Learning in the Early Years – from Preschool (18 months old) to Kindergarten (4 and 5 years old) is based on Te Whariki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Education Curriculum. The name ‘Te Whariki’ means ‘woven mat’ in the Maori language. With regards to early childhood education, Te Whariki interprets the notion of ‘curriculum’ broadly, taking it to include all the activities, events and interactions, both in school and outside of school, that make up the ‘weave’ of experiences that enrich a child’s early years. Furthermore, Te Whariki builds on the idea that children interact with their environment and everywhere is a learning environment. Te Whariki sees children as coming into the world eager to learn, and into families that have high hopes for them.
In this regard, NZSJ teachers partner with families and the broader community to apply the Te Whariki framework and realise these hopes through a childcantered, playbased approach. The emphasis is on children learning, developing and growing through a broad range of creative, interesting, stimulating, as well as everyday activities. We recognise that learning centres inside the classroom are not the only place for a child to learn, but rather many places they visit throughout the day the tree trunk in the playground area with tiny ants climbing up it and the bathroom sink where they wash their hands and see how soap bubbles are made are all fascinating sites of learning. NZSJ puts complete focus on the child and looks at student’s learning through their eyes, considering their potential and their imagination.