Greta the Giraffe


Greta the Giraffe was born on 1 July 2016 and has been living at Giraffe Private Nursery School since then. In 2018 some of her friends moved in with her as they heard she was having a blast! Greta the Giraffe, Charlie the crocodile, Emely-roo the kangaroo, Milo the alpaca, Silvie the snake, Sky the koala, Ray the dog and Alfie the parrot all live happily together at Giraffe Nursery School.


Greta and all her animal friends love being around children and so Giraffe is an amazing place for them to be in! They absolutely enjoy spending their days with the children who have just begun their fascinating journeys in education, who are learning all about life, making new friends, reaching for new heights and creating unique memories! 

Nicoletta Toumazi


The owner and principal of Giraffe is Nicoletta Toumazi, an enthusiastic and vibrant young woman who has always enjoyed being around children. Nicoletta graduated from the University of Bristol in July 2015 having acquired a Bachelor of Science Degree in Childhood Studies with First Class Honours. She is currently following a Masters Degree in Early Years Education at the University of Cyprus. 


Nicoletta’s background in music and dance combined with her work experience with young children in various nursery schools in Cyprus and the UK during the last twelve years enable her to interact with them in a creative and expressive way.

  • July 2016 to date: Principal of Giraffe Private Nursery School

  • October 2015 to July 2016: Instructor in training at Monkeynastix Cyprus.

  • September 2015 to date: Assistant Ballet Teacher babies class (4-5 year olds) at Dance Works Nicosia.

  • October 2014-June 2015: Practical experience at Art Raft Piglets Nursery School, Bristol, UK.

  • November 2013-March 2014: Practical experience at St Paul’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre, Bristol, UK.

  • Summer School 2011, 2013 & 2014: Volunteer and replacement teacher at Marina’s Playschool, Nicosia.

  • Summer School 2009: Volunteer at Little Stars Montessori Nursery School, Nicosia.

  • September 2008-June 2012: Dance Teacher at Little Stars Montessori Nursery School, Nicosia.

  • April 2007-June 2012: Assistant Ballet Teacher babies class (4-5 year olds) at Dance Works Nicosia.


Yioula Makriyiannis (Administrator/ go-to person)

Yioula is a graduate of Kings College London, UK and has worked in the education industry for over twenty years. She took several years off work to travel the globe and has now returned to her roots.


She loves the little ones and strongly believes that interacting with children is a mutually educational experience.



Grace Elizabeth Pollard (Early Years Teacher)

Grace, a kindergarten teacher at heart, graduated from the University of Cyprus in 2011, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Early Years Education. She then moved on to complete her Master’s degree in Early Years Education with distinction, at the Institute of Education in London, UK. Her research project at the time focused on what she believes to be the core of kindergarten, children’s play.


Since then, she has obtained eight years of teaching experience. Grace is a loving, enthusiastic and positive teacher. She prioritises in providing a safe and empowering environment, where each child can develop as a whole, at their own pace, and reach their full potential.



May Shoesmith (Early Years Teacher)

May Shoesmith graduated from Leeds University, UK and since then has built up a lifetime of Early Years Teaching Experience. May has been teaching for well over 20 years and ran her own successful preschool in the UK.  May’s preschool was considered a Centre of Excellence and was recognised by the British Education Standard authority OFSTED. 


May is energetic and always fun to be with, passionate about her work, always eager to learn and improve herself. She enjoys helping children develop their social skills, always encouraging the children’s independence. She is very nurturing and very passionate about her teaching.


Eva Phylactou (Early Years Teacher)

Eva graduated from the Aristoteleio University of Thessaloniki, where she received a degree as a preschool educator. Eva discovered her inherent love for children from a very young age, at 17, when she had the opportunity to work as a teacher assistant in a private summer school. Her interest in helping young people to develop their abilities at their own pace and to the extent that they are able to, in combination with her experience in a theatrical group ‘’En Dynamei Ensemble’’, has now led her to start a Masters Degree on Special Education.

Eva is a sensitized teacher, who values the connection with children, respects their needs and embraces their uniqueness. She keeps herself open to new information and knowledge, which is why engages in many seminars. She also, truly believes that we have a lot to learn by teaching children.


Skevi Skourou (Early Years Teacher)

Skevi graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece in 2018, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

As a teacher she strongly believes that telling is not teaching, therefore placing students’ interests at the forefront gives them the opportunity to experience lessons in their own terms. Working together towards a common goal is advantageous and gives children a degree of control over their education. Her ultimate goal as a facilitator is to give students a strong academic foundation by turning each lesson into an exciting educational experience that means something to them personally and moves them profoundly.


Anastasia Aristodemou (Early Years Teacher Assistant)

Anastasia graduated from the Cyprus University of Technology in 2015 having acquired a degree in Agricultural Science Biotechnology and Food Science.

She has worked in several organisations and had to deal with a variety of different people and personalities. She has realised that she enjoys communicating and interacting with children the most. Her hard-working, responsible, loving and mature personality equips her with the qualities needed when working with young children.


Andrie Aristodemou (Early Years Teacher Assistant)

Andrie completed her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature at the University of Cyprus and she is currently on her last year of her Master of Arts in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cyprus where she is focusing on her thesis entitled ‘Balanced Bilingualism and Bilingual Acquisition’.

She has been teaching English for the past six years during which she has learnt to appreciate each student’s uniqueness and to listen and understand her/his needs. She wants to help children become more eager to listen, learn and ask questions. Whatever their age, all students deserve individual attention and she is willing to be part of their development.



Maria Theodorou (Early Years Teacher Assistant)

Maria is a determined and proactive individual that believes in the magic of teamwork and communication. She fulfilled one of her lifelong dreams in 2013 when she obtained her Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts at the University for the Creative Arts Canterbury, with a major in Sculpture. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Arts and Culture Management from Rome Business School. She has been exhibiting as Diagnosis in several solo and group art exhibitions in Cyprus and the UK. Maria's philosophy on life is based on the quote of the artist Vincent Van Gogh , ”what is done in love is done well"! 

Throughout the years, she has had the opportunity to work extensively with children of all ages encouraging their individuality, identity and imagination whilst at the same time promoting critical thinking. She is the owner of ArtRooms Mobile Art Studio and the afternoon Art club teacher at Giraffe.


Jasmine Ellen Crundwell (Early Years Teacher Assistant)

Soon after finishing her A levels in 2020, (photography, film studies, Philosophy and ethics) Jasmine moved from England to France and then Cyprus to continue her placement as an au pair. She worked as a childminder for a range of different families and also worked at a summer school during the holidays where she was responsible for a class of 4 to 5 year olds.

Jasmine is passionate about providing excellent childcare, treating each child as an individual and being attentive to their specific needs. She feel that a child’s early stages are key to shaping future development and aims to help them with their first stepping stones in order to flourish into the individuals they want to be.


Our Giraffe Caretaking Team consists of

Eleni Eleftheridi, Marina Haliou and Athina Schpazidou. 


Their kind, pleasant and joyful personalities fill the nursery with positive energy. Their willingness, commitment and perseverance in fulfilling all their responsibilities make them fundamental members of our Giraffe Nursery Team.


© 2021 Giraffe Private Nursery School.