Pre-Prep Staff Information

Mrs Sarah Hollingsworth  Headmistress Sarah is the Headmistress of Gresham’s Pre-Prep and an ISI Inspector. She completed a Social Science degree at Loughborough University then attended Froebel College at Roehampton University in Surrey to complete her Primary PGCE with Early Years specialism. After a year in the profession, Sarah was invited to join the Fast-Track Teaching in Accelerated Leadership Programme; designed for those who have demonstrated the potential to progress into senior leadership positions rapidly. Since completing, Sarah has held many leadership positions including Nursery Manager, Early Years and Key Stage One Leader and Director of Pastoral Care in both maintained and independent schools in Durham, London, Sunderland, Shrewsbury and Oswestry. 
Mrs Nicola Adams            Deputy Head & Class Teacher Nicola was appointed Deputy Head of Gresham’s Pre-Prep in September 2017. She began her career after completing a four-year BEd teacher training degree in Plymouth, specialising in children aged 3-7 years. Nicola has held various teaching positions in both state and independent schools across the UK, including Kent, Yorkshire and Northamptonshire, before choosing to settle in Norfolk. Nicola is also Key Stage 1 Lead and has a wide range of experience across EYFS and Key Stage 1, having previously taught all year groups.  
Mrs Hannah Phillips      Early Years Lead & Class Teacher Hannah is our Early Years Lead. She started her teaching career after completing a PGCE (M) at UEA in 2013. She graduated from De Montfort University with a BA (Hons) in Textile Design and worked in design and the charity sector, before becoming a teacher. She is passionate about play, the outdoors and creativity; her heart lies in Early Years. Hannah joined the Gresham’s Pre-Prep Team in 2019 and having taught and grown up in North Norfolk she recognises that Gresham’s offers children the space needed to thrive.  
Mrs Louise Down    Learning Enrichment Lead Louise is the Learning Enrichment Lead and has been working in both state and independent schools for over 25 years as a SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) and SEN Tutor. She has a passion for understanding how children learn and strives to give each child the focused support and intervention they need to fulfil their learning potential. Louise was also part of a pioneering dyslexia research team with St Bartholomew’s hospital, London, for over ten years.  
Mrs Lucy Archer (currently on maternity leave) Lucy studied at the University of Birmingham and University of New South Wales, Sydney, graduating with a Masters in Environmental Geoscience MSci (Hons). She spent time travelling and working overseas before returning to the UK and completing her Primary PGCE. Lucy began her teaching career at Gresham’s Pre-Prep in September 2016, spending two years teaching Reception before moving to teach Year 2.  
Mrs Suzie Burnett      Class Teacher Suzie studied at the University of Worcester, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Early Childhood Studies. She then went on to complete her Primary PGCE course at Oxford Brookes University, specialising in children aged 3-7. She began her teaching career in 2012 working at Chandlings, an independent Prep School in Oxfordshire, teaching Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Her passion in teaching lies in the younger years and she hopes to instil in each of the children that she teaches a love for learning and a desire to do their best.  
Mrs Lucy Cahill        Class Teacher Lucy has always had a passion for the Early Years, starting her career at a young age, working as a Nursery Nurse in her school holidays. On completing her studies here at Gresham’s, she went on to study a BA (Hons) degree in Drama and Education Studies at Bishop Grosseteste University before completing a PGCE year with a specialism in age 3-7 years. Lucy’s first year of teaching was in a Year 1 class, before moving into Reception, whilst becoming a Foundation Stage Leader and overseeing and leading a large Reception and Nursery in Lincoln. Lucy loves the outdoors and nature and she recognises how it can be used as a tool for learning, alongside inspiring play, nurturing children’s natural curiosities and creating experiences to help them thrive.  
Mrs Sarah Ryan          Class Teacher Sarah relocated from Cambridge to Norfolk at the end of 2020 to be closer to her family. She has worked in a wide range of educational settings, both in this country and across the world, from working in an orphanage in Ghana to her last role before joining Gresham’s Pre-Prep as Head of Early Years in a large primary school in Cambridge. Sarah loves the outdoors and is a trained Forest School practitioner. Sarah initially trained as a Nursery Nurse before completing a BA (Hons) Advanced studies of Early Years degree and a Primary PGCE with Early Years specialism, she has taught for the past 11 years in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, 3–4-year-old Nursery and 2-3-year-old nursery groups.     
Mrs Laura Craig          Class Teacher Laura did a degree in Philosophy and History of Art at Newcastle University. She then went on to do a PGCE in Wandsworth. She taught at Garden House School in Chelsea for eight years where she was a mentor for Newly Qualified Teachers and Science Co-ordinator. She taught different year groups from Reception to Year 6. She did some class teacher cover in this time and did her diploma in Teaching Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties, she went on to teach children 1:1 in a learning support department. Laura is now thrilled to be back where her education began aged 4, here at the Pre-Prep!  
Mrs Kate Kinder        Class Teacher Kate studied for a BSc (Hons) in Biology at Birmingham University. She then went on to complete a Primary PGCE course at Homerton College, Cambridge before beginning her teaching career at St Cedd’s School in Chelmsford. At St Cedd’s she helped set up the school library. Kate then taught at the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School in Elstree at the Prep School where she took on the role of ICT co-ordinator as well as helping with the Prep School musicals. Kate has a wealth of experience of teaching at Gresham’s Pre-Prep.  
