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!
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.
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.
Christiana Stylianou (Early Years Teacher)
Teaching has always been Christiana’s passion. She started her journey at the University of Aegean in July 2011 where she acquired a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education, Educational Planning and Design. She continued her studies with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Cyprus.
During the past years she has been working with children helping them achieve their goals and dreams through play and teaching. She believes that if a surgeon can save the life of a child, a great teacher can reach the heart of that child and allow him/her to truly live, learn, achieve his/her dreams and create a better future.
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.
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.
Anna Iacovou (Early Years Teacher)
Anna graduated from the University of Cyprus in 2017, where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Early Years Education / Pre School Education. Anna also belongs to the Erasmus generation, having spent time in Spain as an exchange student and was an ex-volunteer in the Erasmus Student Network Nicosia (ESN). During the last 3 years she had the opportunity to work in Spain and learn new educational ideas, methods and techniques.
She is passionate about her teaching and is always willing to learn new educational methods as she believes that the ideal school allows each child to learn in their own way.
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.
Ivanna Heard (Early Years Teacher Assistant)
Ivanna holds a Bachelor’s in Arts and has a background in US politics and animal activism. As an example of that, she successfully worked alongside PETA to ban animals from circuses in California. Ivanna has worked in the California State Senate, United States Congress, and Los Angeles Area City Council as well as a lobbyist for one of the top firms in the US.
She is a foster mum, active rescuer, and activist for dogs and animals. During her time in politics she worked on several topics regarding the wellbeing of children. Her compassion alongside her belief that the key to a better future is a generation of healthy, all-rounded and happy children makes her a valuable addition to our team.
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.
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.
© 2020 Giraffe Private Nursery School.