Our Staff

At The Old School Nursery, your children are cared for by enthusiastic, caring and highly qualified staff.

  • We employ 25 staff, 97% of whom have attained NVQ level 3 in Early Years Education and Childcare.
  • We also have a qualified Early Years Teacher, four staff who have achieved a Foundation Degree in Early Years, and another member of staff who is studying for Early Years Teacher status.
  • This means 20% of our staff have a degree in early years childcare, that’s one in each room.

In addition, our SENCO (special educational needs coordinator) has extensive experience of working with children with a broad range of  special educational needs.

We also have a SENCO (Equality and diversity  Coordinator) who promotes equality and diversity across our setting and ensures that faiths, cultures and festivals are recognised and celebrated during the year.

We are proud to continually invest in our staff to ensure that they provide the best quality childcare for your children. We support staff training across many areas including child development, the Early Years curriculum, leadership, management, health and safety, safeguarding and customer service. As a result, our staff want to stay with us. Indeed, some of them have been with us for over ten years.


Key workers

In order to ensure your child receives the best possible care, the nursery operates a key worker system. Your child will be gently introduced to nursery life with a carefully selected member of staff who will support them during their settling in sessions prior to starting nursery.

The key worker monitors your child`s development through their individual Tapestry online learning journal. They also plan specific activities along with their team members and supports your child in any new events.This ensures we establish a warm and trusting relationship between your key worker, you and your child.

Our Staff

Ewa Praschma

Job Title
Owner and Director

After 7 years working as a nanny and child minder in the USA and UK I decided I wanted to work in a Nursery environment gaining qualifications in Early Years. It soon became apparent that the Nurseries I was working in did not provide the very best quality in childcare and I decided to open up my own nursery. After gaining a Diploma in Business Studies in 2002 I opened the doors to The Old School Nursery with three children and six full time staff.

We have now created a ‘home away from home environment.’ where your precious little ones will learn, grow, flourish and be loved and cherished. With 21 amazing, highly experienced and qualified staff we will do all we can to support you and your child during your journey with us.

I am incredibly proud of what we do at The Old School Nursery and the difference we make to the lives of children at such an important stage of their development. We are constantly striving to improve the childcare we offer and welcome your feedback. So please contact me or even better, knock on the office door, and help us make the nursery even better.

Natalie Adamson

Job Title
Nursery Manager
Year Joined
06/01/2020

I would like to introduce our new manager Natalie who will be joining us from January 2020. Natalie has 22 years of experience in the sector and has a wealth of early years qualifications including an early years degree and Early Years Professional Status. Natalie is passionate about staff training and developing environments that are child centered and respectful. Natalie has traveled extensively in pursuit of best practice visiting nurseries across the globe including New Zealand, Iceland, China and Reggio Emilia in Italy. She lives locally with her husband, two daughters and puppy ridge back, she loves nature, camping and spending time with her family and friends.

Bianca Charalambides

Job Title
Nursery Nurse
Year Joined
04/11/2019

Verina Cutler

Job Title
Room Leader and Music Teacher
Year Joined
07/01/2016

I have been working in Child Care since 2002 when the youngest of my own three children went to school. I ran a Pre School for 7 years in Milton Abbas during which time I completed my Foundation Degree in Early Years.

I then worked at a large Day Nursery in Dorchester for 5 years where I worked in several rooms and was also an Early Years musician.  I have a passion for music; I play many instruments and write my own music too. I strongly believe that music has magical qualities and can be used very effectively to enhance children’s learning. Children naturally love music and the benefits to their development in communication language and literacy are huge.

I love the fun that the children bring. Watching them learn and progress is extremely rewarding. Conversations can be funny, frustrating and magical all at once! Children are very special.

Working at The Old School is a pleasure. The children are the most important consideration and their needs always come first.

Sorrel Piper

Job Title
Nursery Worker
Year Joined
09/05/2018

I have recently joined the Old School Nursery as an apprentice.

Previously I have worked and volunteered at local Youth Clubs, YMCA and local Rainbow and Girl Guiding groups.

I really enjoy working with children as its a pleasure to play and educate and its incredibly rewarding; the smiles make it all worthwhile!

The nursery is a safe, secure, warm and fun environment and the staff have welcomed me with open arms, it’s a very special place.

