Our Curriculum

Our curriculum is unique to Aotearoa/New Zealand and designed to provide the very best early learning experiences for children. Please read our testimonials about what our parents say about us.

We follow the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum Te Whāriki and include Key Competencies form the New Zealand School Curriculum which encourages children to be Ready, Willing and Able. We are influenced by a number of approaches including overseas approaches such as Reggio Emilia and Montessori (Italy), Forest/Nature schools (Northern Europe), Howard Gardner s Multiple Intelligences (USA). Brain research which has become available over the past 10 - 15 years (Brainwave Trust) and New Zealand research (Competent Children NZCER) also a major influence on the way we operate.

While we include these influential approaches our programme is unique to the New Zealand setting. We provide the best of In Centre programmes combined with regular trips into the wider community. This provides opportunities for children to make sense of their world. There are a lot of wonderful opportunities for discussion, debate and wonder as well as literacy and numeracy in an appropriate context.

Philosophy and Aims

Children learn best when experiences are meaningful, relevant and in context.

Our philosophy is to provide opportunities where children can learn through play and provide experiences to prepare them for life as well as for school.

Our programme is supportive but challenging and provides opportunities for independent exploration, encourages thinking and creativity in order for children to grow into competent and confident learners.

Our teachers recognise each child as unique and have the flexibility to provide an appropriate programme for each child.

A Real Life Connection

A mother of one of our children was very happy to tell us that when her son and a friends child were both asked the question "where does milk come from?" her friends child replied "from the shop" while her son defiantly protested "No, it comes from a Cow!"

Positive Outdoor Experiences / Trips and Excursions

We aim to provide positive outdoor experiences in bush, beach and urban settings. Playing outside has an enormous impact on children's development and has positive health and motor skill benefits.

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

Information Communication Technology (ICT) has become a big part of our world and our children's world. At Play and Learn we want to provide the best learning opportunities for children and families. We encourage children to explore through play and become confident and familiar with all the tools they need in their lives.

We would like to lay down the foundations for responsible and knowledgeable use of ICT to make use of the technologies that are available now and that will become available. This will include the use of digital cameras, creating DVDs and movies, using digital microscopes, computers searching for information, emailing parents and whānau stories, photos, video and Skype, this will include children and their friends. The possibilities are endless.

Reading & Writing Fundamentals

These are embedded into our curriculum through relevant and real experiences, stories are read throughout the day, children are encouraged to write their names and write stories when they are ready to do this. Research shows that introducing children to formal education before they are ready will do more harm than good.

Children learn through experiences and relationships. Real life experiences provide life skills and embed learning in meaningful ways, an example is the book baby lambs first drink which is a common reading starter for new entrants at school, while our children enjoy reading this book they connect and learn more by seeing a real lamb feeding.


So while we still enjoy reading books with children we believe that their learning is enhanced more by the actual experience and when they do move on to formal education their connections will enhance their learning ability.

Art / Music

Again we embed our art into the curriculum in meaningful ways. We provide a wide range of materials for children to think about and choose, e.g. we may read a story about a lion or the beach and then decide to paint or draw the story. Children will choose which materials and colours they will need (paint/dye/crayon/felts/clay/white or coloured paper/cardboard etc). This develops thinking, creativity and self help skills which are so important for life.

Music is part of our everplay programme once again the children that are interested will actively participate. We provide a variety of musical opportunities so everyone gets to participate.


Our routines are not bound by rigid structure but rather by the childs rhythms and learning. It is much like a home situation. Children usually eat in groups with their friends around the usual eating times; they must wash their hands and sit down but are able to picnic in appropriate areas. Children sleep at times they would at home.