We are professional educators. Our teachers are qualified teachers as well as Montessori trained educators. Our teacher ratio is 1 teacher to 8 pupils.
I have been teaching at Casa dei Bambini since 1991, following my return to New Zealand from Europe, where I trained as a Montessori teacher in Italy. This was a one-year fulltime AMI Montessori Diploma course.
I hold a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning and full Teacher Registration. Initially I trained as a kindergarten teacher working in kindergartens in New Zealand and Australia.
I am the head teacher at Casa dei Bambini as well as a Teacher Trustee. I love teaching at Casa dei Bambini and being a part of this wonderful community.
My interest outside of school cover a variety of creative pursuits including fashion design, gardening, cooking and yoga
Hailing from Ngaruawahia in the Waikato I came to Christchurch in 1990 completing the Rangi Ruru Nanny school diploma. I followed this with two nanny positions and it was through one of these families that I was introduced to Casa dei Bambini where my interest in the Montessori philosophy of education was kindled.
I then undertook the Montessori Teaching Diploma and was fortunate that a position became available at Casa dei Bambini allowing me to join the teaching team in 1996. I have continued to study completing the Bachelor of Teaching and Learning. I am the Assistant Head Teacher as well as a Teacher Trustee.
My many interests include walking, gardening, reading and swimming.
I am the mother of two daughters now in secondary and tertiary education. I became dedicated to early childhood education and the Montessori philosophy after watching my children flourish in a Montessori school and decided to make this my career.
My qualifications include the Diploma of Teaching and Learning, The Aperfield Montessori Diploma and The Bachelor of Teaching and Learning.
I joined Casa dei Bambini in 2006 and work full-time with the team. I appreciate the opportunity to work in partnership towards the growth and development of young children.
I enjoy the outdoors, sports and spending time with my family. I compete socially in small multi-sporting events and squash.
I came to Casa as a student teacher, keen to understand and experience a Montessori school and learn more about the philosophy. After completing my student teacher placement, I knew it was the right fit for me. I joined the team and finished my studies whilst teaching, achieving a Diploma in Teaching ECE and The Aperfield Montessori Diploma.
I enjoy working in combination with teachers, children and whanau to enable children to develop a lifelong love of learning and have the best possible start in their preschool years.
Some of my interests outside of teaching are spending time with family, friends and my two step children, gardening, cooking, reading and DIY projects around the house.
My involvement in education began as one of the founding members of the Casa dei Bambini Foundation School in 1990. I worked as a member of the Teachers Collective for five years gaining my Early Childhood Montessori Diploma before moving onto Montessori Primary Education.
Following this, I studied at Canterbury University completing a Bachelor of Science, before returning to teach at Casa dei Bambini Foundation School. I am presently teaching in the morning class, managing the Lunch times and enjoy supporting the team wherever I can.
Education remains my passion, along with good coffee, good books and great company.
My journey into Early Childhood began in 1992 when I left my home town of Whangarei to complete a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care in Christchurch. My first position in a Montessori Preschool inspired me to study for the Aperfield Montessori Diploma.
Following this I lived in Sydney for 5 years where I worked as a Nanny and Pre School Teacher.
I returned to Christchurch in 2000 to raise my two children, both of whom went through and experienced the magic of Casa dei Bambini.
Presently I work as an assistant teacher at Casa dei Bambini and feel privileged to be part of a dedicated and passionate team.
My spare time is spent with family, gardening, walking, horses and the odd quiet moment reading.
"We are so pleased that we chose to invest in Thea's education at this stage of her life. Her time at Casa dei Bambini, in a deeply considered, positive and nurturing environment, has instilled a great sense of curiosity and a huge thirst for knowledge that has set her up for a lifetime of loving learning. The quality of teaching is exceptional and is delivered by a strong team of dedicated, caring and thoughtful staff. It wasn't just Thea who reaped the benefits of attending Casa, it has been our whole family. We wholeheartedly recommend this exceptional place to anyone who is keen to support their children develop into well rounded, content and enquiring human beings and is keen themselves, to support and be a part of a very special community."
