Little Kauri – Successful transition to school

For families with 4 year olds.

“A Kauri cone is a miracle of life, perfectly formed, a work of exquisite art, a vial of hope containing 50 seeds of the future” (Waipoua Forest Trust)

He kakano ahau.  Ahakoa he iti, he pounamu.
I am a seed. Although I am small I am of great value.


 We understand that successful transition to school is a process that begins early in the pre-school years, and continues well beyond the child’s first day of school.  It involves not just the child, but many closely-involved others, including parents, family and teachers. Therefore it is the strategies that these closely-involved others implement that ensures young children are ready for school.  If children do not transition well into school, they can experience a sense of inadequacy and frustration, which can lead to challenging behaviours, poor self-esteem and confidence, resulting in bullying and violence.

Working collaboratively with West Harbour School, Little Kauri is a playgroup for 4 year olds and their families held in a classroom at the school.  It is specifically designed for children who are most likely to have difficulty in transitioning to school. To help the children transition smoothly, the focus is on providing experiences that build children’s language, social and physical skills, and to generally understand the school environment.  The target groups are children with special needs, families not currently engaged in early childhood education, and Maori, Pasifika and low socio-economic families with children likely to be attending West Harbour School.  We currently have 12 children regularly attending sessions, and, to date this year, all children who have started school from Little Kauri, have transitioned successfully –  the new entrant teachers are extremely happy with the outcome.


“From a school perspective it is really valuable to note that students, who prior to the establishment of Little Kauri had no exposure to preschool education, have successfully and happily transitioned into the West Harbour School environment.  These students were prepared for school and able to form friendships with class members, and they were also able to engage confidently with the curriculum.” (Janet Bell, Assistant Principal, West Harbour School)

Funded fully by the Ministry of Education, several free weekly early childhood education sessions are facilitated by Caty Ferguson who is a trained early childhood teacher, along with her assistants.  There is opportunity for parents, families and their children to play and work together within this supportive environment, with the additional goal of raising the confidence of parents, and building their capability in engaging with their children’s transition to school.


Keep posted for more information coming up and be sure to check out our Facebook Page.  Little Kauri At West Harbour School