Te Whare Rama
"Te Whare Rama Early Learning Centres empower each child with the knowledge that they are special, that they have gifts, identities and abilities unique to them."
The Te Whare Rama Early Learning Centre journey began in 1990 with the opening of 2 preschools, one in Balcairn Street in Halswell (formerly The Lighthouse Preschool - under the Acorn Trust) and one in Lyttelton Street, Spreydon (formerly Spreydon Baptist Community Early Learning Centre).
We have since grown and opened another two centres - our Edinburgh Street (formerly Building Blocks Community Kindergarten) and Cobham Street (formerly Spreydon Baptist 4 year old ELC) sites.
Sites and Naming
In 2019 The Acorn Trust gifted the Halswell site to the Building Blocks Community Trust, which already governed the Spreydon sites. In 2021 we were gifted the name Te Whare Rama by our mana whenua Ngāi Tūāhuriri.
The Building Blocks Community Trust is a charitable trust and is strongly connected with Southwest Baptist Church. We have access to many other services, such as financial advice, community organisations and support services.
The Trust is committed to providing positive outcomes for children and in ensuring every child and their whānau feel a sense of belonging with us. We do this by providing the best learning conditions possible for our tamariki to thrive.
The design of our logo is a symbolic representation of the translation of ‘Te Whare Rama’ - which means ‘A House of Light’ in Te Reo.
First, there is a Whare (house).
The maihi (diagonal bargeboards) symbolise outstretched arms welcoming people into the whare. In the same way the Te Whare Rama team warmly welcomes families into our early learning centres.
Second, and sheltered/protected by the whare, are families and their children.
Te Whare Rama is a safe learning space. Shown is a shape with three korus representing staff, parents or caregivers, and their children.
This is inspired by a carving in the foyer of South West Baptist Church that was gifted to them by another church after the February 2011 earthquake. They had no church home and SWBC opened their home to them.
Third, the whare has light rays extending outwards to symbolise the learning and understanding that children gain at Te Whare Rama.
It is a beacon of light (learning) on a hill.
Fourth, there is Christian symbolism in the light rays and the whare on the hill.
Matthew 5:14-16 talks about being the light of the world and the town built on a hill cannot be hidden.
Te Whare Rama is a light for the educational needs of Christchurch pre-schoolers.