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Meet the New Head of Pre-school

Regulus // Issue 2 // August 2022

More news for Staff

Mandy stands behind trees as she smiles for a headshot photo.

Head of Pre-school, Mandy Jenkins.

New Head of Pre-school, New Head of Pre-school, Mandy Jenkins, says she couldn’t have been more welcomed into the St Andrew’s College family. “Everyone has been incredibly warm and friendly, and I feel at home here already. The Pre-school has an exceptional environment, and I’m enjoying the opportunity to explore the wider College campus and discover all the other wonderful opportunities available to the Pre-school children.”

Mandy has a wealth of experience working alongside children and their families. In addition to being an early childhood educator, her previous roles include social worker, youth worker, and behaviour therapist. She has a Graduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) from Victoria University, and a Masters degree in Psychology, from the University of Otago.“

My own personal philosophy of teaching and learning emphasises that children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships. My practice draws strongly from the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education, and its focus on learning environments that provide conditions under which tamariki, and kaiako can explore, test, and revisit ideas together.”

Mandy worked as an early childhood teacher at the Karori Childcare Centre in Wellington, and after moving to the United Kingdom, was Deputy Room Leader in the Pre-school section of Reflections Nursery and Forest School, a Reggio-inspired nursery in the southeast of England. After returning to New Zealand, she became Head Teacher at Arrowtown Preschool Cotter Ave, a community-based non‑profit centre, which was also inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach.

She is happy that becoming Head of Pre-school at St Andrew’s has brought her back to her hometown of Christchurch. “I grew up in Christchurch but haven’t lived here for a very long time. Once my husband and I had our daughter, Stella, the pull to return home was strong so she could have a close relationship with my Mum, and we could be closer to our extended whānau.”

We introduce you to our new Head of Pre-School, Mandy Jenkins, who brings with her a resume of valuable experience.