PRINCIPAL

Margery O'Connell

Hi I’m Margery O’Connell, the Principal at Waitetuna School. I lead an amazing team of teachers: Mariella, Lara and Ali. 

JUNIOR ROOM TEACHER

Mariella Brunton

My name is Mariella Brunton and I have the pleasure of being the Junior Teacher. I love working at this school and I believe our class is a positive, fun, and caring environment. I live in Raglan with my husband and 3 children. I love the outdoors and I am thankful every day for living in such an amazing place.

MIDDLE ROOM TEACHER

Lara Sweetman

My name is Lara Sweetman and I am privileged to be part of the fun, dynamic, and supportive teaching team at Waitetuna.  A motto we often chant is – “there is no I in Team” – and it is a pleasure to work in a truly supportive collaborative environment which focuses on the development of the whole child.

SENIOR ROOM TEACHER

Ali McCartie

I have lived, with my husband and son, in the beautiful Waitetuna Valley for 4  years now and love our new farm life. I spent the past 20 years farming and teaching in Whangamomona which is located in a very remote district in Taranaki where we had to travel 1 ½ hours to get to a town.

Margery O'Connell

Prinicpal

 

Hi I’m Margery O’Connell, the Principal at Waitetuna School. I lead an amazing team of teachers: Mariella, Lara and Ali. Lorna is our very experienced office manager and Richard our very skilled and efficient care-taker/cleaner. We also have a competent teacher aide, Jess who manages our library and is involved with our School PTA.

I live in paradise in Raglan with my husband Rene Andre. I have four adult children, Ezra, Josiah, Janet and Arden who all lead busy active lives. I have developed my teaching career for the last seventeen years and I have taught all levels at different times, at the local rural schools. I have taught at Waitetuna School for the last nine years and as Principal I currently teach one day a week in the Senior room. 

I love the ambience of our small rural school (three classrooms) and the wonderful sense of belonging in the community. We have a thriving school culture that is based on a tuakana-teina system of reciprocal learning where the older tuakana lead and support the younger teina. This tuakana-teina fosters a strong sense of belonging and supports caring, nurturing relationships between students. Our school values are reinforced through all teaching and learning.  Our school culture is developed through positive reinforcement through rewards systems using Caught Being Great certificates and a weekly superhero who wins the Waitetuna Way trophy based on our core values.

At Waitetuna School reading, writing and maths are taught daily, at least four times a week. Our core focus (topic) is integrated into the morning learning and/or extended in the afternoon sessions. Physical education, fitness and sport are seen as an essential component of our curriculum and are practised daily with all teachers. Waitetuna School teachers have a particular strength in the Arts including spectacular School Productions, creative Wearable Arts master pieces and stunning art and painting work. Teachers are trained in blended e-learning and our school is well resourced in new computers, ipads and a large TV screen.  We also have strong bi-cultural initiatives including connections with the local Te Kaharoa marae and whole school overnight marae visits, hangi, whole school Kapa Haka with a bi-annual festival and regular Te Reo Maori lessons with Warren Wood.

By using real and authentic learning experiences and a relevant and fun approach, students are fully engaged in learning. At Waitetuna School we aim to develop and promote the personal strengths of teachers and students alike! In this way we have developed strengths in the sports, the arts, science and technology, relationships and communication whilst reflecting strong school wide results in reading, writing and maths.

With a high adult to student ratio, diverse learning experiences, team teaching, reciprocal learning and a comprehensive blended e-learning programme our school is well equipped to incorporate and develop the 21 Century learner.

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Mariella Brunton

Junior room teacher

 

My name is Mariella Brunton and I have the pleasure of being the Junior Teacher. I love working at this school and I believe our class is a positive, fun, and caring environment. I live in Raglan with my husband and 3 children. I love the outdoors and I am thankful every day for living in such an amazing place.

As the Junior Room teacher, I believe it is my job to help our new children make the transition of starting school, easy and fun!

Because children come to School at such different stages of development, I try to make their transition personal and relevant to their needs. I try to use the Indoor/ Outdoor environment for developing motor skills, oral language, and personal confidence, before expecting them to read and write beyond their abilities.

