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The Gifted Education Centre
To Go Beyond the Known

Small Poppies

Small Poppies Philosophy

Small Poppies is a group designed specifically to meet the needs of young gifted children and their parents. It provides an enrichment and extension programme that allows gifted children to work at their own pace and level, with children of similar abilities and with similar interests.

It provides an opportunity for parents to meet others facing similar parenting challenges.

Visit the Small Poppies website

Small Poppies is a child-centred environment in which a range of challenging learning experiences are offered. Emphasis is placed on stimulating the child’s learning process, rather than on achieving any specific end result or product.


In July 1996, Small Poppies began as a parent co-operative venture, which came about when a group of parents with very able children found they and their children had common needs which were being overlooked in the current pre-school system in Auckland. These children needed extension activities and contact with “like minds”.

Small Poppies was given charitable status by the Inland Revenue and our Trustees were incorporated as a Board under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. in 2000.

In July 2007, the Small Poppies Charitable Trust dissolved, in order to allow the services offered under Small Poppies to be administered and nurtured under the umbrella of the Gifted Education Centre.

An important feature of Small Poppies is the employment of Sue Breen, a teacher trained and experienced in working with gifted children. Her role is to work with the children extending and challenging them in a variety of ways. She trains and mentors all Small Poppies teachers, as well as maintaining her strong teaching role.

Sue also shares ideas with parents that they can use at home with their children.

Small Poppies children come from all backgrounds and areas of Auckland and can attend sessions from the age of two until they turn six.

How to cater for a bright preschooler the Small Poppies way

– A Recipe

  • Take a very bright, enthusiastic child
  • Add an interested parent or two
  • Introduce them to other similar children and parents
  • Stir in a heap of stimulating ideas and a never-ending supply of balloons, straws, bubbles, paper and pencils
  • Add a heap of books and equipment
  • Pour the mixture into an adequate sized space
  • Toss in a motivated teacher and a “theme” for the day
  • Add questions, discussions and activities
  • Have fun with the results.

P.S. Allow for contagion. This recipe will expand.


For further information phone Small Poppies on 09 827-5271 or 0508 GIFTED (0508 443833) if outside the Auckland free calling area, or visit the Small Poppies website.