Our Education Programme
The following outlines our curriculum and your child’s portfolio.
Play is the children’s most powerful learning medium. It helps children make sense of their world, develop new concepts and refine others, take risks, increase social skills, obtain emotional support and take responsibility for their own learning through meaningful experiences, Isenberg J., Jalongo M. (2001).
As children’s interests are observed in play, the emergent integrated curriculum evolves. Teachers will observe and analyse the child’s play, writing learning stories for your child’s portfolios and extending their interests. By integrating the arts, mathematics, science and literacy across the emergent curriculum, founded on the children’s interests, opportunities for further exploration, discovery and learning are availed to the child. The integration of these learning areas is the curriculum. Everywhere in our natural world art, mathematics, science and literacy surrounds us. By provoking opportunities and invitations for discovery through play young children’s cognitive, physical, social and creative development grows. Play offers children the opportunity to explore and experiment to discover the world of which they are a part of.
Our proposed education programme is based on the principles, strands and goals of Te Whaariki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Ministry of Education (1996). Additionally the following statements outline our underpinning doctrines in planning our education and care programme.
The first six years of a child’s life are the most important years for brain development, with the first three years being the most significant. These early years lay the foundations for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society, Ministry of Education (2006).
Our proposed education recognizes the significance of these early years as crucial for parents, whanau, communities, educators and government. The interaction between the child’s maturing biology, his immediate family/community environment and the societal landscape fuels and steers his development, Bronfenbrenner (1979).
The Pedagogy of Listening to Enrich the Curriculum
The practice where we are early childhood educators will encourage children to communicate, to open our minds and souls to truly listen to not only the spoken word, but all the forms of communication children use, to empower ourselves with knowledge to understand what we are hearing, to respond with respect, to enrich the curriculum.
Integrating the Curriculum
Integrating the arts, mathematics, science and literacy across the curriculum is a natural cycle of planning. The cycle of planning for emergent integrated curriculum begins with:
- careful observation and interpretation
- collaboration to extend children’s interests
- planning an environment conducive to play
- allowing time and space
- responding with real interest and open questions to stimulate higher order thinking
- modeling when appropriate
- Reflecting on the learning completes the cycle of planning -
By encouraging children to reflect on their own learning they can use various mediums to communicate their interpretations.
Educator’s reflecting on the learning that has occurred is the beginning point for further planning, thus the cycle begins again.
Developing reciprocal and responsive relationships. To develop optimum neuron connections and the development of brain pathways and networks a loving and caring relationship must be built between the child and parent or caregiver. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone. We will allocate a primary caregiver for each child to develop a consistent, stable, gentle and caring relationship.
You as the parents/caregivers are the child’s best resource for learning, therefore your contribution to the curriculum is highly valued to create the ultimate learning environment for your child. Please use your child’s portfolio to share learning and home experiences with us, and respond to the learning stories written for your child.
Providing stimulating experiences rich in all senses in an environment abundant in language gives the child the best possible start to life. Provoking moments of discovery and learning through the provision of inviting and changing environmental stimulates and challenges across all areas of the curriculum.
To extend our eldest children we provide a Nature Programme whereby we take them on fortnightly excursions in to the natural environment, invoking inspiration, awe and wonder and inviting learning physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually. Developing important dispositions for life.
We provide opportunities for children to develop knowledge and understanding of both Maori and Pakeha cultures, the partners to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
We develop good relationships with families to discover the beliefs and experiences that parents and children from different cultural backgrounds bring. Respecting that parents have differing expectations.
To extend our eldest children we provide a Nature Programme whereby we take them on fortnightly excursions in to the natural environment.
Why are we doing this programme?
The natural world invokes inspiration, awe and wonder. It is an enormous learning facilitator. The natural world is a natural classroom, inviting learning physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively and spiritually.
- The programme offers opportunity for the children to develop the dispositions we so aspire for them to be competent in such as trust in others, leadership skills, problem solving, decision making, team work, persisting with difficulty, taking responsbility, being involved, taking an interest, expressing an idea or a feeling and many, many more.
- If our younger generation can develop a love and respect for nature we hope they will grown into the next caretakers of our natural environment and have a life-long love of the outdoors.
- Learning to take risks within a managed environment will benefit their thought process when managing risks in less safe environments later in their lives.
Our pony Sparkle resides at home with Noela, but is in attendance at Kids 1st as much as possible. The children learn to treat Sparkle with care and respect and build trusting relationships, they learn to appreciate the natural world of animals. The dispositions the children learn through this experience are many and link to a respect for animals, nature and other people.