My name is Sheona Mackenzie Gilmour,  and I am the early years language expert behind award-winning projects and courses. As an Early Years Specialist Language Consultant for children's products and services, I am passionate about language learning through play and how to encourage a growth mindset through positive interactions with young children.  

My Story

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We all have a passion and mine is education. I always wanted to work with children and teaching was a way to combine my love of languages and my creativity.  When children are engaged, they never stop amazing me. 

I recall my first-time teaching in a kindergarten in Madrid, inexperienced in early years, and I considered giving up. However, I had made a commitment, and with invaluable advice from an experienced manager, I followed the children's interests, and I developed a curriculum using a famous animation series. This made the learning memorable for these children and set me on the road to becoming the expert in early years language learning that I am today.

I have led multiple successful educational projects.

Learning Time with Timmy. 

I led on the academic development of this multi-award-winning Portfolio for the British Council. This is an English product for 2–6-year-olds, with several areas of content, face-to-face teaching materials, apps, and a YouTube series, in partnership with Oscar-winning Aardman Animations.

I worked on feasibility, implementation, launch and rollout of this project. I identified the animation to be used in class, Aardman’s Timmy Time and I worked on the adaptation of episodes, reviewing scripts and adding narration. 

Balancing multiple tasks simultaneously, I created and implemented a strategic direction for Learning Time with Timmy

  • Classroom/centre design
  • Teacher recruitment and training
  • Parent engagement at country/regional level in Singapore, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Ukraine, Egypt,  Bangladesh and Sri Lanka

The Learning Time with Timmy series, was inspired by the Learning Time with Timmy classroom curriculum, further embedding a play-based approach to curriculum design and is available on Netflix with 214 million paid subscribers, Rakuten TV with 5 million subscribers in 30 countries as well as on YouTube worldwide except China.

English in Early Childhood Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in partnership with Future Learn

I designed and co-wrote content for this award-winning MOOC aimed at: 

●        Parents of young children (2-8 years old) 

●        Early Years teachers

●        English teachers

English in Early Childhood MOOC has reached a global audience of over 220,000 participants. This course won a 3-Star Excellence Award in the CPD category from Teach Early Years Magazine, UK, and is one of the Top 100 courses in Class Central.

“This course was one of the best that I have attended. The supporting material was mind-blowing. I would like to thank the educators and the British Council for compiling such a course”. Parent feedback Greece

“I think that I had never sat down to actually understand the importance of play in children and how important it is for those of us teaching a language”. Parent feedback Mexico

My Motivation


I believe that providing quality experiences for young children is investing in their future and making a difference. Children with positive early experiences and relationships grow up with better mental health and improved life outcomes. This is my purpose, my driving force and it's the reason I do what I do. Most importantly, it keeps pushing me to achieve bigger and better things with each new challenge.  Early childhood experiences stay with us forever and that's why happy children learn best.