Whāia te iti Kahurangi

Reach for the Sky

                 Hobsonville Point Primary School is an innovative learning environment focused on authentic learning.

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                                         Meet the Team 

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DANIEL BIRCH

Principal

Daniel is our foundation Principal at HPPS.  His vision for HPPS is to make schooling focussed on the learners and for us take the opportunity to reimagine the possibilities of what we can achieve.  Through approaching education in a future-focused and evidence-based manner we have had over 4000 educator visitors come to see what we are all about thanks to his encouragement, leadership and visioning.  He has connections with some well-known educationalists such as Dr Julia Atkin who have partnered with us in the foundation stages helping to set us up for success in a rapidly changing world.

Daniel is driven, energetic and a leader who is extremely hardworking.  In a growing school, he always puts children first and can often be found in the kitchen sharing his love of cooking with our learners. 

His family moved to Auckland in 2012 for exciting possibilities and to watch Hobsonville Point Schools' grow.  His two daughters and son, are or were enrolled at HPSS and wife, Sarah is a teacher at HPPS.   Prior to moving, he was Principal of Discovery 1 school based in Christchurch's CBD. 

He has a wealth of experience in pushing the boundaries of education and supporting schools through change.  He is an accomplished presenter and facilitator with a passion for supporting others to succeed.  He has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished Educator and has embarked on his Master's in Education journey. 

In his spare time, you'll find him at Muriwai Beach, spending time with family, collecting vinyl records and cooking up delicious meals. 

 
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LISA SQUIRE

Deputy Principal

Lisa is the foundation Deputy Principal at HPPS, joining the school in 2012 before it opened with students.  She saw this position as an opportunity to be an influencer for state schooling in NZ and to help create a school from the ground up.   She has been teaching for 20+ years in primary and intermediate schools as well as in private sector educational consultancy developing ICT in schools.  For her, the best thing about teaching is helping to make a real difference for learners, their families, and the wider community – a big responsibility, humbling, and very rewarding.  She believes that children’s uniqueness is a gift and everyone has something to contribute.  She loves it when former students contact her to share their current accomplishments.  Her supplementary qualifications include a Certificate in Counselling and some papers towards a Master’s degree in Education.  Lisa is a very active person who enjoys adventure, hockey, sports coaching, road trips, spending time outdoors, exploring Auckland, and keeping up with her delightful and energetic toddler.  Her less active interests are eating out, trawling through art galleries, fishing, spending time with her awesome family, and relaxing with a good book in a hammock.   She describes herself as excelling in visual order, while others rename this as being a tidiness fanatic.   If she were ever to change her career she would explore doing something creative and hands-on.

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MARGO THORPE

Associate Principal

Margo applied for a position at HPPS because it values dispositions, teaches the whole child, and has a vision that resonates with her own values and beliefs of education.  She loves being part of learners’ journeys, helping them to own who they are and use their strengths to define their learning path.  She has been teaching for a number of years and has vast leadership experience both with children and adults.  She brings enthusiasm, expertise and a willingness to push the boundaries to our team.

She is passionate about learning and has completed her Master in Education focused on seeing how the wonderful key competencies are lived out in school - she has a deep knowledge and understanding of the learning process and applies her extensive experience into her learning environment at school.  For her, watching her learners become the best version of themselves is like gold. 

Outside of school, her interests are in visual arts and design, and social issues.  She also enjoys being in the outdoors, cooking, entertaining friends and family, and travelling with her family to explore new parts of the world.  In her spare time, she is planning a new home.  If she wasn’t a teacher, she would like to be a chef or involved in something creative.

KERRY TAIALA

Associate Principal/SENco

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Kerry began her career in the UK and came to NZ in 1999.  Having taught in a variety of educational environments she was attracted to HPPS because of the way it explores so many possibilities of what education could and should look like in the 21st century.  Her passion is to instil in children a sense that anything is possible when they know themselves as learners, find fun in learning, and take risks.  If she hadn’t become a teacher she would have considered being a psychologist.  Kerry enjoys forming positive relationships with people and this is obvious in her interactions with students, staff and parents.  One thing she really values is the continued contact she has with former students.  Outside of school she can be found at the gym very early every morning as she loves that short space of ‘me’ time.  She enjoys interior design, despite some issues with colour matching, and is also dipping her toes into the world of adventure racing where her sense of direction is often challenged. One claim to fame is that she was once a tennis coach at a summer camp in America where she says she had little skill but so much fun!

