Headmistress of Primary
How did you first get involved in teaching, what attracted you to this profession?
I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. For me there was never anything else I thought I would be, just a deep knowing that this was what I wanted to do. I remember having a little wooden desk that my dad painted white for me which I set it up in my ‘classroom’ which was the garden shed and there I would teach my teddies and dolls. You have to be passionate about teaching and others’ and your own learning to do this for a living and this has always been a driving force in my life.
Describe what it means to you to be a teacher?
It is a privilege to be part of someone’s life, helping them to grow educationally and socially. Families put great trust in us to take care of and educate their children and it is a great responsibility with huge personal rewards.
What attracted you to Pinehurst?
Ha ha…that would be Sherida! I knew her when I came out to NZ but I wasn’t at Pinehurst and she encouraged me to come for a look around! I knew then that I would work here. It was a lot different then, not so grown up more of a country school with huge potential. The fact that we now teach the Cambridge curriculum which I am so passionate about, we work in a park which is stunning to walk around and be part of and the people are really, really great!
What do you enjoy most about working/teaching at Pinehurst School?
There is something very special about Pinehurst, you almost can’t put your finger on it. It is probably mostly about the people, the students of course, the families, the staff. There are so many great relationships here and for me that comes first. A child needs a great relationship with their teacher to learn, parents with the staff to feel confident that their trust is best placed here and the staff that they can be happy to come to work each day.
What would you say are some of your strongest beliefs about education?
That you have to be happy to learn especially as a child, we have set up a caring and nurturing environment in the Primary where the relationship comes first and then the passion for learning and the understanding of how to be a learner. We are all learning to learn, we need to be taught how to do that within a mindset that requires growth and is not fixed. It is good to make mistakes, you learn from them, failure is a necessary part of learning.
Explain why you like teaching the Cambridge Curriculum?
It is specific, the learning steps aren’t vague or open to interpretation and it allows us to provide an extremely strong foundation in numeracy and literacy from five years old to eighteen. Once we begin teaching specific Science skills from Year 3 we offer a programme that is unique, a point of difference and rarely offered in New Zealand at this age. Cambridge is just a curriculum though, the way it is taught isn’t rigid and allows for creativity, passion, imagination and inquiry. We have amazing resources which ensure continuity and that concepts are continually built upon and extended.
How long have you been teaching?
Ooh…a very, very long time!
Where did you train and what qualifications do you hold?
I trained in the UK and have a Double Honours degree, 2:1 in English and Education.
Has teaching always been your profession?
Besides being a ‘Saturday’ girl in Debenhams department store folding sweaters and serving fish and chips to earn pocket money whilst studying for A levels, yes!
What are you passionate about personally? What do you really enjoy? Briefly tell us about you.
I love spending time with my family, we are a very close unit, just the three of us as extended family are all back in the UK now. I love to read, thank goodness for Kindle! I am pretty creative, make jewelry and art and I really enjoy camping or rather glamping, need the electricity to really enjoy living under canvas! I watch all the Grand Designs programmes as I love houses and interiors and one day hope to build my own.