“Children experience a warm, nurturing environment. Adults are employed who are able
to converse with children in their first language. Children feel secure within the centre’s
established routines. The adults are reflective about their practice. They are working with
their advisory support to develop their skills to extend children’s learning in meaningful
contexts and to improve interactions between adults and children” are some of the
assessment indicators made by the Government Education Review Office (ERO) in their
2005 review of the An Nur Childcare Centre. For the full report please visit

The An-Nur Childcare Centre is an Islamic institution chartered and licensed by the
Ministry of Education (MOE) for 32 fulltime children. The Centre is located in Hornby,
Christchurch, New Zealand, and services the needs of some of the 3,000 Muslim living in
the area. The school's goal is to provide its children with a solid grounding in their
religion as well as train them to become worthy citizens and contribute to New Zealand
as proud Muslims. Although training takes place in an Islamic environment it is guided
by the Early Childhood Education Regulations of the MOE of New Zealand.

The idea of establishing the An-Nur Childcare Centre dates back to 1995 when Dr.
Mohammad Alayan and his wife, Dr. Maysoon Salama migrated to New Zealand. The
couple establishment the Al-Noor Charitable Trust as they saw the need for Islamic
education in Christchurch. With their own capital they bought a disused church building
to start the An-Nur Play Group. They later applied to the Ministry of Education for a
grant to renovate the premises to meet the licensing requirements for a childcare centre.
By the grace of Allah, The Merciful, The Compassionate their application was successful
and on the 13 September 2000 the doors of the An-Nur Childcare Centre opened to
receive a handful of children for their first class.

The core programme of the An-Nur Childcare Centre focuses on the needs of the
individual child. It provides opportunities for learning and experiment, for application
and recall. It nurtures the mind, body and spirit in a safe, fun and secure setting and is
built around relationships of trust with motivated teachers and support staff.

Here are some examples of achievements through effective programming in planing,
timetabling, documentation and assessment.

Children of all ages enjoy individual attention as well as participation in group activities.
This interaction with peers provides a child with the opportunity to work independently
as well as contribute to the entire group’s play.

Teacher Badia’ initiated this fun activity in the sand pit as an extension of the building
theme last term. The goal was to build a Mosque after the children were introduced to
the mosque design during previous Islamic sessions. She displayed a poster of a mosque
and all children were encouraged to work together and make suggestions of how to build
a mosque and also the tools needed. They were all focussed, shared lots of ideas, used
lots of imagination and made use of all the available equipment of shovels, trucks and

The idea of this outdoor project developed when Sondos was conversing with teacher
Lynda about her experience with her family on a field trip picking strawberries. Sondos
was wondering how do strawberries grow? Teacher Lynda decided immediately to
follow up on this subject and took a group of children to a plant nursery. They brought
strawberry seedlings; soil and also planting wheel-barrows back to the centre. The
children got involved in the whole process of planting strawberries and reflecting on
wonders of ALLAH’S (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala’s- glory be to GOD) creations, bounties
and blessings. Maryam and Sondos helped teacher Lynda preparing the soil bed while
Madi is observing carefully. All kids had a turn to plant a seedling, water it and cover it
with a mesh to protect the harvest from birds. Sondos is waiting impatiently for the fruit
to grow – “This is taking long! When are we going to eat the strawberries?” They did
enjoy eating them in 2 weeks time.

It is more important for a young child to want to explore the colours of the rainbow than
it is for the child to recite the colours of the rainbow.

Every child should feel welcome to participate throughout the day.
This is Brock, he is from a non-Muslim family who started with us since he was a baby.
He is the youngest of 4 boys in his family and needed more one to one attention. He loves
participating in all the activities and loves to dress up like his Muslim peers. His family
are very supportive and happy with his progress and development at An-Nur.

The relationship with parents is based on trust and open dialogue - a good partnership in
the interests of the child. All parents are received with great hospitality and discussions
usually take place over a cup of tea and a piece of sweet. The parent evening are well
attended and the Eid celebrations and picnics are enjoyed by everyone.

Children are trained to take care of themselves. Diyana here is getting ready to go on the
bus. She is encouraged and helped to use the toilet, wash hands and face, put her artwork
and other belongings into her bag and be ready. This daily routine is practised with all
children before leaving the centre is it is an important Islamic requirement.

Healthy and open discussion takes place with parents on a regular basis to keep track of
the challenges faced by the child at home. Here is Dareen participating in different
activities improving her fine motor skills ranging from using the wooden hammer to
design constructions with coloured shapes to develop her art and writing skills.
Parents are also kept informed about their children’s progress through newsletters, special
notes, phone calls and home visits.

Every child has a record book of their school days from the first day of their enrolment
here. In this profile book stories are recorded supplemented with photos based on
continual observations of their progress and milestones.

The teachers of the centre are "community leaders" and enjoy the role of helping families
to grow and develop. They operate under a range of standards including state and federal
Acts of Parliament and the national child care code. They also have a range of internal
special performance targets, which relate to customer service mission and needs.

Their efficiency factor is linked to providing as much time as possible to the physical,
social, emotional and intellectual development of individual children. There is a fantastic
amount of teamwork where tasks are shared, common goals set in an environment of
constant effective communication. Staff development takes place regularly where
opportunities are provided for training and periodic evaluations conducted in a positive
and friendly spirit.

This Centre is seeking a full-time or part-time, fully or provisionally registered teacher
with minimum Dip in ECE. The candidate should be adaptable, work well within a team
environment, self-motivated and sensitive to diverse cultures. Good working knowledge
of Te Whariki and programme planning are essential. Dip Tech (ECE). Duties to
commence immediately. We are also seeking relieving staff with the same qualifications
to be on our relievers list. Great working environment and competitive salary package.
To apply, please send your CV and three letters of recommendation to:
Dr. Maysoon Salama/ Manager
An-Nur Childcare Centre
48 Springs Road Hornby, Christchurch
E. Mail: an_nur_childcare@hotmail.com

Website: http://www.an-nur.school.nz/

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