Two new former primary teachers are already making a good impression at Tamatea High School. Ms Meredith Ellingham has joined Tamatea High as a Year 9 home room teacher – instead of students having 8 or 9 teachers each week, Ms Ellingham takes them for their core subjects and they have two option teachers. “It makes it easier for our new students to build relationships with less teachers, improves their sense of belonging and makes the transition to high school much smoother.” Says Ms Ellingham.
“Two thirds of our Yr 9 students are in home room classes and they are very settled. I’ve been teaching at intermediate for nearly 30 years and I’m really enjoying working with them; accelerating their learning and building their foundations for post school pathways. Working across the subject areas makes it easy for the students in our classes to make connections instead of siloing learning”.
Ms Chanel Atkin has also joined the Tamatea High team. She previously taught at Henry Hill and Te Awa Primary schools and is really enjoying the change to secondary as a Food and Nutrition teacher. “I have a similar background to many of the Tamatea High students. I understand who they are and where they come from - I want to teach them that the world doesn’t have any boundaries” Says Ms Atkin.
As a former New Zealand rugby sevens rep and Kiwi Ferns Rugby League rep, Chanel is someone the students can look up to and she has already built strong relationships in her classes. She says the students are welcoming and reciprocate the respect they are shown. They are polite and motivated to learn.