Our Staff

Senior Leadership Team

Joanne Budge - Executive Head teacher

I am very proud to be the first Executive Head teacher of the Reading Early Years Schools Federation. Bringing together 3 Nursery Schools successfully into one federation has been the proudest time of my career.

Throughout my career I have taught across the primary age range, but my heart has always been with the youngest children and I started working with the Maintained Nursery schools as Head teacher at Blagdon Nursery School in 2015. I am passionate about Early Years Education and ensuring our youngest children get the very best start in their education journey. I am lucky to work alongside 3 talented staff teams who share my passion to drive up standards and provide the best nursery experience that keeps children at its centre. I am married with 2 nearly adult children and a small cockerpoo who helps keep us all entertained. 

Charlotte Jennings - Head of School 

I have worked at Blagdon Nursery since 2008.  I have worked in nearly every room at Blagdon and have loved each one.  I have worked in schools in the Whitley area my whole career; I am now starting to teach the children of pupils I taught many years ago!  I am a qualified teacher; I have a BA in English Literature with QTS status and I also have the NNEB qualification.  I am passionate about Early Years education and the long term impact it has on children.

I live with my daughter who is now 12.  She came to Blagdon when she was younger; she started in Willows when she was 9 months old.  My hobbies include running, yoga and shopping!

Sam Clifford - Blagdon Nursery Operations Manager

I am NNEB qualified and have been working at Blagdon since 2006.  I was originally a key worker in Blagdon and then three years ago I became the Two Year Coordinator in the Willows. I am also a Designated Person for Safeguarding. I enjoy cooking, being with my family and I love music and dancing.

Cross Federation Support


Angela Harwood - School Business Manager for REYS Federation

I joined New Bridge Nursery on a temporary basis in April 2019, having previously worked for 17 years at a primary school in Reading. Following the retirement of the previous School Business Manager, I joined Blagdon in 2020 and now work across all of the nursery schools within the federation and work very closely with Jane, the School Business Manager at Caversham the third nursery in the federation.

My eldest daughter lives in the New Forest and works with animals, my other daughter is a lawyer in Poole and my son is a primary school teacher in Manchester. In my spare time I enjoy walking with my 2 dogs Louis and Pierre, and love travelling when that is possible, I am also a season ticket holder with Reading Fc.  The one thing everyone knows about me is – I absolutely love chocolate!!

Kate Wiggins - REYS Federation Inclusion Manager 

I started in the federation as a teacher and SENCO working at Caversham Nursery School in 2015, having previously worked for 12 years in a primary school. I worked for a while across both Caversham and New Bridge Nursery as SENCO before becoming the Inclusion Manager for the REYS federation in 2020. I now work in all three of our federated nursery schools supporting with SEND. I enjoy working with our amazing staff teams and families and helping to secure positive outcomes for our children. 

Out of work, I look after my family and enjoy taking my cocker spaniel Archie for walks.

Leighann Littlechild - Specialist Learning Mentor

I have been working with Blagdon’s children and families for around 15+ years, first as an NHS Associate Practitioner and then directly for Blagdon Nursery School.  I now work across the nurseries within the REYS Federation primarily supporting children with speech, language and communication difficulties. I have an NVQ Level 3 Allied Health Professional Support (Speech and Language Therapy) and am a former licensed Baby Makaton trainer. I sometimes work in other schools in the Whitley area, which is especially nice for me as I often get to see some of our little ones from Blagdon grow and continue their journey throughout their primary years. At home I enjoy renovating our old house, upcycling old furniture and looking after our dogs, cats and chickens. 

Claire Bambrick - Specialist Learning Lead 

I've worked in childcare since the age of 16 if you know my age then you can work out how long I've been doing this!  I've always been surrounded by children, babysitting and now my career is working with children and families.  I've worked in two previous nurseries and moved to Caversham Nursery School in September 2012.  In 2022 I took on a new role across the Reading Early Years School Federation, so I now work in all three of our federated Nurseries supporting with SEND.                      

If you ask any of the teams, they will usually say you can hear me before you can see me.  I'm full of energy and you can usually find me laughing with friends and family or with a smile on my face.  My favourite quote is “Leave a little sparkle wherever you go” and I intend to do this across the REYS Federation. 

Nicky Roose - Administrator

I have worked for Blagdon Nursery School for over 7 years and have over 30 years knowledge and experience in Education and Sales and Marketing.  I enjoy crafts, theatre going, listening to lots of different genres of music, love a good book or television series.


