Get to know our Team

About Us

Sophie Startin

Sophie Startin

Manager

After completing her degree in Primary Education, Sophie has spent the last 16 years working in a primary school setting. Throughout her career, she has had valuable opportunities to work and travel to a variety of places, including Aberdeen, London, and Uganda. She has worked in nursery to primary 7, taking on the role of class teacher, stage leader, and principal teacher. She has a passion for education and learning, and after having her own children, she grew a deeper interest in the early years and play pedagogy. She also has a vested interest in supporting the community in which she lives. She is excited to share her knowledge and experiences of teaching, learning, and leadership with all that she meets at the playgroup. She looks forward to observing and facilitating the children's early learning and experiences, helping give them the best start in their education through quality play. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, going on adventures with her children and their two dogs, Bo and Honey.

Kimberlee Taylor

Kimberlee Taylor

Lead Early Years Practitioner

Kimberlee Taylor is a qualified practitioner who has worked in childcare since 2006, having completed her level 3 qualification in CCLD. During this time, she has worked with children of various ages from birth to 12 years old, including her own son and daughter, who keep her busy. The joy of working with children, for her, is watching them grow and learn, especially when they are using schematic play, which she feels allows them to show their individuality.

Karin Leslie

Karin Leslie

Early Years Practitioner

Karin left school at the age of 16 to attend college where she gained her level 2 in childcare. Following this, she start work in a private nursery and completed her level 3 certification. Karin has worked in different childcare settings with children ranging from 0-12 years. She enjoys working with children as every day is different, where her favourite part is seeing the children having fun & smiling. Out of work she's kept busy with her own 3 children. Karin enjoys spending time with her family and walking their family dog.

Emma Kinch

Emma Kinch

Trainee Early Years Practitioner

Emma Kinch is a Trainee Practitioner whose triplets were of pre-school age during the Covid-19 pandemic. Guiding them through meaningful education during the periods of lockdown highlighted the complexities and importance of the early years for her. She felt very humbled that she could be making such an impact on their lives, not only as their mother but also as an educator and guide. Watching the children learn, understand, and develop within the close confines of home married with her own background in the study of personal spaces and environments. Her education is varied and continuing, with qualifications in Architectural Design, Textile Design, Photography, and she is currently in her final year of a BSc(Hons) Design and Innovation. She hopes to proceed to a Masters of Sustainable Design with an emphasis on children's spaces. She has completed her studies between Scotland and Australia, where she lived for a decade. She hopes to utilize her love of travel and indigenous culture within the playgroup. She is delighted to be part of a team that is nurturing, inclusive, and proactive in delivering such a positive setting for the children. Outside of the preschool, she enjoys family time, reading, raking through antique/pre-loved shops for a bargain, upcycling, and walking the dog.

Laura Ross

Laura Ross

Trainee Early Years Practitioner

Laura Ross is a Trainee Practitioner who started her career in the care sector working for a charity which helps the elderly. After 6 years as a stay at home mum to her two children, she decided a career working with children would be the perfect path for her return to the workplace. Laura enjoys having fun with the children, watching them experience and learn about the world around them and supporting their social, emotional and personal well-being by guiding and nurturing. She is delighted to become a part of the Old Rayne Preschool team where her own two children attended for many happy years. They were always given such a warm welcome and looked after to the highest standard within a stimulating environment.  Laura enjoys cooking, listening to music, swimming and most of all being with her family and friends.

Rachel Lorimer

Rachel Lorimer

Early Years Practitioner

Rachel left school at the age of 15 to attend collage where she obtained her HNC in childcare and became a qualified practitiner in 2012.  She then went on to be an au pair in Ireland for a short while looking after a family with 4 children. 
Once returning from Ireland she got into work with the NHS as a nursing auxilary which she still currently does and enjoys very much. 
She has 2 boys of her own which inspired her to get back into the childcare sector.  On returning to childcare Rachel was reminded of how rewarding it is to be an important stepping stone in a child's early years. She has a particular interest in open ended play and loose parts and enjoys the children using their own imagination to guide the learning and play taking place. 
In her spare time she enjoys outdoor  adventures with her family, cycling, running and socialising with her friends.

Aims & Values

Old Rayne Preschool Team

  1. To create a safe, caring, positive and stimulating environment in which each child is treated as an individual and encouraged to become a successful, confident learner who is responsible and independent.
  2. To work in partnership with children, parents, carers and other professionals; valuing the role of family as the child’s first educators.
  3. To provide a flexible, broad and balanced play-based curriculum where sensitive staff support and extend learning by responding to individual needs and interests.
  4. To be inclusive, promoting equality of opportunity in an environment where we aim to meet all aspects of children’s needs.
  5. To work as a team where staff are knowledgeable, accepting, empathetic, respectful, and non-judgemental to all.
  6. To keep informed and up to date with innovative practice and research relating to early years education.
  7. To monitor each child’s progress and celebrate their achievements in a variety of ways.
  8. To comply with national and local legislation with a range of suitable policies.
  9. To ensure that staff have clear job descriptions and are deployed appropriately; their training and professional development is supported; they are valued and their achievements recognised.
  10. For all staff, children and parents/carers to have a clear vision of, and commitment to, improvement for the future of the group.

Curriculum

In line with the rest of Aberdeenshire education establishments, Old Rayne Preschool is engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence. Children will have high quality, well planned broad experiences based on hands on active learning approaches. The Curriculum for Excellence aims to place the child at the very centre of their learning and builds on the strengths of the 3 to 5 Curriculum.
For our younger children we follow the Pre-Birth to Three Supporting Our Youngest Children Guidance from the Scottish Executive, this guidance is based on principles of the Rights of the Child, Respect, Responsive Care and Relationships.
For further information on the Curriculum for Excellence please click here