Mrs Elizabeth Langton    Class Teacher Elizabeth completed her BEd (Hons) degree at Exeter University, specialising in English and Drama. Her first teaching job was at the Dragon School in Oxford. There she taught in Year 3 and was a junior house tutor, before being involved in the set-up of the new Dragon Pre-Prep, where she taught across the year groups and was PE and Games Co-ordinator. She left the Dragon to spend two years at Harrow International School in Bangkok, teaching in the Prep department and leading outdoor learning trips. On her return from Thailand, Elizabeth did some supply teaching in Oxfordshire before returning to the Dragon Pre-Prep to teach in Years 2 and 3, and Art to all year groups. Elizabeth has been teaching at Gresham’s Pre-Prep since 2010. She loves her current role, guiding and supporting the children in becoming independent learners in the vibrant and exciting environment of the Nursery and Pre-Prep and preparing them for their move on to Key Stage 2.  
Claire Devitt Music Teacher Claire studied music at the University of York and graduated in 2013. She has since moved back to Norfolk, where she grew up, to pursue her music career. After years of work as a professional singer, she realised her heart was in teaching music and directing choirs. Claire runs three choirs locally, catering to singers in the community for different ages and abilities. She believes singing and music should be accessible to everyone. Claire has also worked in primary and secondary schools around Norfolk, and stage schools, as a singing specialist. She is also a piano teacher and an Early Years and KS1 class music teacher.  
Mr Nick Colman    OWLS Teacher Nick studied a B(Ed) at St. Lukes, Exeter University, specialising in Physical Education and History/Special Needs. After his probationary year teaching in Bristol he joined the Armed Forces, serving a short service commission in the Royal Artillery. Upon leaving the forces Nick followed the tried and tested route of joining what was then Norwich Union, where he worked as a Training Manager for three years before moving to their London Offices. Nick and his young family moved back to Norfolk, where he joined Town Close House Prep School, teaching Humanities and Games, as well as helping part time with Year 3 at the new specialist autism centre, The Wherry School. In 2018 Nick moved across the County to join Gresham’s Prep School, which indirectly led to him taking on the role of OWLS lead and being introduced to the wonderful world of Gresham’s Pre-Prep life.  
Mrs Amanda Fuller    Teaching Assistant Amanda started working in a Nursery and Primary school back in 2005, whilst she studied for her NVQ Level 3 Childcare Learning and Development. Before joining Gresham’s Pre-Prep, Amanda was a nanny for 10 years, which she thoroughly loved.  
Mrs Linda Allison    Teaching Assistant After leaving school, Linda studied Community and Family Care at Norwich City College. Placements included working with profoundly disabled children and with the elderly.   After caring for and nursing the elderly in a care home for a few years, Linda decided it was time for a change and worked with children in various roles.  Linda started work at Gresham’s in 1995 and has completed a City and Guilds Level 2 in Learning Support, Introduction to Counselling Level 2 and Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools Level 3. 
Mrs Carrie Bailey  Teaching Assistant Carrie began by volunteering as a parent helper when her own children began at Gresham’s Pre-Prep and loved it so much that she went on to complete her Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education. Before this, Carrie worked as a Nurse and Midwife both overseas and in the NHS for 20 years and has a BSc (Hons) degree in Midwifery.  
Miss Amy Colman Teaching Assistant Amy joined Gresham’s Pre-Prep in 2016 with her level 2 in Support Teaching and Learning in Schools. She has since completed her level 3 Early Years Educator diploma and has recently begun her BA (Hons) degree in Integrated Working with Children and Families in Early Years with Pen Green Research Base, through the University of Hertfordshire. Amy is passionate about her role and is always keen to extend her knowledge.  
Miss India Durban Teaching Assistant India grew up in Norfolk. After graduating Falmouth University with a degree in Fine Art, India worked as a Year 2 Teaching Assistant in a school in Cornwall. She has since then relocated back to Norfolk and prior to joining Gresham’s, worked as a Teaching Assistant in a mixed Year 1/2 class for two years.  
Miss Rebecca Hancock Teaching Assistant Becky has an NVQ level three qualification in childcare and a national diploma in art and design. She has had the privilege of working with children since 2012, promoting their learning and development.  
Mrs Jane Matthews Teaching Assistant Jane’s degree in Art & Aesthetics, BA (Hons) at Cardiff Metropolitan University involved the philosophy, history and practise of art. Her interests in education, art therapy and play therapy led her to work within schools. Jane spent 12 years as a TA and HLTA at a primary school in Suffolk. Jane has supported children of all ages, but her specialisms are in EYFS, outdoor education and one to one support.  
Mrs Ali Gainher    Head’s PA/Administrator Ali has been working in schools since 1999 in a number of different administrative roles. The role that gives her the greatest joy is working with families to help guide and support them through from the start of their child’s journey into full time schooling. Ali and her husband have three grown-up daughters who all benefited greatly from a Gresham’s education. Ali now uses her experience and expertise to help new parents navigate their way through the Early Years and beyond as Mrs Hollingsworth’s PA and responsible for Pre-Prep admissions.  
Mrs Julie Higgs            Part Time Administrator Julie has worked in education since 1995, training and working in a local pre-school, then moving on to Holt Primary School as a 1-1 special needs assistant and office assistant. When she left there 10 years later, it was as Office Manager. Julie was then the Head’s PA at Gresham’s Pre-Prep for 7 years and absolutely loved her role here… so much so, that after taking early retirement in 2017, she was delighted to have the opportunity to return to the Pre-Prep office as a part time Administrator in 2020.