At Four Seasons we are deeply reflective and considered with our teaching practices, and as the adults who hold and navigate up to 30 tamariki each kindergarten day we are always thinking about the impact we have on tamariki and their journey with us.
We view play as being sacred, it’s the way in which a child learns, and experiences their world at kindergarten. At Four Seasons we nurture children in an unhurried approach, allowing as much time as possible for tamariki to ‘be’. Play is where friendships are made, a sense of belonging is created, and learning happens.
Over the past few months, we have been thinking about what it is for the young child to journey through our kindy day, between play and coming together for shared kai times, storytime and rest time. Transitions are the parts of our day where we see tamariki needing the most from us, and at times, ‘pulling’ tamariki out of play can be met with frustration by the child. They are not quite ready to finish playing, or have just got settled into play when we ‘pull’ them out of it, to bring them together for morning tea.
We have decided to alter our daily rhythm to allow for longer periods of time for uninterrupted play.
Here’s what our kindergarten day looks like from Monday 20th July.
8.30am-9.00am Whanau arrive with their tamaiti, connect with kaiako and together settle the tamaiti into their kindergarten day. We ask that a focus is placed on arriving and settling, wherever possible before 9am. When tamariki arrive later than 9am to kindergarten it can be hard for a child to join into play as our other children are already off on adventures. If your child is new in their kindy journey, being one of the first here just after 8.30am gives kaiako the opportunity to connect in a quiet space, with a lot more time to focus on building the much needed relationship to receive your child.
9.30am – 10.00am A kaiako sits and coordinates morning tea at our tuakana table in a relaxed manner, where tamariki can join in and fill their hungry bellies. Kaiako direct those tamariki who are ready for a snack to the table, leaving those who are deeply engaged in play to carry on.
10.45am It’s tidy up time, a time where we all get busy putting away our play equipment from the morning and get ready for lunch.
11.00am After a busy time playing, we have good appetites and our bodies are ready to sit and share kai together. Our tuakana (older tamariki) help to hand out lunch and pour our water. We waiata (sing) together, before a karakia (blessing) then we eat.
11.30am We wash our hands after finishing our lunch, and move into storytime. Our kaiako take turns to tell us a story, with each story being told for a couple of weeks so that tamariki can build relationships and memory with the tale being told.
12 noon – 12.30pm We each have a turn to go to the wharepaku and then settle into our rest time. This lasts for about 20 minutes and we are rejuvenated ready for an afternoon of play. Our newest friends who are at the beginning of their kindergarten journey head home at 12.30pm.
12.30pm – 2.00pm We play, play, play!
2.00pm We pack up and come together for our afternoon tea then move into collecting all our belongings as independently as we can, ready for our whanau to reconnect with us.
2.30pm Tamariki are delivered back into whanau loving arms