Friendly, fun and experienced

We would like to introduce you to the staff at Little Oaks Pre-school in Brackley.
Read about us from our profiles below.

Naomi Brown – Level 3

Early Years Manager, Designated Safeguarding Lead & SENCo
Diploma in Pre-school Practice

Naomi joined Little Oaks in 2016 as a Keyperson in Pre-school. She has a background in paediatric nursing and came into Early Years in 2009. She has been Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) for the setting since 2018 and took on the role of Early Years Manager in 2021. Naomi is also Little Oaks’ Designated Safeguarding Lead.

She loves walking her dog in the countryside and baking cakes – and eating them! Her favourite place is being outside with all the children in the fresh air.

Hannah Freeman

Setting Business Manager
BA Hons Special French, PGCE

Hannah joined the Little Oaks staff team in November 2017 as Office Administrator before taking on the role of Setting Business Manager in 2021 working alongside Naomi Brown as Early Years Manager. Together they confidently lead the energetic and committed team. She has a background of 11 years in secondary education as a French teacher and was Assistant Headteacher at a local school before taking a break to raise her two children. She has had a long association with Little Oaks and was Chair of the Management Committee from 2013 – 2016 when her children attended the Setting.
Hannah lives in Brackley and enjoys spending time with her large extended family and she likes to bake and spend time gardening in her free time.

Debbie Coles – Level 3

Deputy Manager, Play Group Supervisor & Deputy Safeguarding Officer.
Diploma in Pre-School Practice.

Debbie has been part of the team at Little Oaks since 2005 and supervises a team of staff in our Playgroup room. She understands that for many children the time they spend with us is the first time they have spent away from their families and is also aware that it is sometimes the parent or carer who needs more reassurance than the child!

Debbie enjoys spending time with her family and enjoys baking.

Alison Smith – Level 3

Pre-School Supervisor & First Aid Coordinator.
NVQ in Childcare, Learning and Development.

Alison has been part of the team at Little Oaks since 2002 and as well as supervising her team works as a keyperson in our pre-school room. She is a key member of our “Chattering Crew” which provides targeted, fun support for children who, for whatever reason, have not yet ‘found their voice’. Alison (or “Allie”) has a chef’s background and is passionate about teaching children how to cook and appreciate healthy food. She therefore coordinates our cooking activities with the children. She enjoys spending time with her family, cycling her tandem and baking cakes.

Mel Haley – Level 3

Early Years Practitioner.
Diploma for Children & Young Person’s Workforce.

Mel has been part of our Little Oaks team since 2007, firstly as a parent volunteer, then as a lunchtime supervisor and then became a practitioner in our playgroup room. Mel has endless patience and provides great support to children who, for whatever reason, need a little more time and care than some. She really enjoys learning and playing outside with the children, whatever the weather. Reading stories is another of Mel’s favourite activities.

Mel is mum to two boys and enjoys power walking and listening to music (often at the same time!)

Lindsay De’ath – Level 3

Early Years Practitioner.
Diploma in Children & Young People’s Workforce.

Lindsay has been a member of the team at Little Oaks since 2007.  She has worked in both the Pre-school and Playgroup rooms and currently works as a keyperson to a small group of children in the Pre-school room. Lindsay is always ready to give new ideas a go and above all wants children to enjoy their time at Little Oaks. She enjoys being outside, painting and making playdough with the children.

She is mum to three children and in her free time loves walking her dog, Alfie.

Gemma Sadler

Lunch Club Supervisor and Relief Assistant.

Gemma re-joined the team in 2020 as a Lunch Club Supervisor, having previously worked at Little Oaks as Relief Assistant. Gemma has 3 children, enjoys walking her dog and spending time with her family.

Zoe Baker – Level 3

Early Years Practitioner.
Diploma in Children’s Learning & Development.

Zoe re-joined the team at Little Oaks in 2015 as a keyperson in our Playgroup room.  She is now in the Pre-School room where she looks after a small key group of children. She enjoys spending time in the craft area where the children create brilliant works of art with their imaginations, a pot of glue and some recycled materials!

Zoe is a mum to three children and she enjoys cooking, spending time with her family and being kept busy looking after all of her pets, including two dogs who she takes for walks every day.

Julia Buxey – Level 3

Relief Practitioner.

