For the Love of Learning

Pebbles Cashmere Montessori

Belinda Slade


Kia ora, my name is Belinda

I am a trained early childhood teacher and primary  teacher with special needs experience. I have always aspired to owning a very unique and special preschool and am thrilled that there are now three Pebbles Preschools in the Christchurch area! I moved from England to Christchurch in 2000 with my husband and two children, Sam and Daisy. I enjoy being on the teaching floor, reading and swimming.

Bushra Shahabdeen

Assistant Manager - Tui Room

Kia ora, my name is Bushra 


I have a Diploma in Early Childhood and Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood. I have been teaching for 13 years in Montessori schools. I have been working as a Teacher, Head Teacher and Centre Manager throughout my teaching career. I am passionate about Montessori and would love to share my knowledge with your children. I am privileged to watch them grow and develop their young mind, and being part of their journey.

I am married with two daughters, Shihana and Shameelah. I am from Sri Lanka and lived in Dubai for 13 years. We moved to New Zealand 16 years ago, enjoying the kiwi culture. I love traveling and visiting different Montessori schools in other part of the world.

Jemma Smithson

General Manager/Centre Manager

Kia ora, my name is Jemma

I have been teaching in The Early Childhood sector for over 20 years. I am passionate about leadership and ensuring our children at Pebbles have the best quality education and care here in Christchurch.  Together with my husband Nick and two children Bryn and Elsie, we enjoy camping and travelling together.

Kelsey Cumberland

Head Teacher - Kea Room

Kia ora, my name is Kelsey


I am a qualified early childhood teacher, I gained my Bachelor of Teaching through the New Zealand Tertiary College, and I have been teaching since 2013.

I am passionate about creating a caring and nurturing environment for the children in my care. I aim to create a space where children feel they have a place, they are encouraged to thrive and they are treated with respect.

Outside of work I am mum to a very energetic boy Xavier, we enjoy spending time together, with our family and travelling when we can. We have a Husky cross dog named Trixie and a beautiful cat called Blossom.

Emily Whall

Early Childhood Teacher

Kia ora, my name is Emily

 I am really excited to join Kelsey and Luckmini in the Kea room as one of the key teachers. I have recently just finished my Bachelor of Education in early childhood education and will be working alongside the kaiako here to complete my teacher's registration. I am looking forward to developing relationships with the children as well as whānau over the next few months.

Laura O’Shea

Laura O'Shea

Early Childhood Teacher

Kia ora, my name is Laura

I have a degree in Montessori Early Childhood Education and completed my studies in Ireland, my home country. I am a passionate Montessori teacher and am looking forward to sharing my wealth of knowledge with Pebbles.


I joined the Pebbles team in October 2017 after spending the last 5 years working in a Montessori school in Christchurch, Adelaide and South Australia. The outside environment is important to me and in my spare time I enjoy running, Crossfit, surfing and playing rugby. 

Channtal Hodgson

Early Childhood Teacher

Kia ora, my name is Channtal


I am the breaks cover teacher in the Tui and Kea rooms. I have a Bachelor of Education and Diploma of Teaching. As a Primary school teacher I spent 13 years in New Entrant/Junior level and for the past 3 years have had the pleasure of teaching in the Early Childhood sector.

I have 3 children and enjoy watching their sport, travelling and spending time with them and my husband in my spare time.

Loving the outdoors, I also like a good walk up the hills, bike ride or swim, finishing with a coffee with friends or family.

Kristi Daly

Early Childhood Teacher

Kia ora, my name is Kristi

I am a trained early childhood and Montessori teacher with 23 years experience in teaching, management and tertiary education. 

At the heart of my philosophy continues to be my commitment to responsive relationships with children, families and the teaching team, coupled with providing rich learning experiences for ākonga.  Our goal is to foster an intrinsic natural desire where children develop a quest for knowledge and a love of learning. 

 I am married with two children, Ella and Harry. We have two Bichon Poodles and an adorable kitten. 

Sakshi Yadav

Early Childhood Teacher

Hi, I am Sakshi Yadav.


I have done Post Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Education from New Zealand Tertiary College and Bachelor of Education from India. I have been working with Pebbles for one year and love working here with lovely staff. Teaching young children is my passion and I have worked as a kindergarten teacher in India for more than 12 years. I am staying in Cashmere, Christchurch with my husband and seven-year-old son who studies in Thorrington School. I love spending time with my family and friends.

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