The Reception Team

The Reception team:

Mrs Karen Duke –  Team Leader

Mrs Christine Wanostrocht – Class Teacher

Mrs Kylie Waters - Class Teacher

Mr Jon Dolman - Class Teacher

Mrs Coral Dale - Teaching Assistant

Mrs Sarah Dainton-Long - Teaching Assistant

Miss Leanne Hardwell – Teaching Assistant

Mrs Jenny Armstrong - Teaching Assistant

Chris Wanostrocht

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! 


Kylie Waters


I began my teaching career in Essex where I taught for 5 years, before returning to my Devon routes and joining the Shiphay team in 2013. I have been fortunate to teach a range of age groups, but I’m excited to be returning to a Reception class this year on a part time basis. It is a privilege to be trusted with the youngest members of the school as they begin their journey into education. 

In my classroom, I offer a nurturing, welcoming and safe place where the children feel a sense of belonging, excitement and desire to learn in many different creative ways, both inside and outside. I look forward to getting to know each of the children to be able to explore and develop together. 

In my spare time, I love to spend time with my 3 young children going on plenty of adventures! I’m also a keen netballer and love swimming, though I’m yet to brave any kind of cold water swimming!



Jon Dolman

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.

Leanne Hardwell

After having my daughter in 2012, I knew that working with children was exactly the career path I wanted to take. I studied childcare at college, which enabled me to experience working in Nursery settings for 2 years. I furthered my education at South Devon University Centre, where I studied my Honours degree in Child Development and Education for 3 years. Prior to and during my University studies, I worked in a small school in Torquay for a total of 6 years, working with children from Reception to Year 6.
In 2021, the opportunity arose to work as a Teaching Assistant at Shiphay Learning Academy, which is a wonderful opportunity for me to further develop my skills and knowledge of supporting children in their learning and development. I am currently based in Reception two days a week and in Year 2 one day a week and I love working in both year groups. I have a nurturing, creative and fun personality and I thoroughly enjoy supporting children in all aspects of their learning.

I have two children and we love to do lots of family things together, such as dog walks, baking cakes and going on day trips.



Sarah Dainton-Long

I joined the Shiphay Learning Academy team in September 2022.  I am part of the Reception Team and currently work 3 days a week. My career has consisted of working within the same law firm for 22 years and qualifying as a lawyer. However, after having my two daughters I decided that I wanted to pursue a new career and it has always been a dream to work with children. Shiphay Learning Academy has provided me with this opportunity and I am excited to help children develop through learning and play activities. I find it extremely rewarding to see the children developing each day and being able to support them on their journey as they progress through Reception. 

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband and two young daughters, family and friends and walking our Cockerpoo. I also enjoy being outside and spending time at the beach and paddle boarding. 


Jenny Armstrong

I have been working at Shiphay since October 2021 as a Lunchtime Leader, in the Hub and also volunteering in the Lower School Team. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the children and am eager to use the skills and experiences I have gained in these roles going forward, while also learning developing new skills. I am excited to now be part of the Reception teaching assistant team. 
I enjoy seeing children grow and learn through play and I like to encourage children to experiment and explore the possibilities of play with a variety of resources. I particularly love the challenge of trying to answer all those tricky questions young people like to test us with!


Coral Dale

As a newly appointed Teaching Assistant I feel privileged to be part of the Lower School Team at Shiphay Learning Academy. I have worked in Early Years for 14 years, starting with a Level 3 In Childcare and Education then gaining my Foundation Degree in Early Years in 2014. I have worked in various roles in an Early Years settings including, Early Years Practitioner, SENDCO and eventually Manager of a thriving Early Years Setting. 

I have a real passion for learning through play and supporting early communication in children. I particularly enjoy Makaton and supporting all children to achieve in their own special way. I feel very lucky to support children in their very first steps of their educational journey.

I am a busy mum of two little girls and love walking the dog and being with my family in my spare time.