sharing our special character
For some families the philosophies that make up our special character are new. Choosing a Rudolf Steiner inspired early childhood education may have come about because you simply loved the physical space that the kindergarten offers or you liked the natural approach to toys. Here we share some insight into some of our rhytmns and why we do what we do. Equally important is why we don't do lots of things.
Why don't you change the food for the children?
Each day of the week is known by the meal that is shared at lunch. Monday is Rice Day, Tuesday is Soup Day and so on. You can find out more about our meals here. Every week, the same dish is prepared along with a fresh salad (except on Soup Day).
For some children, sitting at a table with many people can be challenging. It is a busy and social time. Much is expected of the young child; to sit on their chair next to a friend, eat, coordinate their water cup. The children talk amongst themselves, it's a time for connection as well as eating. We have found that keeping the same rhythm with the food for the young child creates certainty. There is a familiarity with the day and the expectations of sitting still, eating and socialising with their friends is done with ease.
What does Bicultural practice at Four Seasons Kindergarten look like?
We have given great thought to our curriculum and chosen particular opportunities to strengthen our bi-cultural practice.
From our philosophical standpoint, and from what you have observed in your child’s experience at kindergarten, you will understand that we are about protecting the special nature of early childhood. We aim to build a strong base of physical, emotional, and social competence during this stage, so that children are ready and inspired to embark on the teacher led academic learning of their school lives.
At kindergarten we choose to surround the children with experiences such as planting, harvesting, sharing of kai, story- telling in Maori, or about local Maori legends, spontaneous waiata, flax weaving, whanau hangi, whanau visiting to local marae, and the aspect of akonga- shared teaching and learning opportunities, just to name a few.
We choose not to take part in the local Tuwharetoa kapa haka festival which takes place annually, as the experience of performing to such a large audience does not sit comfortably with our research and observations of the nature of early childhood. Children will be well ready for the experience of this wonderful festival later in their school lives.
In conclusion I return to our motto of ‘an unhurried approach to childhood’, ‘nga tamariki nga rangatira mo apopo’- our children are our leaders of tomorrow.
As always we welcome your words of support, questions, or comments, by using the comments box or emailing the office.
Why do you have a minimum enrolment of 3 days?
After a lengthy period of self-review and child studies, we have become aware of the benefits of a minimum three day enrolment at kindergarten.
We notice that children who are with us for three or four days a week settle much quicker and become confident and competent with the rhythms and routines of kindergarten. They become much more embedded in the social group. Whereas a child who is only here for two days finds that the playmates they played with one day have moved on by the time they return.
We find that the gap between kindergarten sessions is too great for continuity, both for the child and the teacher, if kindergarten enrolment is fewer than three days a week.
We strive for the best teaching and learning environment for our children at kindergarten, and thus have moved to a minimum three day enrolment in our enrolment policy, effective from 1 April 2016.