Julia joined Little Oaks as a Relief Practitioner in 2016 and has spent the last few years working as a Keyperson in Play Group.
She has two young children and also works as a Nanny for other families in the Brackley area.

Karen Johnstone – Level 3

Early Years Practitioner.

Karen joined the Little Oaks team at the start of 2018, having worked with children for over 20 years. She enjoys nothing more than helping children grow in confidence and watching their individual personalities develop. Getting sticky in the craft corner or joining in the children’s imaginative play are some of her favourite aspects of Little Oaks.

Karen is a mum of two and enjoys being involved with her local Cub Scout unit and visiting the Theatre whenever she gets the chance!

Lynn Sutcliffe – Level 3

Early Years Practitioner.
NVQ Children’s Care and Development.

Lynn joined the Little Oaks Team in January 2018, having previously worked in Children’s education for 17 years.
She likes getting involved encouraging activities created by children’s enthusiasm and their imagination through stories, music, role-play and being outdoors. She also enjoys learning fun songs to sing at group times.
Lynn has 4 children and loves music, sewing and up-cycling, she also has 2 cats called Bobble and Pooka.

Laura Boyles – Level 3

Early Years Practitioner.
The Children and Young People’s Workforce: Early Years Educator

Laura joined Little Oaks in November 2019. She enjoys working with children, watching them learn and develop. She likes getting messy in the craft area and teaching the children new songs.

Laura has a pet cat called Kalli and she enjoys getting involved in the local pantomime each year.

Laura Godfrey

Relief Assistant.

Laura joined Little Oaks in April 2017 as Lunch Club Supervisor. She has a daughter and a son who used to come to Little Oaks where she volunteered whenever possible.  Laura enjoys working with children, as they never cease to amaze her with their personalities and imaginations.

Laura enjoys spending time with her children when they go swimming, walking and meeting friends. She also has a pet cat called Ezra and really enjoys spending time together as a family, especially when they go on holiday.

Linda Ryce

Relief Assistant.

Linda joined our team at Little Oaks in 2016 as a Relief Assistant.

She has three grown up children and enjoys walking, going to the theatre and spending time with the family.

Linda enjoys being outside at Little Oaks with the children supporting them in their play and having fun.

Kerry Fothergill – Level 3

Relief Practitioner.
NVQ Early Years Care & Education.

Kerry has worked at Little Oaks since 2014. She enjoys reading stories to the children and making anything with glitter! She can also be found dancing and singing with the children during their time with us.

She has two children and enjoys baking and walking around St James Lake in Brackley, with her dog.

Elaine Hendrie – Level 4

Relief Practitioner.
Level 4 Early Years Practice & Level 3 Makaton

Elaine joined us in 2013 and has rejoined us after a short break away. She has over 20 years experience working with children and their families.

She loves reading stories and teaching the children nursery rhymes. Elaine is qualified in Makaton and loves teaching children simple signs.

She is a mum to two grown up children and has one grandchild.

Jen McNally – Level 3

1:1 Support Pre-school Practitioner
NVQ Early Years Care & Education.

Jen joined Little Oaks in September 2021 and has worked in childcare for many years. She thoroughly enjoys spending time talking with children, building their enthusiasm, self-esteem and celebrating their achievements.

Autumn is Jen’s favourite time of the year. She loves walks in the woods with her husband and two children, plus a flask of hot chocolate (and a biscuit!)

Fiona Kerton – Level 3

Early Years Assistant.
NVQ Early Years Care & Education

Fiona is a busy mummy to five children and 2 dogs! She joined the Little Oaks team in September 2021 supporting the staff in both Play Group and Pre-school and supervising Lunch Club.
She enjoys going on lots of fun and exciting adventures, swimming and spending time with family and friends.

Beatrice Berrill

1:1 Support Practitioner

Bea joined Little Oaks in January 2022 as a 1:1 Support Practitioner with a child in Play Group. Bea did her work experience placements at Little Oaks during her GCSEs and A-Levels and loves working in childcare. She enjoys being creative and does sewing and art in her spare time.

Katie Thomas – Level 6

Early Years Practitioner
BA(Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Katie joined the Little Oaks team at the beginning of 2022 in the Pre-school room. She graduated in 2019 and has since worked in childcare. She has a particular interest in children’s mental health and loves being outdoors with the children.

Katie enjoys walking, travelling and spending time with her family in her free time.

Current Vacancies

Please visit our Vacancies page for current staff vacancies.