• "I believe in standardizing automobiles, not human beings."

    Albert Einstein
  • "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."

    Joseph Campbell
  • "Learning is experience. Everything else is just information."

    Albert Einstein
  • “Follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary.”

    Steve Jobs


Thursday May 24

Wednesday August 15

Thursday November 8

"Scientific observation has established that education is not what the teacher gives; education is a natural process spontaneously carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by listening to words but by experiences upon the environment. The task of the teacher becomes that of preparing a series of motives of cultural activity, and then refraining from obtrusive interference.
Doing so, they will be witness to the unfolding of the human soul and to the rising of a New Human who will not be the victim of events, but will have the clarity of vision to direct and shape the future of human society."
- Maria Montessori, Education for a New World



Mike Rea BRM, DipTchg
Year 7-8 educator

“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.”

Since 2009 Mike has taught in a variety of environments at home and abroad. 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 a young child. Other passions include cooking and permaculture gardening.


Duncan HunterDuncan Hunter BTchg (Primary)
Year 5-6 educator

“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 two young children and enjoy exploring and playing outside. Duncan has a passion for board sports and is starting to really enjoy gardening.


Emma Burgess BTchg (Primary)

"At Seven Oaks I have the opportunity to work with children to develop and connect with themselves and the world around them. I feel blessed to be a part of their journey."

After graduating from the University of Canterbury Emma ventured overseas to teach and see more of the world. This experience sparked her love for travel and a desire to find a school which aligned with her values and teaching style. Upon returning to Christchurch she developed a passion for yoga and nutrition, and is studying to become both an adult and children's yoga teacher. Emma is an exciting young teacher who brings lashings of enthusiasm and creativity to her classroom.


Charlotte Syme New Entrants TeacherCharlotte Syme BA(Hons), (Art Design), DipTchg
Year 1-2 educator

“I love being around children and the joy their energy can bring to the world. Taking new steps and discovering new concepts is a fascinating and rewarding journey. I get to experience this everyday as an educator.”

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.


Anita Trestrail Dip Ed Psych, Dip HSC, Cert CBT
Certified Arrowsmith Teacher

“In my experience children need and deserve individualised education. I love that Seven Oaks provides this for all students, not just those with labelled learning differences.”

Anita has worked for over twenty years in the field of learning disabilities including nine years in schools as an occupational therapy practitioner and specialist support worker for special educational needs in UK, Falkland Islands and NZ. Anita and Andy have two adult daughters.


Michele Tempero
Certified Arrowsmith Teacher

“I love being an Arrowsmith teacher. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing children overcome problems they’ve been struggling with and begin to reach their potential.”

Michele loves travelling, and she especially enjoys America’s great National Parks with husband Darryl and their three sons. After finding out about the Arrowsmith Program in Canada Michele advocated for two years to bring it to Christchurch. Her passion is helping kids with learning difficulties and before joining Seven Oaks was as a homeschool mum and volunteer teacher aide for a number of years. She loves being creative with her hands, and sharing good food with friends.


Heather Libeau-Dow BTchLn, Dip Music Ed, Orff Schulwerk levels 1-4
Music Teacher

“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.

Andrew Ebbett

 Andrew Ebbett  

Andrew is an extremely talented artist and sculptor. His creativity, his delightful personality and his great teaching skills have created very popular twice-weekly drawing classes.