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our team

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"The staff are truly exceptional and make such an effort to engage with each child and really get to know them and develop their sense of self-worth"

Preschool Parent

management team

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Lizzie Staite

Co-Founder, Manager and designated safeguarding lead

Lizzie lives in Bristol with her husband, three young children and dog. She is an infant school teacher and a qualified Forest School Leader. Lizzie taught reception classes for eight years before leaving to become a childminder. She opened 
Little Foxes in January 2018. 

Lizzie enjoys camping, spending time with her family, and has recently taken up wild swimming.

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Janie Ankers

 

Co-Founder and Manager

Janie also lives locally with her husband and two young children.  She too is a qualified primary teacher and a level 3 Forest School Leader. Janie has taught in schools in London, Singapore and Bristol for 10 years as Head of Outdoor Learning and Head of Reading.  Janie is a qualified childminder and has consulted on phonics.  Janie is never happier than when outdoors.  She loves to run, swim and travel and has trekked to Everest Base Camp as well as travelling the length and breadth of India. She loves great food, painting, music and to spend quality time with family and friends.  

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Grace Broad

Manager

Grace lives on the outskirts of Bath with her husband Matt and his two children Fin and Noah. After completing a BA is Business and Psychology she went on to study Early Years and Childhood Studies at University of Bath which sparked her love of working creatively with children and her passion for the outdoor education.

 

Prior to Little Foxes, Grace has worked in a variety of early years settings over the last 6 years, including an outdoor kindergarten so has lots of hands-on experience of working in outdoor learning environments and has also undertaken Forest School Leader training. Grace loves going on adventures with her family and enjoys peaceful dog walks around Bath and beyond. Grace currently works in Mini Foxes with her own key group, as well as Co-Managing the setting.

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Amy Ackland

Manager 

Amy lives locally with her husband and two young children. She is a qualified primary school teacher and Forest School leader and has taught in schools in and around Bristol for twelve years. 


Amy was born in Bristol and has spent most of her life living close to Stoke Park. She lives with her husband, two daughters and their dog Otis. Amy loves walking and adventuring with her family and enjoys finding spots for a wild swim. She is most at home in the outdoors and enjoys camping, gardening and gathering mindful moments in nature.  She is a key worker of minis group, as well as Deputy Manager on Wednesdays and manager on Thursdays.

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Yasmin Mohamud
Deputy Manager

Yasmin was born locally and has memories playing and exploring in Stoke Park herself as a child.

She's always known she wanted to work with children and went on to gain a Level 3 in Early Years. When a nursery she worked at started running forest school sessions she really got to see the vast benefits outdoor learning can have for children. This sparked her interest in wanting to experience a forest school herself and she hopes to work towards a Level 3 Forest School Leader qualification.

Yasmin enjoys crafting, cooking with friends, music and has recently taken up rollerskating as a hobby.

little foxes BUMBLEBEES team

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Emily Smith
 
Lead Practitioner for Mini Foxes

Emily came to work with children through a love for the outdoors and the natural world, with a background in environmental education following volunteer conservation projects overseas. She is a Forest School Level 3 leader and has recently qualified as an Early Years Teacher. She has worked in a variety of settings, including schools, nurseries and for a residential bushcraft camp, but her passion lies with the under-5s. She loves their enthusiasm, joy and wonder, and is passionate about encouraging a lasting relationship between children and nature. Emily is happiest lying on the forest floor and watching the trees dance! In her spare time, she likes to collect nature treasures in forests, moors and coasts; knit, dance, and foster cats. 

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Jess Redfern

Jess joined our team recently to cover Lizzie's maternity leave.  Jess has over 7 years experience as a primary school teacher, (most recently at Ashley Down School in their reception class) and over 11 years experience as a Mum of three. 

 

  She loves family, camping, being by the sea and she's absolutely passionate about play.  She's great at keeping our children engaged and enthralled with her warmth and energy.

Tori Strachan-Ward
Lead Practitioner for Little Foxes

Tori lives locally with her husband and 3 children.  Tori is a Forest School Level 3 Leader, she has been a qualified childminder, as well as working with rural communities for several years. Before joining Little Foxes, Tori spent time volunteering with the SS Great Britain Trust, the One Tree Per Child Project, and the Avon Wildlife Trust.   

 

As well as being one of our key workers, Tori runs photography, geocaching and orienteering enrichment activities for the nursery and she's also a dab hand at sewing.

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Katie Stone

Katie is at home when in nature. Living a stone's throw away from Snuff Mills, she spent her childhood playing in the woodland. This interest continued into adult life, going on adventures with her family, gardening, and growing vegetables. 

