Our Early Years Team
We are looking forward to meeting you…
Early Years Foundation Stage Leader – Mrs Anne-Marie Schofield
Nursery Teacher – Miss Ainsworth
Reception Teachers – Mrs Schofield and Miss Malone
Teaching Assistants – Miss Gaynor Reid, Miss Nicola Jones, Miss Amy-Leigh Strafford
I spent 4 years studying at the University of Cumbria, where I completed my teaching degree (Bachelor of Arts with QTS). I happened to have my final placement at Christ the King Catholic Academy. From the first day that I walked through the doors, I felt such a warmth and sense of belonging. I really did feel part of a family. Just as my final placement was ending, there was a class teacher vacancy so I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and secured the position.During my early career, I spent 3 years working in Year 4. I was asked to move down to KS1, where I spent 2 years in Year 1. After returning from maternity leave and with a change in staffing structure, a position had become available in our Early Years team. In September 2021, I became Early Years and Key Stage 1 lead here at Christ the King. Being a teacher takes dedication and passion but being an Early Years teacher takes patience, warmth and understanding. Early Years is fundamental to a child’s development. It builds the foundations of knowledge and ignites a spark for learning. I absolutely love working with the youngest children in our school. My goal each day is to ensure every child leaves my classroom with a little bit more curiosity, more knowledge and a sense of happiness about their day. At Christ the King, we pride ourselves in creating a safe, warm environment for our children and families. We encourage our children to be independent learners but also encourage them to ask for guidance along the way. At the weekend, I spend the majority of my time being a mummy. I have 2 young children of my own who love being outdoors so we enjoy many trips to the local park and the farm. We do love a good adventure and exploring new places together. I look forward to meeting you and welcoming you into our school and nursery.
I have always had a passion for working with little ones. From 2007 to 2011, I was a 1:1 support for an Autistic child. As much as I enjoyed working as a 1:1 support, after I had my third daughter, I decided that I wanted change of direction and joined Poppy and Jacks nursery in 2012.An opportunity to work in Christ the King’s Early Years team became available and working in a school community was something that I had always wanted to do. For the past 4 years, I have been working with reception children. At the weekend, I enjoy spending time with my youngest daughter and my dog.
My professional career as a teacher of English as a foreign language started in Poland when I completed a BA teaching degree in 2001 and then followed through with a MA in English Philology in 2007. After teaching English as a foreign language for 8 years, my family and I made the decision to move to the UK. Soon after, I began my career at Christ the King as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) support assistant nearly 13 years ago.Teaching EAL has always been my passion. It is hard to describe how rewarding my job is. It is amazing to watch children as young as 3 years old settling into a school environment, growing in confidence, developing independence and becoming competent English speakers. In my spare time, I love gardening, growing my own vegetables, cooking, walking and cycling with my family. We are also keen to keep up with environmental problems and are passionate in taking the small steps to help our planet.
Miss Nicola Jones
Having always had a fascination with Early Years, I began by studying Early Childhood studies which led to completing a BA (Hons) degree in education at UCLAN.
A couple of years ago I began volunteering at Christ the King and quickly an opportunity within the early years department became available.
I feel working in Early Years is a true privilege, often being witness to children's first discoveries is pure joy. Watching their interactions and personalities develop, their curiosities being explored and their enthusiasm to learn are some of my favourite aspects of the role.
My free time is mostly spent with my family and friends. I enjoy listening to music, going for walks, and laughing lots!
Miss Gillian Ainsworth
Starting my journey as an Archaeology student at the University of Worcester; I fell into teaching when I began volunteering at a local primary school during COVID-19. Working mainly with preschool and reception led me to discover a passion for Early Years. I quickly completed my PGCE 3-7 years with a specialism in Early Years with BBL Learning & the University of Manchester and I qualified in June 2023.
Working within Early Years I believe is a magical experience; watching the children grow and learn over the course of the year. Every day is different for the children, as they focus on new skills and explore their own learning which I find so rewarding. At the weekend, I enjoy spending time with my family, going on walks and exploring new places, especially when we end up finding an ice-cream stall!
Miss Rachel Malone
My passion for working with children at the very start of their educational journey began when I was 16 on a work placement in a mixed nursery/reception class. I had the opportunity to observe the magic of learning through play and fell in love with this method of teaching. This led to me to complete an undergraduate degree and PGCE at the University of Cumbria, both focused on teaching in the Early Years.
I spend my weekends and spare time looking after my house plant collection and relaxing at home with a cup of tea!
Miss Amy-Leigh Strafford
I have recently completed a Level 3 qualification in Early Years at Blackpool & The Fylde College. After volunteering at Christ the King for just over a year, an opportunity to work within the department came up and I jumped at the chance!
I love watching how the children progress through the school year and I like working within provision to support the children with their independent learning by modelling play.
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with family, building a range of lego structures and anything that is Harry Potter related!