About Us

  • The Henderson Family Graham, Adam and Charlotte Henderson

  • The Owl’s Nest Preschool is a family owned and operated preschool located in the Northwood and Belfast area.

    The Preschool is in an ideal location nestled on a quiet residential street backing onto Englefield Reserve with easy access to the two main transport routes in the area (Main North Road and Johns Road). 

    Christchurch husband and wife team Graham and Charlotte Henderson decided to start an early childhood service because they are passionate about the importance of education in the early years of a child’s life and how this lays the foundation for lifelong learning. Graham’s 16 years educational background (both secondary and early childhood) and Charlotte’s psychology degree mean they are both well versed in meeting the needs of diverse children and their families and they and their team cannot wait to care for and nurture your precious child.

  • What we offer

    • The Owl’s Nest caters for a maximum of 28 children aged between 2 and 5 years old.
    • We have a ratio of one teacher for every seven children which is well below the Ministry of Education requirement (one teacher to every ten children).
    • This smaller sized preschool allows more teacher time per child which creates a more calm and relaxed environment for children to grow and develop.
    • It also allows meaningful reciprocal relationships between whānau and caregivers, children and the team to evolve.
    • We have a large and spacious outdoor play area with plenty of room for our children to run and play. 
    • We also back onto Englefield Reserve with a locked gate access and the children will have opportunities to be taken on excursions to the Reserve.
    • The classroom space is also light, airy and warm for those chilly indoor days.
    • Nutritious and delicious morning and afternoon teas will be prepared on site and served to the children daily. 
    • There’s also the possibility that we may offer catered lunches in future so please ask us about this if you are interested.
  • Our Programme

  • Our daily programme is varied and includes opportunities to participate in group projects, baking, messy play, mini workshop activities, science based activities, art activities, mat time and many other learning experiences. We document each child’s learning journey with a learning portfolio including photos taken daily and learning stories alongside these.

    Through our Reggio Emilia inspired programme, our child directed curriculum constantly evolves as our teachers work alongside the children, listening carefully to their interests and assisting them to develop those interests through inquiry.

  • Our group project initiative provides time for children to explore particular interests and ideas in greater depth. Our teachers will guide and help the children identify valuable learning within the project. Our teachers will do this by providing materials and giving support to the children as well as challenging them to take their learning to more meaningful levels.

    There are many opportunities for free play learning throughout our day as well as some structured time for older children to ensure that they are well prepared for primary school.

  • Owls in nest

    Our Philosophy

    Our goal as an early childhood service is to provide children with a rich environment where they feel safe to explore, initiate their own learning, and express themselves.

  • Girls at playWe will help encourage every child to build relationships with each other and the teachers at the preschool. 

    We believe in creating an environment which is homely, safe and stimulating.

    We believe that children are motivated to learn when they have opportunities to make their own choices in an environment that is both enriching and stimulating. 

    Children are by nature curious and we strive to ensure this curiosity is encouraged by positive interactions so that they feel safe to explore their surroundings and their own individuality.

    We believe that children benefit from practices that are grounded in solid research. The Owl’s Nest philosophy is therefore based on the work of theorists Jean Piaget (development stage theory) and Lev Vygotsky (zone of proximal development) and the early childhood movement from Reggio Emilia, Italy.  

    Te Whāriki, the New Zealand early childhood curriculum is the document that underpins and guides our teaching practice. Our educators use Te Whāriki to plan meaningful learning experiences with the goal of positive outcomes for all our children. Te Whāriki embodies the following aspiration for children:

  • “to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.”

  • Our Values




    Inclusivity and diversity