The Jelly Beans Pre School team
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Mandy Smythe
Sarah Drummond
Michelle Bull


After giving birth to my eldest daughter, Poppy, I decided to leave my career in the music business and prepare for parenthood by becoming a Montessori Teacher. Over 20 years ago and two more daughters later, Jemima and Sophie, I have never looked back! The sheer joy of being able to nurture a child's natural inquisitiveness and expand his/her horizons is so rewarding. In my spare time I enjoy relaxing with my family, going to the theatre, music, walking the family dog and taking care of our two horses.

I set up the popular Jelly Beans Nursery back in 2004, since when we have grown the Nursery and are very proud to be opening its sister Pre-school site based here at Plumberow Primary Academy.

Pre School Manager

I have worked in childcare locally for over 8 years. I successfully passed my Level 3 diploma and am currently studying my Montessori Level 2 and enjoying  every minute of it. I have two young children, my son is 13 years old and my daughter is 11 years old. I spend most of my spare time on a football pitch freezing cold watching them play otherwise I’m out jogging determined to keep fit. 

Pre School Deputy Manager

I have been working at Jelly Beans since 2004 and have a level 4 qualification in Childcare, Learning and Development. I completed my Montessori training in Coggleshall in 2009. I became deputy manager the following year and thoroughly enjoyed my six years in that position. In November 2016 I left the Nursery to start my exciting new role as Manager of our new Pre-School setting at Plumberow Academy.

I am married and have two children, Georgia and Luke. I have a large family who luckily live locally which means we can spend time together at the weekends. I enjoy going to the cinema, theatre and catching up with friends.


Jess Moore

Early Years Practitioner

I joined Jelly Beans at Plumberow in September 2017 as a pre-school apprentice. I have a level 2 and 3 qualification in childcare and I am currently completing my Montessori course. I have always wanted to work with children since I was younger and become a children nurse. After working at Jelly Beans I have discovered I want to work in a pre-school with children between the ages of 2 and 4. In my spare time I enjoy socialising with my friends and spending time with my family.

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Deb Chalk

Early Years Practitioner

I have lived in Hockley for the past 19 years. I have 3 children, all boys, the youngest has just started secondary school and the two eldest are both at University. I have worked in childcare for the past 13 years with  a small break when I had my third child.  Prior to that I worked in the City as a Finance and Administrative Manager. I have recently passed the EYE Diploma (Level 3) in Montessori Pedagogy. I enjoy going to the cinema and just spending the rest of my free time with my family.

Ella Gibbons

SEN Assistant

I have been working privately as a child minder for 3 years now and have enjoyed every moment and still do but I have been wanting to put this experience into a nursery environment and learn more skills, having fun with the children as they learn is the most important thing to me in their early years.  I live in Hullbridge with my family and my two dogs. My favourite things to do are listen to music and spending the time I have with family and friends outside of work.