Meet The Team
Above: Julie with Seonaid who established the nursery in January 1993.
We are back to normal after Covid inviting our new families into the building for visits and first settling in sessions, which will include meeting the lovely staff who will be looking after your child. We are also offering a ‘stay and play’ visit in our garden or within the nursery wherever possible. These opportunities are a great way for your child and yourself to get to know us a little better before your child’s start.
MAGGIE – MANAGER
I live with my husband Drew and 2 whippets Hugo (big brother) and Louis (little brother). I love to travel and my happy place is the South of France where we go often.
I have 2 grown up children and 3 grandchildren.
I have worked in various posts in Early Years for 30 years and still love what I do. I have a degree in Childhood Practice from Edinburgh University.
ABBIE – CLASSROOM MANAGER
After gaining experience from a young age through helping my Mum with the children she childminds, I decided after leaving school to go onto college to complete my NC Early Education and Childcare, during which I completed my placement at Castlegate. This then led on to me starting at Castlegate in 2015 and completing my SVQ Level 3, and I’m due to complete my SVQ4 by March 2022. From November 2021 I will be training for a new role within Castlegate, as Classroom Manager, where I will oversee all the age groups, ensuring consistency across the setting, that all the staff are well supported, and that the children continue to have high quality care and learning experiences.
I enjoy supporting the children as they grow and develop whilst in my care, and the relationships I build with them during their time at nursery.
In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
EMMA – PRACTITIONER
I work in the Hedgehogs Room and I joined Castlegate in February 2014. I have an SVQ 3 in Childcare.
Previously I have worked at nurseries in Sweden and I have a BA in Early Years Education from a Swedish University. Children’s development and learning is one of the areas I find most interesting along with children’s speech and language development.
In 2013, I moved from Sweden to the UK and I live with my husband and two daughters, 2 dogs and quails. I enjoy spending time with my family and explore our lovely surroundings.
JACKIE – PRACTITIONER
I joined Castlegate in November 2021, following my Modern Apprenticeship with Scottish Borders Council and completion of my SVQ 3 Social Services Children & Young People Level 7. This gave me the perfect opportunity to gain my qualification and experience at the same time. At Castlegate I’m based in the Hedgehog class, working with the 3-4 year olds.
Prior to this I worked with my husband in his woodworking business, and prior to that I worked in accounts, having gained my HND in Accounting when I left school.
When I’m not working I enjoy following my football team, Dundee United, and I’m an avid reader. I spend many a Saturday afternoon at Woodside Park watching my nephew play football for Kelso 2005s. I love spending time with my husband, and socialising with family and friends.
JULIE – PRACTITIONER (LEAD FOR LOCAL FOREST SCHOOL & TRANSITIONS)
I work as a Practitioner in the Hedgehog class, originally starting with Castlegate in May 2000, and after a short break returning in February 2022.
I have a PDA in Early Education and Childcare and have a passion for Outdoor Learning. I am looking forward to developing this with more educational visits to our local woods.
I have 3 grown up children and 5 grandchildren, who also share my passion for outdoors. In my spare time I enjoy walking my 2 Westies (The Lakes are my second home!) and travelling to far flung places to experience different cultures.
TAMARA – SENIOR PRACTITIONER
I am a Senior Practitioner at Castlegate, working with our Rabbit class from August 2020 and now leading the class. I live in Kelso and I and have worked at Castlegate since November 2017. My past experiences include working with children as a volunteer from the age of 14 in different holiday camps, working for Live Borders as a Play Coach, and babysitting.
I am interested in all the children’s developments throughout their time at Castlegate, and doing arts and crafts with them. I achieved my Level 3 SVQ in Social Services Children & Young People in 2019, which helped me to learn new things and to thrive in my role.
In my time away from work, I like to do things with my boyfriend and socialise with my friends, as well going riding at a local riding school.
ZOE Mc – PRACTITIONER
I joined Castlegate in September 2022 working as an Early Years Practitioner in the fox classroom and some days in the owl classroom.
I started my SVQ in Social Services (Children and Young People) level 6 in 2018 through Borders College and went on to complete it in 2019 whilst working in a home setting as an assistant childminder. After completing my first level I wanted to gain more knowledge and experience to help me thrive within my role, so went on to complete my level 7 SVQ in Social Services (Children and Young People) in 2021.
After 4 years of gaining experience within a home setting I wanted to go into a larger nursery setting, so when an opportunity at Castlegate came up it was the perfect opportunity.
I enjoy doing arts and crafts with the children, as well as messy/sensory play and I’m looking forward to planning and carrying out more activities in the new year.
I live just outside of Duns and in my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, as well as spending time with my 2 dogs.
ZOE S – PRACTITIONER
I joined Castlegate in June 2021 after passing my HNC Childhood Practice course and SVQ Level 3 at Borders College. I live in Jedburgh and after a very tough year of online college due to Covid 19, I was looking to develop on my experience of working with children, as well as make a difference to their learning. I thought the caring environment at Castlegate would be perfect for me.
