Principal's Welcome

A warm welcome to Ashburton Netherby School.

It is a privilege to be the principal of Ashburton Netherby School. Our school is a place full of great children, teachers and support staff. The learning environment is well designed to meet the needs of our individual children. Collectively we create a rewarding and responsive teaching and learning environment.

This is my second Principal's position, having joined the staff in Term 3, 2014. Before this I was a teaching principal with a Year 4 - 8 class at a two-teacher school in Lee Stream, Otago. I held this position for three and a half years.

I was also the lead principal for the Hakatere Community of Learning for two years in 2019 and 2020. 

Prior to this I was a teacher at a suburban school in Dunedin. My roles there were varied. I taught a range of classes from Yr. 3 – 8 over quite a few years, and led some important curriculum developments and new initiatives, particularly in my last three years at this school.

My educational philosophy is strongly underpinned with ensuring we teach the three core subjects well, while also nurturing and giving opportunities for children to learn through arts, sports, and areas of interest led by children's inquiry and interests.  I firmly believe in placing children at the centre of their education by ensuring they have multiple opportunities to be thinkers, creators, and drivers of their learning pathway with timely support and extension from their teachers.  Some of my highlights in education have been coaching a very strong chess team, introducing Mandarin language learning to a school, and setting up new learning initiatives and being appointed the lead principal of the Ashburton Community of Learning in 2019.  

All of the key stakeholders in our school; students, staff, Board of Trustees, parents, sponsors and community groups; work together to make Netherby School the family-focused, friendly, inclusive place to learn, work and play.

Phil Wheeler

Tip For Parents

Give your child every opportunity to read to you daily. Ten minutes of reading five times a week = 50 minutes of reading time a week.

If you did this for a minimum of 35 weeks a year we have your child engaging in text for 29 hours extra every year! That 29 hours helps your child read better because they do more miles, are exposed to many words, and importantly are exposed to many ideas through the text.

It is a win - win for all concerned!

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