Our centre philosophy is based on Te Whāriki (our Early Childhood Curriculum document), with play being central as a platform for children’s learning. This is evident throughout our centre, with your child’s individual learning plan focused on using their play as a means to support their learning and provide further extension or complexity. We also recognise your child has a unique perspective of the world, and that your child may learn in a different way to another, so we do not have a “one size fits all” approach to planning for and extending learning.
Our teachers each have guardianship of a small group of children and responsibility for documentation of their learning. Our teachers will observe and notice things about your child’s play, behaviour, interactions, language, and special interests. From this they will begin to develop an individualised learning plan which we call our “Penguins Starting to Learn Plan”.
This will involve talking with you and finding out if you are noticing similar exploration at home and what perhaps might be influencing your child. For example, a child who becomes quite obviously focused on building and construction, may have started seeing this every day on their way to Penguins, or perhaps their home has undergone renovations. Your child will make sense of the world around them by “acting” out what they observe. This is the way they derive meaning, understand and process what they see. We also seek to include your aspirations for your child and the ways in which you would like to see us supporting their learning.
Our teachers will also look to notice, recognise and support your child’s learning dispositions. You can think of these as characteristics you would like us to support your children to grow that will enable them to be successful lifelong learners. For example, attributes like persisting with difficulty, being resilient, being a leader, and being curious. Your child’s teacher will see these learning dispositions emerging in all areas of your child’s play, and they will plan to support and strengthen these.
Your Child’s Learning Journey
Children’s learning is also on the wall in their room. This will be a snapshot of information from learning plans and portfolio’s, which in the older rooms the children can contribute to. You will find little anecdotes about their play, examples of project work, and a photograph or two.
Planning for individual children enables us to identify the best approach for your child and to use strategies they are more inclined to respond to given their age, stage and level of understanding.
At the conclusion of your child’s learning plan, we welcome your feedback moving forward to the next journey, and we invite you to talk with us about your child’s learning at any time.