Oropi School

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Play at oropi school

play-based learning

Play is a vital part of every child’s development and here at Oropi School we have a deeply embedded philosophy of Play-Based Learning across all year levels. We believe that through focussed, teacher-supported play children are able to develop the Key Competencies of the New Zealand Curriculum.

  • Thinking

  • Relating to others

  • Managing Self

  • Understanding language, symbols and text

  • Participating and Contributing

When children play they are engaged and interested in learning. It is through the free exploration of their environment that children can practice and build upon their experiences and learn about the world around them. Tuakana-teina relationships are nurtured through play with children from other year levels. Older children can provide support and role modelling for the younger pupils.


At Oropi School we provide our children with meaningful play experiences.  Through the learning stories that our teachers write, we learn about the children’s interests and urges, and can track their learning through the New Zealand Curriculum. We develop a deeper understanding of their learning dispositions, which in turn gives us the tools we need to continuously provide them with learning experiences that are relevant to them.


In the Junior school the children start their day with play.  We have the gully, sandpit and a carpentry shed that are all available for the children to use.  We have a teacher aide in the shed helping the children to engage in conversation about their play and creations. We strongly believe in oral language and developing children’s communication skills.  Play directly links to Te Whariki, The Early Childhood Curriculum and The New Zealand Curriculum’s Key competencies.