Early Years


At the New Zealand International School (NZIS) we know your child learns from actively investigating their world as they play.

In play there is no right way, no wrong way, no best way. There are many ways of being, thinking, creating, imagining, exploring, discovering and learning.

We understand that your child’s learning is special to them. It is a complex, cognitive activity that cannot be rushed.

That’s why we have created a learning environment that allows them to learn – their way.

They have fun as they learn the skills that they will use to fashion their lives.

Learning in the Early Years (2 year-old children) and Kindergarten (3-4 year-old children) areas is based on Te Whariki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Education Curriculum. This curriculum is founded on the following aspirations for children:

“To grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.”

Our focus is on the individual child. The starting point is the learner and the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that the child brings to their experiences.

In shaping learning, there are four broad principles at the centre of early childhood learning.

(1) Empowerment. The early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow.

(2) Holistic Development. The early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow.

(3) Family and Community. The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum.

(4) Relationships. Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places, and things.

The learning that takes place is child-centred, play-based activity. The emphasis is on children learning, developing and growing through everyday activity. Through exposure to a broad range of creative, interesting and stimulating activities, children are given opportunity to learn and grow in ways that see the four principles developed in their lives.