Our Key Teachers are all registered, qualified teachers.
Our curriculum is based around children’s interests and is embedded in the Principles of the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whāriki. Our inquiry focus enables children to learn about literacy, mathematics, language and culture through their own interests. In this way, children are engaged and focused on their learning because they set the context themselves. Our teachers are very skilled at creating learning moments based around children’s interests and the teachers clearly show this through the Learning Stories they write. We celebrate the life long learners our children are.
We have extensively researched ways to support children as they move from home to an early childhood setting. We know that a child who spends time in the centre with someone they trust (their parent or caregiver) and then builds up from short visits to longer visits, will have much greater trust and confidence when they start. Beginning in this positive way creates a happy and settled space for learning.
One of the most important parts of our learning culture is the Key teacher/ Key child relationship. Every child has a Key teacher and a buddy Key teacher. The Key Teacher is the person who knows your child intimately, who attends to your child’s care moments, helps them to sleep and is the person who knows best how to comfort your child. Children do not have to get to know all the teachers in one go or wonder who will be there to help them in any given situation because they know that their Key teacher will be there to support them. Families/whānau have a special relationship with their key teacher, formed during the transition period and strengthened through shared conversations over time. Key teachers are there to help families/whānau throughout a child’s learning journey.
Risk and challenge
We are a Centre that encourages children to take calculated risks and set themselves difficult challenges. We set up our environment so that children can learn to assess risk and make decisions for themselves with the support of their teachers. Through effort and practice, children stretch their learning to the edge and beyond and achieve a real sense of themselves as learners who are resilient and resourceful.
High teacher to child ratios
Our ratios are well above Government ratios:
- Infants at 1:3 teacher/child ratio,
- Children 1 to 2 years at 1:4 teacher/child ratio, and
- Children over 2 years 1:8 teacher/child ratio.
Children attending the Forest Farm have a 1:5 teacher/children ratio. There are always at least 2 fully qualified teachers on these adventurous learning experiences.