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Mrs Nikki Joyce

The Saint Kentigern Trust Board is very pleased to announce the appointment of Mrs Nikki Joyce as the new Principal of Saint Kentigern Preschool.

Mrs Joyce has been involved in the Early Childhood Education industry since 2007, when she opened her first Early Childhood Centre, Bear Park in Herne Bay, which she owned for six years. More recently, over the last four years, she has owned Pikopiko Learning in Whitford.

Mrs Joyce said, ‘My aim at Pikopiko Learning has been ‘Children and Adults inspired by Kindness and Learning’, so we always have the values of Kindness and Respect at the core of everything we do, similar to Saint Kentigern’s core values.’ 

A highly motivated leader with robust independent views, Mrs Joyce values the importance of professional development for her staff, helping them to achieve their goals in life. She has inspired staff to go on to lecture at international conferences, gain permanent positions as lecturers at training institutes and own their own centres.  

She says, ‘My strength is in Strategic Planning and the ‘big picture planning’ of centres, alongside the day to day operation. My first centre involved a new build, as well as converting an older building for use.’

‘My current centre required a major turn-around when I first took it over, due to Ministry of Education requirements. I upgraded not only the physical centre, but also the teaching philosophy and management systems, for it to become a successful and viable centre of learning, earning a positive ERO review.’ 

Alongside owning and managing her centres, Mrs Joyce has taken great interest in educational research and has attended many ECE conferences, including attending conferences twice in Reggio Emilia, Italy, home to the Reggio Emilia inspired philosophy for Early Childhood, centred on the principles of respect, responsibility and community through exploration, discover and play. In 2018, she travelled to Finland to learn more about their preschools and how their population consistently sits near the top of not only PISA scores, but also happiness and wellbeing scores. 

Mrs Joyce joins Saint Kentigern as planning gets underway for a new, purpose-built Preschool on the Shore Road campus. She says, ‘Joining Saint Kentigern at the start of a new building programme offers such amazing opportunities, especially having input to ensure that that the new Preschool is designed in such a way that it provides inspiration, guidance and challenge for children for generations to come.’

Mrs Joyce has been very involved in both the Boys’ School and the College for a number of years. Both her sons started their schooling at the Boys’ School, with Campbell now in Year 11 at the College and older brother, Hayden appointed as this year’s Deputy Head Boy in his final year. She said, ‘Ever since my boys first started, I have loved everything that Saint Kentigern stands for.’ She was actively involved in the Boys’ School Parents and Friends, is currently the secretary of the College Rowing Club Committee and was part of the Sports Review panel at the College last year.

In a professional capacity, she has visited Saint Kentigern Preschool a number of times over the years. She said, ‘I enjoyed sharing ideas and am looking forward to the challenge of building on the excellence that is already on show every day. I am honoured and excited to have been given the opportunity to lead Saint Kentigern Preschool and to ensure that the values, which are such an integral part of our community, are nurtured in the youngest members of our organisation. I look forward to inspiring everyone involved at the Preschool to realise their vision as world leaders in education, ensuring that both the children and our collaborative teaching team continue to grow throughout their time there.’

The Trust Board is confident that Mrs Joyce will provide robust and effective leadership for the Preschool as it continues to build on the strong foundations and achievements of the last nine years since it first opened. We will look forward to welcoming Mrs Joyce early in Term 2 as she takes up her tenure to give our youngest Saint Kentigern students their best start in life.

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