Teachers and Room Leaders

Ellie Miller - Teacher and Curriculum Lead

I've wanted to be a teacher since an early age which became a reality when I completed my degree in Bachelor of Education in Primary Education with Upper Second Class Honours at the University of Winchester. I have previously been a teacher in another nursery setting for four years and feel very honoured to continue my teacher career at Blagdon and be working with the wonderful REYS team. I love sharing my passion for music with the children; I rotate bringing in my clarinet, saxophone or flute each week so that I can play pieces of music that link in with our topics and will always end on playing some Disney songs for them as a treat! Teaching about inclusion, kindness and looking after our planet is very important to me as they will be the ones leading the way in years to come. My aim is to inspire awe and wonder in our children for each topic we teach so that our children can link their learning to their everyday lives, value learning and have a fun, rich and meaningful start to their lifelong journey of education. 

Rebecca Smith - Teacher in Apple Tree 

I started working at Blagdon in September 2020. I have a degree in English Literature and completed my teacher training at the University of Reading. I love reading books, watching films, and everything Disney!'


Trudy Newton - Room leader in Pear Tree 

I currently work at Blagdon Nursery as a Room Leader. I started working here in January 2021; I completed my Apprenticeship here and after a spell working in a primary school I was able to come back to Blagdon. I hold a Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Practitioner.  I'm a Mummy, I love to read and I really enjoy taking long walks in the woods.

Emma Dawson - Room Leader in Willows

I am currently the room leader in Willows.  I have worked at Blagdon since 2009. I started out in the Willows and have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to work in each room. I passed my Level 3 qualification 11 years ago. 

I live at home with my Mum, Dad and my dog Lexi. I like reading, seeing friends, going for long walks or a run, watching movies and spending time playing with my dog. 

Jayne Taylor - Room Leader in The Orchard

My qualifications include the NNEB and BA Honours in children’s Development and learning 

Since qualifying for my NNEB in 1997 I have worked with children in a variety of settings. I joined the Blagdon team in Jan 2020 and enjoy every part of my role as an Early Years Practitioner here at Blagdon Nursery School.                     

I am a mummy to three children; two boys and one girl and enjoy spending time with them and my husband when I'm at home.  

Hayley Freeman - Room Leader in The Orchard

I have NVQ3 in Early Years Care & Education and BA Hons in Children's Development & Learning.  I have always worked in Early Years in a variety of different settings and I started working at Blagdon in September 2019.

I enjoy baking cakes and going for walks in the woods with my family. One of my favourite stories to read at nursery is Peace at Last.

Early Years Practitioners


Millie Dainton - Early Years Practitioner in Willows





Nicky Wysockyj - Early Years Practitioner in Cherry Tree

I have been working at Blagdon Nursery since September 2021 and have worked in the local area for more than 10 years.  After getting my Level 3 qualification I decided to start a degree in Early Childhood Studies with the Open University.  I love drawing and arts and I have a passion for classic Minis. 


Sarah Johnstone - Early Years Practitioner in Cherry Tree

I have an NNEB Diploma in Nursery Nursing and have worked as an Early Years Practitioner at Blagdon Nursery since 2019. Previously I have worked in a number of settings including Reception Classes, School Nurseries and Day Nurseries, alongside bringing up my own family. In my spare time I enjoy reading, baking, gardening and crafting.


Monique School - Early Years Practitioner Willows and Breakfast Club Coordinator 

I’m well known for being a very happy and bubbly practitioner, who likes to play tricks! I have a great passion for dancing. My previous roles at the nursery have been a 1-1 support assistant, teaching assistant and for the last 4years I’ve been a key worker. I also run the breakfast club. I started at Blagdon Nursery school in 2007. I’m 32 now (2021) and I’ll be off on maternity leave to have my first child, who I know is a boy.  I completed my NVQ 3 at Chiltern Training LTD. 

Nicola Beasley - Early Years Practitioner in Apple Tree

I am currently the key worker in Purple Group.  I did my apprenticeship at Willows many years ago and I have returned as a key worker after working in two different day nurseries in between. I have got a NVQ Level 3 qualification.   I am a big Disney fan and I love listening to all sorts of music


Carla Hannah - Early Years Practitioner in Orchard

I have been working at Blagdon nursery since 2018,I have recently qualified an EYP after doing my apprenticeship at Blagdon. In my spare time I enjoy baking and spending time with my family.



