OUR TEAM

At Wildlings we have a highly qualified and dedicated team. We have 2 qualified teachers, and an experienced Level 3 Forest School Practitioner. 
We maintain lower than required ratios in order to ensure all children in our care have the dedicated time and quality interactions that they deserve. 
We believe in Continued Professional Development and our team are constantly striving to build upon their knowledge and skills. One member of staff is currently studying to achieve Early Years Teacher Status, and another is completing her Level 3 Forest School Practitioner qualification.
We also believe in sharing our knowledge and skills with others. Jasmin, who joined the team as an apprentice, has completed her Level 2 Early Years Practitioner training and is now working towards her Level 3 qualification.

cate_edited.jpg

CATE

Manager

SENDCO

Qualified Teacher

I live in Belper with my husband, three boys and a tank of tropical fish. I joined Wildlings around two years ago but my youngest two attended, so I have been around for a while!


I studied for a degree in Psychology and during the holidays volunteered as a support worker for children with Autism and at summer camps for children with life limiting illnesses. When I finished university I went to work at a school and diagnostic centre for children with Autism. During this time I realised that my heart lay in working with children and supporting their development so decided to go into teaching.


I completed my PGCE in Bristol specialising in early years, science and literacy. After a couple of years teaching I became leader of a Foundation Stage unit in inner city Bristol with around 300 children from Nursery up to Year 1. With many children speaking English as an additional language, living in flats and having troubled backgrounds, I became passionate about the benefits of outdoor learning.

We spent 12 glorious years in Bristol but when my oldest son was a toddler we made the decision to move North to be nearer to family and settled in Belper. At this time I decided to take a break from teaching full time so that I could spend time with my boys, particularly as my middle son has been in and out of hospital. Then, a couple of years ago the opportunity came to join Wildlings which suited us perfectly and I haven't looked back! This year I became Manager and SENDCo. I have also started my Level 3 Forest School Leader training too. 

Outside of work we enjoy visiting the beach and spending time in the countryside. I love pottering in the garden, cooking and trying my hand at crafty things when I get time between the swimming/ music/ riding lessons with the boys! I have recently started doing a bit of canoeing and climbing with my oldest too which I would really like to do more of.

claire.jpg

CLAIRE

Business Lead

Qualified Teacher

I live in Crich with my husband and three children. My youngest, Ada, is a Wildling in all senses of the word!


I've been involved in education all my professional life; I was a secondary school history and sociology teacher for 11 years. I have been an Assistant Head of 6th Form and a Head of History. I've also taught English as a volunteer in Thailand, India and Ecuador and worked with a Primary School in Peru on developing their heritage education programme.


I took a career break while my children were very young and my interest in the Early Years was sparked by this time seeing the sense of wonder and curiosity that they approached the world with. 

I joined Wildlings in September 2019 as Admin Assistant and have recently become Business Lead. I started working with the children in September 2020. I love my time with them, following where their natural curiosity leads and have learnt so much with them and from the wonderful Wildlings staff team. I feel so fortunate to be part of such a special setting.

 
IMG-20210527-WA0045.jpg

KERRY

Deputy Manager
Forest School Lead

Hello, I’m Kerry. I live in Belper with my husband Jon and children Charlie and Jim. I have worked at Wildlings since 2019. Both my boys were Wildlings, so we’ve been part of the community for some time.


My background isn’t in play or childcare but has always been deeply rooted in the natural world. I knew from a young age I was destined to work outdoors. Despite being from the suburbs of Birmingham I spent my childhood scratting about in gardens making potions or building nests in trees of local parks.


I studied Biology at University before training in environmental conservation with the National Trust in Cornwall. It was here I realised my passion for caring for the natural world and gained the skills to look after it. I’ve moved around a bit working on the Isle of Arran looking after a Country Park and running their environmental education programme. Then I moved to Somerset to work for a conservation contractor working on lots of different conservation projects.


In 2007 I started working for Suffolk Wildlife Trust where for 7 years I was lucky enough to be managing  a vast range of habitats including some of the best ancient coppice woodlands in the country. My love of woodland and understanding it’s intricate ecology was truly ignited and I’ve never been far from woodland since.


We moved to Belper in 2015. Having children changed my mindset from conserving nature to enthusing and teaching young people about the natural world so I retrained as a Forest School practitioner. After several years of running my own Forest School sessions, I joined the team at Wildlings. I am currently studying to gain Early Years Teacher Status. 

In my free time I spend a lot of time in my garden tending my vegetable patch. I love cooking and baking bread. As a family we enjoy exploring Derbyshire’s wild places with winter hot flask picnics being our speciality!

lucy.jpg

LUCY

Level 3 Practitioner
MATERNITY LEAVE

I live in Ambergate with my husband and our little boy Eddie. 


After leaving school I worked as a nanny and house keeper for just over a year. I then spent almost 9 years working as an office administrator but dreamt of working with children.


After a challenging year in 2015 I decided to make the career change and started my Early Years journey. In 2018 I qualified as a Level 3 Early Years Educator.


