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All our experiences during the early years significantly go towards shaping and determining the ongoing development of knowledge, the acquisition of skills and particularly the forming of attitudes, dispositions, beliefs, survival strategies and behavioural habits.  Early childhood education begins the process of passing on the knowledge, attitudes and values of our families and society to our children. The early years is the time when a child learns and forms the basis of all he/she will believe and know to be true on how to function in life. It is the time when foundations are laid and children need positive calm guidance and assistance to develop healthy emotional & mental, social, intellectual, cognitive, cultural, creative, physical and basic survival skills.

"The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives." Robert M Hutchins American Educator. At Poppies, we consider our ongoing function as early childhood teachers is to maintain quality teaching practices through enthusiastic, positive and soul inspiring guidance. We aim to nurture, support, guide, encourage, and foster a child's sense of well-being and belonging, promote contribution, develop and extend communication and inspire exploration particularly by being good role models and innovative facilitators. Our programme intends to guide, encourage and support children to lift the lid on potential. Delivery is vital. At Poppies we understand that what we tell them affects what they believe. What they believe affects who they become. We call them brave when they are scared.  We call them strong and tell them 'they can do it' when they have hurt themselves. We teach the children positive problem solving skills. We practice, as far a possible 'conscious teaching' which directs good soul to soul teaching. Teaching with heart.

There is an old proverb: The most precious gifts you can give a child are roots to grow and wings to fly.  At Poppies, we believe that children need to develop healthy strong roots in order for their wings to work effectively and successfully. They need the safety of a secure base and the confidence to expand beyond it. Self-esteem is at the core of this developmental process. When children feel good about themselves and their abilities, they are able to take flight and explore, discover and learn effectively and successfully. We believe it is very important to promote self esteem. There are three areas of self esteem that need to be affirmed on the way to developing sound emotional and mental health for life.

  1. The first is existence - all children benefit from being affirmed as significant valued individuals
  2. The second is the feeling of accomplishment - we believe in celebrating with children as they learn to take pride in their efforts and achievements/successes
  3. The third is learning to deal with failure, loss, and the challenges of change which can bring about fear. A fearful experience can be responded to positively and negatively. Children need to develop a degree of healthy resilience, adaptability and the skills to begin again, pick themselves up and move on. We believe in role modelling and helping children to understand that the feeling of disappointment and sadness is inevitable.  It is also only temporary. Failure/loss/change is not the end of the world and can be an opportunity to reflect, grow and potentially experience things differently and better going forward. We teach children at Poppies to become self aware, to value themselves, others and the environment. - following disappointment there is always the space for us to learn something new, reflect and proceed cheerfully again.

At Poppies we aim to assist the development of healthy roots and effective wings for children through experiences in an environment where:

  • their health is promoted and emotional and mental well-being is protected and nurtured
  • they will feel safe and secure and independence is supported and encouraged 
  • positive experiences, language and messages develop a healthy self esteem
  • they are supported to value themselves, others and the environment
  • they are supported to believe in themselves and their independent abilities
  • they develop healthy strategies to keep themselves safe and self manage appropriately 
  • connecting links with the family and the wider world are affirmed and extended
  • they know they have a place and feel a sense of belonging at Poppies
  • they feel comfortable with our routines, customs, and regular events
  • they know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour
  • there are equitable opportunities for learning, irrespective of gender, ability, age, ethnicity, or background
  • they are affirmed as individuals
  • they are encouraged to learn with and alongside others
  • they develop positive non-verbal and verbal communication skills for a range of purposes
  • they experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures
  • they discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive
  • their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognised as they gain confidence in and control of their bodies
  • they learn strategies for active exploration, thinking and reasoning
  • they develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical and material worlds


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Our aim at Poppies is to offer young children a high quality introduction to a successful life of learning.

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Poppies is proud to support Child Fund New Zealand's Change Creators Programme