Our Philosophy

In our Mātāmua room we have an emphasis on team teaching. We view relationships as source of learning, empowerment, and identity for us all and value responsive and respectful relationships with tamariki, families/whānau and each other. We aim to provide encouragement, warmth, acceptance, and challenges to help tamariki extend their ideas and understanding of the world and support learning and development. We strive on providing consistency and clearly defined limits and expectations. Teachers spend time with each child during care routines by using a calm and interactive manner to reflect the Magda Gerber approach and encourage small groups of children to play together to develop co-operative skills in our homely environment. Children are encouraged to solve their own conflicts, to develop language to express and make sense of their own feelings and ideas, as well as understanding those of others.

We understand the significance of Te reo Māori and it is heard, seen, and used throughout the curriculum. Our practice is based on Te Ao Māori, referring to the three key areas, Te Reo Māori, tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We welcome, value and respect the diversity within our Centre and our programme follows a socio-cultural perspective based on the early childhood curriculum Te Whāriki which we enrich by exploring and developing concepts from the RIE philosophy and Magda Gerber approaches. This allows us to develop an emergent and negotiated curriculum that builds on respect, naturally unfolding development, documentation to capture learning, parent and whānau involvement, and developing an effective learning environment.

We believe that tamariki search for meaning in their exploration and play and provide an environment that is warm, safe, healthy, inviting, predictable, challenging and aesthetically pleasing. We view the environment as the third teacher and ensure it is set out so that children have access to a wide variety of open-ended natural materials and household objects, that promote and foster independence and freedom of movement.

Kaiako value and respect the richness of individual learning styles by noticing and listening, recognising and responding to tamariki’s interests, strengths, likes and aspirations. This process empowers children to learn. Teachers value children’s contribution and competence and foster opportunities to think, problem solve, explore, communicate, co-construct with others and take challenges. Community excursions are viewed as an important way of learning. The range of experiences and opportunities that are provided enhance tamariki’s learning and development and will be heavily influenced by the outcomes of assessment, planning and evaluation practices. Along with providing a range of resources and equipment, extending tamariki’s learning and development involves using these resources in purposeful and meaningful ways, relevant to the children’s lives. Documentation in tamariki’s progress journals combines a range of ‘voices’ to reflect an authenticity of the child’s unique style of learning. Whānau are encouraged to participate and include their visions for their child.

Teachers utilise reflective practice and the centre is committed to providing on-going professional development and maintaining a high level of trained and registered teachers thus insuring we offer a high quality programme.

In our Pōtiki room we strive to provide a caring, physically safe, cognitively challenging and nurturing environment for our infants and toddlers that is peaceful and unhurried. Our daily routine is relaxed and flexible, allowing for each child’s home routines to be followed as closely as possible. Relationships form the core of who we are and must therefore be at the centre of our work with the children. We place a strong emphasis on developing reciprocal relationships with tamariki, their families and whānau, sharing daily events from home and from the centre. We value and respect each child knowing that every child is unique. We value the importance of children developing trust in themselves and the world around them. We believe as infant and toddler kaiako we are not only laying the foundations for all future learning, but are also contributing to the tamariki’s future ability to learn and develop meaningful relationships with others. The environment is carefully set up for the tamariki to discover, explore, experiment and problem solve and is crafted around tamariki’s interests and skills. Uninterrupted time allows children to initiate their own learning with teachers utilizing sensitive observation in order to understand their needs. Infant and toddler’s care routines are special times which allow opportunities for valuable teaching and learning. Tamariki sleep, eat and have their nappies changed according to their own individual needs. Sleep rooms are peaceful places. We use quieter, gentle tones when in the sleep room.

We encourage children’s co-operation and self help skills. Bottle feeding times are special times and when feeding, teachers are given the time to be available to the children being fed without unnecessary interruption. Meal times are social times. Teachers share in meal times by sitting with the children and participating in peaceful conversations.