Our teaching is based upon the belief that all children are capable and competent learners and through observations and parent consultation, we aim to identify children’s strengths and challenges and work to scaffold their learning.
We run a programme which is really a whāriki (woven mat) made up of all sorts of ideas. We weave Christian ethics into all that we do and actively teach children about values such as kindness, love and peace.
We add into our whāriki ideas from the teachers to add interest, variety and vibrancy to our programme. We observe children carefully and do our best to notice their evolving interests so that we build upon & extend their learning. In the midst of this the teachers act as facilitators to empower children to become independent thinkers and learners.
Children have an involvement in decision making, designing, implementation and completion of their activities – including tidying up in accordance with Ministry of Education and the National Early Childhood Curriculum – Te Whāriki.
We have a fabulous early childhood curriculum in New Zealand. The main principles that it is constructed upon are:
family and community/whānau tangata, holistic development/kotahitanga, empowerment/whakamana, and the vital one – relationships/ngā hongonga!
Within all of these main principles we work on developing the child’s sense of wellbeing and belonging and offer all of our children many opportunities to develop their communication skills, explore their world and make their own contribution within the preschool environment.
Literacy activities are woven into our curriculum on a daily basis. Activities such as writing lists, recognising letters and names for objects and of course their own names; writing their names; learning to track from left to right; matching letters, sounds & their meanings; choosing to ‘read’ and ‘re read’ books by looking at picture cues and matching them to letters and words; learning the various parts of a book – cover, spine, back, who the authors and illustrators are; writing our own stories; storytelling, book reading and poems – these are just a few of the kinds of literacy activities that are embedded into our programme.
In the same natural, flowing way we embed mathematical knowledge into our curriculum. We include things such as counting 1- 20 – both forwards and backwards, matching, measuring, comparisons, classifying, making sets, weighing. Concepts such positioning – under, over, behind, through around, near, far are taught.
We learn about time such as now and then, and learn to predict what will happen next as a part of the rhythm of our day. Both art and music contain mathematical concepts such as tone, pitch, rhythm and light variation; spatial awareness is further developed within our outdoor areas of course and also our art and craft activities to develop great levels of skill in many areas.