Our Staff and Volunteers

The pre-school has a dedicated staff who are willing to train and develop their skills continuously to meet a wide range of needs.  They take on enormous responsibility in supporting children with very complex needs alongside their peers.

The pre-school fosters a close relationship with parents and families and encourages active involvement of parents and carers in the life of the pre-school.  It has fantastic support from local professional education and health staff.  Last, but by no means least, the pre-school relies on a very committed group of volunteers who act as trustees to ensure the effective running of the pre-school.  They work hard to involve their families and friends in support of the essential work of this amazing provision.

Our Key Staff

Emma Bender

Play Leader

Designated Safeguarding Lead,NVQ 3, Signalong phase1 & 2, Paediatric First Aid, Training to support specific medical needs. SENCO training, Early Years Training, Child Protection Training, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked

Fern Grindrod


Designated Safeguarding Lead, Degree in Early Years (BA Hons), Childcare & Education. NVQ3, Paediatric First Aid. Signalong 1 & 2, Child Protection, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked. Business management level 3

Please reload

Key person

Sutton Opportunity Pre-school has a key person system.  This means that each member of staff has a group of children for whom she/he is particularly responsible.  Your child’s key person will be the person who works with you to make sure that what we provide is right for your child’s particular needs and interests.  When your child first starts at the pre-school, she/he will help your child to settle and throughout your child’s time at the pre-school, she/he will help your child to benefit from the pre-school’s activities.

"A truly inclusive environment where every child and family are included in the learning.  The staff are passionate and fun, and work hard to meet the needs of all children.  They are never phased about a child's individual needs and work well in partnership with external services to ensure the team supporting with the child are working together.  A guaranteed good service.”

Portage Service feedback
How Parents Take Part

Our pre-school recognises parents as the first and most important educators of their children.  All of the staff see themselves as partners with you in providing care and education for your child.  There are many ways in which parents take part in making the pre-school a welcoming and stimulating place for children and parents, such as:

  • exchanging knowledge about their children’s needs, activities, interests and progress with the staff;

  • helping at sessions of the pre-school;

  • sharing their own special interests with the children;

  • helping to provide, make and look after the equipment and materials used in the children’s play activities;

  • being part of the management of the pre-school;

  • taking part in events and informal discussions about the activities and curriculum provided by the pre-school;

  • joining in community activities in which the pre-school takes part; and

  • building friendships with other parents in the pre-school.


The parents’ rota


The pre-school is happy to involve parents who would like to help at a particular session or sessions of the pre-school.  Helping at the session enables parents to see what the day-to-day life of the pre-school is like and to join in helping the children to get the best out of their activities.  Please speak to our manager if you would like to take part in such a rota.


Joining in


Joining the rota is not the only means of taking part in the life of the pre-school.  Parents can offer to take part in a session by sharing their own interests and skills with the children.  We welcome parents to drop into the pre-school to see it at work or to speak to the staff.

Staff List

Kayleigh Plows

Training towards level 3 Early years qualification, DBS, Signalong level1

Kathy Bender

Deputy Room leader / SENCO

NVQ3, First Aid, Signalong Stage 1 & 2, Paediatric First Aid, SENCO training, Child Protection Training, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked, Inclusion Champion, Gina Davies stage 1 and 2.

Lisa Clark

Room Leader

NVQ3, Paediatric First Aid,  Signalong Stage 1 & 2, Child Protection training, Level 2 Food Safety, Health & Safety Training, DBS Checked, Gina Davies Autism Attention stage 1 and 2.

Magi Deane

Pre-school Practitioner

Paediatric First Aid, Qualified Level 3 Early years practitioner, Signalong Stage 1, Food Safety level 2, DBS Checked, working towards BSL qualification, Gina Davies Autism Awareness stage 1 and 2.

Breanne Dickenson

Pre-school Practitioner

Paediatric First aid, Qualified Level 3 Early years practitioner, DBS Checked, Food Safety Level 2

Maria Hill

Pre-school Practitioner

NVQ3, Paediatric First Aid, Signalong Stage 1, Child protection, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked

Mikeala Conway

Pre-School Practitioner

NVQ3, Paediatric First Aid. Signalong  Stage 1&2, Child Protection training, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked, Gina Davies Autism Attention stage 1 and 2

Shaquille Plunkett

Pre-school Practitioner

NVQ3, Signalong Stage 1, Child Protection training, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked

Christine Rayner

Lead Medical Practitioner

NVQ3, Signalong Stage 1&2, Paediatric First Aid, Training to Support specific medical needs. Child protection Training, Health & Safety Training, Food Safety Level 2, DBS Checked, Gina Davies Autism Attention stage 1 and 2.

Please reload