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Te Uru

551 Castle Street North – Te Pā Building
Head Teacher Alan Somerville
Phone +64 3 471 4416 (Head teacher)
+64 3 471 4417 (Centre)
Age range 2–5 years
Hours 7:45am–5:30pm

Children playing outside

Te Uru
The strength of trees standing together

Nau mai haere mai!

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa.

Every child is important in Te Uru. We approach them with aroha and look to uphold their mana and their physical, emotional, and cultural well-being. We have a play based programme with a balance of child initiated and intentional teaching experiences. Through this we provide security for children and extend their learning.

We have about 40 children in Te Uru, spread between our two main playrooms and our outside playground. For most of the day children are free to choose where they play. That means 2, 3 and 4-year-olds are mixing throughout the day. For the younger children this is a chance to learn from the older ones; and it gives the older children opportunities to develop their caring and nurturing side. We have a ratio of 1:8 qualified teachers to children, and in parts of the day it is often better than this.

Most of the children coming into Te Uru come from Te Maioha, our under-twos centre. For all children new to the centre we have a two week settling period, when they spend time here and get to know the place and the people. If children have not been in centre-based care before sometimes we make that longer than two weeks.

We have a well-established Bush programme. Once a week the twelve oldest children across all of Te Pā (Te Uru, Te Puna, and Te Pārekereke o te Kī) explore the wilds of Woodhaugh or the Botanic gardens together. It immerses them in the natural world and gives them the chance to deal with new and challenging situations.

Te Uru philosophy

We consulted our community to decide what is most important for children here. Here’s what we came up with. We begin with a whakatauki to set the scene, and then the centre’s learning priorities below.

Poipoia te kakano kia puawai

Nurture the seed and it will blossom

Tūrakawaewae

For us this means that children will develop:

  • A strong sense of belonging
  • Certainty that this is a safe place
  • Satisfaction that their own family, culture and values are represented here
  • An attitude of care for the environment

I’m grounded and empowered here.

Tino rakatirataka

For us this means that children will develop:

  • A secure sense of self
  • Resilience in the face of challenge and new situations
  • Increasing ability to regulate their emotions
  • Ability to judge risk appropriately
  • Confidence to make decisions
  • A sense of fairness and justice and confidence to advocate for themselves and others

I’m in control of myself.

Māramataka

For us this means that children will develop:

  • Open and enquiring minds
  • Curiosity about the world
  • Enthusiasm for literacy and numeracy

I love to learn new things.

Whanaukataka

For us this means that children will develop:

  • The skills to make and maintain friendships
  • Confidence to communicate
  • Kindness
  • Empathy

I connect with other people.

Kai

Our cook prepares varied and nutritious lunches as well as morning and afternoon tea. Our younger children have lunch usually in groups of 6–12 with two teachers, and after this many of them have an afternoon sleep. The older children have a self service “cafe lunch” where they learn to be responsible for their own food choices.

Read the latest Te Pā ERO report