Camilla Franco - Early Years Practitioner in Pear Tree

I have been working as a Qualified EYP since June 2021; I have worked in various nurseries and moved to Blagdon in December 2022.  My daughter also comes to Blagdon and in our spare time we enjoy having outdoor adventures!

Nurture Assistants

 Karen Brooks - Nurture Assistant in Willows

I have been working at Blagdon Nursery School since 2017.  Since joining as a dinner lady I have achieved my Level 2 NVQ and have settled into my role in the Willows working with the 2 year olds.  I have three children; two are still living at home with myself and many animals.  In my free time I enjoy walking the dog and going on spontaneous bike rides as I have recently purchased a bike.


Rachel Scott - Nurture Assistant in Orchard            

I have worked at Blagdon for a few years now and I currently work in the Orchard.  I am Level 2 qualified in Childcare and Level 3 in Social Care; I hope to gain more qualifications.  Working with children with SEND was something I have been really interested in doing for a while and after raising my family I decided this was definitely what I wanted to do.  I have four children of my own and they take up most of my time, but I do enjoy spending evenings making personalised items.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and going for a run when I can!         


Cara Cook - Nurture Assistant in Orchard


Priya Dennis - Nuture Assistant in Orchard

Daniella Reynard - Nurture Assistant

I have worked at Blagdon since January 2022.  I have worked in various different nurseries as well as local Children's Centres.  I have worked in various different roles throughout my career and have worked up to NVQ Level 5.  I love to travel the world and have spent time in Africa volunteering with different charities.


Rhian Hughes - Nurture Assistant 

I have worked at Blagdon nursery since 2018 as a lunchtime assistant and a nurture assistant.  I have got a Level 2 childcare qualification.

I have two children aged 13 and 8, and I enjoy going camping and spending time with my family


Lisa Mylum - Nurture Assistant (1:1 with a child)

I am a Nurture Assistant and I have worked at Blagdon for over 10 years, mostly supporting children 1:1.  I really enjoy working so closely with these children and I have definitely learnt more from them than they have from me!  I have 3 children, with only 1 still living at home.  I have 3 grandchildren who I love

spending time with.

Leah Panter - Nurture Assistant (1:1 with a child)

I started working at Blagdon in January 2023 after working at a private nursery in Wokingham for 5 years.  I qualified as a Level 3 EYP in May 2020 after switching careers from the IT industry.  I have 4 children and 2 grandchildren (so far!) and my family are my world!  I enjoy dancing, walking, the cinema, eating out and travelling.


Lunchtime Assistants

Mary Campbell - Breakfast Club and Lunchtime Assistant

I have worked at Blagdon for very many years as a Lunchtime Assistant and in Breakfast Club.  I have seen very many changes over the years and have enjoyed seeing families return to Blagdon through the generations.


Debbie Hickey - Nurture Assistant and Lunchtime Assistant

I have been working at Blagdon Nursery as support staff since January 2018. I am a fun-loving mum of four who has been working with children since leaving school. Some fun facts about me are that I support Arsenal (don’t hold it against me!) and love a good Cadbury’s Twirl!!


 Laoise Stapleton - Nurture Assistant and Lunchtime Assistant

I have worked at Blagdon since March 2022.  I am a lunchtime assistant and sometimes I help out during the day.  I have worked with children aged 0-5 for over 10 years.  I have level 2 and 3 qualification in childcare.  I used to work as a room leader at one of our federated nursery schools, Caversham Nursery School.  I have 3 young children who keep me very busy! We like to go for bike rides, climbing and lots of other fun stuff!


Nicola Anderton - Lunchtime Assistant

I have just joined Blagdon Nursery in February this year as a lunchtime assistant. This is my first role working with young children, but since having my own 2 boys I knew it was a path I'd love to take. I currently have 1 son in Blagdon and my elder son use to come here, and they have both loved and loving it.  When I am not working, I'm creating special memories with my boys; we love a good day out! 


Mandy Hutson - Lunchtime Assistant

I have just joined Blagdon Nursery as a lunchtime assistant; before starting here I had a similar role at a local Primary School.  My daughter came to Blagdon a few years ago and loved the nursery!  


Kylie Newton - Apprentice

I have worked at Blagdon Nursery since March 2022.  My started as a lunchtime assistant and I have just started an Apprenticeship to become an Early Year Practitioner; I really enjoy spending my time with the children, watching them grow and develop.  Blagdon is such a welcoming place and I have been made to feel at home working there.  In my spare time I really enjoy creating Arts and Crafts and I love to watch a good TV series when I get the time!