Our Team

Senior Leadership Team

Joanne Budge - Executive Head teacher - BEd (Hons) MA

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.


Jean Read - Head of School BA Hons, (QTS)

I have been working in childcare and education for over 30 years in a wide variety of settings. No matter what role I am in I have an innate drive to put children at the centre of all I do and to inspire others to d the same. As anyone who has worked with me will tell you I truly believe that every moment matters. I joined New Bridge in early 2021, on secondment from Caversham Nursery School, and since January 2022 have been working as Head of School at both Caversham and New Bridge Nursery Schools. I am very much enjoying working alongside and supporting the team and getting to know each of the children and their wonderful individual personalities.


Kate Wiggins - Inclusion Manager - BA (QTS) NASENCO

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. 


Saliha Akram - Deputy Head - BA.Ed (QTS)

I am delighted to join the REYS Federation working across Caversham and New Bridge Nursery Schools as Deputy Head. I have experience of working in a range of age bands, however, my passion lies in the Early Years.  Prior to joining the federation, I spent 5 years teaching Reception class and leading the Early Years in a primary school. I am determined to develop young children by instilling a love for learning by making every moment matter and challenging minds in a changing world.

Out of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and going for long nature walks.


Brenda Vockings - School Business Manager 

I was delighted to join the REYS Federation in November 2023 as School Business Manager for Caversham and New Bridge Nursery Schools.  I joined the federation after spending more than 12 years working as a school business manager at a local primary school and prior to that I worked in a local preschool as well as in the school finance department at the county council.

My role comprises managing the school finance, human resources and facilities management.  I get real job satisfaction from negotiating contracts that bring the best value to our school budgets.

I am happiest when I am by the sea and love spending school holidays exploring the world by cruise ship.  When I have the time, I love to be creative with crafting projects.


Rainbow Team

Mandy - EYP - NNEB

I originally worked as an Administrative Assistant for the MOD, (hush hush!), before getting married and having my family. My children inspired me to embark on a new career working in Early Years. I began by working in a pre-school as a nursery assistant. Then a year later started a two year mature student course at Reading College and completed the NNEB. In 2003 I joined the team here at New Bridge.  I am passionate about children learning through play and have a keen interest in the arts and the natural world, which I love sharing with the children. For three years I ran a Babysitting course with another member of staff.



Gemma - EYP - Level 3

Both of my children attended New Bridge Nursery school in 2011 and 2014. After spending time as a parent helper and volunteering at another local setting, I discovered a passion for working in Early Years. I joined New Bridge Nursery in 2015 as a Nurture assistant, before becoming a part of the Snowflakes Team. I have since completed my NVQ2 and gained my NVQ level 3 qualification in 2022.  In my spare time you’ll find me on my spin bike, on a yoga mat or open water swimming in the lakes nearby.



Jo - EYP - Level 3

Jo is the newest member of our Rainbow team, joining us in June 2024.  we are looking forward to getting to know her.





 Rachel - EYP - Supply Cover Team Member - Level 3

My 3 daughters all attended New Bridge Nursery School and they all still recall fond memories of the staff and fun times they experienced.

I initially volunteered for a year at New Bridge Nursery to support my NVQ3 in Childcare and development and started working as a qualified practitioner in September 2009.  After 12 happy years at New Bridge, I took time out from full time employment in 2021 to take care of my family, but I continue to work as a supply cover whenever I am needed.

I now have many great memories of my own of the children and families that I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the years. 

Aylin - Nurture Assistant

After my daughter was born, I made the decision to change my career path. When she was just 1.5 years old, I embarked on my second university degree in Child Development, and I successfully graduated last summer. I have a deep passion for understanding children, providing them with assistance, and tailoring my approach to meet their individual needs. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of such an amazing team. In addition to my work, I enjoy spending quality time in nature with my family, practising yoga, and engaging in social observation.



Sunshine Team

Mel - EYP

I have worked at Caversham Nursery since 2012 but previously did my NNEB training at the original nursery in the 1990's and then worked there until I had my children.    In my spare time I enjoy all kinds of arts and crafts, playing games whilst camping with friends & family and generally sharing a laugh.  Having spent some time previously on secondment at New Bridge Nursery School, I joined the team in January 2024.



Kennedy - Nurture Assistant - Level 2 

I have always wanted to work with children and when I joined New Bridge nursery I was a shy, quiet and very nervous Apprentice. Since then, I have grown in confidence and have learnt so much and have gained my level 2 qualification. I am training to become a level 3 Early Years practitioner. Outside of work I love to spend time with my mum and little sister. 




