Early learning60.jpgThe philosophy at Springs is grounded in creating a connected, positive, supportive environment. We apply Te Whaariki – The Early Childhood Education Curriculum and are influenced by current research and theory to ensure excellent teaching and the best outcomes for children. We are committed to responding to the diversity of our community and therefore ensure responsive cultural values are a feature of our practice. Bring your child in and see what this looks like in day-to-day centre life.

All Early Childhood Centres in NZ are required to share their philosophy with their community.  Please see our full philosophy below

At Springs Community Early Learning Centre children are placed in the heart of the learning environment as this is their Turangawaewae (meaning “a sense of identity and independence associated with having a particular home base”). It signifies that this is a place with a strong foundation where children will feel especially empowered and connected so they can learn and grow. Children are viewed as capable and competent who are supported in their cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being, secure with their sense of belonging. As Kaiako (teachers) we believe the purpose of high-quality education is to promote a love for life-long learning.

Whanaungatanga (close connections and kinship) is established on the formation of strong family partnerships that are based on trust and reciprocity through warm meaningful relationships. We view this as an essential base of getting to know, understand and respect each other. Our practice embraces cultural diversity where every child and family feels welcomed and respected. We encourage the contribution of families and value their input, working collaboratively and collectively.

We weave in a warm, caring and nurturing learning environment, which encourages each child to have respect and integrity. We recognise the principle of Manaakitanga (hospitality, kindness, generosity, support) as it is structured to facilitate character education and to develop the desirable human qualities like showing kindness, caring for others, treating people with respect and nurturing relationships. Children learn consideration for others and develop their social competence. We value hospitality as a way in which we model to children how we positively regard others, being inclusive and welcoming to all.

The concept of Ako is the belief that we are all members of the learning community and everyone involved directly shifts between being the learner and the teacher. Growing a culture of learning is characteristic of the curriculum, where challenge, innovation, creativity, imagination and uncertainty are viewed positively as is being deeply engaged, focused and persevering with difficulty; all of which we know strengthens the connections for brain growth. The learning environment provides opportunities for children to engage in free, spontaneous play and Kaiako (teachers) observe this play to assess learning interests and strengths. As a teaching team we value the importance of children’s play and encourage our children to have fun in developing meaningful learning experiences. Kaiako are reflective, considered and regularly review teaching practices, the environment and learning opportunities available to children.

We acknowledge the bi-cultural partnership inherent in Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi) and seek to ensure that the curriculum offered to children reflects this partnership. Te reo (Maori Language) and tikanga (Maori customs and traditional values) are woven into our daily practice. We recognise that Te Whāriki, the Early Childhood document guides and inspires everything we do and practice as Kaiako. Our four core values align explicitly with the Principles outlined in Te Whāriki.

Our pedagogy (the method and practice of teaching) is inspired by Te Whariki, Bronfenbrenner, Vygotsky, Shankner, Gerber, Dweck, Claxton and Malaguzzi. These are some of the major Early Childhood theorists and the NZ early childhood curriculum.