Saturday 25 May 2019

8:30am - 3:15pm

The Pines, 50 The Esplanade, Houghton Bay, Wellington

Thank you to all of you who attended our second Te Whāriki in Nature event. It was fantastic to see the participation and dedication from you all. Please see below for just some of the great feedback received:

"This course has been very informative and a different way of teaching and reflecting... I would definitely recommend to other teachers"

"The speakers were all amazingly inspiring and encouraging....Love how you have stirred me back to my childhood and made me so much excited to do more for the children I teach"

"Thanks so much. It was great to come along and be inspired to start a Nature Explorers Programme at my ECE centre"

If you are interested in learning how we can help you develop your own Nature Programme at your setting, please email us at

To download a flyer for printing and sharing with your team please click here.


                          8:30am-9:00am:  Registration
                          9:00am-10:30am:  Back to nature, presented by Lynn Rupe
                          10:30am-11:00am:  Morning tea
                          11:00am-12:30pm:  Forest Farm adventures, presented by Lorraine Sands
                          12:30-1:15pm:  Lunch
                          1:15pm-2:45pm:  Capturing the spirit of the outdoors, presented by Wendy Lee
                          2.45pm-3:15pm:  Questions, responses, Poroporoaki




Back to nature, presented by Lynn Rupe

What do we have our roots in? What is New Zealand culture? What do we value? What makes us unique? What is all the fuss about green? Guy Claxton talks about rock and water thinkers - the rock thinker lament over the obstacles in the way and think if only we could. Water thinkers find the gaps and go for it anyway. What is it that we truly value about Aotearoa and the opportunities it allows for children? When I talk with teachers often the answer to this question is our love of outdoors. The question is then; are children experiencing enough of the great outdoors?

In the past decade, the benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific research studies and publications. This research shows that children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. Experiencing nature assists children with their holistic development. Come and discuss why experiencing a natural outdoor environment is vital to children’s holistic development. Look at what is possible lift our view from the rock, find the gaps and go for it anyway.




Forest Farm adventures, presented by Lorraine Sands

“I’m never, ever going to give up, on my life!” This resilient comment was heard from a young child climbing a steep bank in our ngahere. It was a difficult climb and yet not one of the nine children and two teachers on this adventure ever  thought it was impossible. In the forest, week after week, resilience,  resourcefulness, kindheartedness, courage and collaboration are the characteristics we see grow. 
During this session we share the stories that contribute to these learning identities as children tackle challenge, assess risk and make decisions about their learning during our farm/forest adventures at Greerton Early Childhood Centre. We look too at the risk benefit analyses and the practical ways the teaching team at Greerton, over the last 5 years, have made these weekly visits possible.




Capturing the spirit of the outdoors, presented by Wendy Lee

Many ECE environments currently lack connection with nature and we know that children who do not experience nature and the outdoors are very unlikely to develop an affinity for and protect the environment in the future. We therefore have a responsibility to be powerful advocates for reconnecting children the outdoors, both within the setting and beyond the walls of the setting. One of the most effective ways of doing this is the day-to-day documentation of the learning in your setting. 
I believe that Learning Story philosophy provides a powerful vehicle to not only build the learner identity of the child, but also to create opportunities for you to be a powerful advocate for the outdoors. Bring two or three ‘outdoor’ Learning Stories to share, there will also be opportunities for you to consider how you might develop your advocacy role within these Learning Stories.



Please have a read of just some of the wonderful comments received from attendees to our Auckland Te Whāriki in Nature event below:

"Thank you so much for all the amazing presentations today. I go away today more inspired and regenerated to continue and give the best I can to all the children in my care to continue to explore and have confidence to face challenges"

"Really inspiring day - full of ideas, thoughts to take back to colleagues who weren't able to attend - especially around risk-taking in the outdoors. Excellent photos and videos of other centres"

"Thanks so much. So much knowledge, passion shared is really inspiring"

"Thank you for an enjoyable inspiring day from knowledgable passionate people!"

"Thank you all, I needed this!! Lots of inspiration again"

"100% perfect throughout the three presentations. They were all engaging, interesting and I have found a new/and in progress passion to start creating with my own centre. It was awesome! Ka pai"

"Everytime I come to anything that ELP has run I feel ready to tackle any problem and celebrate the learning that happens for children each day. Your workshops ground me, challenge me and inspire me"