Our People

Sue-M.jpg
Sue Marie-Birch, Centre Manager

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

As an early Childhood Teacher we play a crucial role in helping every child start the path down a rich holistic developmental journey. My intentions were always set out very clearly, to make a difference in every child’s life, every day I am privileged to spend time with them. I strongly believe that to ensure a holistic developmental experience for young minds, the environment in which the learning takes place, is equally as important as the teachings being carried across. Being the teachers that we are, we are essentially at the foundation of what will be built (body, mind and soul) and nourished within every child we are privileged enough to spend time with, and this is the biggest honour any one person could hold.

 

How long have you been working in this sector?

I have spent the past decade as a teacher and Early Childhood Centre owner, to a wide variety of children from a greatly diverse cultural background. Ages ranged from 3 months to 13 years.

What do you love most about what you do?

I truly love being able to explore with the children all the corners of their imagination. Encouraging new skills, seeing them develop their sense of self, relationships with others, social and emotional skills as well as their sense of belonging within their centre, community and self. I have a front row seat to the best show ever created.

What are three things that make your centre special?

We view children at competent, capable and confident learners and treat each child with respect and dignity.

Our environment provides opportunities for tamariki to be curious and take risks to instil a strong sense of self.

We strongly believe in a play based curriculum which aligns with the Te Whare Tapawha and grows children’s capabilities across all holistic dimensions; cognitive, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and cultural.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

I truly love Spring time at our centre. There are always heaps of beautiful colours as nature wakes up from its cold and icy sleep. There is an excitement in the air of new beginnings, warmer weather and summer just around the corner.

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

I strongly believe that to ensure a holistic developmental experience for young minds, the environment in which the learning takes place, is equally as important as the teachings being carried across. Every child deserves a high-quality developmental experience which makes it vitally important to me that every part of the educational machine runs as smoothly as the next. This can only be achieved through establishing and nurturing lasting relationships and a strong line of communication with whānau, staff, tamariki and the wider community. With this essential part of our business in place we strive toward maintaining and upholding a high standard of policies and procedures also, role-modelling good practises from the top. 

My educational background includes a degree in both Primary and ECE. I also hold a BA degree in Journalism and a Diploma in English Literature and Creative Writing.

 

more
Gemma.png
Gemma Teneti, Nursery Room Team Leader and Teacher

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

Being able to help shape our future people to be curious and confident. Having fun with the tamariki and getting to know their families

 

How long have you been working in this sector?

15 Years

What do you love most about what you do?

The children’s smiles. Communication with families about their children and watching children do something that you have helped them achieve.

What are three things that make your centre special?

The amazing children and families

The massive big outdoor area with natural grass setting

The outstanding teachers

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

Summer and Christmas. Lots of waterplay, Christmas music and Christmas crafts

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

Time with the children should be unhurried. Work together with the child and family for the best outcome for the child’s learning and development. Free play with a wide range of resources and experiences for children to engage in


What relevant qualifications do you have?

Diploma in ECE

more
Echo.jpg
Shuai Liang “Echo” , Nursery Room Teacher

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

Children are my passion and helping them develop to their full potential.

 

How long have you been working in this sector?

2 Years

What do you love most about what you do?

I love setting up outside areas because we have an amazing outside area.

What are three things that make your centre special?

Excellent ratios

Amazing teachers

Beautiful environment

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

Summer time – children have more time outside to engage and enjoy the outside.

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

Respect every child. Mana is important for guiding children in daily life.

What relevant qualifications do you have?

Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood

more
Picture1.jpg
Holly Weston , Prep Room Teacher

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

I have always loved kids and spending time with them. My mother is also an ECE teacher so I would often go to preschool with her and help. This is where my love sparked and because I prefer the more tactile learning aspects of the job, being engrossed in the play is where I love to be.

How long have you been working in this sector?

1 Year

What do you love most about what you do?

Building friendships with the children and teaching them new skills or activities and just enjoying taking part in all the activities with the children.

What are three things that make your centre special?

The amazing children and families
The intimacy of the centre. The smaller size makes for more learning opportunities.
The caring and loving teachers that look out for each other

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

After all the school holidays – we get to hear about the amazing adventures they had with the families and loved one’s as well as seeing how much they have developed and grown.

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

I believe that each child has many strengths in many areas and it is our role’s to find all the different ways to help them excel in these areas and encourage development in the areas that need a little more attention.

What relevant qualifications do you have?

Starting studies soon. First Aid qualified

Megan.jpg
Megan McKee, Nursery Room Teacher

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

I have always had a passion for young children, watching them learn, grow and develop new skills.

How long have you been working in this sector?

Two Years

What do you love most about what you do?

Watching the children learn something new.

What are three things that make your centre special?

The amazing children and families
The massive big outdoor area
The Awesome teachers

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

Springtime because the weather Is getting warmer and you can spend more time outside.

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

I believe in a child-led approach through play based learning. Teachers plan and provide learning experiences that extend upon children’s current interest or areas of learning.

What relevant qualifications do you have?

Bachelors of teaching in Early Childhood Education

Rachel.jpg
Rachel Gillard-Tew , Prep Room Teacher

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

A background in adoption and children’s emotional connections inspired me to be that difference in other childrens lives. The age between 0 and 6 is such an important age.

How long have you been working in this sector?

12 years in March 2021

What do you love most about what you do?

Developing those special connections with the children and being a positive, fun and caring influence in their lives. Seeing smiles and laughing.

What are three things that make your centre special?

Big outdoor space with epic hill area with tunnels and bridges, the large fort and bike track
Real Grass areas
Awesome teachers

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

Spring, summer, autumn – outdoor play, its not too cold, children can be more settled when they are able to engage with all areas fully.

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

Childhood is a precious time that only happens once, so lets make it safe, fun and memorable in all good ways. Children are also our future, so if children learn to be kind to one another, communicate well, form lasting relationships and care for our world.

What relevant qualifications do you have?

Bachelor of Teaching and Learning

Claire.jpg
Claire Andrews , Prep Room Teacher

What inspired you to become an early childhood teacher?

The experience my son had when he was in preschool and the way his learning needs were met always stayed with me and until I was brave enough to change careers. I volunteered at first and this cemented my decision and showed me you can do it as a single parent.

How long have you been working in this sector?

2 and half years

What do you love most about what you do?

Being able to smile, laugh and learn every day. No two days are the same.

What are three things that make your centre special?

Friendly and welcoming staff and families country atmosphere and culture. The centre itself is also so well laid out and planned.

What is your favourite time of the year at the centre, and why?

I love spring. It has the most learning opportunities about nature and with the weather being warmer, tamariki can enjoy both inside and outside play.

What is your philosophy in regards to ECE?

To provide inclusive education for each unique child. Encourage and support them as little people for the next steps in life by supporting them socially, physically, mentally and emotionally. I also encourage gratitude and respect in my teaching.

What relevant qualifications do you have?

BA Double Major English and Media Studies
Graduate Diploma Teaching Primary
Graduate Diploma Teaching Early Childhood
Postgrdauate Certificate Education Leadership and Management
Certificate in Tikanga Maori

Jan.jpg
Jane O’Neill , Administration