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ERIN HALL

Learning Support Coordinator

Erin was foundation staff before we officially opened. She listened to Daniel speak about the vision for the school and was hooked, joining us as a foundation teacher in 2012.  She loves a challenge and sees our environment as a great fit for her.

She is a passionate educator with a love of getting students out of the classroom and engaged in real-life learning.  In her spare time she loves being on the water and is our go-to person for fishing tips.  

Her personal interest in gardening sees her leading learning out and about amongst the veggies and flowers developing mini horticulturists. Close to Erin's heart is celebrating students' achievements as it boosts self-esteem and is inspirational to others.  She is driven by teaching children to love learning and designs projects that are creative and hands-on.  Erin is a strong advocate of student voice.  She also works tirelessly to support some of our more vulnerable students in her SENco role.

If Erin wasn't a teacher she would be a florist as it combines two of her favourite things - flowers and making people happy which is a winning combo!  During the weekend you'll find her spending as much time with family as possible and pursuing her interests in photography, fishing, bushwalking, and being at the beach.

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MEGAN BOWDEN

Senior Leadership Support

Megan is a retired primary school principal who supports the senior leadership team at HPPS.  She was on the Establishment Board of Trustees for both Hobsonville Point schools and returned to work at the primary school as she loves its positive culture and attitude towards children as people and as learners, its innovative approach towards learning and teaching, and its friendly and supportive staff.  Highlights of her 50 year teaching career were being a Commonwealth Exchange Teacher to England in 1976, the foundation principal of Oteha Valley School, and being awarded a Queen’s Service Medal in 2012 for services to primary education.  She has always believed in helping students to be positive and resilient, to interact successfully with others, and to develop the skills of ‘how’ to learn.  She so enjoys watching her former students grow into stunning and successful adults.  Since her Teachers’ College days she umpired netball, holding the NZ level qualification for 28 years and umpiring at many national tournaments.  She is now a Life Member of Netball North Harbour.  Another interest is music education and, in retirement, she leads ‘Mainly Music’ sessions for pre-school children every week.  She is also involved with the ‘Seasons for Growth’ programmes that provide support for people coping with significant loss or change in their lives.  At home she enjoys her wonderful pug dog and trying out sophisticated recipes in her Thermomix.

Learning Common 1: Years 0 - 2

 
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RITA PULE

Learning Advisor

One of Rita's most impressive skills is being able to build positive relationships with children and whanau.  She has a wealth of experience working in different roles, especially in ECE before coming to HPPS in 2018.  She has three young boys and as a mum and teacher, it gives her different perspectives about helping to shape education.  She is passionate about influencing the learning design across our school to best meet the needs of our Maori and Pasifika learners and families.

With extensive knowledge and experience of the Reggio Emilia approach and ability to weave through the Te Whariki values she brings great skills sets to our team.  Her children flourish in her learning spaces.  She loves supporting children to ask questions, investigate and problem solve through rich learning experiences that are hands-on and relevant to the interests of the learners allowing them to make personal connections.

During the weekend you'll find her with her favourite people - her family, doing waka ama or with her active boys at swimming and basketball.

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NIKKII HEARD

Learning Advisor

Nikkii first encountered HPPS as a relieving teacher when she came up to Auckland from Dunedin.  She was hooked by the learning environment, welcoming atmosphere, and dispositional curriculum and wanted to learn more.  She progressed to being a part-time teacher for two days a week and then gained a fulltime permanent position.  Nikkii loves being with children every day and helping them to discover the world around them.  She has particular strengths in teaching mathematics and science, and sharing that passion with children.  If she wasn’t teaching, her alternative career would be something involving numbers.  Outside of school she spends a great deal of time with friends and family.  She has a large extended family in Dannevirke so tries to go there as much as possible.  

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ZOEY LOVEGROVE

Learning Advisor

Zoey has 9 years of teaching experience working with 5-7 year olds.  She is passionate about teaching children about sustainable practices and to care for our environment.  She's led enviro-schools programmes, achieving recognition with green/gold awards.  

She has recently joined our team after being drawn to our innovative and collaborative teaching approach.  She is keen to foster children's self-worth and empathy.  She is also passionate in teaching children to be critical thinkers and problem solvers.

When she is not at school one of her happy places is with her family, spending time with her toddler and baby camping at NZ beaches and hitting the slopes during the winter.

