Our Centre

Small Kauri has over 18 years of learning and development that has helped to influence and shape our environment. Every space and resource within our centre has been designed and reflected on according to the best for our children, to provide the highest quality learning experiences


Indoors we have a lovely large space, with different areas dedicated to providing wide ranging play options. Allowing children to have control over the different play they engage in.

- Large wooden blocks and puzzles.

- Musical instruments.

- Dolls, kitchen and dress up area.

- Cars, mobilo, animals.

- Māori resource area.

- Art and writing resources.

- Extensive book collection in three areas; non-fiction and fiction library area, board books area, and the current interest book area.

-As well as any resources in the office which teachers select according to interest or provocation. Children may ask for additional or different resources throughout the day. 


Our indoors flows out to our cycling/scooting/ball play area, climbing frame and boxes over safety matting, a carpentry table (in summer), a large sandpit; pipes, buckets spades.

We have two main fruit and vegetable gardens.

Water trough and equipment.

A playhouse designed and built along with Small Kauri children.

We have a permanent carpentry (out the back in the winter and the front in summer) and art area, with an emphasis on up-cycling and recycled materials.

Loose parts; wood, bricks, pipes, stones. These enable children to imagine, plan, create, modify using trial and error and problem-solving.


We like to involve children in helping to rethink areas and continue to shape our learning environment. Children develop a great sense of respect and responsibility for the resources provided.

We are right in the heart of Mangere Bridge community, near the shops. We take regular walking excursions to the shops, the waterfront, up Mangere Mountain, to Mangere Bridge School, as well as planned trips to Ambury Farm, Rogers Garden Centre. Trips on buses, trains, art galleries. 

At Small Kauri it is important to allow children to be active participants in their learning. We provide wide ranging resources and work along side children. 

We work to assess and recognize what each individual child's interests and knowledge is, working to provide opportunities for the extension and development of their thinking, language, participating and contributing, their ability to manage self and relate to others (The New Zealand Curriculum, five key competencies). Through this children develop a passion and drive for learning.

This is possible due to our high Teacher to child ratio, our teachers being fully registered qualified early childhood teachers and our wide ranging experience in education.


Listen to Nathan Mikaere-Wallis (Lead Trainer for Brainwave Trust, past lecturer at the Christchurch College of Education, lecturing in human development, brain development, language and communication and risk and resilience) discuss 'What 3 to 7 year olds need to learn'

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2595176/what-3-to-7-year-olds-need-to-learn-nathan-mikaere-wallis