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.

Equitable opportunities for learning

  • Becoming part of the group
    • Hamish has been very interested in joining in with Luka, Ethan, Izaak and Ronan. Over the last 2 days he has tried to become a part of their group. By watching their play he found a way he could contribute to what they were doing. He got a large tarpaulin out of the shed and said he was a “wave”. This seemed to fit in well with their play in the boat and around the playground. Today Hamish did this again and eventually they developed a game where they jumped into the water off the large boxes.

      Child playing

      What learning is happening here?

      I was really impressed with the way Hamish persevered and thought of a way to be incorporated with the other boys’ play. This showed such creative thinking. Using a prop was a clever way of getting noticed and showing he had something to add to their play. It proved successful, which must have been a great feeling for Hamish.

      Making new friends and developing new relationships is such a complex process. Having some creative strategies to try is a wonderful way of beginning this process with new friends.

      Possibilities and opportunities

      I hope that Hamish will become a part of this group. As children move off to school, new friendships often are formed with the children who are left at kindergarten. I think he is developing some good strategies for developing relationships.

      Alison, August

  • Stevie and the pirate ship
    • Child’s name: Stevie

      Learning stories

      At one point this afternoon Stevie was very upset. I asked “What’s wrong Stevie – why are you sad?” He told me he was sad because someone told him he couldn’t play on the pirate ship. I took his hand and said, “That’s very upsetting – and they told me I’m not allowed either – because girls aren’t allowed!”

      Victoria piped into the conversation “Me too!” “Wow, how did it make you feel when they said that, Victoria?” I asked. “Sad,” she said. “Well that ship needs some more sails – who wants to help me make some sails?” Stevie was very keen to be involved and cheered up. So we found poles and fabric and I stapled the fabric to the poles.

      A group of children joined Stevie in drawing on the sails then we went together to put the sails up. After we had done this we made a sign with markers and cardboard that said “Everyone is allowed on the pirate ship” and stapled it to the ship.

      Next day ...

      I noticed today there were fewer episodes of exclusion and I saw none involving Stevie. Stevie played happily on the ship and also got his face painted – which I believe is quite a new thing for him.

      Short-term review

      Stevie was upset at being excluded (understandably). I validated his feelings and also helped bridge his experience with that of others (i.e., myself and Victoria’s) thereby offering him emotional support.

      I helped Stevie find a way back into the play, and helped him make a sign that depersonalised the conflict situation.

      Question: What learning did I think went on here (i.e., the main point(s) of the learning story)?

      What next?

      Keep building my relationship with Stevie.

      Encourage the development of relationships with children through small-group experiences with Stevie. 

      Cartoon pirate ship

  • Whakapai kai
    • 12 October

      Recorded by Marie

      Today, for the first time, Anthony was joined by his best friend to give the blessing before we ate.

      E Te Atua whakapaingia ēnei kai hei oranga mō ō mātou tinana whāngaia ō mātou wairua ki te taro ō te ora Amine

      Children and teacher gathered around a table

      Anthony spoke with confidence and pride, reciting the whakapai kai karakia he had been taught at home and was now sharing with his friends and teachers at Whare Pukeko.

      Anthony, it was only a few weeks ago that you shyly introduced “whakapai kai” to your teachers and friends, so this morning when you and Remy said the karakia together with so much confidence and assurance we were all so proud of you.

      When Remy said he wanted to tell me a secret earlier today and whispered to me the karakia I was amazed and so pleased. He told me that you had taught him the words. How clever of you. It must be nice to have a friend stand by your side when you give the blessing. I’m sure it won’t be long before everyone knows the full karakia and stands with you too.

      Last week your dad wrote the karakia out for me, adding a few lines that you haven’t been taught yet. I asked for his help because I wanted to get it right before we shared it with everyone else. Did you notice that I had typed up the words and placed them on the window in the café for everyone to see and read?

      A few years ago I was also taught a karakia but we sang it. Do you remember telling me off for singing it one day? You told me, “You don’t sing karakia!” This made me somewhat confused because I was taught it by a Māori teacher and believed that it was okay to sing “whakapai kai”. But how right you were, after speaking with your family I found out that it was not tikanga for their iwi, but this is not to say that other iwi might feel differently and follow a different custom.

      Anthony, thank you for sharing what you have been taught at home with us. It will always be remembered.

      What learning is happening here?

      Anthony has been encouraged to contribute his learning from home with us. We believe that he feels valued as an important member of our family here too.

      His self-confidence has soared not only because he can now say the karakia with passion in a clear and strong voice but also because we have encouraged and supported the inclusion of his family’s karakia in our daily routine. Therefore, his custom from home has been accepted by everyone here.

      As an educator I have learnt to respect the different cultural values of our extended whānau and have a deep admiration for those willing and able to share their customs and language with us, therefore hopefully building deeper meaningful relationships.

      Thank you, Rameka and Louise.

      Children and teacher gathered around a table

  • Osmana’s view
    • Osmana is the grandmother of Elma. She is also the great-aunt of Shelia.

      She sat talking with us at the lunch table. Osmana talked about respect.

      Respect before the war. Respect for each other.

      Respect for our world and for the people of the world.

      “We should say thank you for this food.”

      Osmana said all of this very gently and quietly.

      Her face is gentle and warm.

      I began to think about what she had said.

      I began to think about the ways in which we could all say thank you.

      Thank you is part of respect, appreciation and a way of acknowledging and deepening relationships.

      I asked Htwe how Burmese people say thank you for food. She said, “We always say thank you at the end of the meal.”

      I asked Sadia from Afghanistan the same question. She said, “We always say thank you at the end of the meal.”

      I talked again with Osmana. I could sense that this was very important to her. We talked about how childcare centres and teachers can support family and cultural values.

      I thought in this case we could say a grace before eating, as a mark of respect.

      Thank you for the world so sweet, Thank you for the food we eat, Thank you for the friends we meet, Thank you for the birds that sing, Thank you God for everything, seemed appropriate.

      We introduced it that very day.

      I have asked Osmana if she will write her story for me.

      Robyn, 28 June

      I want to put this grace up on the wall in the dining area.

      I want to explore some simple karakia that could be suitable.

      Our Māori proverbs could be a way – a pathway through. We may eventually have a collection of graces from all cultures within our centre.


      Memories from Osmana

      I remember gladly the times when grown- ups as well as children had much more respect for food.

      I’ve had six sisters and my father was the only one who was working. It was very hard to provide food for eight family members. The lunch was the main meal – just like dinner in New Zealand.

      Between 3 and 4 p.m., we all had to be on time for lunch. Instead of chair and table, we were eating on the thing called “siniya”, which is a very low round table, from which you could eat by sitting on the floor, with bent legs. Older sisters would be helping with serving. Usually, when the meal was served, our father would start by saying “Bismilah irahman irahim”, which means “In the name of merciful God”. When finishing the meal everybody would say “el-hamdulilah” meaning “Thank God for everything”.

      No one was allowed to refuse any food or even say something bad about it. All leftovers and crumbs were thrown to birds. If someone wasn’t there for lunch, he wouldn’t get anything to eat until dinner. The times have changed. So did customs, and I’m trying to understand and respect everything new that is coming.