Little Wonders

Ali Stone

I have loved every minute of my career so far! From teaching Nursery and Reception aged children to teaching children of all ages abroad, I always knew that I was destined to be working in the Early Years. During my time as an EYFS leader, myself and Michelle set up a Pre-School from an empty room and a blank piece of paper! We taught for many years together and we were the ‘dream team’! Ofsted agreed with us, resulting in an ‘Outstanding’ judgement for our team. During my time as a Lead Practitioner, I was fortunate enough to train other EYFS professionals and showcase our EYFS setup to settings from around the country. I’ve also worked for Swindon Borough Council to run training for the EYFS Profile for many years.

I’m passionate about the Early Years and I believe that with an inspiring environment and an enthusiastic EYFS team, anything is possible! I’m looking forward to working with more EYFS practitioners and spreading a bit of wonder and magic!

Previous experience:

2018-2020 – EYFS Lead Practitioner

2009-2018 – EYFS Leader/ FS2 Teacher

2008-2009 – Nursery teacher

2007-2008 – Teaching in Africa/ USA

2004-2007 – Foundation Stage 2 Teacher

Michelle Larkin

I have worked with children and loved it for as long as I have been an adult, which is rather a long time! My career, which began in London has taken me to Nurseries, reception classes, Specialist SEN provision and year one classes. Then most recently,  in the last 10 years leading the 'school based' Pre-School Ali and I started from its conception.

Ali and I have always worked brilliantly together. Whilst we of course bring differing skills and strengths to our partnership , what we share has always been an absolute passion for 'child-led' and 'play based' learning, alongside  a wonder-filled environment.

Following our first 'outstanding' judgement from Ofsted, we were lucky enough to spark an interest in like minded 'Early years professionals' and leaders, who began visiting in ever increasing numbers. This culminated in us providing a selection of training days to 'dive more deeply' into  why we had changed our environment, how we delivered our curriculum and to share the wonderfully positive impact this had on the most important people - our children.

There isn't many places we haven't 'hunted out' items of 'wonderment'! From asking waiters in Dubai for oyster shells, Auntie's for their thimble collection, to visiting 'Antique Emporiums' for old suitcases and cine-cameras. I truly believe items that ignite children's amazement and curiosity can be found anywhere and often where you least expect. We have developed a wealth of top tips and knowledge in how fellow educators can achieve a beautiful and purposeful environment and how this can be done on every budget too.

I passionately  believe if you have a  well respected and enthusiastic 'Early Years Team',  you add this to a creative, awe inspiring environment. What this ultimately creates is happy, curious children with a sense of wonder and a true love of learning.

Previous Experience

2010 - 2020 - Pre-School Manager and SENCo

2007 - 2010 - HLTA

1999 - 2007 - SEN Specialist TA

1997 - 1999 - SEN Support worker

1986 - 1997  Nursery Nurse

Here at Little Wonders we believe that every child deserves an early years filled with magic and wonder to spark their imaginations. Our aim is to surround children with items of wonder that will ignite their curiosity and fill them with questions that need exploring.

 

With a sprinkle of wonder, we can provide a magical start to every child’s early learning journey with endless possibilities!

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