Learning Common 2: Years 4 - 6

 
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REID WALKER

Learning Advisor/Middle Leader

Reid is happiest learning, whether it is his own education or working with others to inspire and lead them. Before Reid joined HPPS in 2015 he had already worked in several other roles that have helped to form a teacher that can thrive in our setting. Reid has worked in hospitality, sales and retail management settings, while completing his Masters in Tourism at the University of Otago he began tutoring and this has ignited his passion for teaching and learning. He went on to teach Tourism, Marketing and Event Management at PIHMS (Pacific International Hotel Management School) before retraining to become a teacher. PIHMS blended the theoretical and practical side of hotels and provided Reid with a vision for authentic, hands-on and collaborative learning. Since becoming a teacher Reid has regularly engaged in or led large collaborative projects such as the Kidedchat twitter program, collaborative Timelapse projects across NZ and the Hobsonville Point History Game. He regularly presents these passions and experiences to large groups, enjoying the chance to inspire or upskill others. His time at HPPS has included running our growing sports program, taking ski trips to Queenstown and looking for ways to collaborate with the high school. Reid’s life outside school is dominated by his two children Abby and Elliot, and his wife Hillary where cooking, lego, making books come alive, Star Walks, and bike riding are the order of the day. Reid is an avid golfer, enjoys biographies, dark comedy and fantasy, is learning to love gardening and most importantly sharing quality time with friends, family, coffee and food.

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BRIDGET DONOVAN

Learning Advisor

Bridget applied for a position at HPP because she values teaching and learning in an environment where her love for learning and developing the whole child, her curiosity to learn, problem-solve and opportunities to take risks are valued. She has taught across all year levels across multiple schools around both New Zealand and within London, UK. Throughout her career, relationships have always proven to be her most enjoyable and important aspects of education. Bridget loves to spend her time outside of school traveling and experiencing new places, spending time with friends and family in the outdoors or in the gym, and capturing it all through photography.

 

Learning Common 3:  Years 1 - 2

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ANGELA JAMES

Learning Advisor

One of Angela's favourite aspects of working in education is to share teaching passion with other like-minded educators, this is one of the reasons why she loves HPPS' collaborative approach to schooling.

She has over 22 years of experience teaching young people and is constantly reflecting on her practice, seeking ways to make learning fun and engaging.  She is inspired by the children to find out more and challenge herself.  She particularly enjoys fostering a love of books and teaching children to feel confident in their reading, opening them up to new ideas and knowledge through the written word.  She encourages her learners to be curious about numbers, what they represent but also explore them through real life contexts.  

With a DIY attitude she applies her practical skills and creativity to her learning environments so when the children walk through the door they are met by a place of stimulation and a teacher who will give things a go.

In her spare time, Angela enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage children, in the garden or doing a spot of family genealogy research.

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KYLIE LENNAN

Learning Advisor

As a child Kylie was very shy so she now likes to focus on building confidence and self-belief in the children she teaches.  She chose to teach at HPPS to be immersed in a school that has a future focus and values progressive thinking.  Her experiences when teaching overseas in vastly different cultures have taught her to be adaptable and resilient, and to know what it’s like to be a visitor in another country.  This helps her to identify with and settle students who are new to NZ.  Outside of teaching she enjoys gardening, recycled resources, and spending time with friends and family.  Her happy place is at the beach in the sun, feeling the sand beneath her toes and swimming in the ocean.

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WHITNEY POND

Learning Advisor

Whitney loves trying new things and going on adventures.  She was attracted to work at HPP as she saw the innovative and enjoyable way of learning for children and wanted to be a part of it.  Also, she loves being part of a team.   In her spare time, she coaches netball and has done this for the Northcote College Team for the past two years.  She has a background in teaching at ECE level and this really helps her to understand the foundational skills children need to help set them up for success.  Outside of school, she has a passion for the environment, playing netball, running and spending time with whanau.  She's really passionate about creating opportunities for children to share their diverse and thoughtful ideas.

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BETHANY ROBB

Learning Advisor

Bethany is a Kiwi-Canadian who was also raised in China. As a child, she frequently moved between continents, which developed her adaptability, curiosity and understanding. In China, she learned to speak Mandarin and gained an interest in other languages and cultures. With her firsthand experience as an international student, she has a special interest in welcoming students learning English or new to New Zealand. Bethany has taught 5-6 year olds at two other schools. She was drawn to HPPS by the opportunity to work closely with a team to inspire and empower students for a lifetime of learning. In her spare time she enjoys bush walks, reading, playing games, and spending time with family and friends.

Learning Common 4: Years 6 - 8

 
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HAYDEN WALSH

Learning Advisor

Hayden was born and raised in Waitakere and has recently returned after a three-year stint in Masterton. He enjoys football, baseball and playing music when he is not being kept busy by his two wonderful children.

