Kids, family and education |

Mana Aoturoa at New Zealand School Jakarta


Mana Aoturoa is a Maori term that refers to exploration of our environment and curiosity about the world. It is a key strand of our Early Years programme and we believe that this sets the foundation to develop lifelong learners.

Mana Aoturoa encourages learners to play, explore, experiment, discover, and solve problems in imaginative ways. It encourages learners to be curious, think critically and learn from mistakes. It encourages a growth mindset and the understanding that failure is part of the learning process. It fosters imagination and flexibility of mind. It develops self-reliance, autonomy, inquisitive thinking and creativity.

We believe it is important to provide opportunities for children to explore their environment safely. Allow them to use their senses. Let them hold a stick and feel the texture of a leaf. Allow them to bang a pot with a spoon and sink their feet into some mud. Allow them to break an egg into a pot and experiment to see which objects can float in water. Exploration can be messy but the learning and development is invaluable. 

This approach provides opportunities for learners to learn from, respect and understand their environment. Moreover, as children learn about their own world, they begin to dive deeper into understanding the universe and the wonders of nature. Children are naturally curious, they want to look at a snail or see what is under a rock. As they get older, schools should nurture their curiosity and not stifle it by telling them to sit down and be quiet.

This exploration involves all aspects of the environment; the natural, social, physical and spiritual world. As we explore these worlds, we pick up treasures along the way and put them into our kete(baskets). These treasures are not physical objects, they are experiences, knowledge, skills and wisdom that nurture our mind, body and soul. 

If this sounds like the type of school you and your family would like to be a part of, contact [email protected] and arrange a discovery chat with our Head of School, Mr. Tim Maitland. To learn more about New Zealand School Jakarta, visit us at or by scanning your phone camera over the QR code below.

By Tim Maitland