Our centre

Children thrive at Uplands Kindergarten, developing confidence, a passion for discovery and skills that set them up for a lifetime of learning. Owned and operated by Somervell Presbyterian Church, our kindergarten reflects Christian values and respect. We have been a trusted part of the local community for more than 50 years, and we are excited about what is yet to come. For more information on how we are regarded, check out our latest ERO report or read what our community are saying about us.

Meet our teachers

At Uplands we have some of the best early childhood education teachers around, and each brings something special to their work here.


Our teaching team (left to right):  Joyce, Jenn, Michele, Maggie.

I realised my passion for early childhood education after spending many happy years with my three children at Mangere Bridge Playcentre. My special interest is in supporting children to problem solve, collaborate, negotiate and make choices — real life skills. As a centre, I believe it’s important that we encourage children in their pre-school experiences to set them up for a life of learning. I particularly enjoy working with the four-year-old boys and supporting parents during these most important early years.

I have worked in pre-school and early childhood for over 18 years. I enjoy working alongside children and supporting their own interests to extend their learning. I especially enjoy doing art and messy activities with children to extend their creativity. One of the best things about Uplands is the way both children and parents form genuine relationships with us — we are more than educators, we are friends and role models. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with your child.

Seeing learning as fun is so important for young children. I aim to foster children’s innate fascination for new discoveries, to let them flex their learning muscles and make learning a positive and enjoyable experience. I always look forward to getting to know new children and families, and learning from that process myself.  As a fluent speaker of Mandarin and Cantonese, I particularly enjoy supporting our Chinese families, helping them connect with the wider Uplands community.

Working in different countries in the Early Childhood and Primary sectors has provided me with a very diverse teaching background both culturally and professionally. I believe that children have a unique set of experiences, abilities and needs. Developing an environment of inclusiveness where children feel they have a voice is very important. I value social connections between kaiako and whanau as this supports the positive development of young children.

Our curriculum

Building learning power

We are really proud of the work we do to help children become confident learners. At Uplands, children learn how to use the resources around them to get the information they want, and what to do if they don’t know the answer — essential skills for lifelong learning. They learn the power of persistence in solving problems, and the value in collaborating with each other to reach their goals. They also learn how to plan a course of action and to later reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Our approach is based on the cognitive theory Building Learning Power, developed by Professor Guy Claxton of King’s College, London. We apply BLP to three distinct learning programmes.



Transition to school

Our preschool/transition-to-school programme for four-year-olds focuses on the skills needed to start school, and nurtures a love of learning in a dynamic environment. Older children take part in science experiments, study the natural world, organise projects, and develop confidence speaking in front of the group about what is special to them.

Under fours

For many, going to kindy is the first extended time away from Mum or Dad and home. When it’s hard for a child to settle at kindy, we’ll often arrange home visits, to get to know your child better in their own environment, and to create positive links between home and kindergarten. Our curriculum is based on Te Whāriki, the Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum, and illustrates the values and principles which underpin our Christian faith. Uplands respects and supports the right of each child to be confident in their own culture and to respect other cultures.

Holiday programme

Our holiday programme offers a change in pace to term-time and is optional for our Uplands families. When ratios allow, we may take field trips to the library, park or art gallery, making use of trains and buses.

Our history

Uplands Kindergarten was formed in 1970 when two busy mums, Ngaire Lee and Robyn Florence, found themselves looking after a growing group of neighbourhood children in their back gardens. They moved into three rooms at the rear of the old Somervell Presbyterian Church building in 1976. Now Uplands is housed in a bright and airy purpose-built facility with flexible interconnecting spaces to accommodate different age groups. A management committee draws on talents available in the church congregation as well as parent representatives. Through all the changes that the kindergarten has undergone in 50 years, the same care, love and practicality that went into forming Uplands all those years ago remains today.


Come for a visit



For children aged from 2-5 years.

Monday – Thursday

Start Time: 8.30am or 9.00am

Finish Time: 12.30, 2.45pm or 3.30pm


Start Time: 8.30am

Finish Time: 12.45pm

Term dates



Term 1

Holiday programme: 18 – 29 January 2021

3 February – 16 April

Easter: 2 April – 5 April

Holiday programme: 19 April – 30 April

Term 2

3 May – 9 July

Holiday Programme:   12– 23 July

Term 3

26 July – 1 October

Holiday Programme:   2 October – 17 October

Term 4

18 October – 22 December


Term 1 2022

Holiday programme 17 January – 28 January

2 February – 14 April

Holiday programme 18 April – 29 April

Term 2 2022

2 May – 8 July

Holiday programme 11 July – 22 July

Term 3 2022

25 July – 30 September

Holiday programme 3 October – 14 October

Term 4 2022

17 October – 21 December



Holiday Programme

For Uplands children 2-6 years.

Monday – Thursday

Start Time: 8.30 or 9am

Finish Time: 12.30 or 2.45pm or 3.30pm


8.30 – 12.45pm only

Parents are always welcome Schedule a visit