The DEN offers discovery education for children aged 2-6 years in a home-like, purpose built environment set on two acres of natural, outdoor playspace.

The DEN - Discover Education in Nature

Cato Road, Park Island, Napier
Phone 06 281 2588

Belonging

Belonging
Discovery

Discovery
Nature

Nature
Movement

Movement

A unique innovative approach to early learning

Relationships

Continuity of child teacher relationship to ensure a strong sense of belonging to support healthy emotional regulation, a sense of ownership and security.

Community

An inclusive environment that acknowledges and respects diversity to develop and grow the next generation of resilient global citizens.

Education

A curriculum designed to foster passionately curious children with two acres of natural playspace that provides rich and meaningful learning experiences.

5@TheDEN

School Programme -our unique innovative approach to early school aged learning (numeracy and literacy) based on a curriculum to support natural body and brain development for children aged from 5 years.

Communication

Ensure communication and collaboration between the child, the parent/ whanau, the environment and the teacher, including a digital parent information forum.

Sustainability

Committed to growing knowledge and connections to the preservation  of our land and awakening an awareness of the value of nature to ensure our unique outdoor environment for this generation and the next.

Cultural

The DEN staff and teaching team and are responsive to community cultural and linguistic identities and practice culturally responsive teaching and learning.

THE STORY SO FAR

Our vision is to design a place where quality early years education is delivered in a natural setting with a sensory and movement focus. We were lucky to have this experience as a child but have struggled to find something similar for parents today.

THE DEN DIRECTORS

Wendy Pirie
Wendy Pirie

Wendy Pirie

Growing up in the Hawkes Bay I have a special connection with nature and the rich experiences of the outdoors and I am excited to bring my extensive child development knowledge to The DEN. As Australasian Director of nature based child development programme TimberNook and co-author of early year’s movement curriculum Move, Play & Learn with Smart Steps The DEN offers children a unique discovery education never seen before in New Zealand.

Sindy Cormack
Sindy Cormack

Sindy Cormack

Having predominately held leadership roles in the banking industry being blessed with two energetic boys (aged 3 and 5 years) has brought a new focus into my life. They have taught me that they need room to move and explore, to develop their senses to become strong and courageous. I’m thrilled to see this become a reality in The DEN. Being able to offer our children a unique and innovative place to come, play and learn – I couldn’t be more proud!

THE DEN STAFF

Louise Williams
Louise Williams

Louise Williams

Happiest and at home in the outdoors, in my gumboots, surrounded by birdsong and the laughter of happy children, I am overjoyed to be joining The DEN whanau.

Married to Shane and mother to Oscar, I also have over twenty years experience as an early childhood teacher, and am particularly passionate about children’s holistic development through connecting with nature.

I look forward to meeting your family and exploring at The DEN with your child.

Jo Vaney
Jo Vaney

Jo Vaney

My husband and I have four children aged 12, 9 and 5 year old twins, and we spend our weekends finding new adventures to be had around Hawke’s  Bay and road tripping to different places in New Zealand. I love to get creative and in particular love finding ways to upcycle vintage treasures. 

I am very passionate about nurturing children’s innate potential as they lead their own learning, take risks, problem solve and enjoy strengthening their imagination through play. 

I look forward to getting to know you and your tamariki as we embark on this new adventure together. Please don’t hesitate to come and have a chat to me :)  

Christine
Christine

Christine

I am really excited to be a part of The Den. I have 3 daughters, 7, 4 & 1 who all love being outdoors and having adventures. My passion in early childhood is encouraging and supporting children to be active and exploring the natural environment. I love to have fun and can’t wait to go on adventures with your children.

ENQUIRE NOW

We'd love to hear from you if you want to book your child's place or find out more.

Thank you for your interest, we will be in touch.

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CONTACT US

Cato Road, Park Island, Napier

Email
wendy@discovertheden.co.nz
sindy@discovertheden.co.nz

Phone
Centre 06 281 2588
Wendy 027 329 6776
Sindy 027 365 7689