Meet our Nursery Head Teacher, Liz Brown. Liz comes from an education background and is passionate about high-quality early childhood education. She is excited to be helping BNJC create a forward-thinking Jewish nursery.
We asked Liz about her new role and what she’s looking forward to most in building a brand new nursery.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background:
I was born in Brighton and grew up just a short distance from the original Synagogue on New Church Road which has now been developed into the stunning new BNJC site.
After graduating from University in London with a Music degree, I was drawn to a career in teaching. Inspiring young minds was my primary reason for entering the teaching profession nearly 20 years ago and I still feel passionate about that today. After gaining qualified teaching status at Sussex University, I set out in my career originally as a secondary school Music teacher but for most of my career I have now worked in primary and early years. I have spent the last 9 years as an Independent Prep and Early Years Headteacher and Principal working in London, Sussex, and Exeter.
It really is of the highest privilege to have been appointed as the founding headteacher of the Jewish Nursery at BNJC, I have been working with the team now for the last couple of months and it has been so exciting and interesting watching the final stages of the whole project as well as growing our Nursery from the ground up, quite literally and metaphorically.
It is for this reason that we have named our beautiful new Nursery Shoresh, which in Hebrew means Root. There are so many beautiful connotations with the name of our Nursery, but this word represents our vision of not only creating the highest quality early childhood education and care but for providing an early year’s education that lays strong foundations in a genuine holistic and loving way and provides experiences for children that excite, challenge and inspires them to become happy, curious, confident independent learners. Kindness and community are integral to all we do and offer. Children will develop their understanding of Jewish practice, Torah values and the Hebrew language and our Jewish curriculum is deeply influenced and inspired by the Reggio Emilia Philosophy, teachings of Maria Montessori and key aspects of Friedrich Froebel’s theory of education. I am incredibly excited about welcoming our first families into our Nursery later in the summer.
What does your role at BNJC involve?
I have been involved in all kinds of exciting and wonderful projects since joining the team. A lot of my time in post at the outset was spent navigating the Nursery site in a hardhat and steel capped boots to carefully design our Nursery environment and purchase furniture and resources.
In preparation for opening, I been busy working with the head of education and programming to develop our vision and curriculum, fully equipping and resourcing the nursery and our outdoor environment to complement our approach and educational philosophy, as well as recruiting staff and ultimately preparing to welcome our first children and families in through the Nursery doors later in the summer. If you are interested in learning more about our nursery, or have any questions then please do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What are your favorite things about Brighton & Hove and do you have any recommendations of places to go and/or things to do in the city?
I have so many favourite things about Brighton and Hove, I am not too sure where to start! Brighton is a city of diverse culture with plenty of festivals, museums, film, nightlife, comedy, and theatre to enjoy. All my favourite things! Being home to two universities adds to the vibrancy of the city, there is always something going on! We also have the Brighton Festival every year which provides an extended wealth of arts events to enjoy.
However, a sunny walk along by the sea in the summer or wrapping up warm for blustery walks on colder and windier days with a coffee in hand still tops the list! We are home to lots of pubs, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops so it’s great fun to explore.
In addition, just a short drive out of the city, you can enjoy beautiful country walks, and unique quaint villages. And being just a 30-minute drive to Gatwick provides a gateway for exploring further afield easily. It really is a wonderful place!
What are you looking forward to most when BNJC opens later this year?
First and foremost, I am of course beyond excited about us opening the Nursery and welcoming our founding children into Shoresh later this year. Already in such a short time I have met lots of wonderful people and I know this will continue as the community grows and residents move into their new homes here on the site. Our restaurant, Novolino opens soon, and I am very much looking forward to getting an early reservation! The gym and co-working space will also be spaces I use; they are stunning spaces too.