Coming from a background in Performing Arts, I incorporate a lot of creative arts into my teaching. We dance and sing and make lots of exciting artworks.
I strongly believe in the importance of Reading, Writing and Mathematics. It is my goal to help all my students develop a good solid introduction to these areas of learning. A foundation for the children to get the most out of their Education.


I also like making learning meaningful and connecting it to real life experiences, my biggest motto is: To live life to its fullest and to love what you do”
I believe my classroom environment is capable of ensuring the children feel comfortable yet challenged and that many opportunities are given to let them all share their strengths.

I would hope that the children in my class become confident, lifelong learners.

Key Skills:

  • I love working as a teacher and find it very rewarding.

  • I have a Diploma in Performing Arts.

  • I am a Reading Recovery trained Educator.

  • I have completed my “Maori Ora” and “He Papa Tikanga” papers Level 3 Tikanga Maori

  • A strong interest in ELearning

  • I am a Mother 

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Lara Sweetman

Middle room teacher

 

My name is Lara Sweetman and I am privileged to be part of the fun, dynamic, and supportive teaching team at Waitetuna.  A motto we often chant is – “there is no I in Team” – and it is a pleasure to work in a truly supportive collaborative environment which focuses on the development of the whole child.

I have been teaching for around 20 years, all ages and stages, within our local area and also overseas in London during my O.E. I was born and bred in Raglan, but flew the nest  soon after high school to explore city living in NZ and then satisfy a passion for travel and experiencing other cultures.

 

With the birth of our first child, we settled once again in Raglan.   I am the mother of 4 children- Ayla (17), Luka (15), Ngakau (11) and Georgie (9). We live on a farm just outside Raglan and enjoy being an outdoor family utilising our natural environment.

The middle room is a multi-level classroom of year 3, year 4 and year 5 students. Every morning we focus on the core subjects of writing, reading and maths and the afternoon integrates our current topic, sports and arts.  I enjoy delivering the whole spectrum of the curriculum to our students so that they all get an opportunity to discover their own strengths and passions.  I have particular strengths in language and the arts. 

 

I am also passionate about recognising and working from individual student strengths to build self-confidence.  I have experience with the personal struggle associated with dyslexia and try to integrate language tasks within our learning programme to support students with these learning challenges.  We aim to develop motivated and engaged learners who get to experience a vast spectrum of learning experiences.

Due to the small and nurturing environment at Waitetuna School our students enjoy our natural local environment being integrated into their learning on a regular basis. All our students get to fully participate in sporting, cultural and artistic events.  

 

Waitetuna School fosters positive and encouraging relationships between school and parents, between teachers and students and between senior and junior students. Teachers know their students and their learning strengths and weaknesses very well and work hard to cater to these needs and develop confident, individual children.  Every flower in the garden is unique and different.

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Ali McCartie

Senior room teacher

 

I have lived, with my husband and son, in the beautiful Waitetuna Valley for 4  years now and love our new farm life. I spent the past 20 years farming and teaching in Whangamomona which is located in a very remote district in Taranaki where we had to travel 1 ½ hours to get to a town.

I began my teaching career as a teacher aide at the local school and worked as a principal release for several years before deciding to study for my teaching degree.  I gained my B Ed (primary) and was awarded a Massey Scholarship.

I really enjoy working  in the senior room and watching our lovely children challenge themselves to be inquiring learners. We promote independence and  encourage our children to reach for the stars and live a 3D life…Dream! Dare! Develop!

While reading, writing and maths are an ongoing focus we believe in extending our students in all areas of their lives by allowing them to develop their personal strengths.

 

Waitetuna School values all areas of The Arts and  I particularly  enjoy incorporating visual art activities into our classroom. We are aware of the need for children (boys in particular)  to move so  sport, dance or quick circuit activities are included daily. I believe our senior room is establishing an environment to promote lifelong learning skills, risk taking and confidence. We like to make learning meaningful, challenging and interesting and  encourage our students to bring their interests into the classroom especially in the writing program. We also promote B.Y.O D. to assist children with learning.

Teaching is a rewarding experience and I feel it is a privilege to work in such a vibrant and exciting school that promotes all areas of learning.

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Contact us

Tel: 07 8255827

Email: office@waitetuna.school.nz

Address 

129 Waitetuna Valley Road

Raglan 3295

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