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Our Trainers

Meeting people, sharing ideas and forming partnerships is how we work at Early Excellence – and here are some of the people you will meet as you explore working with us.

* Nikki Walters

Head of School Services

Nikki Walters
Nikki is a director of Early Excellence and a key member of our Strategic Leadership Team. She connects with LA, MATs, schools and settings to discuss and shape bespoke programmes of support, and she co-ordinates the work of the Curriculum Team who deliver onsite consultancy and training. Nikki brings with her over 20yrs experience of supporting school improvement, helping to develop quality EYFS and KS1 practice in schools. Previously Nikki taught for 10yrs in both the EYFS and KS1 and worked for Leicestershire County Council as a Senior Improvement Advisor providing support and challenge to childminders, settings and schools. She also led the Early Learning and Childcare Service where she worked strategically to support leaders and managers in Teaching Schools and Multi-Academy Trusts.

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* Phil Armstrong

Senior Education Lead
Phil Armstrong
With a keen eye on the national agenda, policy developments, research and practice, Phil is a key member of our Strategic Leadership Team. He leads on educational developments and their implications for schools, offering consultancy and training to schools across England and internationally, focused on school improvement priorities. Previously Phil has worked for over 20yrs across the early years and primary sector, including teacher, leader and headship positions. Phil was also the Head of an integrated early years centre. With a passion for collaborative practice and professional development; Phil has worked in partnership with early years settings, schools, teaching schools and local authorities to develop and deliver personalised programmes to meet their needs.

>>Email Phil

* Sarah Carey

School Improvement Lead
Sarah Carey
Sarah is a key member of our Strategic Leadership Team. Focused on designing, developing and delivering School Improvement Services, she offers expert support to senior leaders who need help in driving forward their improvement priorities in EYFS & KS1. Sarah brings over 20yrs experience in school improvement having been an EYFS Leader, Assistant Head, Deputy Head and Headteacher. She places high-value on quality CPD, collaboration and support and is highly-experienced at strategic planning for sustained school improvements. During her career, Sarah held many leadership posts in a wide range of subjects including Literacy and Maths and, as an Infant School Head for 7yrs, she led sustained development of teaching and learning, pedagogy and provision achieving significant improvements in outcomes.

>>Email Sarah

| Andy Burt

Curriculum Consultant & EYFS Trainer

Andy Burt
Andy is a highly experienced and dynamic Consultant, Teacher and Senior Leader, who specialises in helping practitioners to develop high quality practice in the EYFS and KS1. His previous roles include teaching from Nursery to Year 2,  EYFS Leader, Deputy Headteacher and Advanced Skills Teacher. In his classroom practice, Andy developed creative and innovative approaches to learning over a number of years. In 2011, Andy co-wrote the text Understanding How Young Children Learn Through Play in collaboration with Professor Pat Broadhead. The book was published by Routledge in 2011 and has since become a key text on childhood studies and early childhood education courses.

| Matthew Sayer

Curriculum Consultant & EYFS Trainer
Matthew Sayer

Matthew is a core member of the EEX Curriculum Team specialising in long-term support to help schools embed quality practice. With over 20yrs experience in education as an early years teacher, EYFS Lead and LA Advisor, Matthew is well equipped to help EYFS Teams to review and reflect, develop and sustain quality practice.

With a key role in developing CPD materials, Matthew brings a deep understanding of how young children learn, using the latest research and guidance to advise, support and challenge schools to achieve best outcomes. 

In addition, Matthew has a vital role in the curation of high-quality environments that fully support children’s learning, using his knowledge and experience to help deepen understanding of developmentally appropriate practice. 

| Nova Robinson

Curriculum Consultant & KS1 Trainer
Nova Robinson

Nova is a highly knowledgeable KS1 Consultant who supports schools who are rethinking practice and provision in Y1 & Y2. Nova has an extensive career in primary schools, having taught children from Reception to Y6, and with roles including Assistant Head and Deputy Head, holding responsibility for leading EYFS, KS1 & KS2. Her expertise lies in developing a broad and balanced curriculum supported by an effective learning environment that enables children to acquire and apply knowledge through independent work and enquiry: she is passionate about involving children of all ages in their own learning. Nova is experienced in peer-to-peer support and delivers KS1 training and consultancy.

Clare King

Curriculum Consultant & EYFS Trainer

Clare is a highly accomplished teacher and leader, who has been at the forefront of school improvement and leadership in both Kent and Cambridgeshire. Clare has held senior roles including Head of Early Years and  Children’s Centre Strategic Manager as well as Assistant and Deputy Headteacher and Acting Headteacher.  She has worked with Local Authorities, MAT’s and schools using her passion and Early Years specialism to drive school improvement and pupil outcomes. Clare is a highly regarded leader in school improvement, curriculum development and high quality learning environments with proven knowledge of early childhood development 3-7yrs.

Helen Tate

Associate Curriculum Consultant
Helen Tate
Helen Tate is a highly dynamic school leader and trainer whose experiences include teaching in Early Years and Key Stage 1, being part of a school leadership team and a deputy head teacher of a Teaching School. As part of her role as trainer and consultant within the Early Years Sector, she works closely with head teachers, senior leaders and practitioners across a variety of pre-school and school settings, supporting the development of high quality Early Years provision within the Foundation Stage.

Jude Twani

Associate Curriculum Consultant

Jude Twani
Jude is a highly talented early years consultant and trainer. She has a background steeped in Early Years having held a range of roles, first as a YR Teacher and then later as an Early Years Consultant and Children’s Centre Teacher. A trained NVQ Assessor and Ofsted Inspector, Jude has delivered training with BEAM on early years maths and collaborated with Michael Jones as co-author of Let’s Talk About Maths.

Llewella Ivins

Curriculum Consultant & EYFS Trainer

Llewella is an experienced teacher and school leader specialising in the Early Years and KS1. She has held roles such as EYFS Lead, Assistant Headteacher and been the Early Years Advisor for a large MAT. Before joining Early Excellence, Llewella worked for Coventry City Council as their Early Years Learning and Development Advisor where she supported a wide variety of schools, settings and MATs to improve quality and outcomes for children. Llewella’s expertise lies in teacher development and quality improvement, including the delivery of CPD, coaching and supporting teachers and leaders to improve their practice and pedagogy. 

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