NZEI Te Riu Roa ECE and support staff scholarships

There are up to ten scholarships of $6000 available each year; four for early childhood members and six for support staff members.

The purpose of the scholarships


The scholarships are set up to advance NZEI’s strategic direction “Leading the Profession” by providing an opportunity for early childhood education and support staff members to enhance their skills and knowledge within the workplace and in education generally.

Recipients of the 2020 NZEI Te Riu Roa support staff and early childhood education scholarships
We received 18 applications for the 2020 scholarships. The standard of applications was high, and the full number of available scholarships were awarded. 

The successful applicants were:

Jared Lambert, head teacher at Berhampore Kindergarten: His project “Certificate in Arts (Psychology)” will allow him to begin a master’s degree in Educational and Developmental Psychology. Jared began working in an early childhood centre when he was 17 years old. At 18 he began his studies and three years later he gained a permanent position as a full time qualified teacher. During his nine years in early childhood education he has been involved in research projects resulting in articles and a book being published.

Nelly Kendall-Carpenter, a teacher at Carterton Kindergarten: Her project is “An investigation into how waste materials can be resources for ECE centres”. She will revisit the REMIDA centre in Reggio Italy to further investigate how it is run and stocked and the involvement of the community and the municipality of Reggio. What she learns will help her propose a similar centre in the Wairarapa where all people in the community, adults and children, can see new possibilities and life in discarded materials, instilling in the future generation a reason for caring for the environment.

Robyn Mockett a teacher at Paparangi Kindergarten: Her project is “How can UNESCO’s Education Sustainability development goals be interpreted in an Early Childhood Education setting to support child development of social and emotional competency through curricula development”. At the time of applying Robyn was completing a Masters of Education.  Her scholarship topic is the area she intends to investigate for her thesis. The scholarship will allow her to carry out the research phase - engaging with centres and working with teaching staff to understand the sustainability goals and promote them as self-reflection skills, values and attitudes for learners.

Hui Zhou, a teacher at Merrilands Kindergarten: her project is “How do early childhood teachers perceive their role in building emotion regulation skills in young children and what strategies do they use?” She gained her Bachelor in Teaching and Learning (Early childhood) in 2010, has a Post Graduate Diploma in Education with Distinction in Early Years and is currently studying for her Master of Education. In her qualitative study she will collect and analyse teachers’ perspectives on promoting emotional regulation in young children and the teaching strategies used.

Fiona Sorensen, a teacher aide at Fitzroy Primary School: Her project is called “Te Kete Aronui (Aspire, Inquire, Inspire)” and reflects her desire to become a qualified primary school teacher. She will enrol for the three year online distance learning Bachelor of Teaching at Waikato University. Her aspiration to gain the formal teaching qualification was fostered by observing the primary sector as a vibrant and ever changing profession working with a diverse range of society. While studying she will continue as a teacher aide sharing her journey with support staff colleagues in her school and encouraging them in their professionalism.

Erica Lasham, a support staff member at Waimauku School: Her project is “Improving and providing better learning outcomes for the Blind/Visually impaired and other Learners with related special needs”. Erica will be extending her Feuerstein training to gain certification in the Tactile Instruments of Enrichment for the Blind/Visual impaired. The programme includes a learning intervention that uses touch and movement to enable blind/visually impaired students, and others with learning needs, to explore the world around them in a clear and orderly manner. The skills gained will assist her to mediate students’ learning and help learners develop their thinking skills, gain confidence and recognise their potential.

Cheryl Baldwin, a teacher Aide at Tauranga Intermediate School: Her project is “Supporting Neurodiverse Literacy Learners”. Cheryl has worked as a literacy support tutor for 9 years. She works with small groups to help support decoding and comprehension strategies in an environment where rich discussion is encouraged.  She will extend her school’s existing screening programme by exploring the benefit of screening priority learners for symptoms of visual processing discomfort (known as the Iren Syndrome). She will share her new learning via staff and Community of Learning workshops and professional discussion with colleagues.

Donna Le Marquand, a library manager at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School: Her project is “Supporting Priority Learners in a Library Environment”. She will focus on developing a deeper understanding of Maori and Pacifica communities to identify perceived barriers to accessing and using school libraries. She will also continue studying towards a Bachelor in Library and Information Studies through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand. Her aim is to complete three papers; Te Ao Maori in an Information Environment, Cultural Competencies and Library and Information Service Project. This study will assist in identifying some of the existing barriers to success in the library environment with the aim of making the library an inclusive, supportive environment for all students. 

Anne Stephenson, a librarian at Hutt Valley High School: Her project is “PhD in Education (3rd year): Information Literacy in compulsory education in New Zealand: data collection and analysis”. This will be the research component of her PhD. It will include the definition and explanation of what information literacy is; the possible variation in the use of information literacy, related terminology across sectors in new Zealand education, the impact of the changing landscape on education and the policy, systems and practices in place to manage the impact.

Lucy Charlesworth, a teacher aide Nelson College for Girls: Her project is “Using additive bilingual practices to support emergent bilinguals in secondary education”. Lucy has supported ESOL students, in both mainstream and ESOL classes at Nelson College for Girls since 2014. Her project will focus on recently arrived refugee students with limited English and those with limited education in their home language. In 2018 she began a Master of Teaching English of Other Languages course part-time through Canterbury University to learn more about how these vulnerable learners can be better supported in a secondary school. The course includes practices that encourage students to use their home language in addition to English to enhance their learning.


Read about previous scholarship recipients and their reports