In education, Hayden enjoys giving students opportunities to follow their passions beyond the school walls to trade beyond experience, helping them develop new learning and to see how the real world works. He has taught a range of year levels, from new entrants to Year 8's. If he wasn't a teacher Hayden would probably be doing something outdoors, working in the Waitakere Ranges surrounded by our native wildlife.

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CAREY THOMAS

Learning Advisor

Carey has had over 14 years of experience in education. She has taught in the junior and intermediate areas of primary schools and worked closely with beginning teachers through the University of Auckland.  She has held different leadership responsibilities throughout the schools she has worked in such as gifted and talented education. Carey has a love of dance and a wealth of experience in the Performing arts, previously running her own Dance Studio in Kingsland. She is passionate about creating opportunities and experiences where children celebrate and share who they are as well as learn and grow from the world around them.  Carey believes education is a pathway of discovery and tries to live out the whakatauki "Poipoia te kakano kia puawai" Nuture the seed and it will blossom.

Carey Joined HPPS halfway through 2018 and was excited to be part of a school with a forward-thinking vision inspired by our changing world. Valuing relationships and collaboration resonated with her own teaching pedagogy. 

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MARGO THORPE

Learning Advisor - Associate Principal

Margo applied for a position at HPPS because it values dispositions, teaches the whole child, and has a vision that resonates with her own values and beliefs of education.  She loves being part of learners’ journeys, helping them to own who they are and use their strengths to define their learning path.  She has been teaching for a number of years and has vast leadership experience both with children and adults.  She brings enthusiasm, expertise and a willingness to push the boundaries to our team.

She is passionate about learning and has completed her Master in Education focused on seeing how the wonderful key competencies are lived out in school - she has a deep knowledge and understanding of the learning process and applies her extensive experience into her learning environment at school.  For her, watching her learners become the best version of themselves is like gold. 

Outside of school her interests are in visual arts and design, and social issues.  She also enjoys being in the outdoors, cooking, entertaining friends and family, and travelling with her family to explore new parts of the world.  In her spare time, she is planning a new home.  If she wasn’t a teacher she would like to be a chef or involved in something creative.

Learning Common 5: Years 2 - 4

 
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ASHLEIGH OLIVER

Learning Advisor

If Ashleigh wasn't a teacher you would find her travelling the world.  She is an avid explorer, seeker of new experiences and is a continuous learner.  She loves gardening, house renovating, swimming, camping, baking and spending time with her husband Dan and their beautiful dog, Baxter.

Her enthusiasm for living life to the fullest is evident in her teaching.  She is passionate about making a difference, helping children see the connections between school and life through developing their skills, self-esteem and self-worth.  She brings a breath of experience having taught in the UK and NZ.  She's taught across a range of ages from 4-year-olds through to 12.

She loves colourful floral dresses, pineapple lumps and laughing loudly. 

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TESSA VAN ZULIEN

Learning Advisor

Tessa is drawn to education to make help make a difference in the lives of her learners through imagining the possibilities then making it happen.  She loves being part of team as she believes education has some of the best people in it and she wants to help make a difference. 

She is an energetic, actions orientated person.  She is involved at Kidzplay netball helping mentor young umpires and support the sport.

With a passion for creating spaces where children learn what is valuable, she's spent time teaching overseas, in Germany where she taught lots of children who didn't have English as a first language.  She connected with them by bringing fun into the curriculum through doing lots of investigations, hands-on learning and cool science experiments.

In her free time, one of her happy places is looking out over snowy vistas enjoying chocolate covered pancakes. 

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ELLE GRAY

Learning Advisor

What Elle loves best about HPP is the individualised approach to learning and a focus on building genuine relationships with the students.  She is a positive person and this is demonstrated through her sense of fun which the children really love.  When she is not in the classroom she loves getting into the outdoors and enjoys hikes, getting into the ocean and yoga.  For the past 9 years she has been travelling and finds other cultures fascinating.  Whilst she has been out exploring the world she has acquired a number of qualifications relating to the superyacht industry including holding powerboat Level 2 9(boats up to 15m).  She brings her love of learning and new experiences into the classroom and gets along with everybody.  Elle is in her happiest place when she is in the sunshine at the beach with her longboard.

