Manurewa West Primary School - Wisdom Through Understanding

Junior School:

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:

Photo (From Left to Right): Raharu Murray, Disha Sanjanwala, Emma Riley, Leskin Lambert, Gemma O Loughlin, Ayesha Jones, Alice Meurice, Julia Brachi (Associate Principal),   Erica Adkins, 


Julia Brachi (Associate Principal Junior School)

Hi everyone, my name is Julia Brachi.  I am the Associate Principal of the Junior School.  Part of my role at the school is overseeing the Year 0-2 classrooms and teachers.  I am extremely lucky as I get to work with a wide range of children and families on a day to day basis.  If you need to see me I am currently located in the office next to Room 15.  I look forward to working with you further as the year progresses.


Lesking 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! :)


Ayesha Jones - Rm 13, Year 2

Hello everyone.  I am Mrs Ayesha Jones and I teach a wonderful group of Year 2 students in Room 13.  I am passionate about teaching and learning and enjoy helping your children achieve their goals.  I look forward to working with your children and helping them with their learning journey.


Gemma O’loughlin - Rm 14, Year 2

I am very lucky to work alongside 25 beautiful, smart human beings. I am Miss Gemma O’loughlin and this is my second year at Manurewa West Primary School. Room 14 strives for individuality and pride of one’s own culture.  I believe once you have these two important groundings, you are equipped to master anything that is placed in front of you. Please come and visit our happy place of learning and we will show you our findings. We look forward to seeing you.    


Emma Riley - Rm 5, Year 0/1

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!


Alice Meurice - Rm 6, Year 0/1

Hi there, My name is Alice Meurice and I can’t wait to get started! I’ve been a teacher for 5 years, working in schools in England with children from 6 to 11. During school time I enjoy working closely with the children in my class and making sure they’re learning while having fun. I think it is really important to inspire children and equip them with everything they need to pursue their dreams whether they want to learn more about language, sport or the Arts! Every year my main goal is for the children that leave me to have happy lasting memories of our year together where they have reached their potential.

Erica Adkins - Rm 7, Year 0/1

Welcome to Room 7! I am Mrs Erica Adkins and teach an eager group of New Entrant/Year 1 students who are just starting out on their learning journeys.  I am most passionate about Numeracy and Literacy and building these solid foundations with the children so they can continue to meet their learning goals and be successful. I look forward to working with your children and helping them to achieve their best.  You are very welcome to come, visit our classroom and see the learning in action.


Raharu Murray - Rm 9, Year 0/1

E nga iwi o nga hau e wha anei te mihi ki a koutou. Tena koutou katoa. My name is Mrs Raharu Murray and I am the New Entrant/Year 1 teacher in Room 9. I have taught as a Primary teacher in Brisbane, Australia for the past 3 years and previous to that taught in early childcare for 5 years. I believe that every child has the right to dream, learn and achieve and it is my privilege as their teacher to inspire, teach and help your children succeed. I look forward to seeing their growth over the year.


Middle School:

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:

 Photo (From Left to Right): Fatima Zahid (Associate Principal), Trixie Gan, Michelle Forsman, Christian Clark, Rikki Chaitanya, Shadrach Babu


Fatima Zahid (Associate Principal Middle School) Room 23, Year 4

Welcome to the Middle School! I love teaching and helping students discover the magic of learning especially in the Literacy and Numeracy. Students’ understanding of their assessment results benefits them to become self-disciplined learners. I believe all students can achieve to their best potential with positive learning-focused relationships, intrinsic motivation and positive reinforcement.  Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my children, listening to music, painting, going on long drives and walking on the beach.


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 very excited to be given the opportunity to teach a Maori Enrichment class within the school, which I know will allow the tamariki in my room to grow in their own special way. 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.

Michelle Forsman - Room 20, Year 3 

Kia ora, my name is Michelle Forsman. I’ve recently moved to Auckland from Kaitaia to continue my teaching adventures at Manurewa West Primary teaching year 3’s in Room 20. I enjoy being able to encourage students’ creativity, curiosity, and love for learning. I look forward to meeting you all along this exciting new pathway and learning adventures.

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.

Shadrach Babu - Room 15, Year 3

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 15 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.


Rikki Chaitanya - Room 25, Year 4 

Namaste I am very excited to join the Manurewa West Primary School family and look forward to an exciting 2017. I am passionate about dancing, writing, poetry and yoga. You will find me in Room 25 with my superstars making learning fun. In my spare time, I enjoy going for walks and exploring the awesome treks in and out of Auckland with my 2 daughters and husband. 


Senior School:

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:


Photo, left from top Shea Bowden (Associate Principal), Kendall Orr, Kohu Tongaawhikau

Right from top: Owen Dilling, Erica Taylor, Raine Terry


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.


Mr Owen Dilling  Room 3 Year 6 Teacher


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,

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.


Miss Raine-Seren Terry - Room 2 Year 5 Teacher

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!

Miss Kendal Orr - Room 22 Year 6 Teacher

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 almost 4 years. I am teaching Year 6s in Room 22 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!

Miss Erica Taylor - Room 4 Year 5 Teacher

Hello, my name is Erica Taylor. I have been at Manurewa West Primary School for a little over two years now and am currently in Room Four with a class of awesome year 5 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 also run the PALS friendship programme and Enviro group at the school which has a focus on sustainability. I love teaching at our school and look forward to meeting the families and students which are new to the Senior School. Please feel free to pop in, in the mornings to have a chat about your child and their learning.