Early Childhood Curriculum Policy
Te Whāriki is the Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum policy statement. Te Whāriki is a framework for providing tamariki/children’s early learning and development within a sociocultural context. It emphasises the learning partnership between kaiako/teachers, parents, and whānau/families. Kaiako/teachers weave an holistic curriculum in response to tamariki/children’s learning and development in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child’s world.
Te Whāriki holds an overall vision for children:
“To 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”
Te Whariki & Our Kids Curriculum
Curriculum represents everything at Our Kids centres that impacts children’s development, learning and well-being. It covers activities and learning paths children initiate themselves, daily rituals and routines, and other learning experiences planned by our teachers.
Our goal is to encourage a life-long love of learning and we facilitate this through open ended play. As children discover the magic in learning at this early age they’re set up to cope with the diverse challenges of life, including the more immediate challenge of starting school.
We are guided by:
- Te Whȧriki, New Zealand Ministry of Education’s early childhood curriculum policy statement.
- The principles of Pikler and RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) Philosophies.
- Children’s play urges identification based on the work of Pennie Brownlee and Kimberley Crisp, is used as a tool to recognise patterns of repeated behaviour and to extend and develop their thinking.
Our Kids teachers support children’s learning by working closely with them, observing their play, and responding to their needs and interests. We document their learning and development in the children’s portfolios.
We value and help create strong bonds between children and their families/whānau. This partnership enables us to work together to support and extend each child’s learning. Parental presence and involvement in centre life is welcomed and staff are always available to answer questions and discuss any issues.
Ultimately, parental involvement provides opportunities for parents to share family/whānau backgrounds, knowledge and skills, goals and expectations, interests and abilities. We also encourage parents to become involved in the decision making process around their children’s child care and education.
We encourage parents to regularly check their child’s portfolio to discuss their learning with the child and/or the teachers. We also welcome parental input in the form of photos, highlights, thoughts, comments, and stories from home and community. A great way to enhance children’s learning between Our Kids and your home, is with Storypark ePortfolios.