The Reception team:
Mrs Karen Duke – Team Leader
Mrs Chris Wanostrocht – Class Teacher
Mrs Kylie Waters - Class Teacher
Mr Jon Dolman - Class Teacher
Mrs Sophie Scott - Teaching Assistant
Miss Rachel Walters - Teaching Assistant
Mrs Jackie Waldron – 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 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!
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.
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.