Her zest for education began in India, when teaching about sustainability and empowering young women to break away from traditional paths. Upon her return, Katie became a childminder for a family with three young children, supporting their development in term time and fun outdoors in the holidays. 

 

Later, her passion for nurturing others, teaching and recognising the positive impact nature has on an individual's wellbeing naturally led her to Little Foxes Forest School. 

 

Katie is currently working towards her level 3 Early Years Educator qualification and is expecting this to be completed early 2024.

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Ellen Cole

 

Ellen finds herself the happiest when outside. She has an arty background with a degree in Illustration, nature as her biggest inspiration. After completing her studies she started working as an outdoor instructor at an afterschool / holiday club; alongside painting and sculpting. This began a new spark for working with young children in an outdoor setting, leading her to Little Foxes. She is currently co-working on a children’s book as a personal project about using the senses in nature. Ellen really believes in the positive benefits of being in nature and the great outdoors for the mind and body. If not in the wilderness or with a craft in hand, you will find Ellen cooking a yummy vegan meal!

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Kim Regester

 

Hi, I'm Kim, a qualified Early Years Teacher with a background in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Science and Animal Behaviour and Welfare. I have always been passionate about nature and the environment. While I studied at the University of the West of England, I began volunteering in Forest Schools around Bristol. One Forest School became many over the years as I found a love for it. I knew I wanted to work with children in a natural setting so the next step was to train as an Early Years Teacher. I wanted an in-depth understanding of how to develop young children of all backgrounds and abilities and apply that to all the wonderful children I have met at Little Foxes Forest School.

LITTLE FOXES LADYBIRD TEAM

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Catherine Sadler

Catherine has lived in Bristol with her family for over 20 years. She has always loved being outdoors; walking, cycling or working on her allotment. She feels that it is essential that young children have opportunities to connect with nature in all seasons and in all weather, learning to appreciate and care for the natural world.

After bringing up her own three children she returned to education to study Early Childhood at UWE, where she discovered the forest school movement. After completing her studies she volunteered at Little Foxes and immediately knew that she wanted to join the team as soon as possible; Initially she supported individual children, later becoming a key worker in the Little Bumblebees and working in breakfast and tea clubs. She is currently loving being a key worker in the Minis as she enters her fifth year at Little Foxes. 

She feels very fortunate to have found such a wonderful place to work, appreciating every day, the incredible team she works alongside and her adventures with all the amazing children in the beautiful woodland of Stoke park.

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Holly Lush

Holly is joining us in January as part of the Ladybirds team.

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Adele Barnard

Adele was born and raised in Frome, Somerset. From a young age she has had a passion for the outdoors, nature and music.  Adele has spent time travelling across Asia and working in Canada where she embarked on many outdoor activities and skied frequently.

 

In September 2014 she joined a charity called Globalteer, which is a UK registered charity providing safe homes for vulnerable children where she worked as a teaching assistant in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This was when she realised her passion for teaching. This newly found passion matched with her love for the outdoors led her to desire a career within the forest school sector.

 

Adele has recently completed a Level 5 qualification in childcare. Adele loves spending as much time as possible outdoors, she's a keen climber, hiker and is very excited to join the Little Foxes team.

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Yasmin Mohamud

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Amy Ackland

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Grace Broad

Yasmin, Amy and Grace are also part of the ladybirds team - see their descriptions above.

SENCO AND SEN TEAM

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Stacey Parsons
 
SENCO

Stacey is a mum of two young energetic girls and she is apassionate Early years practitioner. Stacey has over 10 years Early Years experience working predominantly within community settings. She holds a BA Honours in Early Childhood Studies. Stacey loves to watch children grow in confidence and courage and takes great pleasure in supporting them on their fascinating little journeys.  

 

In her spare time Stacey loves  spending time outdoors with her family going on walks through the woods, camping and spending time at the beach. She also adores tasting delicious food and experiencing different cultures.

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Hazel Stark

Hazel lives in Bristol with her two young children and two kittens.

Before coming to Little Foxes, Hazel obtained a BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology with Development Studies and went on to work with refugee and asylum seeking communities for over a decade. This included managing a charity for refugee and asylum seeking women, advice and advocacy work with the British Red Cross and family support work with the Syrian U.K Resettlement Programme.

