Our staff

The majority of Plantpots Jesmond staff are qualified early years practitioners level 3 or above, with years of experience and knowledge of working with children in the early years. All staff adhere to government DBS checks and undergo regular in-house training to enhance their professional development. 

The Plantpots Jesmond team

Tamasine McQueen 
Lesley Collins

Tamasine opened Plantpots in 2014 for the residents of Great Park, Newcastle upon Tyne, before expanding into Jesmond in 2018.


She has 26 years experience of working with children and managing settings all over the world. Qualified to a level 3 in childcare, she has also completed Montessori teacher training.


A firm believer in the Montessori approach to early years education, Tamasine was inspired to open both Plantpots locations using these teachings as their foundation.

Tamasine believes that building good relationships with the children and their families is key to the success and smooth running of Plantpots.  She is always on hand to address any concerns parents or carers may have.


Lesley is the Manager of Plantpots Jesmond and a Level 3 early years

teacher.  She is an experienced educator having worked with primary school age children for 10 years before moving into early years education in 2015.


She has worked at our sister nursery in the Great Park since May 2015, taking on the role of manager of Plantpots Jesmond from March 2019.


She plays an essential role in the children's development, providing high quality early education, and is keen to help children achieve their ambitions. Lesley works closely with our Plantpots families to bring the best out in the children and is always here to listen to their thoughts.


Andrea Lorenzo

Andrea is a qualified

Spanish speaking early

years and primary school

teacher and joined

Plantpots in March 2019.

She has more than five

years experience of teaching in Spain and teaches Spanish to the children at both our Jesmond and Great Park nurseries.

She has a special interest in helping children with learning problems and has a Master's degree in learning difficulties and language disorders.


Rachael Smith


Rachael is a Level 5 

practitioner with

11 years experience of

working within a


Rachael  joined

Plantpots in January 2018.

Onelia Gonzalez 

Onelia joined the team in April 2021 and has recently completed her level 4 Montessori accredited qualification. Onelia is a qualified Spanish teacher and has worked in the early years for the last 9 years, developing her knowledge and experience. Onelia has previously worked in a forest school setting and has experience planning and implementing the EYFS within the outdoor natural environment .


Beth Burton - Deputy Manager

Beth has always shown a keen interest in progressing her career and

knowledge in childcare, completing her Level 2 Early Years qualification

after starting with the Plantpots in 2017 and successfully completed her Level 3 in April 2020.  Beth has always expressed an interest in progressing her career further and after 4 years at Plantpots Beth joint the management team as Deputy manager, showing great leaderships skills and establishing a wonderful relationship with parents, children and the staff team.



Caoimhe Mills - Nursery Apprentice. Caoimhe started at Plantpots in December 2019, she has shown a real interest in working with children and has a passion for helping them to develop in the EYFS, leading her to make the choice to further her career, skills and knowledge through an apprenticeship.

Julie Whittingham- level 3 forest leader and Relax kids coach.  Julie joined the Plantpots team in September 2020, she is always looking for different ways to organise and implement our EYFS within the outdoor forest area, providing an opportunity for the children to learn through play in a natural environment