Zoe Blake

Job Title
Nursery Worker
Year Joined
12/12/2018

Rachel Christopher

Job Title
Nursery Practitioner - Room Leader
Year Joined
11/05/2017

I am a qualified Level 3 practitioner from Brockenhurst College. I have worked previously in a day nursery and have recently returned to work after the birth of my young daughter.

I enjoy spending time with my family and take long dog walks enjoying the lovely area in which we live!

I like working with children; watching them grow, develop and I particularly love all the fun activities we get involved in, especially the art and craft!

Working at The Old School Nursery is lots of fun! I love coming to work, everyone works as a team and are all lovely! It is a place full of learning and laughter.

Jessica Vick

Job Title
Nursery Assistant
Year Joined
05/05/2015

I have worked at the nursery for nearly 3 years and I have successfully completed my NVQ Level 2 in Child Care.

I started as an apprentice and have been lucky to work in all the rooms and all age groups.

Previously I had some work experience in schools and as a waitress in the local pub!

I love working with children because I love watching them grow, develop and become little people during their time at the nursery; seeing them take their first steps is very special.

I believe the Old School Nursery is like one big family. All the staff are so friendly and it’s a warm, happy environment to work in; all the children are loved and cared for.

Jessica Goodfield

Job Title
Nurse Practitioner - Room Leader
Year Joined
02/02/2017

I’m 29 years old and started working with children over 10 years ago. I have my NVQ Level 2 and 3 and have a lot of experience with SENCO and children’s additional needs.

Outside of work I enjoy walking, swimming, cooking, reading and knitting.

I enjoy working with children as there is never a dull moment! Each day is varied and its a pleasure to work with children and see them learning and having so much fun.

Working at The Old School Nursery is really enjoyable and all the staff are friendly and helpful and its lovely to be part of the Old School family!

Holly Watson

Job Title
Nursery Practitioner
Year Joined
07/03/2018

I am a qualified Level 3 practitioner and I have been working in childcare for the last 5 years in a number of settings and with all age groups.

I have a little boy who keeps me very busy and we love spending time together as a family and exploring the great outdoors!

I love working with children and helping to nurture and teach them to reach their potential. I particularly enjoy the relationships I build with the parents and family as a whole.

I believe the Old school Nursery is a very special place to be as all the children are well cared for, made to feel welcome and safe and secure.

Beth Brake

Job Title
Nursery Nurse
Year Joined
07/05/2019

Annabel de Souza (Maternity Leave)

Job Title
Nursery Practitioner - Room Leader
Year Joined
01/01/2008

I have worked with children for 8 years and recently achieved my BA in Early Years.

I enjoy circuit training and socialising with friends and family.

I like working with children because it’s rewarding, I can have a positive impact in their formative years and help them develop and grow holistically.

Working at The Old School is like being one big family. Everybody works together and supports each other just like a family! Everyday is unique and special as the next.

Denise Andrews

Job Title
Nursery Assistant
Year Joined
10/03/2016

I have worked with children for many years; as a childminder when my own were small and more recently in a residential school for young children with behavioural and associated learning difficulties.

I really enjoy working in Early Years as it’s so rewarding helping children to build new skills and gain confidence in the world around them.

I enjoy ski-ing, walking, have horses of my own and cooking.

I believe The Old School Nursery is a great learning environment for the children. They are encouraged in all the activities and they are happy, confident little individuals.

Laura Lamb

Job Title
Deputy Manager
Year Joined
07/01/2014

I have been working with children for over 10 years in a variety of nursery settings, schools and a local gymnastics club.

I have a Foundation Degree in Early Years and I am aiming to complete a teaching course in the future.

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, baking, cooking and exploring new places; more recently Australia! Travel is a big interest of mine and I look forward to seeing much more of the world.

I enjoy the challenge working with young children and the rewards it inevitably brings. Every day is different which keeps me on my toes!

I believe the Old School is a very special place to work because it feels like one big family; everyone knows all the children and parents which makes it a super friendly and welcoming place.

Melanie Lamb

Job Title
Nursery Assistant
Year Joined
16/06/2016

I am a mum of two grown up children ( one of whom I work with!).  Previously I was a childminder for 15 years and I also worked as a qualified gymnastics coach with children including preschool age. I am currently  NVQ Level 2 qualified.

I love running and have competed in quite a few events! I also love walking and spending time with my family.

I love working with children and seeing how much they grow and develop during their time with us.

