Meet the Team
Kia ora, my name is Sarah!
I'm a Kiwi who grew up around the dancing embers of campfires, absorbing the smell of West Coast forest air while my little legs tried to keep up on hikes with my family. My heart also fills remembering the delightful lupin ‘boats’ cascading down every creek my sisters and I could find.
I spent endless days with my Dad in our veggie garden.
His modelling of an ever-growing wonder for the intricacies
in nature have brought me so much joy through my life.
Life’s been full of incredible soul-filling adventures!
The adventure of travel - motorbiking through Vietnam, snowboarding in the Swiss Alps, sleeping under the stars in Africa, bicycling through Europe, and trekking in the stunning Himalayas. My mind has been on adventures too - a Bachelor in Education (Teaching) at Auckland University allowed me to see the beautiful complexity of growth and learning. Studying Outdoor Management and Leadership at Otago Polytech melded the thrill of challenge with the importance of coming home safely every night into a useable framework. I’ve taught in some form for 25 years - lots in a formal classroom and the forest, but also sports coaching, mentoring student teachers, and giving training to teachers in Kenya and South Africa.
Wild School is a vibe. It's connection. It's home.
I'm absolutely pumped to be part of it!
We often hear kids say 'today was my best day ever!'
It fills my heart to be part of creating happy childhoods!
Bachelor of Education (Teaching)
Certificate of Outdoor Leadership & Management
Kia ora, I'm a born and bred Southland girl with 10 years of living and loving the Whakatipu region under my belt.
My journey to now, as a Co-founder of Whakatipu Wild School begun in my own early years which were spent playing, exploring and discovering the wonders and beauty of nature at our family beach crib in Colac Bay, Southland. These memories sit with me fondly and combined with 12 years teaching in Early Childhood Education, help to form my strong values and beliefs that nature provides a unique learning environment that benefits the whole self (body, mind and soul) during and long after experienced.
I have been fortunate to spend many days in nature with tamariki over the past 8 years, and have witnessed first hand the benefits, socially, emotionally and physically. In 2014, whilst working in London, UK, I trained as a Forest School Leader and was involved in the development of an Urban Forest School Programme for Nursery children (3/4 year olds). After returning to NZ, I applied this experience and knowledge into leading a nature play programme at a local preschool and now with the creation of opportunities for children in Queenstown through Wild School & Wild Kindy.
My most recent and biggest joy in life, is becoming a Mum to our little girl, Ruby. It is a great joy to now have her involved in Wild Kindy and to witness her reap the rewards of natures classroom, experiencing all the joy, awe and wonder that it brings, as she comes along for this exciting journey and experiences the opportunities from Whakatipu Wild School.
Diploma of Education (ECE)
Forest School Leader (Level 5)
Kia Ora, my name is Kirsty!
I am a bubbly British girl who has been loving living in New Zealand for the past decade.
I am an educator at heart having earned my BA(Hons) degree in Education & Social Policy from Cardiff University in Wales in 2012. I have been passionate about working with young people from a young age and am fortunate to have gained an extensive amount of experience across the UK, Australia and New Zealand since I was a teenager myself.
In 2019 I created iNSPiRE - Youth Empowerment Programmes as I am passionate about helping young people to work on developing their personal skills and wellbeing habits and empowering them to really love who they are!
My heart based and intuitive practice style allows me to really ‘get’ young people and bring out the best in them!
I am grateful that Wild School (and the magic and community that Sarah and Morgan have created here) thoroughly aligns with my ethos and my upbringing in the countryside in Cornwall, England. I am excited to get to contribute my skills and experience (including being a Girl Guide leader for 5 years!) to the children, families and Wild School team.