Te Whāriki

Coastlands Preschool uses Te Whāriki, New Zealand’s unique early childhood curriculum, to guide our teaching and learning.

Te Whāriki is used as the basis of our planning in order to ensure the development and well-being of each child.

Te Whāriki is comprised of four principles, five strands and 18 goals. These are woven through and around each other to create our curriculum to allow our children to develop in eight essential key skills.




Empowering your child to develop confidently by themselves, by recognising and enhancing their mana and enoucraing them to support the mana of others. 

Holistic Development/Kotahitanga

Ensuring your child develops across all areas - cognitive (hinengaro), physical (tinana), emotional (whatumanawa), spiritual (wairua), and social and cultural.

Family and Community/Whānau tangata

Developing meaningful relationships with whānau to enable your child’s culture, knowledge and community to be affirmed.

Relationships/Ngā hononga

Learning about relationships, through responsive and reciprocal actions, behaviour and words. This applies to people, places and things, and their feelings and actions between your child and them.

Strands and Goals

Learning Strand

Mana Atua

Learning Goals


The health and well being of your child is protected and their emotional well being is nurtured.

Your child will experience an environment where:

  • Their health is promoted;

  • Their emotional well-being is nurtured;

  • They are kept safe from harm.

Your child will become increasingly capable of:

  • Keeping themselves healthy and caring for themselves | te oranga nui 

  • Managing themselves and expressing their feelings and needs | te whakahua whakaaro

  • Keeping themselves and others safe from harm | te noho haumaru

These outcomes will be observed as learning in progress when, for example, children demonstrate:

  • Understanding of their bodies and how they function and how to keep themselves healthy. 
  • Respect for tapu as it relates to themselves and others. 
  • Confidence, independence, and a positive attitude towards self-help and self-care skills relating to food preparation, healthy eating and drinking, hygiene, toileting, resting, sleeping, washing and dressing. 
  • An awareness of hauora and healthy lifestyles. 
  • A sense of personal worth and cultural identity and the ability to make choices, focus attention, maintain concentration and be involved. 
  • An ability to express emotional needs and ask for attention and to trust that their needs will be met. 
  • Capacity for self-regulation and resilience in the face of challenges. 
  • Capacity for tolerating and enjoying a moderate degree of change, surprise, uncertainty and puzzlement. 
  • Knowledge about how to keep themselves safe from harm and the ability to take risks. 
  • A sense of responsibility for their own wellbeing and that of others. 
  • Respect for tikanga and rules about not harming others and the environment and an understanding of the reasons for such rules. 


Learning Strand

Mana Whenua

Learning Goals

Your child and family will feel a sense of belonging.

Your child will experience an environment where:

  • Connecting links with the family and the wider world are affirmed and extended;
  • They know that they have a place;
  • They feel comfortable with the routines, customs, and regular events;
  • They know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour.

Over time and with guidance and encouragement, children become increasingly capable of: 

  • Making connections between people, places and things in their world | te waihanga hononga 
  • Taking part in caring for this place | te manaaki i te taiao 
  • Understanding how things work here and adapting to change | te mārama ki te āhua o ngā whakahaere me te mōhio ki te panoni 
  • Showing respect for kaupapa, rules and the rights of others | te mahi whakaute 

These outcomes will be observed as learning in progress when, for example, children demonstrate: 

  • An ability to connect their learning in the ECE setting with experiences at home and in familiar cultural communities and a sense of themselves as global citizens. 
  • Interest and pleasure in learning about the wider, unfamiliar world. 
  • A feeling of belonging – and that they have a right to belong – in the ECE setting. 
  • Knowledge about features of the local area, such as a river or mountain (this may include their spiritual significance). 
  • Ability to play an active part in the running of the programme, take on different roles and take responsibility for their own actions. 
  • Skills in caring for the environment, such as cleaning, fixing and gardening. 
  • Ability to help others with self-care skills. 
  • Ability to anticipate routines, customs and regular events and to know what is acceptable and valued behaviour. 
  • Predictability and consistency in their behaviour towards, and responding to, others. 
  • Understanding of the reasons for rules about acceptable behaviour. 
  • Understanding of the kaupapa of the ECE setting and the need to be fair to all children. 

