All staff hold first aid certificates which are renewed every three years.


All staff have Enhanced Criminal Record Bureau Approval (DBS).


We are proud of the high ratio in our school, of 1:6 adult to children over the age of 3 and 1:4 adult to children under the age of 3. This ensures individual attention to the needs and development of each child. Our key person system gives members of staff particular responsibility for groups of individual children, and this ensures that each child has one special adult to whom they can relate. The key person is responsible for maintaining each child’s records, and supporting them in reaching their full potential.

The Team (scroll down the page for profiles)

Mrs Caroline Nokes, Setting Manager, Designated Safeguarding Lead

Diploma in Pre-School Practice



Mrs Jill Osler

Diploma in Pre-School Practice


Mrs Emma Holden

Diploma in Pre-School Practice



Mrs Penny Larner

Certificate in Pre-School Practice


Mrs Jessica Warren

Diploma in Pre-School Practice



Mrs Justine Shellard

Post Graducate Teaching Certificate

Mrs Amanda Durnford

Post Graduate Teaching Certificate


Mrs Caroline Howe


Level III Early Years Educator

Mrs Margaret Holman

Relief Staff

Mrs Amelia Clark


Amelia Clark, Owner Director


It was through my After School and Holiday Club that I first met the former owner of The Lodge.  She invited me to come and see The Lodge with my youngest son in mind.  It was during that show around that I fell in love with this unique and very special preschool.  I am absolutely thrilled and feel very privileged to now own The Lodge and be involved in the provision of the outstanding care and education that is its hallmark.  

Caroline Nokes, Setting Manager


I am The Lodge Setting Manager, having been at The Lodge for many years which have flown by!  I have previously worked as a researcher in the telecoms industry and raised 3 of my own children.  I lead our dedicated team overseeing curriculum planning, health and safety and pastoral care, and I also enjoy my role liaising with parents, staff and other professionals and agencies.   In addition to my Level 3 Diploma in Pre-School Practice, I have certificates in Child Protection, Paediatric First Aid, Special Educational Needs and Makaton and I am a Designated Safeguarding Lead and our Fire Safety Officer.  I also oversee the daily observations that are posted for parents on Tapestry so they can see what their child is doing at school each day.  


Heidi Guinane


I have enjoyed over 12 years with The Lodge, having had previous experience in another Early Years setting and Management experience in the leisure industry.   I am extremely passionate about creating play and learning environments and about supporting my key children in their development.  In addition to my Level 3 Diploma in Pre-School Practice and safeguarding and First Aid training, I continuously look for opportunities for continuing professional development, having recently undertaken training in the Characteristics of Effective Learning.  I am a Designated Safeguarding Lead for The Lodge.  


I have two grown up sons and a patient husband who is frequently called on for DIY services to The Lodge!  My love of gardening and growing my own vegetables spills over into actvities in The Lodge garden.  The Lodge children, with parent helpers, have regular outings to my allotment throughout the year where they help with sowing, digging, harvesting and apple picking!


Jill Osler


Having trained as a Surgical Nurse, I joined the Lodge Team nearly 15 years ago. I am enthusiastic about the curriculum I deliver. I , enjoy watching the children at The Lodge develop into confident, independent individuals. I love music, the theatre and stories and bring these passions to my work: putting on puppet shows, promoting role play and jointly leading our singing and story curriculum. In addition I like gardening sometimes, rambling in the countryside, good food, good company and dancing in the kitchen!


I have a level 3 Diploma in Pre-school Practice and hold certificates in Child Protection, First Aid and Makaton.



Emma Holden


I come from a merchant banking background but discovered a passion for working with children when I joined the Lodge over 13  years ago, having had two sons of my own.  I am a Sociology Graduate and have a Level 3 Diploma in Pre-School Practice.  In addition to my child protection and first aid training, I am The Lodge's Phonics Champion and have a Certificate for Teachers of Jolly Phonics.  I am is very passionate about planning for my Key Children’s learning and development, both through my lesson plans and creating exciting environments.  I spend most of my weekends watching rugby, baking bread and learning to play Bridge (slowly!).  I often bring my passion for baking to work and bake with the children.