Gemma - Nurture Assistant

My youngest daughter attended New Bridge, and I joined the team as a lunchtime assistant in September 2022 when she started primary school.  I was delighted to join the team full time in April 2024 as a Nurture Assistant in the new Sunshine class for 2 year olds.  I enjoy spending time with the children and watching their skills and personalities grow.  I am also the nursery neat freak and adore organising, decluttering and keeping everything shipshape.  


Snowflake Team

Stacia - Snowflake Coordinator - BEd (Hons)

I qualified as a teacher at Oxford Brooke’s University in 1998.  Whilst teaching in Blackbird Leys, Oxford I developed a passion for supporting families and young children with additional needs training in the ‘Family Links’ nurturing programme; promoting emotional health. I have three children and started working at New Bridge in 2011 when our youngest child joined the nursery. I now coordinate our Snowflake Early Years resource for children with Autism and feel privileged to work so closely with our amazing Snowflake families.


Esna - Snowflake Resource Lead - Level 3 

I started as a volunteer in Snowflakes in May 2012. In September 2012 I applied to be a 1:1 for a child in mainstream. A year later I applied for a position in Snowflakes as that is where my passion lies. I had the privilege to obtain my NVQ3, and feel blessed to be working with our Snowflake children and learning from them. 



Seb - Nurture Assistant - Level 2 

Both my children attended New Bridge nursery between 2012-2015. When my youngest child was here in 2015, I started to volunteer at New Bridge nursery once a week, by September New Bridge gave me an opportunity to work with the amazing team and to learn and grow in my education. I have NVQ level 2 in children and young adults' development and have completed a number of small courses in Makaton, Attention Autism and the Curiosity Program. I work with special needs children in the Snowflake unit.



Kat - EYP - Level 3 

I was inspired to discover the world of Early Years by my daughter.  I found it fascinating to discover how much children can learn through play.  I qualified first as a Playworker, and then gained my NVQ Level 3 as an Early Years Educator.  I worked for a few years at another local Preschool, where I discovered my interest in working with SEN children.  I am delighted to be working with the Snowflakes Team. 



Emma - EYP - Level 3 (on maternity leave)

I joined the Snowflakes team in April 2023.  Prior to joining New Bridge I worked for 15 years in a previous nursery setting where I discovered my interest in nurturing children with SEND as I became a 1:1 support for children with additional needs.  I have experience working in a SEN resource at a secondary school as a teaching assistant but my heart lies with working with early years children and I'm delighted to be able to use my skills working with the Snowflakes children.



Anupama - Nurture Assistant

I originally worked as a banker & both my children inspired me to embark on a new career working in Early Years. I gained the Foundation Certificate in Children’s Services when I was living in Australia. Before joining the Snowflakes team at New Bridge, I worked in several pre-schools in Sri Lanka.  I’m currently working on my NVQ level 2 qualification and feel blessed to be part of the New Bridge Team.




Specialist Support

Leighann Littlechild - Specialist Learning Mentor - Level 3

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 - REYS Family Support Worker - Level 3

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 our children and their families.                  

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. 

Lunchtime Team


Nicola - Lunchtime EYP

I have worked with children for over 20 years now. Starting as a playworker for Reading Borough Council at 18 and then becoming a TA in a primary school and then qualifying as a Teacher in 2010. I started at Newbridge as an EYP at lunchtimes to enable me to spend as much time with my own children as possible. I've always heard such wonderful things about the school and I really enjoy getting to know the children and  spending their lunchtimes with them. 



Enid - Lunchtime Nurture Assistant

My granddaughter was at New Bridge Nursery in 2018. When a job came up for a lunchtime assistant I thought that would be an ideal job for me as I love working with children. I also run a mother and toddler group at my church and am involved in the food bank that we have run throughout the pandemic.




Sophie - Lunchtime Nurture Assistant

My son attended New Bridge in 2020. I realised in that time that working with Nursery age children was something that I would like to do.

I really enjoy spending lunchtimes with the children.


Admin Team

Nancy - Administration Officer

My son was at New Bridge Nursery School in 2015.  When a job in the office came up in 2019 I jumped at the chance to come back and work here.  As well as a background in communications for a videogame developer, I am a qualified breastfeeding supporter.  I adore working with families and children as well as getting stuck in with new technology and systems.  For the past few years I have worked across the REYS federation, supporting Jo Budge with organisation and communication tasks.  In September 2022 I took on the role of Administration Officer at New Bridge.  In my free time you’re most likely to find me on the sidelines of local football pitches supporting my son, enjoying a swim at the Lido or out and about catching Pokémon.