Te Whariki

Children learn a huge amount in the first years of their lives. Participating in quality early childhood education strengthens this early learning and lays a strong foundation for later success.

All early childhood education services in Papatoetoe are required to deliver a curriculum that
empowers young children to be confident and competent learners. The framework for this curriculum is set out in Te Whāriki, which has recently been updated.

Each service weaves a local curriculum (or whāriki) based on the principles, strands, goals and learning outcomes found in Te Whāriki. When deciding which areas to focus on, teachers and educators take into account the interests, strengths and needs of the children and the aspirations of parents, whānau and community.

Te Whāriki supports every child to be strong in his or her identity, language and culture.

Te Whariki includes principles and strands which together describe a holistic curriculum


Empowerment Whakamana

Early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and glow.

Holistic Development KATAHITANGA

Early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way that children learn and grow.

Family And Community WHANAU TANGATA

The wider world of family and community is an integral part of early childhood curriculum.

Relationships NGA HONONGA

Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people places and things.


Wellbeing MANA ATUA

The health and wellbeing of the child are protected and nurtured


Children and their families feel a sense of belonging

Contribution MANA TANGATA

Opportunities for learning are equitable, and each child’s contribution is valued

Communication MANA REO

The languages and symbols of children’s own and other cultures are promoted and protected


Exploration MANA AOTUROA

The child learns through active exploration of the environment

Our three room names have been chosen based on the learning dispositions of age group of our tamariki in that room.

Te Aroha 0 – 2 years

Te Aroha which is our Infants and toddlers room (4 months to 2 years) is all about love and building those strong relationships with our children and our whanau as they start their journey with us. This room is all about aroha, getting to know each other, the tamariki decide their own routines and the Kaiako take the cue from the children. It’s the first step for our little friends in the outside world where they learn and understand about friendships and relationships. It is their initial introduction to building their sense of belonging to a place different from home and also to explore a new environment with new and different ways of doing things.

Mahira 2 – 3.5 years

Mahira is our room for 2 to 3 ½ years old. The word Mahira means curiosity. Our tamariki are curious about the world around them. It’s about exploring their environment, about imagining, inventing, experimenting, about learning to express themselves, about taking the time and space to understand who they are and what their place in this environment is. We strive for a safe and stimulating environment where we value learning through play, where our tamariki have the time, space and freedom to explore, make their choices, initiate and participate in variety of experiences.

Pakiki 3.5 – 5 years

Pakiki is our preschool room from 3 ½ years old to 5 or till they leave for school. Pakiki means asking questions. We strongly believe that our tamariki are competent and confident learners who are ready to take the responsibility and lead for their learning with the support of their Kaiako. By encouraging the children to ask questions, we want the children to be explorers, to be investigators, scientists. Our Pakiki Tamariki learn different strategies of reasoning and problem solving which helps them to make sense of their worlds by generating and refining their own work theories.
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Meal Times

Food is at the heart of each day at Koru Kids Early Learning Centre. We offer nutrition-focused child care in New Zealand because it’s our firm belief that nutrition plays a big part in learning and development.

Guided lunch box days – Monday and Friday On these days our children bring food from home. What began as a way to get the older children ready for school has spread throughout the center, and everyone loves the variety! We help our tamariki and their whanau to make healthy choices.

Nutritious meals provided – Tuesday to Thursday Good food is brain food. We lead by example during the rest of the week, providing fresh, healthy meals prepared by Reeta, our wonderful nutritionist and cook. We’ve created child-friendly delicious menus that celebrate our cultures. We also take into account special dietary requirements, such as halal food, or vegetarian, which are catered for separately.

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