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Meet the Team

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Gemma

Founder
General Manager
Designated Safeguarding Lead

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Sophie

Deputy Manager
Hygge Leader
SENCO
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead

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Lynne

Childcare Leader
French Teacher

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Natalie

Childcare Leader

Meet the Team: Staff
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How Free Spirits Began

Hello, I'm Gemma, the founder of Free Spirits Education & Childcare. My 20 years of teaching in state primary schools motivated me to create an alternative education centre for children (including my own) to enjoy their childhood free from the increasing pressures that our education system too often places on young children.

The alternative education movement is rapidly growing. It seems we all have an innate sense that children learn best through play, exploration, discovery and imaginative experiences, with plenty of time spent outdoors, yet our Government pressurises teachers to train children to work towards academic targets which inevitably leads to a skewed curriculum centred around ticking boxes, obtaining results and conformity. Many parents have found that our schooling system drains the joy out of their children with the relentless testing and arbitrary expected levels of achievement that make children feel like failures if they don’t develop at the designated rate. To me, this is not what education is about. Our children deserve better.


I began my four year B. Ed (Hons) QTS Primary Teaching degree 20 years ago and have worked in a variety of educational establishments ever since, as a state school primary school teacher, SEN resource base leader,1:1 special needs HLTA, private tutor and holiday club leader. I have completed a two-year Certificate in Steiner Waldorf Education and a Certificate of Higher Education in Business Management. I am passionate about children having access to meaningful and enriching educational experiences in a stress-free environment, and wish to provide such an opportunity for young children based primarily on the Steiner Waldorf ethos, and also drawing inspiration from Forest School and Montessori methods.

Meet the Team: About Us
Meet the Team: Our Mission

Welcome

from our Deputy Manager, Sophie

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Hello everyone!

I first joined the Free Spirits family by attending the Hygge sessions on Mondays with my daughters Hollie (4) and Evie (1). I then progressed to leading the sessions, and supporting the childcare provision as Deputy Manager.


I’m a qualified primary school teacher with almost 20 years of teaching experience as well as leadership of English, Science and Early Years. Before this, I completed my degree in Early Childhood Studies at Bristol and went on to work with children with ASD before completing my PGCE at Southampton.

Having moved from London to Amesbury just over a year ago, I’m now in a new chapter of my life - both personally and professionally - and I’m so excited to have this opportunity at Free Spirits!

Free Spirits is a special place and I share the values and vision that make it so. I’m a strong believer that children should be leaders of their own learning and that it’s our role as adults to encourage and support them to follow their own interests at their own pace in their own unique way - whatever that might look like. I’m passionate about mental health and the benefits that being outdoors can bring to our sense of wellbeing and have just begun my ‘Wanderlust’ and ‘Hygge’ training - two approaches to life that aim to bring a sense of joy, calm and comfort!

I’m looking forward to meeting you all and working together with the Free Spirits community - children, parents and teachers - to make Free Spirits the very best that it can be for your child!


To get in touch with me, send a message to the duty phone: 07375 229926, which I will pick up when I'm on site.

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