One of the most popular activities of the day is mat time. It’s a mixture of interactions, between the teachers and all of the children within their age group who are present that day, and is tailored to be age appropriate. We celebrate birthdays and individual achievements with clapping and cheering. We learn songs, read books and introduce the children to important things like fire safety and road safety.
The visual arts encompass an extensive range of visual modes that children utilise for expressing, communicating, mediating their thinking, and engaging in aesthetic exploration and research. Some common examples include painting, clay work, collage, weaving, construction and photography, although there are many more modes of visual expression and exploration.
The visual arts support children’s learning in a number of ways by facilitating their ability to communicate, helping them to mediate their thinking, and promoting their creativity and imagination. The visual arts help children to develop an appreciation for diverse points of view and build their cultural knowledge. They also can offer emotional support to children, particularly in relation to transitions from home to the early childhood setting. Children also learn about the symbolic systems of representation and communication valued by their communities through the visual arts. Reference
Blocks and trains and cars seem to work together and we inspire groups of children to collaborate on building environments for transport related activity and fun. This is a great opportunity for the children to learn turn taking and sharing.
Once a fortnight we have a music movement class, which develops the children’s appreciation for music and the ability to feel it through their bodies. We also encourage musical play with our instrument library as well as singing and dancing to all kinds of music!
HeadStart has an extensive library with books to engage and excite all of our ages. Children can look at books by themselves or in groups, with and without teachers. Expressive and comprehensive language is built through reading.
We have a fantastic variety of games to suit different levels of ability. Games are a great way for children to learn to support their peers, take turns and develope an understanding of the overall game concept. Teachers will scaffold group interactions to ensure full inclusion of all members.
Children love to get their hands dirty! There is no better way to teach them about the importance of plants, food and how to nurture our environment than with a spot of gardening.
On occasion, we will organise centre visits from prominent services in the community, such as the fire brigade, St Johns and the police. These are great opportunities for the children to learn more about important safety issues.
Part of our philosophy is to provide all of our children with a sense of community. We do this through celebrations of various cultural events that are relevant to our children and their families. Regular celebrations include Chinese New Year, Matariki, Easter, St Patrick’s Day, Halloween and of course, Christmas. We welcome all new cultures and cultural celebrations.
We also encourage a sense of community by taking short excursions into the community. The most prized of all are our visits to the local rest home. This jaunt has a profound effect on the children and adults alike, both of which learn something.
We have established relationships with the local schools to ensure all of our children are entering school with the foundation skills they need to make it a smooth as possible transition. Each year we hold a Transition to School Information evening for parents and caregivers of our 4 year olds where teachers from the local schools attend, to give parents and families the opportunity to discuss these foundation skills and the upcoming transition.
On our social calendar and of particular importance to bringing the families of the children together, is our annual picnic. It’s an exciting event for the children, with face painting, a sausage sizzle, games and races. We ask our parents to bring a blanket and a sweet plate to share. More information is provided closer to the time.
We also celebrate our mothers and fathers, with special evening events.
We love outings. Whether it’s to the local library, rest home or park, or further afield to the likes of the Star Observatory, Kiwi Valley Farm, Air Force Base, Zoo or Auckland Museum, the trip is planned with safety as a priority. All adventures are at the cost of the centre, unless otherwise advised. Full details of these types of excursions are communicated to the family prior to the date, with approval sought before including a child.
Every year we support Daffodil Day, where 100% of the donations go to the cause.