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Learning is Fun!

Our Early Childhood Centre endeavours to provide our children with a learning environment that is Christ centred and God honouring, showing the characteristics of God in our nurture and care for the child, planned activities, resources, stories, music and all aspects of curriculum content.

Through involvement at our Papatoetoe Preschool we want to help children develop and grow as confident and competent lifelong learners. It is our desire that each child will find value & purpose because of their connection to Jesus and be equipped with tools for success in their relationships, family context and life experiences. One of our roles as educators is to empower children to make choices about their interests and to share experiences from home and the wider community that are important to them. Our curriculum emerges from our children’s interests and integrates both planned experiences or activities and interactions and experiences that arise spontaneously throughout the course of play. We look at the holistic development of the child and link our learning outcomes to an evidence-based child development model. Scaffolding critical thinking is used whereby experiences are provided to engage the children in meaningful play to meet the goals of Te Whāriki the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum. Through meaningful play children expand their theories of the world and their context, empowering them to learn through inquiry and discovery.

Children are a gift from the Lord, they are a reward from Him.

Psalm 127:3

our environments

The Pond - Age 2 yrs to 3 yrs 8 months approx.

This environment is set up to help children transition smoothly from their familiar home environment. Children are given lots of one-on-one time, cuddles or reassurance and are supported and encouraged to actively explore their new learning environment.  The class is specifically divided into interest areas that facilitate small group social interactions, feelings of security and belonging and allow our children to grow in confidence as they explore. Play activities provide a wide range of sensory and perceptual experiences fostering their development of the Foundational Skills necessary for their ongoing learning.

The Beehive - Age 3 yrs 8 months to 5 yrs.

This environment caters for children as they grow in confidence and extends the development of the Foundational Skills towards more structured early literacy and numeracy exposure.  Children are encouraged to become more self-directed as they make choices regarding their play and are supported towards independence and taking responsibility for themselves and their belongings. Inquiry based learning is strongly apparent as the children are supported to deepen their exploration of their interests and evaluate their theories about the world. The physical environment is more open and encourages the children to prepare and plan for their play choices.

school readiness

Age 4½ yrs to School

A School Readiness programme is offered to children from 4½ yrs onwards. The planned learning experiences are aimed at extending the children’s understanding of early numeracy and literacy concepts as well as routines and behaviours that will be evident in the new entrant classroom. Children participate as a group (8-10 children) in a two hour session each week led by our specialised School Readiness teacher. Through hands on fun and interactive group activities, the children gain confidence with phonics, letter formation and writing, numeracy, basic science skills and problem solving.

our children's learning

A learning portfolio or visual record of some of the child’s learning and exploration during their time at Preschool is developed for each child. The unique "Footsteps" of each child on their journey through the early years are mapped out within its pages. The learning stories and observations are linked to Te Whāriki the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum and also reflect our unique Flourishing Spirit-Led Child values curriculum.

This is a reflective document closely linking the goals and learning outcomes for early childhood education which we integrate into the context of our Christian curriculum. Our Christian curriculum supports learners as they become flourishing Spirit-led children who have a heart of love and are active learners, emotionally agile, respectful and community focused. These eternity-focused values and aptitudes are highlighted, encouraged and practiced in the daily classroom programme through the use of dispositional-based coaching, provocations and interactions.

Included in each child’s portfolio will be a range of learning stories, samples and assessments covering all curriculum areas, Te Whāriki Strands, dispositional learning and the flourishing Spirit-led characteristics. Parents/whanau are invited to enjoy and reflect on their child’s learning by making positive comments of encouragement on the home connection pages provided or on specific learning stories as well as by utilising Educa - where the children's portfolios can be accessed on-line.

our extra activities

In addition to the full and exciting learning curriculum provided in Centre we offer a range of extra off-site activities to provide opportunities for children to be exposed to further learning interactions or grow in specific skill areas. Currently the following are offered and facilitated by Footsteps staff at an additional (subsidised) cost to normal fees:

  • Excursions:  Out and about in our Community
    To enrich and explore the children's interests we plan offsite excursions for each term.

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