At Little Explorers we believe that all children benefit from a richly resourced environment that challenges and extends their learning. All children are valued and respected as unique individuals and given opportunities to become confident and competent learners. Children will be physically and emotionally safe within our environment and secure in their sense of belonging, facilitated by strong and nurturing relationships between children, teachers and families.
We believe that children need the opportunity to play and explore the environment in their own time and in their own way, including plentiful opportunities to explore the natural environment. We aim to instil in children a respect for the natural world and knowledge of their place in the wider world. We use sustainable practices like encouraging recycling, composting and having a worm farm. We grow food in our own vegetable garden and harvest eggs from our own chickens for baking and cooking in the centre. We also encourage empathy and caring through teaching children to care for our centre animals; fish, frog and chickens.
As teachers we will provide opportunities that enable each child to reach their full potential as individuals. Teachers will promote each child’s learning and development and support their unique skills and interests by facilitating a child-led programme. The needs and interests of individual children and small groups are regularly documented, assessed and planned for using learning dispositions and the strands of Te Whāriki, New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum.
We aim to equip children with the skills and knowledge they need to flourish in the next chapter of their lives, whether it is transitioning into the centre, from the nursery to the preschool or from the centre to school. As well using teaching strategies to promote age appropriate numeracy and literacy skills, we recognise the great importance of social competence, physical health and wellbeing and independence skills. Children are encouraged in their learning and development in a way that is meaningful to them.
We will honour the dual heritage of Aotearoa in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi to acknowledge and empower children and their whānau. To support this we will use te reo Māori (language) regularly, respect tikanga Māori (customs and protocols) and provide the children with experiences with natural resources. We will form receptive respectful relationships with children and their whānau, ensure that we hold high expectations of all children.
On going reflection and review of preschool policies, practices and objectives will enable us to meet the changing needs and aspirations of the preschool community.
Effective communication with family/whānau, management and teachers will ensure that everyone’s needs and aspirations are being met. We believe every child has the right to easily accessible quality childhood education provided by highly trained and skilled professionals.
We will acknowledge family/whānau diversity, working in partnership to promote children’s care and education. Family/whānau will be respected in a non-judgmental manner and supported when appropriate.
Children will have opportunities to experience their own and other cultures and to explore the wider community through excursions, special visits at the centre and positive links with nearby schools and community facilities.