Manurewa West Primary School - Wisdom Through Understanding

Junior School:

From Left : Disha Sanjanwala, Stacey Madden, Leskin Lambert, Emma Riley, Julia Brachi, Erica Adkins (Maternity Leave), Tina Voordouw, Kogie Naidoo 


Here at Manurewa West Primary School, the Junior teachers are a team of caring, enthusiastic, highly skilled professionals passionate about student learning.  Our goal is for all students to reach their full potential ensuring success for each individual.

As a team, we put effort into creating fun and engaging environments that make students love coming to school.  We have a strong focus on creating warm, friendly relationships with our students so they feel supported, happy and safe at all times.  Our goal is to build a strong base in Literacy and Numeracy to ensure students leave the Junior school with strong foundations for future learning.  We have high expectations for all students and this is reflected through our challenging, child-centered programmes. 


Introducing our team:


Julia Brachi - Associate Principal of the Year 0/1 team and Classroom teacher - Room 8, Year 0/1

Hi everyone, my name is Julia Brachi.  I am an Associate Principal and leader of the Year 0/1 team. I teach a wonderful group of New Entrant and Year 1 children in Room 8. I feel very fortunate to nurture and teach children in their first year of school. I look forward to meeting you all and working with your wonderful tamariki.


Leskin Lambert - Rm 11, Year 2

 Kia Ora – my name is Leskin Lambert and I am surrounded by the "best of the West” in Room 11 (Year 2’s). I was born in South Africa but am proudly a New Zealand citizen. This is my 26th year as a teacher and I have my Honours in Education. I am thrilled to belong to such a caring and compassionate school community. Each day at Manurewa West has been filled with much joy and  self-fulfilment. I look forward to many happy years growing as a teacher and getting to know the families of the wonderful children I teach. My family is important to me and this school certainly has given me a sense of belonging. 


Disha Sanjanwala - Rm 12, Year 2

Kia Ora and Namaste! My name is Disha Sanjanwala and I am proud to be the Room 12 class teacher of the beautiful Year Two students. Apart from Teaching, I have degrees in Sociology and Film Making and enjoy integrating the arts within the curriculum to make learning engaging and enjoyable for all my students. I am passionate about music, dance, visual arts, languages, travel, photography, yoga, nature, gardening and animals, which are explored in our learning. Education should empower and equip students to express themselves to the best of their abilities and I strive to achieve this for each of my students.  I look forward to an amazing and fascinating learning journey with my students this year!  Come and have a chat before or after school! :)


Emma Riley - Rm 13, Year 2

Hi, my name is Emma Riley and I'm the New Entrant/Year 1 teacher in Room 5. I have recently graduated from the University of Waikato with an Arts Degree and Diploma in Teaching. I am looking forward to meeting my students and catering to their needs in all major curriculum subjects. I have a passion for teaching the Arts and I look forward to seeing the creative side of your students.  I look forward to meeting you, and your children!

Tina Voordouw - Rm 5, Year 1/2

Greetings! I am Tina Voordouw working with a lively group of Year 1 & 2’s in Room 5. Our little ones are acquiring wonderful Reading, Writing and Maths skills and it is exciting to be part of their progress. When I am not at school I enjoy spending time with my awesome daughters: Abi who is a Librarian, and Lainee - another Teacher. I also love the bush and the beach which means time out at Maraetai or in the Hunua Ranges.


Stacey Madden - Room 6, Year 0/1

Kia Ora, ko Stacey Madden ahau. I am the proud  year 0/1 teacher in room 6. I am thrilled to be a part the growth and development of these bright-eyed beautiful tamariki who have been placed in my care. I have a degree in psychology and anthropology, and a post graduate diploma in primary teaching. For the last 2 years I have been teaching in an early childhood setting which has broadened my experience of teaching.  One of my areas of strength is my creativity; I enjoy making new resources and exploring different ways to get students engaged and excited about learning. I look forward to meeting and working with you this year!




Middle School:


 From top left: Shea Bowden (Associate Principal), Michelle Forsman, Christian Clark, Gemma O'Loughlin, Rikki Chaitanya.

From bottom left: Lee Stewart, Scott Woodmass, Trixie Gan 


The Middle School is a time of transition to independent learning. Our children are encouraged to think, ask questions and explore possibilities at this stage, understanding that they can be teachers as well as learners. We use Thinker’s Keys at this level, which helps our children develop their creativity and thinking skills.

We encourage parents, with children in Middle School to help them take responsibility for their learning in class and at home. Enthuse curiosity by helping them ask questions and to create projects for themselves. Ask them to explain what they are learning to you, including their next steps and long-term goals.

Along with extending our children’s learning, the Middle Team cares about them reaching their potential in all areas. The School Values, teamwork and acceptance of others are of equal importance to us because we want our children to grow up to be happy, healthy and positive members of society.


Introducing our team: 


Scott Woodmass - Rm 9, Year 3

Tena koutou katoa, my name is Scott Woodmass. I am a year 3 teacher in Room 9. I am new to Manurewa West Primary School this year and look forward to baing a part of Room 9 and the Manurewa West whanau. I have a lovely class - please feel welcome to come in and meet me. 


