Meet the Nursery Staff

Nicola Bateson

Nicola Bateson

Nursery Manager and Pre-School Practitioner

Hello, my name is Nicola and I joined Cottam Nursery School in September 2016 as the manager.
I have a BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Studies. I also hold a range of Early Years qualifications and I am continually updating my training in various courses, these include:
• Specific Learning Difficulties and behavioural disorders L2
• Social Communication Workshop
• Paediatric First Aid
• Safeguarding – Nominated Officer
• Health and Safety
• Fire Marshall Training
I have worked with children in one capacity or another for most of my adult life gaining experience across a variety of settings
I am passionate about effective interactions between staff and children, learning and development. Our team have high aspirations for all children and themselves as individuals who really go “above and beyond” which enables children to reach their full potential.

I love my role as nursery manager and I can honestly say that every day at Cottam Nursery School is fun, unique and full of laughter.

Lisa Thackeray

Lisa Thackeray

Deputy Manager and Trainee SENDCO

Hi, my name is Lisa and I am the nursery deputy manager. I am a Level 3 Early Years Educator.

I’ve worked in childcare for over 8 years. I enjoy meeting new children and helping them gain as much knowledge as they can.

Being able to teach a child something new and seeing how proud they look is one of the best feelings.

Jane Blackburn

Jane Blackburn

Pre-School Practitioner

Hello, my name is Jane, I have over 25 years’ experience of working in the early years’ sector.

During this time I have gained various relevant qualifications including; TA Level 2 and Level 3 in Early Years Childcare Learning and Development.

I enjoy all aspects of teaching and learning but my real passion is for crafts and creativity which I feel I bring to the nursery.

I love working a Cottam Nursery School as it provides an amazing opportunity to watch children develop and know that we have given them the best possible start in life.

Wendy Castle

Wendy Castle

Pre-School Practitioner and SENDCO

Hi my name is Wendy, I am a level three qualified nursery practitioner. As well as my role as Nursery SENDCO, I am one of the nominated safeguarding officers and have a Paediatric First Aid certificate.

I have worked at Cottam Nursery School since January 2001. Prior to that I was employed in a charity run Pre-School, a primary school nursery and as a TA supporting children with additional needs.

When my daughter started school, I volunteered as a parent helper and this was the start of my love of working with young children. Children are loving, very eager to explore the world and it is a privilege to be a part of their formative years. As part of nursery life, we work with a the EYFS which covers seven developmental areas, all of which I enjoy exploring with the children.

Cottam is very much a ‘home from home’ nursery where children are eager to learn and care for their peers. The staff are very professional and care not only for the children but their colleges alike, making it a pleasure to be at work each day.

Rachel Yates

Rachel Yates

Pre-School Practitioner

Hello, my name is Rachel. I first came to Cottam Nursery School as a parent when my twin boys came here.
I have always loved the friendly, nurturing and stimulating atmosphere that my wonderful colleagues and I strive hard to maintain for each and every precious child we take care of.
As a qualified Librarian it will be no surprise to hear that my greatest joy is encouraging and inspiring a lifetime love of books and reading – and indeed beginning the journey towards the goal of independent reading through our early phonics work.

Tina Day

Tina Day

Barn Room Practitioner

Hi, my name is Tina and I joined the team at Cottam Nursery in January 2020.

I am a Level 3 qualified practitioner and have First Aid and Safeguarding skills. I hold a BTEC Level 2 in Team Leading and also have my Level-2 NVQ in Health & Social care. I have over 20 years experience working with children from babies to pre-school.

I love working as part of a team providing an environment for young children to explore and learn.

Becca Harwood

Becca Harwood

Barn Room Practitioner

Hi, my name is Becca and I joined the team at Cottam Nursery in September 2020. I have worked in early years for over 10 years. I have carried out various roles and studied at university to maximise my knowledge and theory.
I love working with young children, inspiring them, motivating them and helping their learning and development. When I’m not at work I love eating, watching films and going out with friends. I have two children of my own, a boy and girl; they are my world and make life a lot more exciting.

Lisa Whittall

Lisa Whittall

Pre-School Practitioner

Hi, my name is Lisa and I joined the team at Cottam Nursery in September 2020.

Kath McBride

Kath McBride

Barn Room Practitioner

Hello, my name is Kath. I started my childcare career in 1996 and gained a BTEC in Childhood Studies in 2000. Since then, I have been fortunate to gain a wealth of experience working within several Day Care and Pre-school settings in Preston and Northern Ireland. I started my wonderful journey with Cottam Nursery School in 2003 where I worked alongside the team for 3 years before returning to the setting again in 2020.

I enjoy providing high quality care and education, celebrating every success no matter how big or small whilst working together with parents to achieve the best possible start to their child’s education.

Susan Oakes

Susan Oakes

Speech & Language Consultant

Hello, my name is Susan. I have worked with children for over 10 years. I have a Level 3 qualification in Speech and Language and I have also completed the Social Communication and Safeguarding courses.

I take pride in my work and always have the child’s interest at heart. I work closely with parents and carers to share information about their child’s development.

I enjoy working with a team that brings excellent enthusiasm to Cottam Nursery School.

Amii Bateson

Amii Bateson

Bank Staff and Holiday Club Practitioner

Hi, my name is Amii and I work as supply staff and in our Holiday Club.

I have over 4 years’ experience working in childcare and education and I am currently a trainee early years and primary teacher at Edge Hill University.