Our Philosophy

Here at Pupuke, we welcome children and their whanau into a safe, trusting and respectful environment where they will be loved and acknowledged with warmth by friendly, professional staff. We want families to feel comfortable and experience a sense of belonging in a relaxed, caring environment.

Our families are valued; we are serious about what we do and our staff are competent and skilled. Children are active participants in their learning which, we believe, should happen daily and our parents are welcomed resources who deserve to be listened to. We acknowledge parents and whᾱnau as a child’s first teachers and we want to collaborate with them in decision making, providing regular feedback and encouraging them to be actively involved in what we do.

Children will be learning about solving problems, taking risks by trying new things, learning from their mistakes and developing knowledge and skills. We also believe children should be encouraged to be independent, confident, socially competent, empathetic, resilient and happy. We want them to be tolerant of others and considerate of their feelings. To achieve this and build a respectful relationship with both the child and family we will observe their behaviour, support them and extend their knowledge; at the same time we need to keep learning as fun as possible. We need to assess what children know and work together to co-construct and extend their learning. We will show children by example and ensure our behaviour mirrors what we want to see in children. We will encourage them to try to do things for themselves, help and support their efforts, encourage their natural learning, listen to and collaborate with them. This will be achieved through peer tutoring, learning alongside others and developing and encouraging teina-tuakana relationships. Our programme aims to provide for children’s needs holistically in a secure, safe and loving environment.

Our philosophy is strongly inspired by Te Whaariki, The Virtues Project, Schemas, and theorists such as Urie Bronfenbrenner, Lev Vygotsky, Erik Erikson, John Dewy, Jerome Bruner, Magda Gerber, Reggio Emilia and Howard Gardner.  Teachers will use their personal experience and values to frame their approach to teaching.  Our programme is play based, always with the child’s voice guiding us.  We believe children are individuals, with a right to be respected and treated as capable learners.  They need to feel loved and to be kept safe from harm.  They are competent and curious with boundless potential.  We believe that children have the right to freedom of choice and that they and their whanau should be strongly involved in decisions that directly affect them.  Nurturing Te Reo and Tikanga Maori is an important part of our centre philosophy.

We would like the children of Pupuke Early Education Centre to leave us with positive attitudes towards learning, a thirst for knowledge and an empathy, tolerance, and respect for all cultures.

Our programme is based on the principles of:

  • Empowerment
  • Holistic Development
  • Family and Community
  • Relationships

And the learning strands of:

  • Well Being
  • Belonging
  • Communication
  • Contribution
  • Exploration (taken from the New Zealand Curriculum Te Whaariki)

Contact us

20 Lake Pupuke Drive,


Phone: 09 489 8666

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday

Full day – 7:30am-5:30pm
Part day – 8:30am-3:30pm

Free morning session

8am-11:30am (Tui and Pukeko Rooms – for 3-4 year olds) 

Free afternoon session

12:30pm-4:30pm (Pukeko Room only – for 3-4 year olds)