I joined Wildlings in January 2020 as Baby Lead. Watching the children grow and learn is food for my soul.

alison 3.jpg

ALISON

Level 3 Practitioner

I have been working at Wildlings for over 22 years now so during my time I have seen many changes.

In my free time I enjoy walking my 3 dogs in the countryside. I also have a large Bengal cat, a tank of various tropical fish and 3 very fluffy alpacas.

It  is a privilege to work in our beautiful woodland and spend time with the children as I feel that we're giving them the best possible start.

becci 2_edited.jpg

BECCI

Level 3 Practitioner

I’m Becci. I’m a wife, and mother to two boys. I’m an early bird as in I like to see the sun rise. In my spare time I enjoy doing scrapbook making, baking, playing football, flying kites and generally just doing things with my family.
I’ve always loved being outside and since a young age have been part of the scouting family and become an leader at 18 until I had my boys.
I achieved my level 2 childcare over 15 years ago and then completed my level 3 while working full time in a nursery.
I’ve been at wildlings since January 2020. When I first visited the setting I was overwhelmed by the unique approach that they have to children's learning.
I enjoy doing crafts, being outside and being part of the children's role play.
The children know I’m at setting or in the woods as they see my bright yellow car before seeing me!

 
FB_IMG_1645288549574_edited.jpg

JASMIN

Level 2 Practitioner

Hello, I’m Jasmin. I've lived in Bullbridge all my life, surrounded by my family- we all live next-door but one to each other! 

I originally knew I wanted to work with children when I did my work experience at Fritchley CE primary school. I was also inspired by the kids club staff on holidays. I was amazed by what they were able to accomplish, sparking interest and curiosity in the children there and this led to me wanting to be part of supporting children in every day opportunities myself. 

I started my journey at Wildings during my level 2 childcare practitioner training. I immediately fell in love with the in the moment planning approach and how the staff really cared for the children they were supporting. Working outdoors with Wildings has sparked my interest in the wildlife around me, making me more aware of nature and what it has to offer. I am currently studying for my Level 3 childcare diploma as an apprentice and I have loved the opportunities that wildings staff and children have given me over the last 2 years.

LYNNE

Practitioner

I'm Lynne, I joined Wildlings in January 2021 after completing my Masters Degree in Childhood at Derby University. Prior to this, I achieved a first class degree in Creative writing and Early Childhood Studies. Throughout my studies, I have focused on both traditional and digital literacies, gender identity and children's rights. I am passionate about nurturing the unhurried child and helping to deliver a holistic and nurturing educational experience for our young.


Before coming to Wildlings, I spent time volunteering in schools as a reading role model and in a stay and play setting. 


I don't have much time spare as I am parent to a lively 6 year old, but I am enjoying making time to learn macrame and the art of forest bathing, alongside developing my bush craft as part of this wonderful team of practitioners. 

Untitled
mel.jpg

MEL

Level 3 Practitioner

Hi there. I’m Melanie, but everyone calls me Mel.

I’ve been working as an Early Years Practitioner for almost twenty years now. I initially started out in a beautiful little village Pre-School in rural Lincolnshire where I gained my CACHE Level 3 Qualification in Early years. After 10 years there I moved to a
very different, busy, bustling nursery in Kingston Upon Thames where I worked for 2 years before we moved to Derbyshire and our ‘forever home’.

I’ve been an avid fan of Wildlings since learning of its existence a few years ago. And following (stalking) posts on their wonderful practice and ethos on social media (not to mention stealing many inspirational ideas along the way!) I’ve dreamt of working in this amazing establishment ever since
and when a full-time opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance!

The Wildlings ethos stands for everything I passionately believe in regarding early years care and education. I believe our role as practitioners should inspire, guide, nurture and provide that perfect environment for them to thrive in, both cognitively and emotionally.
What a very privileged and vital role this is!

I live in Cromford with my wife Annick, who is French and Daisy, a 5 year old Cavachon. 

I start my exciting new journey with Wildings in September 2021 and can’t wait to grow as a practitioner and learn many new and wonderful things along the way. A lot of which will no doubt be taught me
by our wonderful little wildlings members themselves!

BEX

Relief Practitioner

I'm Bex, and I live locally with my partner, our dog Alfie, our rabbits and guinea pigs! Sometimes we look after children at our house, and we have fun going out and about on adventures together.


I'm quite new to Wildlings but I've worked in schools, nurseries and playschemes for the last 15 years, much of which has been supporting children with additional needs which I have loved. While working in schools I gained NVQ Level 3 Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, and later studied BSc Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby. After this, I started working in Early Years which I enjoy because it allows us as practitioners to be child-led and to support children to develop holistically. I was excited to join Wildlings to be able to combine this with my love of the outdoors!


It's a privilege to spend time in the woods with our Wildlings and see how calm, resilient and creative the children are in the natural environment. It gives them unique opportunities to develop in all areas and I love watching them change and grow. After working in some larger settings I really appreciate the low ratios and relatively small groups because we have more time to spend with each child and really get to know them. It really shows in the lovely relationships between the staff and children. The team is very skilled and I'm enjoying learning along with the children - I learn something new every day!

bex.jpg