Meet our inspiring educators

We are very clear that educators are the single most important factor in a successful education because of the great emotional impact they have on the lives of their students. The quality of the relationships, the atmosphere and the environments they create either enhance or reduce the availability and receptivity of each learner
Mike Rea
INTERIM PRINCIPAL
“At Seven Oaks I get the chance to educate in a school that embraces diversity, values new experiences and cares about protecting our natural resources.”

Mike has taught in a variety of environments at home and abroad since 2009. A Canterbury hockey and cricket rep, he and Laura packed a husky sled tour across the Swedish Lapland, and climbing a sand mountain in Morocco into their OE experiences. They have two young children. Other passions include cooking and permaculture gardening.

Alison Beatty
Alison Beatty
YEAR 0-2 EDUCATOR
"My role is to support each child as they use their unique abilities to become their best selves. I feel so privileged to witness the progress of each individual over time!"

Alison gained her qualifications in Australia before moving abroad to the UK, then Canada and finally settling in New Zealand. Extremely capable, she has worked in diverse roles across all ages in education and has a particular interest in play based learning. Her and Matthew have two young children and a love of the outdoors - camping, tramping and skiing.

Glen Thompson
YEAR 0-2 EDUCATOR
“I believe the most important aspect of being an educator is building caring, responsive and genuine relationships with children. Once you have this, the learning journey becomes a shared one”

Glen is a highly experienced educator who has recently specialised in teaching new entrants. His passion is to help children transition positively and love school through a play based approach. All of this along with his focus on social and emotional skills and wellbeing makes him very popular with the students. He and Lisa have two daughters, and together they enjoy tramping, camping and travelling around New Zealand, and playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Charlotte Syme
Charlotte Syme
YEAR 0-2 EDUCATOR
“I love the joy children's energy brings to the world. Taking new steps and discovering new concepts is a fascinating and rewarding journey – I get to experience this every day with my students.”

Charlotte has worked in various art based jobs, taught art for 9 years, exhibited and sold her own works and taught primary school. She brings a great deal of creativity and practical life experience, plus particular expertise in the visual arts area of the curriculum. Charlotte and David have raised three (now adult) children.

Donna Maher
YEAR 3-4 EDUCATOR
“I love the family-feel of Seven Oaks and that I am able to get to know all of the children so well. Giving children opportunities to explore their own interests and see them engaging in ways that they enjoy is a wonderful thing that brings me so much happiness.”

Before becoming an educator, Donna worked in a variety of roles in the field of mental health and wellbeing for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Her strength is connecting and building positive relationships with students and their families. Art and craft, food, music, laughter and exploring our natural environment are Donna’s passions at home and as an educator.

Ruby Cox
YEAR 4-5 EDUCATOR
“When children have the safety and freedom to discover and embrace who they truly are, they thrive in unimaginable ways. I feel very privileged to support them on that journey.”

Ruby’s early educator experience was providing inclusive education in a variety of schools across England. Her love for experiencing new cultures and embracing different ways of living has led her to visit many countries through Asia and South America. Ruby has a keen interest in psychology and philosophy and a deep passion for sustainability and the environment, living an almost plastic-free life and growing most of her food in her organic garden.

Madi Taylor
Madi Taylor
YEAR 6-7 EDUCATOR
“It is important to me that our tamariki are able to learn in an environment that encourages them to be open, confident, and collaborative with opportunities to make mistakes and push their comfort zones.”

Madi developed a love for outdoor adventure from her early upbringing in Ohope, and Queenstown. As an outdoor instructor, she realised that mainstream education doesn’t fit many people and could change to help everyone learn in ways that work best for them. This led her to complete a Bachelor of Sustainability and Outdoor Education and become a qualified teacher. Encouraging students to regain connection with our environment, themselves, and their community are just some of the passions Madi brings to Seven Oaks School.

“Moving her to Seven Oaks was the best decision we have ever made”

Amazing school. My daughter was not coping well with the modern learning environment at her previous primary school. She was... Read more

Meeghan, parent

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children... Read more

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants... Read more

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's... Read more

Liam, parent

Hear it from our families

“Moving her to Seven Oaks was the best decision we have ever made”

Amazing school. My daughter was not coping well with the modern learning environment at her previous primary school. She was... Read more

Meeghan, parent

“Both of our children instantly felt a strong sense of belonging at their new school”

The decision to move our children to Seven Oaks School was based upon the fact that we wanted our children... Read more

Leeane, parent

“We love the wide curriculum”

Seven Oaks School offers the individual approach we were looking for our children and we would highly recommend it. We... Read more

Jo, parent

“Our son thrives when he can learn in a hands-on environment”

Seven Oaks has been a fantastic fit for our family. In particular, the play-based learning philosophy for the new entrants... Read more

Matthew, parent

“All about developing more than just educational outcomes!!!” 

The right school... Small class sizes. Play-based learning is developing our child amazingly well. Key element for me is it's... Read more

Liam, parent

“Can’t wait to send our youngest next year!”

We are happy we made the choice to send our 5-year-old son (now 6.5) to Seven Oaks. He has been... Read more

Kurt, parent

“Both our children have thrived”

We chose Seven Oaks because of its holistic, child-centred approach to education. In today’s environment of large class sizes, Seven... Read more

Fiona, parent

“His energy can be focused on learning and not worrying”

Seven Oaks School would have been off my radar had it not been recommended by a leading Christchurch businesssoman, whose... Read more

Di, parent

“Our boys look forward to going to school and they are engaged”

We are delighted with our experience at Seven Oaks School. All of the educators, as well as the head of... Read more

Cecily, parent