Te Whaariki is 'the bi-cultural national curriculum statement for the early childhood sector produced by the Ministry of Education'. It is founded on the aspirations that children 'grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society'.
My service follows the same curriculum as other daycare centres and kindergartens, for children from birth through to school age. By opting for a home-based education environment your child doesn't miss out on educational experiences offered by other environments, if anything your child benefits from a small group, a personalised learning experience and individually focused development opportunities. My program grows with your child from infancy to school age, offering transition to school opportunities and school readiness skills, ensuring that school feels like a natural progression at the end of their journey with us.
Our days are specifically designed to develop the children's' sense of well-being, belonging, contribution, communication and exploration. This is how our days relate to the curriculum:
The health and well-being of the children is protected and their emotional well-being is nurtured.
The children in my care are taught the importance of hygiene and the skill to maintain good hygiene, by washing their hands and covering their faces when they cough and sneeze, for example. They also feel loved and comforted at all times by me, especially if they need support because of a physical or emotional upset. The children have their own ways of displaying their love for each other with hugs and kisses. I teach them to empathise with other children's feelings and consider these when making choices and interacting with one another. Physically their well-being is looked after with restful periods and exercise. The children are encouraged to be independent and to also collaborate.
Connecting links with the family and the wider world are affirmed and extended; they feel comfortable with routines, rituals and regular events; they know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behaviour.
The children belong to a tight group and each has a valuable place in it. We have an excellent routine that we stick to each day and that the children can predict. We also attend a number of regular events throughout the week, with a moderate degree of change. I also encourage a knowledge of the wider world and how these relate to individuals - such as pointing out parent workplaces, taking them to the supermarket, etc. We use activities such as cooking to give the children a sense of a role within an activity. The children learn to share, tidy and play alongside each other in our group and in larger groups in the community. They are also guided, advised and asked to participate when discussing the rules of what behaviour is ok and not ok and these rules are fair for all.
Opportunities for learning are equitable and each child's contribution is valued. Opportunities to learn alongside others are encouraged.
Our activities outside of the play room encourage the children to contribute in a range of social settings, to mix socially and develop friendships. The rules from the play room extend to play groups and they are taught to respect others without prejudice, take turns with toys/crayons, share toys/teddies, follow instructions and be aware of others and their feelings.
They develop non-verbal and verbal communication skills for a range of purposes; they experience stories and symbols of their own and other cultures; they discover different ways to be creative and expressive.
The children are encouraged to express themselves and do this with art, music and by reading books, for example. Our activities each week help the children to communicate both verbally and non-verbally, use body language, listen and repeat, express themselves with movement and develop their language. They express themselves with the other children and are asked to do so respectfully, they ask for help with books and we follow book text as well as pointing out pictures in books. We expand on language at every opportunity and do so in the play room and outside, pointing out numbers of objects, colours, size and shapes. We also use dramatic play to widen our perspective and imagination.
Their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognised; they gain confidence in and control of their bodies; they learn strategies for active exploration and reasoning; they develop working theories for making sense of the living, physical and material worlds.
The children spend time indoors and outdoors, they benefit from individual and group spontaneous play to explore their environment, creative thoughts and imagination. They are supported in their exploration, with boundaries for security. For example, at the Botanic Gardens the children lead the way and choose their direction, making decisions, seeking information, developing their senses and problem solving skills. We discuss our environment, respect living things, together we look for answers to help them make sense of our surroundings.