The Nursery at Blackawton is led by a qualified teacher and all the nursery play supervisors are qualified to NVQ Level 3 in Childcare and Education.  All of our teachers and leaders are qualified First Aiders.  The staffing ratio for 2 years olds is 1 to 4 and 3 to 4-year-olds is 1 to 8. 


We are a base school for Nursery Plus, a Devon initiative, aimed at working with children with additional needs.  Children may be identified as needing additional time with an experienced member of staff so they make good progress ensuring the transition into primary is a success. Areas of focus include support in Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Communication and Language needs. 

Rachel Burris is an experienced early years teacher who leads the early years at Blackawton.  She is also the Foundation Stage Leader (Nursery and Reception Years come under the Foundation Umbrella) for the south hub of the Education South West Schools including Stoke Fleming, Kingswear and East Allington primaries.    


Rachel has been a teacher for more than 27 years.  She started her teaching career in a large London Primary School working in the nursery and reception classes where she was also the school SENCO. Rachel moved back to Devon 18 years ago and has taught in a variety of schools as well as working as part of the Early Years Advisory team in Devon. Rachel was the Children Centre Teacher in Dartmouth and has vast experience working with children and families in the 0-5 age-group.  Rachel is passionate about giving children the best start in their education and supporting them and their families to settle into school.  Rachel believes that children learn best when they are happy, having fun and are actively engaged in activities where they can play, develop their curiosity, take risks and challenge themselves.