Learning Strands

Mana Tangata

Learning Goals

Opportunities for learning are equitable, and your child’s contribution is valued.

Your child will experience an environment where:

  • They have equitable opportunities for learning, irrespective of gender, ability, age, ethnicity, or background;
  • They are affirmed as individuals
  • They are encouraged to learn with and alongside others.

Your child will become increasingly capable of:

  • Treating others fairly and including them in play | te ngākau makuru 
  • Recognising and appreciating their own ability to learn | te rangatiratanga 
  • Using a range of strategies and skills to play and learn with others | te ngākau aroha 

These outcomes will be observed as learning in progress when, for example, children demonstrate: 

  • Respect for others, the ability to identify and accept another point of view, and acceptance of and ease of interaction with children of other genders, capabilities and ethnic groups. 
  • Confidence that their family background is viewed positively in the ECE setting. 
  • Confidence to stand up for themselves and others against biased ideas and discriminatory behaviour. 
  • A positive learner identity and a realistic perception of themselves as being able to acquire new interests and capabilities. 
  • Awareness of the strategies they use to learn new skills and generate and refine working theories. 
  • Ability to use memory, perspective taking, metacognition and other cognitive strategies for thinking, and ability to make links between past, present and future. 
  • Awareness of their own special strengths and confidence that these are recognised and valued. 
  • Social skills and the ability to take responsibility for fairness in their interactions with others. 
  • Strategies and skills, including conversation skills, for initiating, maintaining and enjoying relationships with others. 
  • Strategies for resolving conflicts in peaceful ways and an awareness of cultural values and expectations. 
  • A sense of responsibility and respect for the needs and wellbeing of the group, including the ability to take responsibility for group decisions. 
  • Awareness of the ways in which they can make contributions to groups and group wellbeing, including within digitally mediated contexts. 

Learning Strand

Mana Reo

Learning Goals

The languages and symbols of your child’s own and other cultures are promoted and protected.

Your child will experience an environment where:

  • They will develop non-verbal communication skills for a range of purposes;

  • They will develop verbal communication skills for a range of purposes;

  • They will experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures;

  • They will discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive.

Your child will become increasingly capable of:

  • Using gesture and movement to express themselves | he kōrero ā-tinana
  • Understanding oral language3 and using it for a range of purposes | he kōrero ā-waha 
  • Enjoying hearing4 stories and retelling and creating them | he kōrero paki 
  • Recognising print symbols and concepts and using them with enjoyment, meaning and purpose | he kōrero tuhituhi 
  • Recognising mathematical symbols and concepts and using them with enjoyment, meaning and purpose | he kōrero pāngarau 
  • Expressing their feelings and ideas using a wide range of materials and modes | he kōrero auaha 

These outcomes will be observed as learning in progress when, for example, children demonstrate: 

  • Ability to express their feelings and emotions in a range of appropriate non-verbal ways and to respond to the non-verbal requests of others. 
  • Use of responsive and reciprocal skills such as turn taking. 
  • Use of a large vocabulary and complex syntax, awareness of sounds in words, rhythm and rhyme, recognition of some letters and print concepts and interest in storytelling in one or more languages and in reading and writing. 
  • Confidence that their first language is valued and increasing ability in the use of at least one language. 
  • An appreciation of te reo Māori as a living and relevant language. 
  • An understanding that symbols can be ‘read’ by others and that thoughts, experiences and ideas can be represented as words, pictures, numbers, sounds, shapes, models and photographs in print and digital formats. 
  • Familiarity with and enjoyment of stories and literature valued by the cultures represented in the community. 
  • Familiarity with numbers and their uses by exploring and observing their use in activities that have meaning and purpose. 
  • Ability to explore, enjoy and describe patterns and relationships related to quantity, number, measurement, shape and space. 
  • Recognition that numbers can amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform and excite. 
  • Use of language to express feelings and attitudes, negotiate, create and retell stories, communicate information and solve problems. 
  • Skill and confidence with art and craft processes, such as cutting, drawing, collage, painting, printmaking, weaving, stitching, carving and constructing. 
  • Skills with multiple media and tools, such as crayons, pencils, paint, blocks, wood, musical instruments, movement and educational technologies that can be used for expressing moods or feelings or representing information. 
  • Ability to be creative and expressive through a variety of activities, such as visual arts activities, imaginative play, carpentry, storytelling, drama and making music. 
  • Understanding and familiarity with music, song, dance, drama and art from a range of cultures and recognition that these media can amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform and excite and that they may suit particular cultural occasions. 

