The Reception team:
Mrs Sally Davies – Team Leader & Class Teacher
Mrs Katie Rickard – Class Teacher
Mrs Chris Wanostrocht – Class Teacher
Mrs Clare Down – Teaching Assistant
Mrs Sophie Scott - Teaching Assistant
Mrs Jackie Waldron – Teaching Assistant
I have been teaching at Shiphay Learning Academy since September 2017 as a Reception teacher. Before joining the team here, I worked for three years in Totnes teaching in Reception and Year One. I love teaching in Foundation Stage as I have a degree in Early Years, and really understand the importance of learning through play. Whilst teaching in Totnes, I developed ideas for learning outside and love getting the class in the open space as it is such a valuable place to learn.
Shiphay is a very special place to me as it is where I came to school. This school plays a huge part of the community and I feel lucky to be a part of it. I feel it is important to teach around the children’s interests and provide them with a range of ways to develop their learning. Learning in Reception is the foundation for a child’s education, and what I strive to do is give children a love for learning as this stays with them throughout their lives. I am really excited to have another year in the Foundation Stage.
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!
Over the past three years I have supported Newly Qualified Teachers in their first year of teaching and I have thoroughly enjoyed this mentoring role.
My three children all loved their primary school years at Shiphay Learning Academy, learning so much and enjoying many experiences and having lots of opportunities. I started working at Shiphay as a Teaching Assistant after helping out as a parent with art projects and trips. I received so much help from everyone at Shiphay whilst my children were there and wanted to be part of that. I have worked in both Year One and Reception. It is lovely working in Lower School, we all work together as a team. In Reception, I deliver the Talk Boost programme which helps children gain the confidence to speak in groups. It’s lovely to see them enjoying their learning. I still feel like I learn something new every day. I live locally and my family and I love hearing the children calling “Mrs Down” while we are out shopping or walking our dog.
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.
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.