The Old School Nursery is a special place to work because it is one big family, everyone supports each other and the children are truly loved and nurtured by all the staff.

Sophie Elford

Job Title
Nursery Worker
Year Joined
21/10/2019

Kiri Froud

Job Title
Senior Room Leader
Year Joined
25/03/2006

I am a Level 3 qualified practioner and supervisor and have worked at The Old School Nursery for 9 years and have enjoyed working with all the age groups.

Outside of work I like to keep active at the gym, enjoy walking our dog and spending quality time with my daughter, family and friends.

I love the rewarding aspect of working with children. It is privilege to build relationships with the children and their parents and give them the best start in nursery life.

The Old School is a unique place to work as it is set in a quiet and beautiful location, surrounded by animals and it’s a wonderful environment to visit with the children.

We have a very close team and most of the staff have been here for many years; it is a lovely nursery.

Megan Henderson

Job Title
Nursery Practitioner - Room Leader
Year Joined
10/08/2016

I have had my heart set on working with children for a long time; since I can remember! I qualified after leaving school with an NVQ Level 2 and I am currently studying for my NVQ Level 3.

I love working with children as its such a rewarding career; seeing each child grow and learn through play in a nurturing environment.

I love socialising, shopping and spending time with my family and friends.

The Old School Nursery is a special place to work as it feels like one big family and it’s a pleasure working with staff who have experience and knowledge to share.

Frances Morgan

Job Title
Special Needs Co-Ordinator
Year Joined
11/09/2019

Gemma Steel

Job Title
Nursery Practitioner
Year Joined
02/02/2009

I am NVQ Level 3 qualified in Child Care and Education. I am the Room Supervisor for the 18months to 2 year olds which definitely keeps me on my toes!!

I have a little boy whom I love to spend time with and he enjoys a day at Nursery too.

I love working with children as it is a special role to be part of their education and development in their time at Nursery.

I believe the Old School Nursery is a unique place as it is a home from home environment with incredible care from very lovely professionals.

Pru Denney

Job Title
Early Years Teacher and Deputy Manager
Year Joined
06/05/2008

I am a Level 6 Practitioner and I work in my EYT role within our busy pre-school room.

I enjoy working in child care as every day is varied and fun! It is a pleasure watching them grow into ‘little independent people’ and knowing that I played an important part in this.

I believe the nursery is a very special place because of the staff! Everyone is friendly, happy and makes the setting a fun and welcoming place to be!

Outside work, I love the outdoors and enjoy time walking the dog, going to the gym and socialising with friends and family.

Vanessa Galvin

Job Title
Cook
Year Joined
09/05/2017

I have worked at the nursery since 2017 and previously in a cafe in Blandford.

I really enjoy cooking healthy and nutritious food for the children.

I have two young children who keep me busy and I enjoy walking and Tai Chi.

I like working with children because it is so rewarding and watching them grow and learn is a real privilege.

Working at The Old School Nursery is a joy because of the commitment and genuine care the team give each and every child.

Debbie Hannam

Job Title
Cook
Year Joined
13/01/2014

I have worked in Child Care since 1998 and completed my NVQ Level 2 in a rural day nursery. Since moving into the village I wanted to try something different and was fortunate to gain the position of Nursery Cook at The Old School Nursery. I now have my Health and Hygiene Certificate Level 2.

I enjoy walking, pilates and I love looking after my two grandchildren who I have the pleasure of seeing on a regular basis.

I enjoy working as the Nursery Cook as it is challenging and different; I enjoy seeking new ways to adopt healthy food and menus and engaging the children with this.

I believe The Old School Nursery is a unique place to work because it’s a lovely caring environment! The children are well looked after, the staff work extremely hard and their commitment to their roles and responsibilities is wonderful!

Elizabeth Holman

Job Title
Nursery Administrator
Year Joined
03/01/2011

I have enjoyed working at the Old School in the role of Office Admin for over 5 years.

When I’m not at nursery I enjoy spending time with my family, cycling and walking in our beautiful county with our energetic spaniel!!

My son was one of the first ‘special beans’ to join the nursery in its opening year and he has lots of happy memories!

I enjoy being part of a happy and motivated team and use my organisational skills to ensure the smooth running of the office.

I believe the Old School Nursery is a very unique place because of the genuine love and individual care given to each child and the fantastic staff.