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Meet ACG Sunderland science teacher: Hayley Riddell

Hayley Riddell is crazy about science, and she channels all her energy into instilling that same great passion in her students. Her dynamic, interactive classes help students make the connection between science and everyday life, laying the foundations for interest and success in this essential subject.


After completing a Graduate Diploma of Teaching at Massey University, Hayley spent four years teaching Year 5 and 6 students at Marina View School. She is delighted to now be sharing her expertise and enthusiasm with ACG Sunderland’s Year 2 to 7 pupils.

What values are most important to you in a school?
Respect – respecting yourself, each other and your teachers and colleagues.
A drive to succeed – staff and students always trying their best no matter what.
I think it is also important that schools support their staff to be the best teachers they can be.

What was it that attracted you to ACG Sunderland?
It is a dream job having the opportunity to teach science all day, every day! Also having access to the extensive science resources and a science technician, it’s like Christmas! I was also interested in the Cambridge Curriculum having found the NZ Curriculum very broad and difficult to cover in Primary science.

What is it that appeals most to you about teaching science as a subject?
Science helps students to develop an understanding of the world. It is hands on and exciting for them to learn how things work and I love that there are so many links to everyday life. Science is so important in many different careers so helping students to develop a love of science in their early years is critical.

How do you connect with students to make science fun and enjoyable?
I am enthusiastic and passionate about science and this rubs off on my students. I’m always open to questions and I make sure the learning environment is a supportive one so that students feel comfortable to ask questions. I check in with students regularly to see if everything  is making sense and try to make learning as interactive as possible with videos, activities and practicals.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Students learning new things and developing a love of science like me. I love it when a student has an ‘ah-ha’ moment or gets something for the first time.

If we could ask your past students to describe you in five words or less, what do you think they would say?
I hope they would say caring, fun, passionate, hardworking, and reliable.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Baking, yoga, snowboarding, and spending time with family.

What advice do you give your students to take into the future?
Give everything a go even if it puts you outside your comfort zone. Work hard and aim high to exceed your goals and dreams.

To find out more about ACG Sunderland and our curriculum, join us at our Open Days.