I am interested in outdoor play and love watching the children get involved with messy activities and the smiles it brings to their faces. I am also interested in child development – I learned about this as a student and and want to continue learning about it in practice.
In my spare time I enjoy going out for dinner with my friends.
ANGELA – PRACTITIONER IN TRAINING
I started working at Castlegate in April 2023. I previously worked in retail and a few years ago volunteered with Rainbows and Brownies and enjoyed helping them develop skills so when an opportunity arose at Castlegate, I knew it was time to change.
I have recently started my SVQ3 training in Childcare. I love being outdoors and being creative with art projects to help the children develop new skills.
In my spare time I enjoy spending it with my partner and step-daughter and creating more exciting memories together by spending time outdoors going to parks, beaches or going to Murrayfield to watch Scotland overcome all comers !
MARY – PRACTITIONER IN TRAINING
I started working at Castlegate in October 2021 as supply Support Worker with the youngest children. I’ve always loved caring for people and I started my career caring for the elderly, which I enjoyed, but after having my own children I realised my focus was more in childcare.
I love arts & crafts and also being outdoors. It’s so nice to see the joy it brings the children and I’m enjoying being part of that at Castlegate.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family & friends and looking after my 2 cats and dog. I also enjoy taking my dog for walks.
MURRON – PRACTITIONER IN TRAINING
This section is being updated at the moment with up to date information – please check back later for the most up to date biography.
PATSY – PRACTITIONER IN TRAINING
I joined Castlegate in March 2022 as a Practitioner in the Fox classroom. I previously worked as a health care support worker which was a very rewarding job and I enjoyed my time doing this. When a job came up at Castlegate I felt it was the right time for a change, and I have always been passionate about working with children and their development after spending time bringing up my two children.
I am looking forward to starting my SVQ3 in Childcare over the next few months. I love being outdoors and being creative and doing art projects, which I am looking forward to being able to do more of with the children.
AMY – SUPPLY PRACTITIONER
Amy started at Castlegate in April 2022. She now works with Scottish Borders Council supporting children with additional needs and attends Castlegate regularly on a supply basis.
JADE – CLEANING LADY
I’m the cleaner at Castlegate and I started in September 2021. This is my first time working in a nursery setting and so far it’s been a wonderful experience – the staff and children make it such a great workplace.
This is my first job for quite some time as I was lucky enough to be able to take time off to bring my kids up.
SARAH – HOUSEKEEPER
I was thrilled to join the Castlegate team in April 2021, as the Housekeeper. In my position I enjoy preparing and serving the daily healthy snacks to the children, and assisting Sue the cook with lunches. It’s fantastic to work with the children and to see them develop and grow in confidence.
I was raised in Jedburgh and after leaving school I attended Napier University in Edinburgh, gaining my HND in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management. After completing my studies I worked at Walt Disney World in Florida for a year before travelling around the world.
I have 3 grown up children who I raised while working as a childminder, then progressed to a Teaching Assistant role at Berwick Middle School. In the past I volunteered as a Guide Leader for 6 years. My hobbies include cycling and walking, and I enjoy gardening, cooking and sewing.
SELINA – ADMINISTRATOR & RECEPTIONIST
I work in the office which I thoroughly enjoy, and I have built a good relationship with the parents, children and staff during my time at Castlegate. Part of my role which I really enjoy is when the children come into the office and huddle around my computer to look at pictures/videos of what they have been learning in class, it is nice to have a wee chat to them.
Apart from the general day to day tasks in the office, I also like to help out in class covering lunches and also serving the lunch on occasions! I studied at Borders College and completed my SVQ 1 & 2 in Administration. Upon finishing my course, I got my first office job at Oregon as a Receptionist and I was there for 9 years. I then worked at Elite Education for 3 years as an Administrator.
I have 2 children, Kyle and Jack, who are both at school now. I love spending time outdoors with my family going to different parks, the beach and the bike track which of course is a favourite. We also enjoy family holidays and making memories. I also go to the gym twice a week to keep fit!
SUE – COOK
I started my catering career studying for a Diploma at Westminster College in London many years ago. Having worked in catering in schools and restaurants, I then trained in nursing and have worked in nursing and social care for most of my career, which has given me a good insight into how important food and nutrition is as part of our daily needs, and in keeping us healthy and vigorous to take on the day’s activities.
I love working proactively in planning the lunch menu and providing healthy, interesting and nutritionally balanced meals for all the children, who give me a daily thank you after lunch and frequently a cheerful smile at the lunch table which makes my day! I am very lucky to work in such a wonderful and enthusiastic environment with great children and a dedicated team.
I have two daughters, one of which attended Castlegate over ten years ago! Working at Castlegate gives me a good work life balance with time to ferry my family around to various clubs and activities, and I also enjoy picture framing as a hobby and walking three rescue greyhounds with my family.