Aspiring Learners Wanaka

Every child’s learning journey is unique and different.

Our passion is to teach children with learning difficulties including dyslexia, to help them aspire and to grow confidence in their abilities so they can see themselves as successful learners.

Our dedicated team of tutors embrace a multi-sensory approach, and specialise in designing evidence-based cumulative structured programmes, catering for the learning style and needs of every student.

Who we are.

Welcome to Aspiring Learners. We are trained teachers and we tutor students with learning difficulties in literacy and numeracy. Our students live in Wanaka, Queenstown or Central Otago.

There's no such thing as a “one size fits all” in education. Learning is very complex and what seems effortless for some is agonizing for others.

Aspiring Learners logo

Your child may have dyslexia, dyscalculia, or another specific learning difficulty (SLD), or there may be no explanation for their lack of progress. Despite great classroom teaching they struggle to learn and keep up with the school curriculum. They just seem to learn differently from their peers.

We want your child to grow and aspire, no matter where their starting point. Learning is not linear, there will be ups and downs, but your child can springboard on from every little achievement.

Introducing Kristin and Jude.

We are specialist intervention teachers and established Aspiring Learners in 2020. Our aspiration is to make a difference to the lives of struggling learners in our local area.

We've worked together in various Wellington schools since 2003 when Kristin taught Jude's son.

We have a combined teaching experience of over 50 years. This includes teaching in the classroom, Reading Recovery teaching, senior leadership roles in schools, leadership in Special Education, experience in literacy and maths advisory roles for the Ministry of Education and previous specialist intervention tuition.

We see ourselves as life-long learners and continue to study and grow in our knowledge.

Our passion is to see students flourish and grow in confidence so they can see themselves as successful learners.

Kristin and Jude - Aspiring Learners Wanaka

The values we aspire to…


To be the best for your child, constantly up-dating and growing our practice with a desire to deliver quality programmes.


To be compassionate about our learners all encompassing needs with honesty, sincerity and confidentiality.

Making Connections

To be present in the lives of children, families and communities to enhance relationships and well-being.

What we do.

Understanding your child's needs…

We start your child's learning journey with a diagnostic assessment. Our analysis enables us to identify learning needs and allows us to develop a robust and targeted teaching and learning programme.

Let the journey begin…

We work with your child in a 1-1 situation using a multi-sensory approach. This explicit teaching makes the content more meaningful. Each lesson builds upon the last lesson and we constantly connect and revisit learning. A cumulative approach allows for automaticity to happen which requires less cognitive thought. This helps reduce the burden for learners who have a weakness in their working memory. Our directors and tutors plan collaboratively to ensure our combined knowledge works best for your child.

Oh, the places you'll go… (Dr Seuss)

Learning needs constantly change. In our sessions we look for indications and evidence of progress and refine our planning to meet these ever-changing needs. We value accountability and openly communicate progress along the way, both formally and informally.

We are learners too…

We aspire to be the best practitioners we can be. Our educational psychologist ensures our practice is based on current thinking and evidence, making sure what we do is constantly changing and growing. Our methods are at the forefront of differentiated learning strategies, which builds relational understandings.

Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds. A student needs to blend, segment, delete and manipulate sounds. These are critical skills for accuracy in reading and spelling.


Phonics is taught in cumulative and systematic lessons, teaching the rules needed to negotiate the English language.

Reading and Reading Comprehension

Unknown words are decoded in a repeated reading programme using Seven Plus. Students read the same text repeatedly after explicitly decoding any unknown words which builds up their bank of vocabulary to read and write. Students need to build a picture in their mind of what they are reading. Once they can do this, we can then focus on developing comprehension, prediction and inference skills.


A difficult task for many students! We focus on breaking down the mechanics of writing, including planning, sentence structure, punctuation, writing for different purposes and surface and deeper features.

Vocabulary Building

We build on and extend the student’s use and understanding of vocabulary through the use of interesting texts and decoding unknown words, encouraging the use of the new vocabulary in conversation.


Our maths programmes are designed using the NZ curriculum, Numicon, and elements of a programme designed for students with dyscalculia. Knowledge and strategies are taught explicitly in a cumulative and structured way.

Charitable Trust/Sponsorship

We are very fortunate to be associated with a hard working family who are establishing a Charitable Trust designed to help those children who would otherwise continue their learning struggle. We are also grateful to those families and businesses who make donations to Aspiring Learners to help families in need.

On-line Learning

We believe all students should have equal access to specialist tuition programmes. Our tutors design individualised on-line programmes for students who live further afield and those who can't meet face to face every week.

“You made maths fun!”


“I used to think I couldn’t do it.”


“It makes me feel comfortable learning this way.”


“He is, most importantly, a much happier boy as a consequence!”

Lisa, Parent

“Kristin created individual methods of learning that really supported our son to achieve. She understood his needs on many levels and this was key to his success. Imagine going from gaining excellence in an NCEA paper, incredible!”

Kaz, Parent

“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.”

Confucius, 450 BC