Learning Strand

Mana Aotūroa

Learning Goals

Your child will learn through active exploration of the environment.

You child will experience an environment where:

  • Their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognised;
  • They gain confidence in and control of their bodies;
  • They learn strategies for active exploration, thinking, and reasoning;
  • They develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical, and material worlds.

Your child will become increasingly capable of:

  • Playing, imagining, inventing and experimenting | te whakaaro me te tūhurahura i te pūtaiao 
  • Moving confidently and challenging themselves physically | te wero ā-tinana
  • Using a range of strategies for reasoning and problem solving | te hīraurau hopanga 
  • Making sense of their worlds by generating and refining working theories | te rangahau me te mātauranga 

These outcomes will be observed as learning in progress when, for example, children demonstrate:

  • Ability and inclination to cope with uncertainty, imagine alternatives, make decisions, choose materials and devise their own problems. 
  • An understanding that trying things out, exploring, playing with ideas and materials and collaborating with others are important and valued ways of learning. 
  • Confidence in play and a repertoire of symbolic, imaginative or dramatic play routines. 
  • Ability to pursue an interest or a project for a sustained period of time. 
  • Curiosity about the world and the ability and inclination to share interests with others. 
  • Confidence in exploring, puzzling over and making sense of the world, using such strategies as setting and solving problems, looking for patterns, classifying, guessing, using trial and error, observing, planning, comparing, explaining, engaging in reflective discussion and listening to stories. 
  • Use of all the senses and physical abilities to make sense of the world. 
  • Control over their bodies, including locomotor and movement skills, agility and balance, and the ability, coordination and confidence to use their bodies to take risks and physical challenges. 
  • Recognition of different domains of knowledge and how they relate to understanding people, places and things. 
  • Ability to represent discoveries using creative and expressive media, including digital media. 
  • Curiosity and the ability to inquire into, research, explore, generate and modify working theories about the natural, social, physical, spiritual and human-made worlds. 
  • A sense of responsibility for the living world and knowledge about how to care for it. 



Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes and Dispositions

Through the principles, strands and goals your child will develop knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions that will prepare them for school and beyond.

As they make meaning of their world, your child will develop cultural, social and material knowledge that draws on cultural, aesthetic, historical, social, scientific, technological, mathematical and geographical information.

Your child will develop skills that make interaction in, and with, the world possible. These skills include:

  • Communication Skills
  • Social and Cooperative Skills
  • Numeracy and Literacy skills
  • Physical Skills
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Information Skills
  • Work and Study Skills
  • Self Management and Competitive Skills.

Alongside this knowledge and the skills, your child’s attitudes will emerge as viewpoints or positions that reflect their values or beliefs.

Combined, the knowledge, skills and attitude create your child’s dispositions - tendencies to respond to situations in a particular ways. Dispositions that are valuable for supporting lifelong learning are referred to as learning dispositions. Learning dispositions your child will be able to explore and develop while at Coastlands Preschool include:

  • Courage and curiosity
  • Trust and playfulness
  • Perseverance
  • Confidence
  • Responsibility
  • Reciprocity
  • Creativity
  • Imagination
  • Resilience

Reference: Ministry of Education. (2017).Te Whāriki. He whāriki mātauranga mō ngā mokopuna o Aotearoa. Early Childhood Curriculum. Wellington, New Zealand.