Kei Tua o te Pae

Kei Tua o te Pae/Assessment for Learning: Early Childhood Exemplars is a best-practice guide that will help teachers continue to improve the quality of their teaching.

The exemplars are a series of books that will help teachers to understand and strengthen children's learning. It also shows how children, parents and whānau can contribute to this assessment and ongoing learning.

We are making improvements to our download-to-print functionality. So if you want a printed copy there are PDF versions available at the bottom of the main cover page.


The Early Childhood Education Learning and Assessment Exemplar project started as a pilot project alongside the Ministry of Education's National Exemplar project in schools. Collaborative, credit-based narrative assessment is at the heart of the approach. Narrated stories document children's engagement in learning experiences. Subsequent assessment of the learning informs ongoing learning. The stories and assessments are presented in children's portfolios for children, families and teachers to read and re-read. 

Narrative assessment may include teacher observations, learning stories, transcripts, children's work, parent and whānau stories and children's comments and may be accompanied by photographs or short video clips.

Assessment practice

Kei Tua o te Pae explores and informs assessment practice in early childhood education. Everyday assessments from a range of early childhood settings have been selected as exemplars to explore important assessment and learning questions. They are not necessarily "exemplary" in the sense of being excellent or perfect, but rather they illustrate a wide range of learning experiences in a range of assessment formats. The exemplars strongly reflect the principles of Te Whāriki and sociocultural approaches to learning and teaching. The core framework of noticing, recognising, and responding is at the heart of effective assessment and quality teaching practice.

Te Whāriki

The Ministry of Education and the early childhood sector have worked in partnership to develop this resource, which draws on research undertaken over the past ten years. Teachers from around 50 early childhood education settings across New Zealand and the early childhood sector spent two years working with a team of early childhood leaders, co-directed by Dr Margaret Carr and Wendy Lee, to develop these exemplars.

Kei Tua o te Pae will help teachers to develop practices that integrate assessment and quality learning experiences and to engage with children, parents, and whānau about children's learning and progress.