Preschool & Nursery | Kōhanga
The nursery and the preschool learning environments are each designed to facilitate both individual and small group learning interests. The curriculum is responsive to the needs, strengths and learning interests of tamariki. Our role as kaiako (teachers) is to support and inspire children’s mana and identity as a successful learner and contributor to our community.
The curriculum design is based on play-based learning and we provide a thoughtfully prepared learning environment that reflects risk taking, humour, playful banter and accomplishment. Our richly resources environment gives our tamariki opportunity to explore and be intentional about how they want to engage within our centre curriculum design.
We believe in partnership with tamariki and whānau and therefore listen carefully to needs and aspirations to foster trusting and reciprocal relationships. We come together (whakawhanaungatanga) to share our place, we enjoy being with tamariki and learning together. We take the time to get to know each child, recognising their uniqueness, embrace this and plan around this knowledge, supporting learning interests.
We listen to whānau and create a sense that this is their place; their language, culture and identity is valued within our centre and they belong. We support whānau to create relationships with others so they feel they can contribute to this community and our wider community.
We create an environment where children see their image as a successful learner and feel that what they do matters. We create a fun learning environment in which tamariki can choose how to participate. We advocate for tamariki whether this is within assessment or role modelling in our learning environment.
- We implement a Primary caregiving approach, promote a Natural Movement philosophy and follow the RIE approach to infant and toddler education and care. These support and guide kaiako and tamariki engagement, and ensure tamariki care routines are carried out in a respectful and unhurried manner.
- Strong relationships and communication between home and centre is vital in supporting infants and toddlers, their routines and ways of knowing, being and doing. Kaiako spend considerable time in the transition process getting to know the tamaiti and whānau and aim to model home routines as much as possible. Our kaiako know that whānau hold a wealth of knowledge about their tamaiti so make the time to create strong relationships to which this information sharing is vital. There are many communication tools to support this, key to this is kanohi ki te kanohi with whānau.
- We are respectful of whānau aspirations and hold these at the forefront when planning for tamaiti time with us.
- Tamariki culture, language and identity are well reflected within the learning environment fostering strong cultural partnerships with whānau.
- We have a beautiful home-like well-resourced and carefully planned learning environment that reflects natural resources for children to construct their learning interests around.
- Our outdoor area is available all days of the year, no matter the weather. Nature again is celebrated with mud kitchens, gardens and a mini orchard.
- Children’s learning is enhanced through caring, learning-focused partnerships.
Tamariki and whānau needs will always come first when settling into the centre and individual needs will be met throughout this transitioning time.
All kaiako will be sensitive to differing cultural, social and whānau needs. On enrolment whānau are invited to spend as much time as feels necessary in the centre becoming familiar with their child to the routines, experiences and people. We will not charge for these visits as they are very important for us all.
Whānau will be given an enrolment pack which covers all information we require and lots of ideas and guidelines around starting at the centre.
A Kaiako will be there to support whānau throughout this process and be your ‘go to’ person for questions as they arise. We will all work together to make this place yours too.
In the nursery a primary caregiver will be assigned to each child, as well as a secondary caregiver.
Whānau are very welcome to stay during these transition visits, to enable them to support their child settling into the centre. Please bring any special comforter or toy to support your child if you think they will like it.