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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
Seven Oaks School principal, Jeremy Orczy
Jeremy Orczy
"When a child is happy and confident, they are ready to learn. Only then can the flame be kindled by giving the children real life and meaningful learning experiences."

Jeremy began his career in engineering. Upon completion of a Psychology degree, he went to Japan where he met his wife, started a family and stayed for eight years. Upon their return, Jeremy entered the New Zealand education system in teaching and Deputy Principal roles. He and his wife have three children. Varied interests include making movies, playing the guitar, walking and reading psychology and philosophy.

Charlotte Syme
Charlotte Syme
“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.

Alison Beatty
Alison Beatty
"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.

Claire Strydom
Claire Strydom
"I am an educator because I want to make a difference in children’s lives by taking the time to build a relationship with them, to support and nurture their individual personalities."

Claire was born and raised in South Africa, moving to New Zealand in 2015, where she really enjoys the nature we have on offer. She is an active, hands-on educator with a facilitative teaching approach that promotes self-learning, critical thinking skills and knowledge that leads to self-actualization. She loves to explore outside with children to find out what they are thinking and what they think of what is around them.

Duncan Hunter
Duncan Hunter
"Children bring such originality to this world and are full of great energy, which they share generously. It is a privilege to be amongst it."

Experiences at American summer camps led Duncan to a career in teaching. With a love of children and learning, he is inspired by the Seven Oaks philosophy. Duncan and Kate have three young children and enjoy exploring and playing outside. Duncan has a passion for board sports and a variety of practical activities such as woodwork and gardening.

James Weaver
James Weaver
"I love seeing the unique creativity and energy in each student come to life. Being a part of facilitating and guiding that is a very special thing."

Having spent time teaching in New Zealand, London and Korea, James is an experienced educator with a strongly holistic approach centred on the needs of his students and setting up a safe and open environment for them to learn in. Father of two little children, James loves playing sport, enjoys singing and playing music with others and spending time out in nature.

Katie O'Loughlin
Katie O'Loughlin
“It is so important to me that our youth grow and develop in an environment that embraces diversity and helps them reach their full potential whilst engaging with their environment and community.”

Katie is young, well-travelled and has strong and active sense of community. Her studies in sustainability and outdoor education have taught her that students’ mental, social and emotional well-being is just as important as their physical or academic well-being. She really enjoys sport, getting outside and has huge passion for both the outdoors and our Environment.

Mike Rea
“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.

“Free to fly with ideas”

It felt right. I haven't been disappointed. My son is happy, wants to go to school, is excited about learning...

Nicola, parent

“Learning through doing”

The single biggest stand-out feature of the school is the massive hearts, love and nurturing, hugs and support that the...

Ange, parent

“We love Seven Oaks”

In only 3 months she has just blossomed from an anxious, unsettled child who hated school, to a bubbly, enthusiastic...

Kezia, parent

“Amazing parent community”

By simply placing her in the right environment, it has highlighted just how much she was suffering at her old...

Mark, parent

“Believe in yourself”

Our daughter has started to believe in herself again, feeling she is listened to and respected

Eleanor, parent