Our Philosophy

It is our mission at Poppies Kindergarten to provide the highest quality care and education to inspire  young children and ignite their passion for a happy and successful life of learning. Our aim is to find your child’s unique strengths and bring out their full potential. 

The philosophy, values and beliefs at Poppies are firmly underpinned by the principles inherent in Te Whāriki (the NZ early childhood curriculum). These are:


Holistic Development

Family and Community




Whānau Tangata

Ngā Hononga

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 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 they 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 and physical skills.

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.  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’, teaching with heart and soul.

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 are proud to join you in giving our tamariki the best possible start to life.  Respect, good manners and social skills are taught and modelled by our teachers.

Our values:

Demonstrating Respect

Communicating Effectively

Encouraging Exploration and Curiosity

Building Confidence

Having Fun in everything we do

The values we teach our tamariki in their early years will be the values engrained in them for the rest of their lives.

“Ko nga pae tawhiti whāia kia tata, ko nga pae tata, whakamaua kia tina”
The potential for tomorrow depends on what we do today.

Learning at Poppies

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself”.

John Dewey

We have 2 spacious classrooms on the lower level and a large communal gym on the upper level
The Bear Cubs room is for our new entrants aged approximately between 2-3 ½ years old
The Lion Cubs room is for children aged approximately between 4-6 years old.
We have many siblings who attend, and our environment allows for them to visit one another in the two spaces.
The gym is an area where we are able to join together in a larger unencumbered space to stimulate and promote social, creative and physical development; including dance and drama, music and movement and gross motor skill development especially on wet days.

At Poppies we aim to promote the learning and development of all children by providing a program of planned play based learning experiences. We have a strong focus on promoting the development of early literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge. A wide range of equipment and resources are provided both indoors and outdoors and programs are designed to inspire and stimulate a child’s natural thirst for learning. Children are invited to participate in experiences and to share their passions, interests and ideas with others. Our qualified and experienced teachers observe and assess children on a regular basis and this information is used to form plans for the program. Our program includes opportunities for  children to participate in individual and small group learning experiences and projects which aim to promote holisitc learning and development.

We regularly plan excursions into the wider area to maintain children’s connections with their local community and areas of interest, such as visiting the local library, old folks home, parks & bushwalks and visits to local primary schools. Through engagement with the local environment, children can develop a sense of belonging to their local community and the wider world.

At Poppies we embrace the Maori concept of Tuakana-teina, where a more experienced child guides and offers support to their younger or less experienced peers.

Transition To School Program

The Poppies Transition to School Programme integrates Te Whariki (the Early Childhood Curriculum of NZ) with the New Zealand Curriculum Framework (the Curriculum for NZ schools).

At Poppies we offer a specialised Transition to School program two afternoons per week, in a separate classroom, taken by trained Primary School and ECE Teachers.  On your child’s first day in transition classes, he/she will be equipped with a sta­tionary kit. This kit includes, a book bag, a homework folder and a writing book.

Our aim is to ensure your children are well prepared and confident to start school, with a solid foundation in the academic skills of early literacy & numeracy, as well as social skills. We introduce children to the idea of applying themselves to a task and remaining focused on it right through to completion. We regularly receive positive feedback from parents about their child’s successful start to school.

We aim to support the children to make their transition to school as smooth as possible – preparing children both socially, emotionally and educationally for the next steps in their journey.

During these classes the teachers provide more complex challenging and stimulating group activities to further develop and extend their skills in the following essential learning areas in preparation for school:

Communication, Language and Literacy: children gain an increasing ability to gain knowledge, to convey and receive information, instructions, and ideas effectively and confidently by listening, speaking, and using visual language in a range of contexts.  Our programme introduces the children to letters and numbers using the hugely successful and fun Casey Caterpillar pro­gramme and Jolly Phonics.

Mathematics and Numeracy: children are able to develop competence in more complex mathematical concepts and enjoy using them in a variety of ways – exploring mathematical concepts encourages creativity, perseverance, and self confidence.

Information and Listening: children develop more complex abilities to question, locate, and process information and to see people, books, and other media as resources.  Children develop more complex reflective and creative thinking as they contribute ideas and try them out with others.

Self-management and Competitive: as children explore, they show initiative, commitment, perseverance, courage, and enterprise and they adapt to new situations. Children also develop constructive ways of dealing with challenge, competition, and success and failure, developing some skills of self appraisal and self-advocacy.

Social and Co-operative: children take some responsibility as members of a group in a common task, developing good relationships with others and demonstrating respect for the rights of others. Work and Study: children develop confidence to manage some tasks independently and are able to pay attention in spite of distractions.

Our aim is not to push children into “academic” work, rather more, to provide the opportunities for those children who are interested and ready.

Additional charges apply for our specialised Transition to School program – please refer to our Centre Manager for more information.