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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.

Nicola Pearcy
Nicola Pearcy
"I believe children's confidence and belief in themselves is what allows them to learn. Children can't learn unless they are happy. They also can't learn to the best of their ability if they are not respected, or their ideas or feelings are not listened to and validated."

Nicola has wide experience as an educator in various settings, sometimes quite challenging, in New Zealand and the UK. Her innovative approach has led to highly valued outcomes and recognition. Nicola and Robert have a young son at Seven Oaks. Nicola's hobbies include kayaking, walking in the hills, painting and sketching, psychology and reading anything about how the brain works.

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.

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.

Heather Libeau-Dow
“My practice is strongly influenced by on-going training in Orff-Schulwerk. This creative child-centred approach scaffolds music through enjoyable experiential learning in an accepting environment.”

Mother of three, Heather specialised in Primary music for 11 years, then lectured in Curriculum Music at the College of Education University of Canterbury for another 11 years. Currently she appraises College of Education primary teacher trainees, delivers music programmes in two schools and teaches singing from her private studio.

“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

“Believe in yourself”

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

Eleanor, 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