 

Hazel has a diploma in Dramatherapy and believes that imaginary play, creative movement and physicality are fundamental to developing self-esteem, emotional integration and empathic social relationships. Hazel is passionate about nurturing deep roots of love and connection to the natural world in young children. She is a trained children's yoga teacher, focusing on exploring different eco-systems through yoga and story-telling.

 

In her free time, Hazel enjoys yoga, cycling, teaching and playing in a community samba band and folk group as well as adventuring with her young children.

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Lucy Edis

Lucy grew up in Bristol and now lives locally with her husband and two young boys. Lucy is a qualified primary school teacher and has more recently worked within prison education. After spending her first maternity leave in lockdown, the importance of time in nature became even clearer to her and she decided to pursue a career outdoors, beginning her training as a Level 3 forest school leader. 

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Kira Emslie

Kira's life revolves around two passions: nature and compassion. Raised in an off grid, ecological community, she flourished in the forest as a child, sparking a lifelong love affair with the outdoors.

For years, Kira has used music to connect with children, fostering creativity and joy. During the pandemic, she dedicated 18 months to restoring the Westbury Wildlife Park, embodying community spirit and connection to nature for the community.

Now, Kira is training to become a psychotherapist, focusing on families and communities. Her boundless love and nurturing nature guide her path. In her free time, she tends her garden, plays music, goes on adventures and finds solace in nature's embrace.

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Renata Proctor

Renata was born and raised in Poland and most of her childhood spent playing outdoors on her grandparents' farm engaging with nature and exploring our natural world. From early years she fell in love with woods and natural materials and used them to make toys, jewellery and anything that she could think about.
After completing School of Art with a degree in Design and Antique Restorer Diploma she moved to the UK and has been living in Bristol since then. Renata is a qualified Teaching and Learning Assistant Level 3 and has 2 years' experience supporting children in Primary School. Renata believes that outdoor play creates excellent opportunities for children to discover their own capabilities, recognise their strengths, talents and through life experience learn and develop.
She enjoys spending time with her family and her 2 curious children always keep her active and creative. In her spare time she likes making unique things using natural objects collected during walks through the woods.

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Trudy Swainson

Trudy lives in Bristol with her husband, two children and their dog.  Before coming to Little Foxes, Trudy obtained a HND in Printing, a BA Hons in Drawing and Applied Arts and a PGCE in Secondary Education. 

 

Trudy has worked in education for over twenty years in a variety of roles and loves being active and creative. 

In her free time Trudy enjoys camping, exploring the outdoors, spending time with her family and walking her dog.  She also loves making things, metal work, painting, cooking and learning the piano.

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Bryony Wilson

I am from Bristol and live locally with my husband and two children. I am a keen runner and run most days so you may have seen me whizzing past! I am also a qualified gymmastics and trampolining coach so I am looking forward to cartwheeling in the woods. I have lots of experience with preschoolers, running the preschool programme at a local gymnastics club, and also working at several local play cafes and after-school clubs over the years, as well as looking after my own little ones too. I am always outdoors with my family, and climbed Mount Snowdon with them last year. I love travelling, art and LEGO!

stoke park KITCHEN Team

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Claire Smith  
Nursery Chef 

Claire lives locally with her two young children and their pet giant African land snail, Luna. Claire has a degree in Tourism Management, and her career history is in Marketing. She has always had a passion for cooking, and following on from a career break to raise her children, she embarked upon a role in a nursery school kitchen. For the past couple of years she has enjoyed being responsible for providing healthy and nutritious meals to children with a variety of dietary needs. In her spare time Claire likes to walk, cycle, camp, cook (and eat!). She also loves to travel the world. Her favourite country to date is Indonesia, where she trekked through the jungle and saw Orangutans, dived with manta rays, and thoroughly enjoyed sampling all the local cuisine. 

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Shirley Lau  
Kitchen and Domestic Assistant 

Shirley and her family were coming from Hong Kong in mid-2022. Back in 2017, she
resigned from the position as Senior Secretary of the renowned CPA firm Deloitte, and has
been taking up the role of stay-at-home mother to take care of three young children. Shirley
has a keen interest in not only cooking but also exploring the food with fresh, natural and vital
ingredients to keep her family members healthy and strong. In her spare time, Shirley likes
home gardening. Before moving to Bristol, she rented a small piece of farmland in the suburb
of Hong Kong for the kids to enjoy gardening and to promote their awareness of sustainability
and going green. Besides, Shirley was an active parent volunteer enthusiastically assisting in
the activities organised by the kindergarten / primary schools where her children studied in.

our organisers

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Nicola Lester

Office Manager

Nicola is a mum of three and born and raised just outside of Bristol. She grew up in a small village and spent her childhood exploring fields, forests and rivers near her home with her brother. 