Learning Common 6: Years 2 - 4

 
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ROSIE PATTERSON

Learning Advisor

Rosie has been with us since 2014 and has played a role in helping to shape the teaching and learning in the junior school.  She deeply cares about the well-being of our students and creating safe and supportive learning environments.  She believes in building strong relationships with the children and their families to ensure students are receiving the best possible care and support.  She was attracted to working at HPPS as the values resonated with her and she was and still is excited about pushing the boundaries of what education can look like.  Rosie enjoys working collaboratively and learning alongside other educators.  She has 13 years of diverse teaching experience both in the U.K and N.Z, which is drawn on to inform her teaching and leadership practice.  When she's not teaching, Rosie spends most of her time with her husband and two young children.  She tries to get back to the UK to visit family and friends as often as she can.  She enjoys cooking, regular KMART trips and laughing with family and friends. 

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EMILY McCHESNEY

Learning Advisor

Emily is now in her second year at HPPS after being on maternity leave last year. Emily is passionate about seeing students grow and flourish with the right support, which is exactly what an environment like HPPS can offer. She loves watching students apply learning in different areas and experiencing those ‘aha’ moments. She believes in building strong relationships with students and bridging the gap between school and home to allow for the best possible support and care for each child. 

When not at school, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, yoga and reading. 

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ELIZABETH McMURDO

Learning Advisor

Elizabeth started with us in 2016 as a beginning teacher.  Prior to this, she had a career with the military as a medic. 

One of her drivers is seeing others grow and so the collaborative environment where she could work in a close-knit team appealed to her.  Additionally, she was also keen to work somewhere where children are respected and their voices heard.

She feels that we are all life long learners and she creates learning environments where children can reflect on themselves, learn about their learning preferences and collaborate with peers.

In her spare time, Elizabeth loves spending time in the outdoors, reading and camping with her family.  

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AMY COLEMAN

Learning Advisor

Amy is a passionate and enthusiastic second year beginning teacher. She started her teaching career in a single cell classroom but was drawn to Hobsonville Point Primary School for its open, collaborative and learner focussed culture. She values learners as individuals and strives to empower students to grow in their unique abilities and interests. She is passionate about reading and enjoys expressively reading out loud. Amy thrives in collaborative environments and enjoys listening and learning from others. In her spare time, Amy dabbles in music, playing piano, guitar and ukulele. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends wharf jumping, going on bush walks and generally spending time in nature.

Learning Common 7: Years 3 - 5

 
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INA LEE

Learning Advisor

Ina chose HPPS because she was keen to work collaboratively and loved the school’s dispositional focus.  She is happiest when working directly with students, teaching the dispositions, and she enjoys teaching across all curriculum areas.  Ina likes to celebrate students’ progress however big or small and whether it is over a long or short period.  In a school no day is ever exactly the same and she thrives on the excitement of maybe not knowing what might happen next.  Outside of school Ina enjoys spending time with family and friends.  Her hobbies are drama, dance, photography and sport.  If she ever decided on a career change then it’s likely that she would develop her own business related to one of these hobbies such as becoming a photographer, or perhaps acting on the stage.

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JENNA WEIR

Learning Advisor

Jenna began her teaching journey 7 years ago and has worked in various contexts including little country schools, city schools, collaborative spaces and single cell classrooms.  She's also taught across the year-levels, particularly years 2-6.  She greatly values the relationships she has with her learners as they inspire, challenge and encourage her to be a better teacher.

She is passionate about childrens' interests driving learning experiences and works hard to create opportunities for them to have a voice in what and how they learn.  She feels the collaborative teaching approach is a positive influence on their learning, and also contributes to her development.  Seeing a child have an 'aha' moment when they grasp something new gives her great satisfaction.

Her personal teaching philosopy is grounded in supporting children to be the best version of themselves.  She believes that children should be encouraged to follow their dreams, persevere in the face of challenge, be confident, trust others and take on new opportunities.  She is a role model herself.  In her spare time she gets involved in multisport and is an excellent runner.  Often she volunteers for different charities, helping to raise support through her involvement in sport.

When she is not in the Learning Common you'll find her running, cycling, doing pilates, hiking, attempting some DIY or planning her next holiday.

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POLLY SILLS-JONES

Learning Advisor

Polly is in her first year teaching at HPP, a new comer to NZ arriving from the UK.  Her background before teaching was in policy implementation, particularly around the well being of future generations.  She's worked with young offenders on court orders as well as children at risk of exclusion, and supported them to build on the skills they have to help them engage with education in a meaningful way.  Additionally, she spent many years advocating progressive approaches to teaching and learning and has a doctorate in how school culture affects the behaviour of learners.  She's also achieved Grade 8 in singing, and wants to start a ukelele band at HPP and support our choir. She also loves teaching science so the children understand the world in which they live.  

