Our kaiako (teachers) are wonderful and amazing people, who have been selected based on their experience within the Early Childhood field, their professional knowledge of teaching and nurturing young children and their philosophy of education and knowledge of child development. We value professional development, and encourage our team to participate in a variety of courses, in order to grow and keep up to date with new developments in the educational field.
We are committed to follow the aspirations of the New Zealand National ECE Curiculum, Te Whāriki, “For children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society”.
Te Whāriki envisages kaiako (teachers) in early learning settings working in partnership with parents, whānau and community to realise this vision. The expectation is that, in their early years, children will experience a curriculum that empowers them as lifelong learners.
Te Whāriki supports this work by providing a framework of principles and strands.
The principles are the foundations of curriculum decision making and a guide for every aspect of pedagogy and practice.
The strands are 5 areas of learning and development, where the focus is on supporting children to develop the capabilities they need as confident and competent learners.
Each setting takes these principles and strands and, in partnership with parents and whānau, uses them to ‘weave’ a curriculum whāriki that is specifically designed for their children.
Connecting Children with Nature
We introduce sustainable habits and practices to our children by encouraging them to reduce, reuse and recycle. We also keep worm farms and grow our own veges in our very own Happy Steps garden. As a centre we use Storypark, significantly reducing the amount of paper used for forms and notices. We use local suppliers and partners where possible, supporting the sustainability of businesses in our community. At Happy Steps, we believe every little bit helps to ensure sustainability for our precious future generations.
The Natural World
The natural world is a giant, open-ended learning laboratory. Children are innate scientists and love to experience the sights, scents, sounds, and textures of the outdoors. Whether it’s growing vegetables, creating a masterpiece with dirt, twigs and sand, watch worms wriggle through the soil, gazing at clouds, jumping in puddles, listening to birds sing, smelling fresh-cut grass and collecting seeds – any outdoor learning experience is always a positive one! Where possible we encourage childrens experiences with the natural world.
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we’d love to hear from you!
We understand that your child’s education & care is a priority and that choosing the right centre can be a big decision. We would be delighted to share in your child’s learning journey. Feel welcome to contact us in whichever way is most convenient for you, or visit our centre and meet our Teaching Team!