Our Staff

Debbie Horton, Deputy Pre-School Manager

I have enjoyed working in early years for over 20 years.  I have a passion for literacy, exploration, and creative learning experiences and building foundations for children’s learning and development within the EYFS curriculum.

I have been lucky enough to experience many different roles within the early years’ sector working locally within the Portsmouth area, London, and more recently Australia, before opening Sunbeams Pre-School at St- Swithun’s Primary School in September 2018.

I have 2 daughters and live locally in sunny Southsea, we love living near the beach exploring our local environment, and socialising with friends and family.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family to St Swithun’s Sunbeams Pre-School.

Sarah Smy, Nursery Practitioner

I am married and with a four-year-old son. I have been working in childcare for 22 years. In 1998 I was fresh out of college having completed my NVQ 2 and 3 in Childcare and Education and secured my first role as a special needs assistant in an infant school.

My next role was within a nursery setting as a practitioner. Over the 18 years I was there I was fortunate enough to gain lots of different experiences. I completed my NVQ 4 in Childcare Learning and Development and became Nursery Deputy.

Fast forward to 2018, upon returning from maternity leave I decided I needed a new challenge. Sunbeams Pre-School was advertising for a nursery practitioner and I was extremely excited to be offered the position. Childcare is a real passion of mine. I love getting to know the children and their families and working closely with them to help their children grow and develop in their own way.

Vicky Smith, Nursery Practitioner

My name is Vicky and I have been working in childcare for five years.  I worked with the team to set up Sunbeams Pre-School in September 2018.  I am very proud to see how Sunbeams has grown.

I enjoy music and movement activities with the children, especially dancing and yoga.

I have a son and I enjoy going for walks and seeing my family and friends.

I look forward to welcoming you all to Sunbeams Pre-School.

Kayleigh Rudkin, Nursery Practitioner

Hello, my name is Kayleigh.  I have a Level 3 qualification in Children’s Care, Learning, and Development.

I have enjoyed working in childcare for over 7 years. I am very creative and enjoy providing fun learning environments, especially small world and tuff tray exploration.

I am a mum of 2 children, a girl, and a boy. At the weekends we like to spend time visiting the beach, farms, zoos and enjoying movie days as a family.

I am the newest member of the team, having joined in May 2021.

Jodie Waajen, Nursery Practitioner

I studied at South Downs College, qualifying with an NVQ 3 Childcare in 2008.  I have worked in several settings with a variety of ages, over the past 13 years. I joined St Swithun’s Sunbeams Pre-School in 2018.

I have two children, a girl, and a boy.  I feel I have gained a wider experience having my own children and can implement this knowledge into a childcare setting.

I am friendly, thoughtful, and have a love for creativity. I have a wide knowledge of the EYFS and how to implement learning strategies through play for the best quality of care and development.

Working with children is something I have always wanted to do, and I love it more as the years go by.

The best and most important part about working with children is how rewarding it is to see the progress and growth of the children and the special bonds formed along the way.