Polly is very proud of her newly acquired SUP board.  She loves spending time with her family, and listening to books on audible whilst on road trips.  For the family, she can recommend the fabulously thrilling adventures of Lyra in Phillip Pullman's trilogy "His Dark Materials".

Learning Common 8: Years 4 - 6

 
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SAMANTHA MALONEY

Learning Advisor

Samantha is in her 6th year of teaching and has recently joined us at HPP.  She has had mentoring experience, leadership responsibilities and worked across various schools as a leader of learning.  One of her passions is making kids feel safe at school whilst creating opportunities for them to be excited about learning and happy.  She has a real creative side which she enjoys expressing through being innovative in her teaching.  She was drawn to HPP for the modern and fresh approaches which resonated with her own teaching philosophy.  She loves working collaboratively and being around people, so this environment suits her well.  When she is not in a classroom she enjoys socialising with friends the outdoors and shopping!  Ultimately she is driven by wanting to make a positive difference and help shape the lives of young people.

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MAX BROWN

Learning Advisor

Max is the type of guy who is at his happiest when he has an idea and is in the middle of trying to figure it out.  He is highly creative and brings his passion for the visual arts into the classroom.  He is keen on art and illustration, especially the digital medium and often you'll find him helping children find the artist within themselves.

He's been teaching for quite a while including time in the UK.  Some of his best teaching has been using an inquiry approach of asking questions then investigating really authentic real-life experiences. Once he ran a project where young reluctant writers wrote a series of books for some children in Samoa.  The books were such a hit they were published and sold.  They were called 'The Island Tales' and had six interesting characters.

Max joined us in 2017 as he was excited by the opportunities for students and teachers to collaborate.  He believes that it is really important students see themselves at the centre of their learning and are able to do anything they set their mind to.  He feels one of the best things about education is the chance to make a difference.

In his free time, Max enjoys spending time with family, walking, watching movies and making art.

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CINDY DURHAM

Learning Advisor

Cindy had her first introduction to HPPS when she was employed as a Teaching Assistant in 2018 and was inspired to train to become a teacher.  Previously she studied extensively overseas and holds a number of qualifications which she draws on and brings into her teaching. She loves the facilitated learning that students are engaged in at HPP which supports them to learn and grow in their own ways. Coming from France and having a very different experience of education, this experience was a revelation for her. She has completed a Master of Teaching and Learning at AUT which has a very future-driven approach to teaching and resonates with her beliefs. She values students' voices and relationships since she wants to make sure students are given the best opportunities to grow and learn around their passions and interests. 

In her spare time, Cindy loves reading, painting, the outdoors and is particularly passionate about the importance of taking care of our environment. 

 

Learning Common 9:  Years 2 - 3

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MOLLY HENDERSON

Learning Advisor

Molly joined us in 2019 because she was drawn to the collaborative and forward-thinking culture at HPPS.  She believes that this environment allows children to develop and experience success in their own ways, and aligns to her own values about education.

She completed her Masters of Education at AUT which is a programme specialising in future-focused learning environments.  She loves teaching maths, literacy, art, dance, technology and science.  Molly is the type of person who is always learning and living life to the fullest.  In her spare time she loves crossfit, hiking, playing the guitar, reading and writing poetry.

If she wasn't a teacher she would probably be trying to make a change in another way like being a journalist or counsellor. 

She is in her happy place when she is playing and having fun, experiencing nature with friends and family and, of course, eating delicious food.

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ARIA WHYTE

Learning Advisor

Coming soon..

 

Learning Common 10:  Years 6 - 8

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MICHELLE WARREN

Learning Advisor

Michelle joins HPPS this year after completing her placement with us whilst studying her Masters Teaching & Learning in 2019. The proposition of working in a future-forward, innovative education environment was too exciting to ignore and she is eager to be immersed here.  Her previous 5 years of teacher aiding experience and raising her two children have developed her passion for supporting learners through their own unique learning journeys.   Being able to teach and learn presses all of Michelle's buttons and she is particularly excited to be able to support cross-curricular learning with her own strengths and interests in Science, Social sciences, Maths, Technology, and the Arts.

 

Outside of school, Michelle is found on the side of a court or field either, coaching, spectating or playing.  She loves discovering the nooks & crannies of New Zealand and having adventures in new places with her family. Her happy place is outside covered in dirt, sand or water followed closely by her head being in a book.

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SARAH BIRCH

Learning Advisor

Sarah is passionate about children, embracing their uniqueness and being comfortable with that.  She has a talent for working with children who have diverse learning needs and, with her wealth of teaching and mothering experience, is constantly reflecting on and refining her approaches to effectively engage with these students.

