Our curriculum

We acknowledge Te Whariki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, as a fundamental basis of our practice. The framework emphasises the learning partnership between teachers, parents, and whanau/families. It sets out the principles, strands, and goals which are appropriate for the early childhood years and provides examples of the links between early childhood education and the school years.

The aim of this curriculum is to inspire children to ‘grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy, in mind, body, and spirit, secure, in their sense of belonging in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society’ (Ministry of Education 1996)

 

Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy

Feathers is also strongly inspired by the educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia in Italy, where educators see children as competent, full of potential, and capable of building their own theories. The Reggio Emilia approach to education has given us the knowledge to carry out in-depth ‘projects’ on particular topics that are undertaken by small groups of children and educators with participation from whanau. This approach has opened our eyes to the importance of the environment as a means of being ‘the third teacher’. At Feathers we also strive to provide an aesthetic environment where there is order and beauty in the organisation of materials, where every corner of space has a purpose, and where great attention is given to the look and feel of the room. This in turn inspires educators and children to work together as researchers.

 

Role of the teachers

We, the educators at Feathers, are caring, enthusiastic, positive, and professional. We strive to be a community of learners and always aspire to exceed our teaching practices underpinned through ongoing professional learning and up to date theories. We believe education is not devoted to a product but to a process, a spiral progression we are all partners in. We value making time to listen, and supporting children to know themselves, and treasure each child’s gifts, curiosities, passions, and potential. We view children as life-long learners, capable of contributing knowledge and understanding as global citizens. Our strong influence of Reggio Emilia is reflected in our class meetings with the children, in the way we ‘listen’ to each individual child (with our ears, eyes, and heart).

 

Projects

Projects begin with teachers observing an interest identified by an individual child or a group of children. Teachers would then introduce materials, questions and opportunities that provoke children to further explore the topic. The teacher or teaching team working with this child or children would then discuss between themselves or with other colleagues about its learning possibilities. Once a project has been agreed upon, then it would be referred to as a project amongst collaborative members which would include, children, teachers, parents, and families.

 

In 2014 the Nga Puawai room (over two’s) completed a project called ‘The bug city’.   Click on the following link to view the project from its inception to its conclusion.






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