top of page
Lucy Matley.jpg

Meet Our People


Every setting is built on their team

For the team at Oxhey, teaching early years is much more than a job. We care deeply about children’s happiness and success. Our classrooms are joyful places to be, where children are engaged and teachers give praise and encouragement. We listen to parents and families, and work together with them to help children achieve their full potential.

Find out more about the qualified, experienced leadership team at Oxhey below.

Roots Leadership Team 


Hayley Yendell

Headteacher and Curriculum Lead, Roots Federation

With vision, commitment and care, Hayley takes a lead on the curriculum for Roots Nurseries, ensuring it sets all our children up for happiness and success.

Hayley is a proficient leader with decades of experience leading early years settings. In 2001 she became deputy headteacher at a three-form primary school in Stevenage where she took on special responsibility for early years.

She went on to become an early years adviser at Herts for Learning, a company whose mission is to improve education across the county. In this role, Hayley gave consultation, training and support that improved outcomes for over 100 schools.

Hayley sits on a governing body of  Governor of South Hill Primary School (Hemel ) and trustee of the Claxton Trust (Stevenage), and is a trustee at a multi-academy trust, where she shares her expertise with the wider community.

Gemma Williamson.jpg

Gemma Williamson 

Headteacher and SENCo, Roots Federation

Gemma is Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator for the Roots Nurseries, and takes a lead in the Federation’s business and strategic decisions.

In 2010, she led the foundation stage at Laurence Haines primary school in Watford. In recognition of her impressive leadership, the local authority made her a Leading Teacher. In this role, she helped schools across the county improve their early years provision.

Gemma took the headship at Muriel Green Nursery in 2017. That same year, she achieved the National Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator Award.

She began working as a consultant to the headteachers at Oxhey Early Years in 2021. Here, she had the vision to collaborate with Heath Lane Nursery to improve all three settings, a vision which eventually led to co-founding the Roots Federation.

Gemma sits on the governing bodies of two maintained primary schools in Hertfordshire, keeping her up to date with educational practice beyond early years. She also sits on two boards representing the voice of maintained nursery schools.


Zahra Boyd - Senior Teacher

Zahra has taught in early years for over fifteen years.

As Foundation Stage Coordinator for a primary school in Borehamwood, Zahra raised the ‘Effectiveness of the Foundation Stage’ Ofsted grade to good. Then, in 2010, she oversaw the expansion of a reception class from one-form to two-form entry.

In 2014, Zahra was asked to lead a project to develop a reception class outdoor learning environment. Her work received special mention in that year’s Ofsted report. In 2015, as a nursery teacher and EYFS leader in a primary school in St Albans, Zahra improved the standards of the early years. The Annual Review report from 2017 noted her changes were examples of ‘outstanding practice'

In 2021, Zahra won the South East Prestige Award for ‘2020/2021 Children’s Education Specialist of the Year’, recognising her support for families and children during the pandemic. Zahra has also volunteered in the community as a Year Three Teacher, Early Years Committee Member, Early Years Chairperson and Board Member responsible for Early Childhood Education and Development.

“The most rewarding part of the job is getting to know the children, so you can scaffold their learning through their interests, creating moments of awe and wonder. I love making challenging, supportive, high quality learning environments, which stimulate children’s lively, curious minds. Collaborating with parents and practitioners helps me understand a child’s background, home setting, interests and experiences. This shared knowledge supports their progress immensely.
My team is wonderful. Together, we reflect on the impact of the environment, teaching and learning, and keep children at the heart of everything we do.”


Lucy Matley -


Nimeesha Smith - Early Years Practitioner

Candice Rose.jpg

Candice Rose - Early Years Practitioner


Klara Horvath - Early Years Practitioner

Michelle Goldsmith (002).jfif
Maggie 1_edited.jpg

Maggie Castro - Early Years Practitioner

Michelle Goldsmith - 
Early Years Practitioner

Amy High - 
Early Years Practitioner

Iresha Ganegala - 
Early Years Practitioner


Karen Achampong - Food Hygiene & Safety Lead


Agnes Borger -
Familiar Adult


Yomna Ali- Familiar Adult


Rida Ali- Familiar Adult

mandy west.jpeg

Mandy West - Finance Manager


Wendy Hewitt - Office Manager 

Wendy Tustain.JPG

Wendy Tustain -
Head Cleaner

bottom of page