Head of Preschool

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We are delighted to introduce you to Helen McConnell joined Marsden in January 2020 as Head of Preschool.


Ko Taranaki tōku maunga
Ko Waiokura me Waitohi ōku awa
Ko Aotea me Tokumaru ōku waka
Ko Waiokura me Waikawa ōku marae
Ko Te Atiawa me Ngati Ruanui me Ngaruahine ōku iwi
Ko Ngati Te Whiti me Ngati Tu ōku hapū Ko
Helen McConnell tōku ingoa.



Helen has worked in day cares centres in central Wellington and also has extensive experience working for Te Kura as an Early Childhood teacher, acting Early Childhood Manager and online Early Childhood Specialist.


Helen was born in Wellington and attended St Mary’s College in Thorndon followed by Victoria University of Wellington where she completed a BA in Education, a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching (Early Childhood Education) through Wellington College of Education, and a Masters in Education (VUW). She is currently completing her EdD (Doctorate in Education) through Victoria University Wellington, researching early learning distance education in Aotearoa/New Zealand.


Helen has also completed Poupou Huia Te Reo - Certificate of Te Reo Māori level 2, through Te Wānanga o Raukawa.


Guiding Tamariki

Helen is excited about guiding her tamariki to become independent and confident decision makers and fostering their curiosity, both in the Preschool and wider Marsden environments. She is also keen to use digital technology in a way “that will make children think critically and problem solve, as opposed to just being on an app”, she says.


Encouraging their positive role-modelling and the values of kindness and empathy are key to tamariki learning

Helen McConnell

Helen recognises the strengths in each child and ensures they feel settled and have a sense of belonging, both in the physical Preschool Environment and with their Preschool whānau. “Encouraging their positive role-modelling and the values of kindness and empathy are key to tamariki learning”, she says. “It’s very special when the children recognise emotions in each other and respond in positive ways accordingly”

Getting to know Helen

Helen’s top three character strengths are Fairness, Humility and Teamwork. She has a son Glenn who is currently working and studying in Auckland and in her spare time Helen enjoys walking, yoga with friends and some weekend baking.y