Mairtown Kindergarten Philosophy
At Mairtown Kindergarten manaaki (care) underpins everything we do. Our kindergarten provides a safe, nurturing and fun environment. This enables children to develop skills and knowledge that will support them in being capable, confident and competent lifelong learners.
Relationships and partnerships, based on trust, respect and open communication are central to our philosophy. Kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face conversation) is something that we value immensely. When these genuine, authentic and reciprocal relationships are established, Mairtown Kindergarten becomes a welcoming, safe and inclusive place for children, whānau and teachers. This secure and warmly respectful environment supports children to explore, play freely and fosters their ability to be learners and leaders. We believe that everyone in our learning community is beautifully unique and has a wealth of knowledge, which we love to honour.
We cherish the dual heritage of Aotearoa/New Zealand and work to uphold the spirit and intent of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, fostering an environment where children will experience the values, traditions and language of the bi-cultural heritage of Aotearoa. We celebrate Māori success and acknowledge our tamariki Māori as leaders in their own learning journey and as being able to positively recognise their learning progress and potential. Inherent in our practice is our focus on being welcoming and inclusive of the diversity of all our children and whānau. We love to acknowledge and celebrate cultural diversity within our community, and value the opportunities that enable us to learn about different people, their beliefs and way of life.
We seek to promote an excitement for learning by recognising and responding to a child’s individual interests. Play is an essential means for learning and development that we support and nurture. We believe in following a negotiated curriculum and our programme is hugely influenced by inquiry based learning, art as a language as well as nature based education. We value Papatuanuku as an important teacher; in nature herself the possibilities to learn and grow have no limits. We utilise our wider community regularly in our teachings; alongside this, respect for each other, our environment, our community and resources are both encouraged and promoted. Our teaching team sensitively scaffold and role-model these expectations. Time and space is also a fundamental aspect of our philosophy. The value of respect sees that our children and whānau are heard and time to learn is unhurried. We see knowledge as a process, a way of discovery, a way of building understanding.
Our core curriculum components, literacy, numeracy, physicality, science, social science and the arts are interwoven throughout our learning environment. We honour the holistic manner in which children learn and grow, and we support children in developing their social and emotional learning through enabling them to experience the values of turn-taking, sharing, resilience, risk-taking and empowerment. By listening to and observing children we carefully prepare an aesthetically pleasing environment and provide open-ended resources and learning opportunities that reflect and extend children's current strengths and interests, whilst fostering their imagination and wonderment.
As a teaching team we are reflective, regularly reviewing our practice and our environments to provide successful and rewarding learning outcomes for children. We all share a passion for inspiring young minds through our dedication to excellence in teaching. We believe life is a learning journey for all, and are committed to our own ongoing professional development and professional dialogue.