Models Team

Shane Tamblyn (BA, GradDipTchg (sec), GradDipTchg) - Senior Teacher - Model 1A

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Shane most enjoys teaching literacy, social science and visual art. He strongly believes in engaging with all learners as individuals, and works to develop student agency in his class programmes. Children in his classroom are encouraged to take leadership roles and Shane provides plenty of opportunity for the children to learn from each other.

Michele Nicolau (BEd, H DipTchg, PGDipTchg) - Senior Teacher - Model 1B

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Michele has a career-long and ongoing interest in investigating the latest research regarding teaching and learning and psychology. Michele is trained in catering for the needs of gifted students, especially those who are twice exceptional or gifted plus. She works closely with parents to cater for individual needs. She has been teaching in a junior Models class for many years and is a strong supporter of children developing their strengths and having a choice in their learning. She believes learning through the arts, science and technology has a role in improving children’s well-being. Michele enjoys creating dance and drama performances for families and planning project based learning topics for children, taking into account their interests. This year Michele is teaching in Model 1B on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays with Shannon Eathorne.

Shannon Eathorne (BEd, PGDip Ed) - Senior Teacher - Model 1B

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Shannon has a passion and real strengths in everything to do with literacy and especially reading and sharing books. She builds positive relationships quickly with all her students and their whānau and seeks to make sure our new entrants transition from early childhood education to school is a smooth one. Shannon's class is collaborative and everyone learns from each other, teamwork skills are developed through games and sport and children have the opportunity to explore our local environment. Shannon shares Model 1B with Michele Nicolau and works on Thursdays and Fridays.

Claire Spencer (BEd, DipTchg, Cert ESOL) - Senior Teacher, In-School Col Teacher - Model 2A

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Claire is passionate about the Models and the time they allow for the development of relationships with whānau and tamariki. She provides an environment that allows children to develop their strengths through passion projects and provides opportunities for children to explore their own interests and build their learning toolbox along the way. Claire values and celebrates the diversity of all learners and their cultural backgrounds empowering children to share their knowledge and experiences. She is dedicated to the Pasifika Performance Group as a way of exploring Pasifika cultures and celebrating the arts. Claire enjoys the outdoors and being able to share the wonders of nature with tamariki through science, EOTC experiences and the improvement of the school gardens/composting system through the Kaitiaki Club.

Jo Henderson (BEd, DipTchg, Cert TEAL) - Senior Teacher, In-school CoL Teacher - Model 2B

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Jo is an experienced teacher with ACE teacher recognition. She loves working in the Models environment where she gets to know the children and their families so well. Jo and her students also love collaborating with Model 2A. Jo is very experienced working with children with special needs and she has a special ability in creating an inclusive environment. As our ELL Coordinator, Jo values having ELL (English Language Learners) in her class and enjoys seeing their progress. She has a passion for literacy learning and has a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area

Jane Yates- Teaching Assistant

Jane is an amazing teaching assistant who absolutely loves her work. She has a passion for seeing children progress in their learning and achieving their goals.

Petra Pritchard - Teaching Assistant (B.F.A, P.G.DipOE, M.Phys.Ed, Cert 4 in SLD)

Petra enjoys the reciprocal connections between learner and educator. She uses multi-sensory teaching strategies to support students educational outcomes. As a Teacher Assistant in the Junior Models classroom, she supports students with English as a Second Language (ESL), and students with Specific Learning Disabilities.

Clare Mulligan - Teaching Assistant

Clare works in our Middle and Models Teams. She is a friendly and caring person who is excited to be helping our young learners achieve their potential.

Bonnie Sheppard - Teaching Assistant

Bonnie has joined the GSNS teaching assistant team in Term 4 of 2021. Bonnie has a wealth of experience working with children and we are very grateful to be able to welcome her to the team.

What are Model Classes

Our Model classes are a special feature of George Street Normal School and reflect our association with the University of Otago. A Model classroom offers the opportunity of a country flavour of education in a city environment. There are four Model classes in our school. Each Model has children covering three class levels, just like in many rural primary schools.

Junior & Senior Models:

There are two Junior Models for children in years 1 - 3 and two Senior Models for children in years 4 - 6.

Model 1B (Y1 - Y3) and Model 1A (Y4 - Y6) operate as a pair.

Model 2B (Y1 - Y3) and Model 2B (Y4 - Y6) operate as a pair.

Each pair of Models functions similar to a two teacher country school. The Models foster a 'family atmosphere' in which older pupils help care for their younger classmates (i.e. they develop a tuakana/teina relationship).


Admission to all Model classes is at the discretion of the Principal. Consideration is given to:

  • the individual circumstances of the child concerned

  • requests made by parents for Models

  • the need to balance enrolments throughout the school including the number of pupils in various classes and the gender mix of classes

  • whether older family members are in Models classes.

As admission to the Models is restricted, parents who are interested in Models placement are urged to contact the school well in advance of their children beginning school.

Quality Education:

Programmes of work taught and opportunities offered in the Model classes parallel those of the main school classes. There are however additional benefits for some children being placed in smaller, mixed level groupings with greater individual attention. All children in Model classes have the same opportunities as other similar aged children within the school for Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC), sports teams and cultural activities. George Street Normal School is fortunate in being able to retain more than one form of class organisation for the benefit of children, parents, student teachers and teaching colleagues.