MEET THE TEAM
The Prepatoria Nursery & School Senior Leadership Team is made up of highly experienced degree qualified educators and qualified teachers.
School Principal and Owner
Shrewsbury Prepatoria is owned and managed by Jane Smalley who has twenty years experience and qualifications in the childcare sector.
Jane lectured in Childhood studies from 2000-2005 before launching Nurserywise, her training and consultancy service. Jane provided advice and guidance for local authorities across the north of England, supporting settings to raise the quality of education and care provided to children. Delivering training for early years teachers and practitioners and writing bespoke training packages, Jane was able to support settings to make considerable improvement. As an Associate trainer for the National Day Nursery Association (NDNA) Jane continues to provide pre-inspection visits to other settings across Central England and delivers training specialised training to day care practitioners.
In 2010 Jane joined a prestigious independent school where she led the nursery through a period of growth and change.
In 2013 Jane opened Shrewsbury Prepatoria, a unique preparatory school delivering the most comprehensive approach to Reggio Emilia education in the UK. Jane says:
“I have spent most of my working life trying to persuade other people that there is a better way to care for and to educate children. I have realised that the very best way to do this is to lead by example. That is exactly what we are doing at Shrewsbury Prepatoria.”
Jane is a mother of four children and grandparent to nine grandchildren. Jane lives in Shropshire with her husband, Graeme, who is also her business partner.
Our Senior Leadership Team
The nursery and school are supported by a well-qualified Senior Leadership Team, made up of degree-qualified educators and qualified teachers.
Headteacher Part-Time, SEN Co-ordinator
Charlotte has worked in a number of leadership roles, in a number of locations, since her second year of teaching; London, Birmingham, and also Bangkok. She has completed her National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership at Edge Hill University and her experience within schools has been very varied.
She lived in Bangkok and spent 5 years teaching in International Schools within the Early Years and Key Stage 1 before returning back to the UK for her partner’s job. Charlotte has been at a large Primary School in Birmingham (over 500 pupils) for the last seven years, most recently as Assistant Headteacher. But when the opportunity arose to join the Prepatoria team, she jumped at it!
She has experience working in every year group from age 3-11, but her true passion lies within the Early Years and Key Stage 1. In 2017, she set up her own nursery school in Birmingham which currently has two settings. Charlotte no longer has an active role within the setting but remains a shareholder.
She lives in Hinstock village, (about 30 minutes from Shrewsbury Prepatoria) and enjoys being outside, being active, and travelling as much as possible.
Deputy Safeguarding Lead and Reception, Year One and Two teacher
Miss Joanna Leech
Teacher and Leader of Foundation Unit
Before joining Shrewsbury Prepatoria, Joanne was the Deputy Headteacher at a local Primary School and had many very happy years there before deciding to return to her first love as an Early Years Foundation Stage Teacher. During her time at the Primary School, she carried the roles of EYFS Lead, Teaching and Learning Lead, English Lead, and Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator and taught from Nursery through to Year Six. She also visited Slovenia and Norway working with other EYFS Practitioners to develop her knowledge and own practice. Prior to this, Joanne taught in a large Primary School in North London, firstly in the Reception Class and then in the Nursery, before returning to her home county of Shropshire.
Deputy of Infant & Toddler Department and Baby Room Lead
Before joining the Prepatoria, Laura worked in a nursery in Telford for 10 years with children aged 3 months to 4 years old. Whilst working full time she studied to gain her foundation degree in Early Years so she could further enhance her professional development. She then went on to work at a large primary school with nursery and year 1 children for 3 years, before joining the Prepatoria in 2018. She’s now the Deputy manager of the infant and toddler department and the baby room leader.
“I thoroughly enjoy working at the Prepatora and I don’t believe there is any other nursery quite like ours.”
Reception, Year One and Two Teacher
Since receiving a first-class honours degree in Primary Education with a specialism in Art, Yvonne has worked in a variety of primary schools across Birmingham and Shropshire. Her 15 years of teaching experience has covered all age groups from 3 to 11 years but she has always had a passion for Early Years education. Yvonne has used her expertise in this area in a number of leadership roles, most recently as the Early Years Foundation Stage Leader of a large primary school.
Yvonne has been part. of The Prepatoria team since February 2021, she says that it is ‘the unique environment and child-centred ethos that drew her to the role’. She is passionate about strong teacher-pupil relationships and individualising learning.
Yvonne lives in Shrewsbury with her husband and young daughter. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, tending to a forest of house plants, and baking.