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Our Staff



Executive Headteacher Sarah Cottle (Designated safeguarding lead for Child Protection)
Deputy Headteacher Val Thomas (Deputy designated safeguarding lead for Child Protection)
Nursery Nurses/Early Years Practitioner

Sue Ellis
Lu Harrison
Izabela Ljungstrom
Ellen Gray
Naomi Bosher

Nursery Assistants Pilar Infante
Chloe Wise
Sam Donaldson
Hannah White
Lunch Club Team

Lu Harrison
Pilar Infante

Office Manager Liz Lofts
Finance Officer Sam Donaldson

Find out more about our teaching staff... 

Sarah cottle - Executive headteacher

BSc degree in Sociology
PGCE Primary
NPQH ( National Professional Qualification for Headship)

Mrs Cottle decided to train as a teacher after gaining her degree and went on to study for a PGCE. Most of her career has been spent in Infant and Primary schools in Hillingdon, Bucks and Berkshire. Mrs Cottle has taught all age ranges in the primary years however fell in love with Early Years  after having her own children. Mrs Cottle was appointed as Headteacher at Cookham Nursery School in 2010 after gaining her NPQH and later became Co – Headteacher for the Cookham, Maidenhead and The Lawns Federation in May 2012. Mrs Cottle is the designated person for safeguarding. Mrs Cottle loves developing the team to grow and be the best that they can be. She is very proud to be leading the Federation as Executive Headteacher from September 2022.

  VAL thomas - deputy headteacher

1st Class B’Ed (Hons) Primary Education, NNEB.

Val qualified as a Nursery Nurse in 1983 and then worked on the children’s ward at Wexham Park Hospital for a number of years. In 1992 she went on to qualify as a teacher graduating from Brighton University. Val enjoyed teaching in both KS1 and KS2 prior to specialising in the Early Years in 2000. She worked as a nursery teacher at Wessex Primary School for 12 years, and was the Foundation Stage Manager for 6 years. Val was excited to join the Cookham, Maidenhead and The Lawns Federation in 2012, spending a year as Assistant Headteacher at Maidenhead Nursery School. She then moved to The Lawns Nursery School in 2013, the nursery she attended as a four year old! As well as her role as Assistant Headteacher Val is a designated person for Child Protection. She provides support to other Early Years settings within the RBWM in her role as a Specialist Leader of Education. Val is passionate about Early Years education and outdoor learning. She works alongside the team to ensure that the children are free to learn through play in a stimulating, engaging, hands-on environment. 

 Sue Ellis - Nursery Nurse

Sue has worked in Early Years since 1998.  She joined Stars Pre-Nursery in 2005 and completed her training as a Nursery Nurse.  She also has experience in working with children with special educational needs.  Sue continues to enjoy working in a nurturing environment with the youngest children in The Lawns Pre-Nursery.

 Izabela Ljungstrom - Early years practitioner

Izabela, very early on decided that she wanted to work with young children and chose her education accordingly. Along with a Bachelor’s degree in language and literature in 2005 she obtained a second Bachelor’s degree in Education. Her degree has enabled her to be impactful over many years in her career within the child care profession and has also given her valuable insight into the many aspects of caring for children of different ages. She joined The Lawns Nursery Scool supporting the children at lunch time and in the classroom and applied her knowledge and passion for learning and fun into many more children. Putting the well-being of children has always been her number one priority. Also, her special interest lies in language development in young children.Finding opportunities for learning in everyday situations, and making them applicable and meaningful is something that she really enjoys doing.

 lu harrison - Early Years Practitioner

Lu has worked in Early Years for over 15 years as a Nanny and in early years settings. Having studied child psychology at university level in both England and her native France she has a particular interest in Special Education Needs. Both of Lu’s children have attended both The Lawns Pre-Nursery and the Lawns Nursery School, so she knows how important it is that children receive the best early education possible.

naomi bosher - early years practitioner 

Naomi has worked in education for the past five years and previously worked within a nursery school where she gained her Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education. She has recently joined the team and is thoroughly enjoying getting to know all of the children and their families. 

Naomi is passionate about the values and ethos which are upheld within the federation and is very committed to implementing them within her daily practice. She firmly believes that children thrive within enabling environments and values the importance of children learning through play. Naomi enjoys creative activities and is currently supporting the children with cooking, teaching them about healthy foods and encouraging them to learn new skills. 

Naomi is very keen to continue her professional development within the early years and is looking forward to her future within The Lawns Nursery School. 

Beatrice pawley - nursery assistant 

Beatrice has been passionate about childcare and early years education for many years. After working as a nanny decided to make the transition into early years education and is currently studying to become a level 3 Early Years Educator. Beatrice currently works in both The Lawns Nursery and Pre Nursery and enjoys working across both age groups as she knows how important a nurturing education is in the early years.

sam donaldson - nursery assistant 

Sam has worked at The Lawns Nursery School since 2007 when her children left the Nursery to begin their school journey.  Sam works in the Pre-Nursery as a Nursery Assistant and at The Lawns supporting lunch club and in the office.  Sam loves being able to support the younger children learn through play whilst being a lovely connection for when the children transition to The Lawns Nursery School. 

Hannah white - nursery assistant

Hannah has always wanted to work with children and fell in love with The Lawns Nursery School when both her child attended. She joined the team in 2021 as a Lunch Club Assistant and went on to support the teaching staff and children in both The Lawns Nursery School and The Lawns Pre Nursery. She is currently studying her level 3 early years diploma.  

Ellen gray - early years practitioner

Ellen’s passion for Early Year’s education began while completing work experience as a student at Windsor Girls School. She then went on to study and gain her level 3 diploma in Early Years and Education at the Berkshire College of Agriculture, Maidenhead.  Since completing her studies Ellen has worked in various roles and settings from managing a private day nursery to working in a school environment.  Ellen started with the Federation in September 2014 at The Lawns Nursery School where she used to attend when she was 4! She believes that children learn through play and an enriched environment. Ellen has completed Level 3 Elkan course in developing children’s speech and language and communication.  She supports children with cooking in the nursery teaching them about healthy eating and encouraging them to learn new skills. Ellen is particularly interested in creative development, literacy activities and outdoor learning.