Trixie Gan - Room 24, Year 3/4

Kia Ora my name is Trixie Gan and I teach in Room 24 with a beautiful class of Year 3/4 students. I am looking forward to teaching our Middle School Maori Enrichment for its second year. I believe that every child must be treasured for who they are and I will endeavour to provide each child with skills to allow them to grow and become very special individuals. When I am away from school I love spending time with my family and 3 beautiful children. I enjoy cooking and listening to music. I also love anything to do with sports. I have an open door policy for our room, so for any concerns, please do not hesitate to come and see me – about anything at all.

Christian Clark - Room 16, Year 4

Greetings. I am very pleased to be teaching year 4 again in the middle school team. I look forward to having another positive, rewarding year and building on the happy experiences I’ve already had at Manurewa West Primary School. Please feel welcome to talk with me about any concerns you might have.


Lee Stewart - Room 23, Year 3 

Hello everyone, my name is Lee Stewart and I am the year 3 teacher in Room 23. It feels great to be back at Manurewa West after two years back home in Canada. I am passionate about education and believe that in order for a child to succeed they must feel happy and safe within the classroom. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with family, being outdoors and traveling the world.



Senior School:

From top left: Raine Terry, Shea Bowden (Associate Principal), Kohu Tongaawhikau, Kendal Orr, Owen Dilling, Erica Taylor, Shadrach Babu.


Senior school is made up of dynamic and passionate teachers who believe that our students here at Manurewa West, really are the best and can achieve anything!

Teaching and learning through inquiry is our main focus, allowing students to work both collaboratively with others while developing their independence skills as they get ready for the transition of Primary to Intermediate.

An active approach to learning is our philosophy, keeping our students engaged and loving school. We have high expectations of our students and provide all the support they need to excel and be the very best they can be.

In Years 5 and 6, our students are exposed to a range of opportunities in sport, culture and the arts encouraging them to develop strengths in a range of areas.

Introducing our team:


Mrs Shea Bowden (Associate Principal Senior School) 

My name is Shea Bowden I am the Associate Principal of senior school. I am very lucky to be leading a very talented and hardworking Senior school syndicate full of passionate teachers! I have a passion for sport, in particular running and I believe in a programme that includes an active approach to learning and problem-solving skills, I am the PE/ Health co-ordinator in the school also.  Please feel free to come and see me about any concerns or suggestions you may have. I look forward to meeting you.


Mrs Erica Taylor - Room 4, Year 6

Hello, my name is Erica Taylor. I have been at Manurewa West Primary School for a around 4 years now and am currently in Room Four with a class of awesome year 6 students. I love being involved with the training and coordination of the events for the extra-curricular sports teams, in particular, the softball and basketball teams. I enjoy teaching at our school and look forward to getting to know my new students and their families. Please feel free to pop in anytime to have a chat about your child and their learning.  


Miss Kendal Orr - Room 3, Year 6

Kia ora, Malo e lelei, Talofa, Kia orana, Bula vinaka and welcome! My name is Kendal Orr and I have been teaching at Manurewa West Primary School for about  4 years. I am teaching Year 6s in Room 3 and look forward to having a wicked year.  My main passion within teaching is building positive and effective relationships with the students and their families, and believe this is an important part of a strong education.  This year will be a positive challenge for the students and I as together we embark on a journey of lots of learning and successes. Come in and say hi!


Mr Owen Dilling - Room 22, Year 6

Kia ora, bonjour, guten tag, buenos dias, borre dda and hello, I’m Owen Dilling from the UK and I’m the new teacher in Room 3. My family are all, or have all been, school teachers and I am proud to follow in their footsteps. Although new to the school, I’ve been a Primary School Teacher for 6 years now and I am super excited to be in New Zealand and teaching at Manurewa West Primary School. My previous classes have all been in Year 6 and I look forward to bringing my skills, energy and experience to Auckland. I love teaching and my aim is to provide a stable, nurturing and loving environment for your wonderful children to grow. I retrained to be a teacher after working for nearly 20 years as a Chef, Restaurant Manager and Franchisee for a very well-known food brand. Outside of teaching, I love to cook, play guitar and explore the world and I can often be found fishing, canoeing or just chilling in the great wide open spaces that New Zealand offers. I am an avid sports fan with a keen interest in rugby, athletics and football. Please feel free to drop by and say hi,


Miss Raine-Seren Terry - Room 2, Year 5

Kia ora my name is Raine-Seren Terry I have an awesome group of year 5s in room 2 this year. I am passionate about the arts and aim to integrate it into the classroom as much as possible. I believe in using student’s passions to guide their learning. I also believe in open communication between home and classroom, so come on in or email me, I can’t wait to meet you!


Shadrach Babu - Room 21, Year 5

I am so delighted to be teaching at Manurewa West Primary School. I believe that students are naturally social beings and learn best from each other. I am looking forward to getting to know the class and their families this year. Room 21 are an energetic and creative bunch. Apart from teaching, I love playing soccer, touch rugby and lawn bowls. Please feel free to come in and talk with me or to see your child's amazing work.



Mrs Kohu Tongaawhikau - Room 1 Year 5/6 Teacher

Teenaa koutou katoa,  My name is Mrs Kohu Tongaawhikau. I have taught in Mainstream and Bilingual for 3 years and 8 years in Kura kaupapa.  My outside interest is being able to judge every 3 years in Taranaki for the regionals, National Matatini kapahaka. I have 4 beautiful granddaughters and one is currently attending Manurewa West Primary School. I also believe students can have a teacher who can give them a positive experience in their early school years so they can develop a love for learning and an understanding that learning is a life-long journey of achieving dreams and goals. Nau mai haere mai  please feel welcome to call in and see me.