We believe that children are strong and capable in their own world. As teachers, we encourage children to reflect on the knowledge and experiences that they have using both verbal and non-verbal strategies. Learning is child directed through play, by exploring, investigating, and having positive interactions within our environment and those around us. We observe the interests of each child as we play and learn alongside them, encouraging questioning, problem solving, curiosity, and theory testing in a fun way. Children are listened to with respect, as they are already full of wonder. They are encouraged to touch, feel, move, listen, observe, and be involved. We encourage the use of loose parts for play, to stimulate imagination and creativity. Language is respected as a continual process, and we invite communication and self-expression, being sensitive and supportive, to enhance children’s understanding and explore deeper meanings in their learning. Parents, caregivers, whanau, and the environment are all viewed as partners with a child’s learning.
Our natural environment in intentionally designed and every material is considered and respected for its purpose. Our learning spaces encourage collaboration, communication, and exploration. We believe that children are innately curious, and we encourage this to drive their interest to understand the world and their place within it. As teachers, we want to see children enhance their confidence, curiosity, and participation, and to develop a life–long love for learning.
We know that building a strong foundation of skills at this early age is so important for their future enjoyment of learning. Our environment provides children with opportunities to extend and support their learning by practicing turn-taking, co-operating, making friends, making positive choices, persevering, problem solving, negotiating, and being independent. Children are encouraged to show and practice helpfulness, generosity, and empathy towards others.
The Education Review Office (ERO) 2018 evaluation of our service states that “Children have rich and diverse learning opportunities”, and “Core curriculum areas such as early literacy, mathematics, and science are highly visible and integrated into the programme through everyday activities”. Also, “Children experience many opportunities to enhance their learning and independence, and readiness for school”.
We liaise closely with our local primary schools, ensuring that identified learning needs are considered, planned for, and integrated into every child’s play here at Pukeko ELC. We want our children to be excited for their learning journey, ready, and having the skills and knowledge to ensure the best possible start for their school life.