Early Childhood Education in New Zealand is governed by a curriculum guideline called the Te Whāriki, which aims to create the best possible educational environment for young children. The values set out in the Te Whāriki are important for us at Koru Kids since we are a child community centre in Papatoetoe that cares.
Let’s look at the four principles of the Te Whāriki so we can understand what it is based on.
Whakamana – Empowerment
This principle lays out the need for an early childhood curriculum that empowers children to learn and grow, giving them the tools and the means to do so.
Kotahitanga – Holistic Development
The second principle says that the early childhood curriculum is meant to reflect a holistic learning environment for children who are learning and growing.
Whānau Tangata – Family and Community
This principle ensures that family and community are integral and integrated into the early childhood curriculum, as learning cannot take place in isolation.
Ngā Hononga – Relationships
The last principle acknowledges that children learn through responsive relationships as well as reciprocal relationships with other people, other places and things.
All four of these principles are extremely important to us at Koru Kids, as they are the foundation upon which we build our education system here at the school.
We also base everything we do on the five strands and their associated goals laid out in the Te Whāriki.
Mana Atua – Well-being
The health and well-being of all the children in our care is extremely important and must be nurtured and protected.
Mana Whenua – Belonging
Children, as well as their families, need to feel as though they belong, which means that we need to create an inclusive environment. It is our goal that the children in our school as well as their families can enjoy an environment where they can connect with other families and the wider world and where these connections are affirmed.
Mana Tangata – Contribution
Opportunities for learning should be made equitable and, in doing so, every child’s contribution should be deemed valuable.
Mana Reo – Communication
We consider that the various languages and symbols of cultures should be valued, promoted and protected. Nonverbal and verbal communication skills need to be developed and an environment needs to be established where this is appreciated.
Mana Aotūroa – Exploration
It is important that children learn through active exploration of their environment. Children should have an environment where their play is meaningful and results in learning. Playing creates opportunities to develop strategies for exploration and reasoning and thinking and helps them to make sense of the world around them and society.
We at Koru Kids child community centre in Papatoetoe believe these things to be extremely important and they form the bedrock of everything that we do. We value these principles and strands as we believe they lead to a well-rounded education. Enrol you child with us today!