We believe that it is of benefit that our children learn in a family orientated mixed age setting. Our teachers use specific teaching strategies to ensure we provide a secure, stimulating and challenging environment for all learners. Each learner has a specific learning focus goal set for them that aligns with Te Whāriki our New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. The goal comes from whānau aspirations, child’s voice, and teacher’s observations. Strong relationships within our centre’s whānau provide an atmosphere where our older children look out for our younger children and our younger children look up to our older children as role models. Developing children’s confidence and competence is a huge part of our philosophy. Learning is our culture.
Infants & Toddlers
Strong relationships between parents, children and teachers are the foundations of our philosophy at Kopuwai Early Learning Centre. This is especially valued with our infants and toddlers. We believe that routines are the base of our infant's curriculum and exploration for the toddlers. We use these as valuable opportunities to extend and support learning. Our ‘key teacher’ approach provides our children with the opportunity to seek comfort from a specific teacher. Each child feels safe knowing that their key teacher will ensure their environment is warm and secure. It is a child’s choice when, and for how long, they need their key teachers support. A combination of high-quality relationships between teachers and children, and teachers listening to the rhythm of the child which creates a child-centered approach to our environment.
Two, Three & Four Year Olds
Our learning environment provides all ākonga with a high-quality programme that is planned for extending individual ākonga learning. Our teachers identify the children’s interests and use them to support the further learning of specific skills, knowledge, attitudes and dispositions.
Numeracy and literacy skills and knowledge are built into our day to day programme. Our children experience a language and text-rich environment. Self-help, problem-solving, curiosity, creativity and emotional robustness are held in high value at Kopuwai Early Learning Centre. We value our place in our wider community and take many opportunities to be involved in local and national community events.
Transition to School
Transition to school is supported in many ways here at Kopuwai Early Learning Centre. All akonga (learners) have a specific individual learning focus goal that is set for them. In the year leading up to school, four-year-olds are given more opportunities to be involved in the setting of their goals and also in control of their own learning. We value the child’s voice in our planning and encourage learners to initiate learning opportunities. Visits to local schools are arranged on a case by case basis.
Each child has their own Profile Book. This is the collation of learning documentation written by the teachers and families. It can also include “Magic Moments” from times throughout your child’s day at Kopuwai, as well as special art or messages. The Profile Books are special and unique to every child and show their movement in learning during their time with us. These are kept in a basket in the Centre for the children to access. Feel free to take your child’s book home to add stories, photos and comments from your family. The akonga love to share their books, especially with Grandparents and other special people in their lives. The books belong to the individual child, and we encourage them to add things they are proud of so they can share them with others, and look back on them at a later date.
In 2016 we introduced Storypark E-Profile learning books. This allows parents and whanau, to read and add comments to their electronic version of the profile books.