaching Assistant at the school for eight years working with Special Needs children and I also ran a playgroup. On completing my degree in Early Years Education and finishing my Teacher Training, I was lucky enough to gain a position at the school where I could use my skills and experience.
I enjoy teaching in all areas of the curriculum but especially enjoy using Outdoor Education as a way to help children understand the world and respect nature and their environment.
In my classroom I promote a multi-sensory approach to learning, using play as an opportunity for children to think creatively, solve problems and link ideas. I aim to provide a stimulating environment that suits all types of learners, creating areas for reflection, thinking, exploring and wonder!
I became Deputy Headteacher at Shiphay in 2009. Whilst I enjoy supporting children of all ages in school, my heart lies within the Early Years and in developing our youngest pupils to become confident, independent children with a love of learning and playing. I have many years’ experience of leading and working within the Lower School Team and feel privileged to work alongside so many dedicated colleagues, who strive everyday to provide the very best opportunities for our children. I am very excited to be returning to the classroom and working with our fantastic Reception pupils, alongside Mrs Wansotrocht. As the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENDCo) and Designated Teacher for Looked After Children, I strongly believe that all children deserve the highest quality provision and teaching to meet their needs, not just academic but also their social, emotional and physical needs. My role is to ensure that our most vulnerable children make progress and have access to any additional
support they may need.
I have spent the last 4 years across Key Stages One and Two at Shiphay and I am pleased to move to Reception as Bumblebee’s teacher. My motivation to teach stems from my experiences in my previous military career where nine years were spent in instructional positions; these included instructing new recruits in combat engineering and trained soldiers on their trade course at the School of Military Engineering. When I left the military I was successful in gaining a place on the ‘Troops to Teachers programme’. My teacher training was split between academic study, gaining a First Class Honours Degree in Primary Education Studies, with Brighton University and working in school for four days a week. Most of my school placements were at Shiphay Learning Academy, where I gained experience teaching Years Two and Six across the whole curriculum. I have had the opportunity to set up and run a successful after school Forest Club, which has allowed me to share my love of the outdoors with the children. I worked all around the world while I was in the army and had the opportunity to experience many different things, from working with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, helping to save Rhinos, to looking for a lost Inca city in Bolivia. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction when I can use my experiences to immerse the children in their learning
When I am not involved in activities with my family, I can usually be found maintaining the garden in some way. When I find time, I like to fish from my kayak and take long walks in the country with my dog. I also used to take part in many physical activities whilst I served in the Army, such as cross country running and steeplechase events. I have continued to run for pleasure and as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The majority of my working career has been focused on caring for children, supporting their development and assisting their learning, I find it a rewarding role. I took some time away from work to raise my two young children and now that they are both settled in school themselves, I have taken the opportunity to rejoin the schooling environment myself.
I joined the Shiphay Learning Academy team in January 2020 and I am thoroughly enjoying working in Nursery and Reception.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, going for bike rides, camping and eating out.
I have worked in Early Years for the last 14 years in various Settings around Torbay. I have a huge interest in supporting children through their early years and guiding them towards an independent Future. I believe all children are unique and deserve every opportunity.
In between starting my own family I also trained in childminding. Since returning back to work I have taken an interest in Special Educational Needs and completed a level 3 certificate in Special Educational Needs Co Ordination in Early Years. This term, I joined the Shiphay team as the next step in my venture and am loving every minute of it. Out side of school I enjoy day trips with my family and reading a good old book.
Since I was very young, I have always loved caring for children and when my own children were young, I volunteered in school and also spent many years as a "dinner lady". In 2000, the opportunity came up for me to be a Teaching Assistant and I grabbed it with both hands and have been here ever since. I began my initial years in Upper and Middle School before joining the Inclusion team in 2010. I enjoy the variation of things that I get to do, including speech therapy and working with children with Special Educational needs and Disabilities.
I love my job very much and feel lucky and honoured to hold my post.