Willaston Primary Academy

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Willaston Primary Academy

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EYFS Little Acorns Nursery

Welcome to our Early Years Foundation Stage


Meet the team:

Mrs Leech - EYFS Manager (lead teacher in the Nursery)

BSc(Hons) Psychology & Education Studies, PGCE Primary with Early Years Specialism.

I am very excited about leading the Early Years at Willaston Primary Academy. I am an extremely experienced Early Years teacher, I have enjoyed a varied and fulfilling career teaching children from Pre-School age up to Year 6 over the past 20 years, but my real passion is for the Early Years. I am a very creative teacher with a love for the Arts. I believe that children learn through a rich creative curriculum and they learn best when they are having fun and exploring. Outside of school, I have two children and a cheeky dog, we enjoy spending time outdoors exploring nature, being creative, baking and playing board games.

I love being a teacher and am passionate about children’s learning. Willaston’s Early Years classes will provide a fun, loving and supportive environment for your little ones to develop, grow and follow their dreams.

Mrs Austin - Reception Class Teacher

BA (Hons) Primary Education

Hi I am Mrs Phenton, the reception teacher in the brilliant EYFS team. I am very excited to meet you and your child. I love working in the Early Years and have a wealth of experience across all ages of the Early Years curriculum in a variety of settings and roles, from babies, pre-school and through to reception. I am passionate about ensuring that every child has the very best start to their school life and fosters a love for learning that continues to grow. In reception our classroom is constantly changing and evolving. You may see our Costa coffee, Snugbury’s or a Doctors role play area. We love having visitors to our classroom whether that’s police officers, pilots or our parent mystery readers. Outside of school, my labradoodle, Toby keeps me very busy and I enjoy going on muddy walks with him. I enjoy travelling, whether that’s seeing family in Australia or Interailling through Europe.

Miss Pickup - HLTA and Early Years (Trainee) Practitioner 

BA (Hons) Theatre and Performing Arts, NNEB Nursery Diploma, HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant), EYITT  (Early Years Teacher)



My experience and enjoyment of Early Years education began as soon as I left college having completed my NNEB Nursery Nursing Diploma. I then moved to London to become a children’s Nanny and was able to fulfil my dream of being a real life ‘Mary Poppins.’ Each fortnight I would choose an interest or favourite book of the children and theme their learning through play activities and our outdoor adventures and museum visits around it.

During my time in London I also studied for a Theatre and Performing Arts degree. I love to use the character, voice and creative skills I developed during it within the classroom environment today especially when reading stories to the children and playing within the small world.

I began working at Willaston Primary Academy in September 2007 and since then have had the pleasure to work across the whole school. As much as I enjoy my varied role within school I feel my heart always pulls me back to Early Years and KS1.  I have enjoyed being a regular daily member of the reception team where I have been involved in planning and delivering many different types of themed provision activities including number, phonics, role play areas, creative and outdoor learning. I enjoy observing the children experience the learning environment and being able to share with parents online the lovely things that their children do throughout the day.

When I am not at work I enjoy attending exercise classes, reading and sitting in my garden. I am mum to my daughter, Poppy. She and I enjoy going for walks, visiting the theatre and taking dance classes, fortunately for me she shares my interest in performing arts.

Miss Wakefield - EYFS Teaching Assistant

BSc(Hons) Childhood and youth & Early years Education Studies, Level 3 Diploma in Children's Learning and Development (Early Years Educator)


Hello everyone, my name is Miss Wakefield and I am extremely excited to be part of the Early Years team. I started at Willaston Primary Academy in 2017 leading the out of hour’s provision and through various roles found my original passion back in Early Years. I have a genuine passion in understanding the different ways that children learn; I find the opportunity to assist them in their path to knowledge a real privilege. I am delighted to be undertaking Forest school training in which I will be fully qualified in September. With this specialised approach to outdoor learning I will be able to develop children’s confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning in the great outdoors! Outside of school, I have a very loving and energetic Springer Spaniel called Joey who forces me on very muddy long walks on the weekends. We aim to make a positive impact on all children’s learning, increase their desire to learn and enable them to become independent lifelong learners.

I have embraced the challenge of finding effective ways to encourage each individual child to engage their learning through the process of continuous provision and adapting interventions to meet all children’s needs. Whilst working within reception I have realised my talent at creating stimulating, exciting and inclusive environments within in the classroom, I have become adept at using thematic planning considering it a powerful tool for building and maintaining the children’s interest during their learning. I understand the need to provide outstanding meaningful continuous provision and have been able to see the benefits of this first hand since September.

Mrs Clinton - EYFS Teaching Assistant

BA (Hons) Working with Children and Families

Early Years is my passion; I enjoy the privilege of being part of a team providing the foundations for your child’s lifelong learning.

I began my working life in day care provision, spent many years nursing in a variety of roles then returned to early years work 11 years ago.

Since then, I have developed professional interests including phonological awareness via music, books and poetry, unstructured outdoor play and education experiences, attachment theory, physical activity to promote neurological development, provision of a language rich environment, evolving and interactive displays, non-violent communication for conflict resolution, fine motor skills and play based learning.

My belief is that early years must be a playful environment with opportunities for a child to experience their learning, with support, so that the foundations of their learning journey are secure and positive. I believe that the freedom to explore the world through play and vibrant experiences, whilst in a safe environment with clear boundaries and expectations, allows each individual child to develop their unique approach to learning.

I look forward to working with you and your child.


Miss Basford - EYFS Teaching Assistant / Holiday club


Mrs Hargreaves - EYFS Teaching Assistant / Holiday club


Take a look at some of the fun activities happening in our EYFS!