The Year One Team

The Year One Team

Mrs Karen Duke - Team Leader

Mrs Jannice Boot - Class Teacher

Ms Alice Woolfenden - Class Teacher

Mrs Nikita Whiteside - Teaching Assistant

Mrs Kate Gagg - Teaching Assistant

Miss Rachel Walters- Teaching Assistant


 Mrs Jannice Boot

I have been a class teacher here at Shiphay since I qualified in 1990. I did a first degree in Fine Art, followed by a PGCE in Early Years education. I have had a number of leadership roles during my time here which have included leading the Lower School Team and being the coordinator for Key Stage One.  I have worked in a part-time capacity for the past 18 years and have enjoyed working in partnership with different colleagues. I am excited to be back teaching full time in September.

 In my time at Shiphay I have enjoyed teaching in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.  I’m really looking forward to teaching in Year 1 again this year as it is always such an exciting year group to work with.

 I enjoy teaching all areas of the curriculum but especially enjoy teaching Literacy, as I have a real love for books and stories. I am also very interested in the Natural World and take every opportunity to include my love for nature and my enjoyment of Art into our themed work. 

I like to make my classroom a welcoming and friendly place where children are encouraged to explore and investigate together within an engaging curriculum.   I am passionate about providing every child with the opportunity to achieve their full potential, providing the children with the skills they need to become independent, confident and aspirational learners.


 Ms Alice Woolfenden

I am so excited to be joining the Shiphay team in September as a full-time teacher. This year I have been training with Shiphay through the Exeter Consortium and after forming positive relationships with both staff and children, I am so grateful and fortunate to be offered a teaching position within such a supportive and amazing team. During my teacher training this year I have gained experience teaching in year 6 and a mixed year 1 and 2 class. Working in adjacent Key Stages has really allowed me to gain an insight to both KS1 and KS2 curriculum.

My degree in Education Studies really allowed me to understand how children learn and develop. Through opportunities within various placements in both England and Wales I was able to experience a range of different schools, gaining transferable skills and strengthening my drive to further educate children.

As an Early Career Teacher (ECT), I am continually strengthening my subject knowledge, keeping up to date with changes and further research, making sure children are experiencing a high level of teaching in both core and non core subjects. My background in Performing Arts is something I am very passionate about, and I believe children should all get opportunities to experience the Arts in school. Being a creative person, I like to find ways to incorporate this into my teaching and make my lessons fun and engaging!

In my classroom I value an inclusive space where the individual needs of all the children are met. I believe the classroom should be child-centred, where children are heard, respected and resilience is promoted.  I am really looking forward to joining the Lower School Team and working with Dragonfly class this year in a creative, warm and nurturing environment.


Mrs Nikita Whiteside

I joined Shiphay Learning Academy in September 2021, working as a Teaching Assistant in the Nursery. I have been a gymnastics coach for 15 years and I have worked with children from age 3 right through to 18. My love of working with Early Years has definitely developed from coaching pre-school gymnastics. The concept of ‘learning through play’ is a concept I feel strongly about and I am also hugely passionate about Growth Mindset; I truly believe that every child can achieve great things when given the right tools to unlock the doors of opportunity.  I am a mum of two young children so life can be pretty busy, but in my spare time I enjoy weightlifting and going out for food with friends and family. 




Mrs Kate Gagg

 I joined the Shiphay Learning Academy team in September 2022. I am passionate about assisting children through their learning journey and being able to help them develop. I started my career within the NHS and for the last few years I have been working within the 0-19 Torbay team. I have dealt with many different situations within this role which gave me an understanding of child development. I am thoroughly looking forward to helping the children in their journey through Year 1. 

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, walking my dog Bertie and paddle boarding. 





Miss Rachel Walters

I began my role as a Teaching Assistant at Shiphay Learning Academy in January 2021. I have previously worked as a Nursery Nurse, Nanny, Nursery Assistant and Childminder and I attained my Level 3 qualification several years ago.  Alongside my role as a TA, I also thoroughly enjoy working in the Hub at Shiphay. I love to see children learning through play and I take pride in helping them to enjoy their play and educational experiences and to become confident learners. I am a compassionate, committed and caring person with thirteen years' experience in childcare. I have developed my interpersonal skills by working with families and multi-agency professionals, building important relationships with children and their families.