 

Nicola is really passionate about nature and our local wildlife and loves to garden and grow her own veg and cut flowers. She is also particularly fascinated by the creatures that visit her garden and loves to photograph and paint them. She hopes to pass her passion for gardening and nature to her children, just as her parents and grandparents did to her. Nicola loves to spend time with her children outdoors and being creative and has volunteered for their local Beavers group in her spare time. She is really excited to work with the children adventuring and learning new things and helping the local community. 

 

Her biggest goal in life is to someday own chickens and have a bigger vegetable patch or allotment. She would also love to go on a summer adventure in a campervan driving around Europe with her family.

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Hannah Summers

Manager

Hannah is a born and bred Bristolian and lives with her partner, two young children and two middle aged cats!

She has worked at Little Foxes since 2018 and has recently qualified as an Early Years Teacher. She has worked in various childcare and education settings, including being a registered Childminder since 2016.

Before the arrival of her twins, Hannah obtained a BA (Hons) in Theatre Design and went on to work in Costume for TV/Film production. This included working on some well-known Children's shows, such as 'In the Night Garden' and 'Zingzillas'!  She relishes opportunities to utilise her creativity within teaching.

A keen runner and happy-camper, Hannah embraces the energy, adventure and physicality involved in nurturing and inspiring children in the great outdoors.

She is incredibly excited to be embarking on Opening Little Foxe's second Preschool setting at beautiful Westbury Wildlife park in Jan 2024!

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Marina Liso

Deputy Manager

Marina currently lives in Horfield, but she is from a small village in the North of Spain. Some of her favourite memories growing up there are playing with her friends at the village’s river, making dens and watching the tadpoles grow. She attended a very small rural school there, inspiring her to become a teacher.

 

She moved to Bristol in 2015 and today, Marina is a Qualified Early Years Teacher and has a Masters degree in Pedagogy. She is always keen to learn something new and loves nature, going on long walks in the mountains and having picnics. She enjoys cycling to work everyday and has a big environmental conscience, trying to reduce the use of plastic in her life. Marina also loves travelling, cooking, learning about different cultures and spending time with family and friends.

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Nadia Porter

Deputy Manager

Nadia has been part of the Little Foxes Team since 2020.  She is a qualified primary school teacher and has worked in various childcare and education settings across Bristol for almost 20 years. From 2024, she will be working at our Westbury-on-Trym pre-school as an Educator and one of the Deputy Managers.

 

Nadia loves being outdoors: running, exploring in woodlands, travelling round in her van finding quiet bits of coastline and countryside, and sometimes wild swimming. She is also a qualified yoga teacher and loves acquiring different skills and trying new things. 

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Helen Wong

 

Helen has lived in Bristol for 20 years, after moving here for university. She lives with her husband and son. Helen holds a Master's Degree in the Psychology of Education and has worked in a secondary school for deaf children for the past 13 years, but the call of the forest was strong, and she has completed her Early Years Educator Level 3 Diploma alongside her Forest School Level 3 training, and now works for Little Foxes as an early years Practitioner. Helen enjoys running, particularly with This Mum Runs, and spending time with friends and family.

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Helen Lamper

Nursery Chef

Helen lives in Bristol with her husband and two young children. She grew up in Cornwall and moved to Bristol for university, she fell in love with the city and never left. Helen got her degree in Early Childhood Studies and then started a very happy career as a private Nanny. This is where she developed her love of working with children, cooking with them and for them.

 

Both of Helen’s children are alumni of Little Foxes so she knows what a wonderful place it is. When her last Nanny role came to an end and she was looking for a new career; joining the Little Foxes Team was the perfect thing to do. In her spare time Helen loves visiting National Trust properties, exploring castle ruins, woodland walks and camping with friends.

where nurture meets nature

We are a diverse team of experienced teachers and childcare professionals who are passionate about outdoors education.

 

We found there wasn't a Pre-school setting in Bristol that allowed our toddlers and children the opportunity to be outdoors in nature, taking risks, exploring and discovering wonder for themselves. We saw first hand in our teaching careers the power that a forest school approach could have on children's well being.  We wanted to be able to offer this opportunity to all those growing up in urban Bristol, who may otherwise find it difficult to access nature on a regular basis. 

register your interest

If you are interested in your child joining Little Foxes click here to find out further detailed information about how to get them signed up.  

Frequently asked questions

Would you like answers to any further questions?  Hopefully we can help you on our frequently asked questions page.

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