The educational programme offered at Olive Shoots is based on Te Whariki, New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, and reflects the Christian ethos of our centre while also respecting the cultural diversity of the community.

The programme is child centred and provides for the individual needs of the children and the holistic way they learn and grow.

The Learning We Value at Olive Shoots...

Te Taha Whanau – Family, Community

  • Celebrating cultural diversity.
  • Embracing the concept of ako, where the teacher and child are seen as co-learners.
  • Developing an increasing competency of techniques and skills for communication.
  • Building reciprocal relationships and expanding experiences with families, whanau, places and events.
  • Developing social skills.
  • Being mindful and considerate of others.

Te Taha Hinengaro – Emotional, Mental

  • Empowering children to take responsibility for making choices about their own learning and behaviour.
  • Developing imagination and creativity through play.
  • Developing problem solving skills.
  • Developing literacy and numeracy skills.

Te Taha Wairua – Spiritual

  • Understanding that God loves us and has created us uniquely and we are valuable to Him irrespective of gender, culture and abilities.
  • Developing a sense of wonder and curiosity about God’s world.
  • Developing a knowledge and experience of the Fruit of the Spirit.
  • Experiencing opportunities to be engaged in an environment where praise, worship, prayer and learning from the Bible are valued.

Te Taha Tiana – Physical

  • Learning to show respect and care for themselves, the environment and our resources.
  • Growing control of body and physical co-ordination.
  • Encouraging children to try new things and take risks.


Our Te Whariki curriculum provides us “with a framework of principles, strands goals and learning outcomes that foregrounds the mana of the child and the importance of respectful, reciprocal relationships”.

Further to this it also states that “this framework provides a basis for each setting (ie Olive Shoots) to weave a local curriculum that reflects its own distinctive character and values”. (MoE, 2017, p.7)

Our centre’s five local curriculum focuses are:

  • Our Christian Faith

  • Bi cultural & Multicultural Partnerships

  • Creativity

  • Active Movement

  • Social and Emotional Competency

Throughout each week, children may be involved in Music and Movement sessions, have art sessions, learning within our Christian Curriculum framework, encouragement with social and emotional competency and grow in our bi cultural and multi-cultural  ways of being and doing. 

This local curriculum in its various forms can be seen throughout our Centre life. Further information on local curriculum is on the Reception wall.

Download the “Te Whariki curriculum” here.


Assessment is a key component of the programme. There are three areas that our teachers use in planning and assessment.

Noticing what your child does, is interested in and talks about.

Recognising what learning patterns each child has and identifying areas of skill and knowledge. 

Responding – ways in which to develop, or extend learning opportunities.


Every child has a special portfolio documenting their journey of learning.

We encourage you to take time to talk with your child’s teachers and discuss with them your child’s development.

Feel free to ask to view your child's portfolio at any time.


As well as the hard copy portfolio, each child has an online portfolio on Educa. This  helps encourage stronger links with home, allowing parents to have immediate access to new learning stories, make comments and to send us photos that you want to share with us. 

We also send messages on Educa to keep you informed about upcoming events.

​Where learning is
encouraged and fun.