Penny Larner


I have been part of the teaching team at The Lodge for approaching 20 years, having moved into childcare from a background in banking.  While raising my own three children, I volunteered in various capacities at various schools and discovered my passion for working in a school environment.  I am a keen cook, baker and gardener, skills which we capitalise on at The Lodge!  I have a Certificate in Pre-School Practice as well as training in Child Protection, First Aid and Makaton.  In addition, I have experience working one-to-one with children who need additional support.  


Mrs Anna Slaughter

Diploma in Pre-School Practice

mud kitchen
press to zoom
press to zoom
press to zoom
key person7
press to zoom



I was previously a Chartered Accountant and established an After School and Holiday Club when I moved to this lovely part of Kent with my (then) two children.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my journey retraining in everything relating to childcare and early years education.  


The Lodge teachers are a truly cohesive, strong and dedicated team.  It is the impressive collective experience, qualificiations and passion of The Lodge team that underpins the provision of such genuniely exceptional care and education.  It is a joy and a priviledge to be part of that team.


My daughter is now 11 and has been very involved in helping me build both settings.  My son is now 7 and it has been a real joy seeing him attend The Lodge and how this has supported his transition to primary school.  I am looking forward to enrolling my youngest daughter at The Lodge when she comes of age!

Facebook square blue large

·  St John's URC ·

·  St. John’s Road ·  Sevenoaks ·

·  Kent ·

·  TN13 3LW ·




07999 893 465

Jessica Warren


With a BA (Hons) in Fashion Design and 12 years PR experience, I joined The Lodge almost 10 years ago and added a Level 3 Diploma in Pre-School Practice as well as training in Child Protection, First Aid, Makaton and Food Hygiene to my qualifications.  I have two of my own children and am dedicated to understanding and meeting the needs of children in my care, and to continuing professional development.  Most recently I have undertaken training in ASD in Early Years.  I particularly enjoy getting to know and nurture each individual child, watching their personality and abilities grow during their first year of nursery school.


Justine Shellard


I am a fully qualified Primary school teacher holding a BA and PGCE qualification with an Early Years Specialism. I have spent my entire career working with Early Years Children and previously worked in three primary schools before taking a break to raise my own three children. I joined The Lodge in 2014. I am extremely passionate about working with young children and am committed to working alongside parents to help their child reach  their full potential. Instilling a positive and nurturing start to learning at this early stage can ensure a lifelong love of learning!


At the Lodge, I help to contribute to curriculum delivery and enjoy planning exciting and engaging activities, building on the children's interests. Storytelling, outdoor play, music sessions and puppet shows are activities that I particularly enjoy engaging in with the children. I have worked with children from a variety of backgrounds and with lots of specific needs. Training that I have undertaken whilst at the Lodge include paediatric first aid, safeguarding and makaton signing.


Amanda Durnford

I am a fully qualified Early Years Teacher, having also previously achieved a BTECH in Childhood Studies.  As an Early Years Practitioner, I believe my most important role is to foster a love of learning in every child.  I began my career teaching in English primary schools and then spent 11 years in Hong Kong where I taught in International Schools as well as at The British Council.  As well as being a full-time parent since my return to the UK, I have kept up working with children, running a parent and toddler group and volunteering as a Forest School assistant at a local primary school.  I am very enthusiastic about my role at The Lodge and place a great emphasis on providing the children in our care with a wide variety of experiences and opportunities for them to learn through their own first-hand experiences.  I feel it is extremely important that all children leave our learning environment at the end of each day with a sense of achievement. 


Margaret Holman


I have had a close contact with the Lodge Nursery School since 2007 helping out wherever needed.  I am also an active member of St Mary's church, helping to run the Tots & Toddler group on a Monday. As you can see I enjoy working with children.


I have lived in Sevenoaks since 1973, I have 3 sons and 3 grandchildren, 2 of whom have attended The Lodge.