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Staff Team

Here at Birch Farm we have a team of dedicated staff who look after the children and customers on a daily basis. All of the  nursery staff undertake regular training in First Aid, Food Hygiene and Safeguard Children as well as other courses to enhance the opportunities we offer to the children.

The Owners - Mini & Darren Shakespeare - Mini has worked at birch farm since 2006 starting by running the Nursery then moving on to running the site Darren has been involved in the site for some time as  IT support and has also designed the web site and is well know by the staff and children.

Site Director  - The team is headed by Mini and Darren Shakespeare the site directors    Mini  has over 20 years childcare experience in a variety of settings.  Mini and Darren oversee all site activities and has an office based in the barn.

Qualification - BA Hons in Early Childhood Studies and  Early Years Professional Status Qualification [EYPS]


The Nursery Team:

 The nursery is  run on a day to day basis by the manager Sarah Sharman. Mini oversees the nursery as part of her whole site role. Each room has their own team of staff and more details on the staff for each room are listed below. The management team also work in each room on a weekly basis to provide guidance and support.

Joint Nursery Manager -

The nursery  manager - Sarah Sharman has been at Birch Farm for 10 years. Sarah works with Nick and undertakes all the day to day running of the nursery and regularly liaises with Mini and Darren.

Qualification -  Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies.


 Joint Nursery  Manager - Nick Leeder -   is our joint Manager. Nick has worked in primary schools for several years prior to specialising in Early Years and joining our team. Nick works along side Sarah with the day to day running of the nursery and can be contacted if Sarah is unavailable.

Qualification - BA Hons Sports Science and Early Years Professional Status Qualification [EYPS]


Victoria Jones. Vicky is Supervisor of Catkins,and  enjoys outdoor activities.

Qualification: NVQ Level 3 in Children's Care Learning and Development


Rebecca Freeman -  Rebecca has been working at Birch Farm since Jan 2011, she enjoys messy activities with the children

Qualification: Cache Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education


Amelia Smith -  Amelia is full time in Catkins having joined us in Sept 2011.

Qualification: - Level 3 in Early Years


Yasmin Trigg - Yasmin has recently joined the our team having completed a Cache Level 3 in Early Childhood Studies and then taking some time out to work in other area. Yasmin works in all areas of the nursery.

Qualification: Cache Level 3 in Early Childhood Studies



Hannah Grennell - Is Pippins Room Leader.

Qualification: Level 4 Early Years.


Kathleen Gladding - Kath is full time in Catkins and has worked at Birch Farm for almost 3 years, she enjoys having 'fun' with the children both indoors and outdoors.

Qualification: Level 3 in Early Years


Kirsty Barnes - Kirsty is supervisor in Yellow room  Kirsty enjoys sensory activities and is also our SENCO for the setting. As part of this role Kirsty receives extra support from Suffolk County Council and additional training.

Qualification: Btec Level 3 in Early Years


Abi Borrett  is Supervisor of the red group and has16 years experience. Abi has been at Birch Farm since March 2006. Abi also runs our holiday club Barnabys.

Qualification: BA Hons Degree in Early Childhood Studies  and Early Years Proffessional Status


Kayleigh Morton - Kayleigh  joining us In August 2012.

Qualification -: Health and Social Care.


Diane Sexton - Diane is Supervisor of Blue room and Nursery Deputy Manager.

Diane is our  Catkins leader and works in full time in Catkins. Diane has been with Birch Farm for 11 years, and has 4 children of her


Qualification: NVQ Level 4 in Childcare and Education and  Foundation Degree in Early Childhood Studies.


Ami Simpkin was a student with us before completing her level 3 qualification in June 2009. Ami is full time in Pippins and enjoys quiet activities such as stories.

Qualification: Btec Level 3.


Liz Farncombe – Liz works  in yellow room and is the Equal Opportunities Officer for Birch Farm. Within this role Liz receives additional training and supports the staff to develop balanced opportunities for all children.

Qualification: Liz has an NVQ Level 4 in Childcare


Sophie Thrower - Sophie  works full time in Red Room.

Qualifications: Cache Level 3 in Early years and Childcare


Amy Seager - Amy is full time in yellow room having completed an apprenticeship with us where she worked with all ages to develop her knowledge and experience.

Qualification: Level 2 in Early Years and Childcare


Supplementary Staff:

Ann Last - Ann has been at Birch Farm for several years and works part time in all departments. She can often be found in story areas with children sat on her knee.

Laura Abery

  Laura has been at Birch Farm since November 2007 and is now working in the Holidays.

Qualification: BA Hons in Primary Education and her  [EYPS] Early Years Professional Status


Jordann Bloomfield - Jordann is undertaking an apprenticeship in Early Years and works in all areas of the nursery to gain experience and skills to support her qualification. Jordann will have regular visits from her tutors as well as support from our team.

Qualification: Undertaking a Level 2 in Early Years


Nursery support team:

Chef - Here at Birch Farm we also have our own chef Lorraine. Lorraine prepares meals in the open plan kitchen based in the barn daily. She is happy to discuss special diets with parents should this be required. Lorraine caters for a variety of special dietary needs as required.

General Information:

Keyperson - In order to support children as individuals we operate a keyperson system and staff undertake daily observation to help them plan for your child's learning experience. Staff will monitor and record each child’s progress regularly, and progress files are available for parents to see at our parents evenings or on request. The keyperson system also helps to support both parents/carers and children during trial sessions and those essential first few weeks and builds into a supportive relationship for children, parents and staff.

Staff training - Staff training is highly valued here at Birch Farm and staff regularly attend training.

Named Officers

The following staff are the named officers within the nursery. These staff receive additional training to help them within their roles:

Special Educational Needs Support Co-ordinator:

Kirsty Barnes


Child Protection Officers:  

Mini Shakespeare & Diane Sexton

Equal Opportunities Officer:

Liz Farncombe

Health and Safety Officer:

Mini Shakespeare

The Barn Team:

The Barn is open for soft play for children 5 yrs and under Mon - Sat 9am - 6pm, and for public swimming, private pool hire and lessons, as well as ballet and Birthday parties. Mini again supports the day to day running of this section of Birch Farm.

 Lorraine Dickson- is chef for the nursery and also cooks for our cafe during the week.

Heidi May - Heidi  is a kitchen assistant on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

Leighanna Maskell - Leighanna is a Kitchen Assistant on Wednesday as well as a  Saturday party host also supporting the Sunday team when needed.

Josh Shakespeare - Josh is our lifeguard during public swimming sessions and parties he also works as a kitchen assistant and party host as well as being a swim teacher with First Strokes Swim School.

Jordan Shakespeare - Jordan is our Kitchen assistant, Lifeguard  working full time in the barn.

Rafal Pochec - Rafal is our Saturday Chef supporting the party team.

Jessica Sexton - Jessica is a Saturday Party host and kitchen assistant as well as studying at Suffolk One.

Heidi Brown - Heidi is our Sunday Party host supporting customers with private party hire.

Ballet, Jo Jingles and Swimming lessons:

Rebecca Willsher  - is our ballet instructor and operates lessons for children 2 -8 yrs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays during term time.

Jo Jingles - Jo Jingles lessons are run on Tuesday and Wednesday also Wednesday Afternoons Mornings during term times.

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This Site has been designed by Mr.D. Shakespeare

Last modified: Tuesday, 23. May 2017