She was drawn to work at HPP because of the alignment of the school's philosophy to her own, that being to innovate, and to make learning exciting and inclusive for everybody.  With her 'can do' mindset and a passion for trying out new things, she enjoys unchartered waters.  She relishes the opportunity to be creative and to problem solve alongside her learners so that learning is fun.  Sarah is a strong advocate for student agency and believes in children driving their own learning alongside a mentor who can guide and challenge them.

During the weekend she loves spending time with her family and friends, and particularly enjoys time at the beach.  

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BRUCE McMILLAN

Learning Advisor

Within school Bruce loves it when students are talking about their own successes that they have personally driven and, more importantly, knowing how and why they have been successful.  He encourages them to share their skills with others.  When students are endeavouring to grasp difficult concepts he looks for innovative ways of making authentic links to support the learning, particularly with mathematics.  It was the school’s values that attracted him to HPPS as he believes they are essential components for learning.  He is currently completing the final paper of his Masters of Educational Leadership degree, and knows this study has given him a greater understanding of how and why school leaders make their various decisions.  Bruce’s wife is from England and he has spent a large part of his life in the UK.  He has two daughters, both of whom play tennis and netball, so much time is spent courtside as their #1 supporter or as ‘taxi driver’ to their various sporting venues.  He is still very active himself, going for lengthy training runs and completing half marathons.  One of his happy places is when approaching the final stages of a half-marathon, knowing that his ageing knees make him less competitive yet still appreciating the challenge of running and the companionship of the other competitors.  Another love is the sea, and sailing to the UK on a Tall Ship is on his bucket list.  Meanwhile he’s satisfied with walking alongside the ocean and looking out to the islands on Auckland’s east coast or breathing in the ocean spray tossed up on the western beaches.  If money wasn’t an issue Bruce would happily travel the globe, stopping at new places and interacting with different cultures as he believes travel is an amazing opportunity for learning.

 

Specialist Learning Advisors

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TRUDY BRASELL-JONES

ESOL Learning Advisor

Trudy has experience teaching English as a second language in a High School in Japan and to refugees in Australia.  Additionally, she has taught literacy to street kids in India and at an International Kindergarten in Vietnam.  At the moment she is learning international sign language so she can teach other children to share this visual and expressive language.  She holds a Master in Environmental Planning and  Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights.  She is an active learner and has just completed her Teaching degree.  When she is not in the classroom she can be found reading, tramping, kayaking, going to films, watching football and spending time with her awesome family.

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KIRSTEN WILDERMOTH

Learning Advisor 

Coming soon...

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JODY CURRAN

Learning Advisor  

Jody loves teaching collaboratively with others.  She enjoys sharing expertise and supporting each other to be innovative in teaching approaches.  She has senior leadership experience at Ahipara School where she taught in the senior school.  Also, she has taught in the UK and other local schools.  Her passion is art and she brings this talent to school, sharing her interest and facilitating lessons.  She loves celebrating students successes with them no matter how big, or seemingly small.  She has post-graduate qualifications in education and is a life-long learner who is willing to be adaptive in her curriculum delivery.  When Jody is not at school she loves travelling with her family, spending time at the beach, surfing and diving.

Admin & Support Staff

 
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KARMA CARRODUS

Administrator

Karma joined the HPPS staff a few weeks after the school opened in 2013 and, at that time, was the only administration person.  She loves working with the children and also being employed within her local community.  At HPPS she enjoys seeing how education has changed since she went to school, and observing the way teachers and children develop relationships and work together.  As well as her administrative skills she is very good at ‘patching up’ children and nursing them with love and kindness when they are unwell.  Her other talents are baking and sport, particularly netball.  She loves playing pranks and can often be traced as the initiator of funny things that happen.  Outside of school her time is taken up with her own family, being ‘mum taxi’ to and from her children’s sports activities, and playing netball herself. 

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YODETTE TEAU

Administrator

Yodette began her career in travel and spent over 15 years travelling the world through her work and during her time living abroad.  She is one of the early settlers to Hobsonville Point and it wasn’t long before she looked for the opportunity to enjoy working in the wonderful community her family calls home.  She encourages the children to be kind and be the best version of themselves by taking the time to listen & care for them.  Outside of school she is happiest when spending time with family and friends and her interests are reading, being at the beach and travelling with her family in tow.

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AROHA WILLIAMS

Office Support

Coming soon...

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CARMEN BROWN

Office Support/Librarian

Carmen's happy place is being surrounded by books!  She loves the environment at HPP and finds delight in the students and staff.  Our children really appreciate her knowledge of books and often you'll find them having a chat with her as they discover their next adventure found in the pages of a novel.

