a Little bit about us
Our Early Learning Centre provides care and education for families in the heart of Greerton Village, in Tauranga. We value learning in the natural world and twice a week we take groups of children to our farm/forest at Wairoa and into bush reserves like Otanewainuku Forest, Te Puna Quarry, Puketoki Reserve and Mauao. We also visit our local libraries and art gallery.
The Centres are family owned and family focused. Shared leadership characterises our community as we work with and alongside children and families to design learning opportunities to nurture children’s curiosity, to foster creative, innovative thinking, empathy, kindness and camaraderie.
Our centre was selected by the Ministry of Education as a Centre of Innovation. Our research was inquiry focussed as we sort to better understand our question asking, question exploring learning community and to disseminate the findings to Early Childhood Teachers across New Zealand and beyond.
Exploring through play
Greerton Early Learning Centre has been in operation since 1993, for the most part in two sites, one for Infants & Toddlers and one for Toddlers & Young Children. Recently we have amalgamated the two settings for several reasons. One, to enable us to erect a new building on the Emmett Street site that is designed to utilise our understanding of modern learning environments.
Two, because of a growing realisation that a setting enabling infants, toddlers, young children and adults to learn with and alongside each other offers many advantages for learning, both from a whānau perspective and a Te Ao Māori cultural view. This is supported by a growing body of scientific research.
At our learning setting at Greerton ELC, the children have many ‘loose’ parts to investigate. This encourages creative minds to flourish.
Growing the ‘imaginative thinker’ is our goal and this means that children are in an environment that is filled with opportunities to create, alongside teachers who support their resilience, so they don’t give up easily and work through problems as they learn to enjoy the process of learning.
Babies have a secure, safe environment in which to learn, with teachers who care deeply for them. A key teacher works very closely with each child’s family to ensure their individual rhythms are supported.
Toddlers explore to learn.
Toddlers explore to learn. At Greerton ELC toddlers are encouraged to be explorers who investigate, have fun learning, and figure out what it means to be a friend, in caring, kind ways. Our garden offers rich opportunities to investigate nature and stretch their physical skills. Teachers have conversations focussed on building children’s creative thinking and imagination.
We venture out twice a week into our community and forest farm site to explore nature, work as a team, be practical scientists, mathematicians and story tellers. In the process we learn to trust each other, value nature, be problem solvers, and imaginative learners and creative thinkers.
We venture out twice a week into our community and forest farm site to explore nature, work as a team, be practical scientists, mathematicians and storytellers. In the process, we learn to trust each other, value nature, be problem solvers, and imaginative learners and creative thinkers.