A huge, natural garden with vegetables, flowers, mud and lots of space to run, climb, explore, take risks, enjoy the sunshine or splash in the rain is what you will find in the Waiuku Kindergarten playground. Inside is a peaceful, homely space with plenty of room to dance, imagine and create, as well as quiet cosy corners to read, work alone or be part of a small group. This is Waiuku Kindergarten – an inviting and exciting place where children aged 2 – 6 years old are nurtured, inspired and challenged. Our Kindergarten is a place where young children and their families can be involved, have fun and make memories.
Our teaching approach is built on the values of love, respect and empowerment, and on the belief that children learn best through play.
“Ehara taku toa I te toa taktahi engari he toa taktini.” Whakatauki.
– I come not with your strengths but bring with me the gifts talents and strengths of my family, tribe and ancestors.
View our latest ERO Report
Before children can become deeply involved in play and learning, they need to feel nurtured and loved by the adults who are caring for them. For young children, this begins with trust, and trust begins with relationships. By meeting your child’s emotional needs first, we can help him to develop inner strength, have fun, make friends and learn.
Research shows that a quality, trusting relationship with a caring adult literally grows the brain. For this reason, we practice primary caring, so that children have a secure attachment with at least one teacher. The relationship we develop with your child is the most important part of our work.
“If children feel safe, they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings and grow” – Alfie Kohn.
For nearly 60 years, Waiuku kindergarten has been a place where children can grow their imaginations, create, explore and invent. Our kindergarten still offers a natural and authentic way for children to learn – child initiated, open-ended, play-based, social experiences. We encourage children to initiate their own activities, to wonder, ask questions and investigate further. We support learning by introducing new possibilities and role modelling language.
We respond to children’s unique strengths and interests by providing opportunities for them to develop new skills and understanding as they learn about the world around them.
Our environment is carefully planned so that we can support children to develop dispositions (attitudes and skills) that will be important for them throughout their lives. The most important of these are about being able to get along with others. We support children to take turns, share ideas, work together, consider others and have a sense of humour. Developing these dispositions help children to become happy, collaborative members of society.
“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it”
– George Elliot.
Caring for Mother Earth, Papatuanuku is very important to us here at Waiuku Kindergarten.
We are at the beginning of our ENVIROSCHOOL journey and we are committed to promoting sustainable practices amongst our families and at our kindergarten. We do this by reducing the kindergarten’s waste, reducing the use of plastic in our Kindergarten, and by engaging the children in composting, gardening and recycling.
SURROUNDED BY BEAUTY AND NATURE WE ARE ALWAYS LEARNING
We are committed to creating a beautiful environment where children can explore freely, and unfold naturally, at their pace. The play resources available are carefully chosen and most are sourced from Nature. The teachers are thoughtful in the way the environment is prepared each morning, taking time to create a space that connects with all of the senses and generates peacefulness.
Our environment is intended feed children’s curiosity, to inspire children ideas, wonder and creativity, and to be inclusive of diversity.
There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” – Norwegian proverb.
Playing outside and being in nature supports the development of a healthy body, mind and spirit. Our doors are always open and children are free to play outside and enjoy the fresh air in all weather, providing they are suitably dressed.
Everything we do at Waiuku Kindergarten is underpinned by our values of Love, Respect and Empowerment. Our approach is aligned to the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whậriki which is developed to support 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 (2017).
To find out more about Enviroschools please visit the website.