 

Admin & Support Staff

 
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MARY POLLOCK

Learning Assistant

Mary is one of our highly valued Teaching Assistants.  She has a wealth of experience working in different settings within school environments.  Her special strength is helping children whose first language is not English, and helping those who find learning difficult.  Mary is passionate about teaching children to believe in themselves.  She believes we are all good at something and sometimes it just takes a little bit longer to find what that is, and she loves helping children to find their strengths.  One of her favourite moments is seeing the look on a child's face when they 'get it' then celebrating the moment!

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RACHEL OSBOURNE

Learning Assistant

Rachel sees the value in putting the child at the centre of their education.  She believes in the system adapting to meet children's unique needs. She is studying to be a teacher and loves spending time with her children.  She is passionate about music and children finding confidence.

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MEGAN GORDON

Learning Assistant

Megan has over 13 years working in ECE centres supporting children with disabilities.  She has intermediate level New Zealand Sign Language and loves seeing the children she works with progress.  She is passionate about teaching others how to sign and meet the needs of children with needs.  To relax she loves watching Netflix.

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SUZY ELKS

Learning Assistant

While Suzy identifies herself as a gym junkie and foodie, she has so many other strings to her bow.  She holds a BA degree in Psychology & Feminist Studies, plus a Master’s degree with distinction in Social Work.  Additional qualifications include NZ Certificates in Exercise (Levels 4 and 5), and a Certificate in Solutions Focussed Practice which she qualified for in London.  Prior to HPPS she had 6 years as a Counsellor, and worked with children in the areas of mental health, physical disabilities and behavioural issues.  She enjoys working with young people and believes in the importance of teaching them about resilience, compassion, empathy, risk-taking, self-worth and self-acceptance.  HPPS has given her the opportunity to utilise her skills and experience in a fun environment.  She is happiest when with friends and family, at the gym or at Girls’ Nights.  Another interest and strength is Toastmasters where she is currently the president of West Harbour Toastmasters.  In their recent national speech competitions she gained two 1st placings.  If she wasn’t at HPPS she would be involved in counselling adults and children.

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SUNITI

Learning Assistant

COMING SOON...

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ANGELA GIBSON

Learning Assistant

Angela heard inspiring things about the way things were taught at HPPS and this encouraged her to apply for a position here.  She enjoys working with children of all ages, and learns much from the teachers she supports.  She has a particular interest in the Garden to Table programme where children grow, harvest, cook, and then eat their produce together.  Sharing her own interest and skills in cooking is part of the pleasure here.  She also enjoys working with children whose first language is not English.  A particular passion is leading the Perceptual Motor Programme (PMP) which helps young children develop eye/hand and eye/foot coordination, balance, locomotion and fitness skills.  Watching children’s sparkling eyes and proud smiles when they succeed at something brings her joy.  As well as cooking, her personal interests include kayaking and nature walks.  She used to teach rock climbing, and holds qualifications as a diver.

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KATIE NAYLER

Learning Assistant

Katie has a strong passion for science and the environment and loves incorporating these aspects into her job as a teacher aid through hands-on learning. She highly values building one on one relationships with the children and finds watching their personal growth most rewarding. 

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AARON BROWN

Property Manager

Aaron is a valued member of our team at HPP.  He is very friendly and always ready to get stuck in and help.  He has been able to utilise his building background in supporting us with projects across the school.  He is happiest most when spending time with whanau and friends.

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CLAUDIA SUTHERLAND

Counsellor

One of Claudia's most impressive skills is being able to help children and their families with their emotional well-being.   She trained as a teacher however after 12 years decided to develop her expertise in counselling.  She loves being able to help children label their big feelings and manage them, allowing them to build better relationships with others and self manage.  She works across various schools but loves her time at HPP because of the team spirit and community of learners.   When she is not counselling she loves spending time with her family and breeding bunnies!

Staff On Leave

 

AMY CROXFORD

On Leave

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Amy is a foundation staff member of HPPS, having spent the previous 15 years teaching in NZ and UK, and was attracted to the position by the opportunity to reimagine what primary schooling could be in a brand new, flexible space learning environment.  Her special strengths are in the IT and web design areas.  She has represented NZ in surf lifesaving so it’s not surprising that one of her favourite places is at the beach.  Keeping up with her active 3½ year old and her husband keeps her busy outside of school.  She also enjoys shopping, and being with family and friends.  If she wasn’t a teacher she would like to be a professional surfer, a clothes buyer, or a graphic designer.