We are so grateful for the start you have given Henry. He is so excited and ready for school thanks to you all! Thank you for your encouraging words to us as parents too, we are thankful for your kindness and generosity. The creativity, energy and effort you put into the daily programme is unbelievable and we are in awe. So thank you again for your dedication and enthusiasm for our boys.
Thank you all so much for all the loving care you have show us all over the last seven years. I honestly don't know how I am going to cope next term not seeing your friendly faces! I am eternally grateful for the wonderful foundation you have give our three children.
You are all such wonderful human beings with amazing distinctive skills and so full of love for the little ones that hasn't diminished in 29 years. (wow!). I have rarely seen people not lose even a bit of their energy and zeal after so long, but realise it is not your career but you love and passion for education.
Holly has treasured her time here and flourished in such a wonderful warm, welcoming environment surrounded by such great people. We truly appreciate all you do and we couldn't have chosen a better place to start learning than at Casa. Thank you. All the small things have made a huge difference. We struck gold finding you. We hope you have fun teaching many many more happy little casa children. Best wishes to you all!
I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all your lovely photos of what you get up to each day. I am the nana of... and I live in Thames, so very sadly I don’t get to see nearly enough of my lovely grandies. It is a joy every day to check out your Facebook page and see what fantastic activities everyone is up to. You do such fantastic things with the children – what a lovely learning environment you have for them and they all look so interested and involved in what they do. It makes me sad to think I don’t get to be involved with them week by week but by seeing your posts I feel I know a part of what has happened to them during the day, and when we talk on the phone or skype I have something to interact with them about.
"Thank you so much for every bent knee you spoke to her on, every letter and number you helped her form. I find you all so amazing and inspirational!"
"Everyday has been unique and beautiful, but somehow also calm and FUN at the same time!"
We cannot thank you enough! Ethan, in just the short time he has had with you, has blossomed into a very confident, happy, fun-loving boy. He is very different from when he first started. He loves casa and we know he will miss you all!
Words cannot express what an amazing head start Finn has had by starting his education at Casa and how thankful we are to all of you for the love, patience, kindness and enthusiasm you show him and all the children. He is really going to miss his "second home."
We will miss you more than you can know. You have been a constant stabiliser both for our boys and our entire family through the "rocky" years. The boys have been so happy and learnt so much. We will always remember the fun throughout the boys formative learning years. We love you all!!
To one of the most amazing team of women we have ever had the privilege to have met. We truly believe that one the greatest gifts you can give to your children, is for them to spend those precious first years of their education at the very special place that is behind the gates at 333 River Road – Casa dei Bambini. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done to help us prepare our boys for life’s journey ahead of them. We will miss you very much.
“We are delighted with Casa. She adores the teachers and talks about how kind they are. We love the range of activities, the layout of the space, that is so considered. We bought in her grandparents last week and her grandfather remarked, “if every child started in a place like this, imagine what the world would be like.” We are lucky to have found you.”
“Right from day one, Ollie has been so warmly and gently welcomed and nurtured. You have all encouraged him and motivated him to develop his skills in so many areas and its been lovely to see him blossom in confidence. Casa dei Bambini has been the perfect place to start his journey of learning and discovery.” .
“As parents, one of the very best decisions we have made for Reuben was enrolling him at Casa and becoming part of an amazing community. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your hard work providing him with such a wonderful and nurturing environment to develop his skills and learning. It has been an absolute pleasure seeing all the exciting things he has achieved. “
“We are so thankful that we were introduced to the diamond that is Casa dei Bambini.”
“You have provided a cherished second home for Lucy. She couldn’t have had a better preschool. The care and support you have extended to our family has been phenomenal. “
“We could not have asked for anything more than what you have given him – kindness, respect and absolutely the most amazing learning opportunities. His nature has been so well supported and nurtured.”
“Thank you for 5 special years of caring for & nurturing Isabella and Romeo. I feel so privileged to have found Casa and to have experienced the wonderful life and community you provide.”
“Thank you for being so creative, patient, caring, passionate, inspiring and open. Our son has loved the stories, the one-on-one time, the puzzles, the painting, the singing, the yoga, the climbing, the gardening, the eating and the inspiration.”