At South Darley we often complemented on our friendly, caring and well qualified staff team who have been with us a long time. Even our temporary staff are retired former members of staff, so we know that they share our values and ethos.

Kirsty Tonks


Hello, My name is Kirsty, I have been here at South Darley Pre-School since 2012. I have worked in Early Years for over 20 Years in a variety of settings.

I moved to Derbyshire in 2012 from Gloucester, although I was born in Weymouth, Dorset and have lived in Hampshire also. I live in Chesterfield with my two daughters who are in Primary school and Secondary School. I have gained several qualifications in Early Years, the last being a Foundation Degree in 2011. I am the SENDCO (Special Needs and Disability Co-ordinator), Designated Safeguarding Officer, Health and Safety Officer, and the ECAT Co-ordinator (Communication and Language).

I am passionate about Early Education, I believe Pre-school Education is important in preparing children for school giving them the vital social skills needed, promoting their communication and language as well as learning to become independent and ready for ‘big’ school. I love this Pre-School, it’s warm, homely and has a friendly atmosphere.

I have an amazing, hard working and passionate staff team, the children are all enthusiastic and fun to be around, the parents/carers are lovely and willing to get involved, and the Committee are very supportive in the running of the Pre-School. My favourite activities involve anything messy, and fun. The best way children learn is when they are enjoying what they are doing and don’t necessarily realise they are learning.

When I am not at Pre-school I enjoy spending time with my girls, they love shopping, although I dislike it immensely, I prefer to be outdoors walking and taking in some of the beautiful Derbyshire and Yorkshire Countryside.

Rachel Shelton

Early Years Assistant

Hello, my name is Rachel, I have worked here at South Darley Pre-School since 2007. Whilst working here I gained my N.V.Q level 3 qualification in Early Years Care and Education. I have a grown up son who is in the Armed Services.

I enjoy my job here at Pre-School, and take pleasure in seeing children learn and develop. My favourite activities to share with the children relate to my own hobbies and passions. Music and movement is one of my favourites and I enjoy introducing the children to a wide variety of dances and movement to different styles of music. I also enjoy baking with the children and sharing many skills including fine and gross motor skills, counting, weighing, learning about different colours, textures, smells and tastes, as well as helping to develop the children’s communication and language.

My hobbies include Zumba, walking and baking.

Alison Shah

Early Years Assistant

Hello my name is Alison, I have worked in Early Years here at South Darley Pre-School for more than 20 years. I ran an After School club for 12 years so have experience of working with a wide age range of children. My own children are currently in Primary and Secondary Education.

I have a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art, and one of my passions is helping children explore their creative and expressive development through a wide range of art and craft activities at Pre-School. I enjoy reading stories to the children encouraging children’s early reading skills by inspiring them to love stories and books. I am the resident baker here at Pre-School and often plan and carry out the baking/cooking activities with the children.

I have a wide range of interests including painting, reading, music and films. I love working at Pre-School helping children to fulfil their full potential.

Last Updated: 03 March 2017