At Gail’s Early Learning Centre we believe the following concepts encompass our beliefs regarding children’s learning and development
Mana: Integrity, Charisma, Prestige, Sense of self, Self-esteem, Sense of Identity, Confidence, Pride, Inner strength
A child’s mana comes from their whakapapa, wairua, mauri, self-esteem and a knowledge and pride in who they are and where their place is in the world. We recognise every child has a unique way of being, intrinsically drawn from each element of their being, both past and present. We believe our role is to treat each child equitably, supporting the whakamana of inner strength, confidence and identity.
Whanaungatanga: Relationship, kinship, sense of family connection. A relationship through shared experiences, working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. Reciprocal relationship, strengthens bonds
No child enters our Centre alone. We welcome our children’s whanau into our Centre whanau and fully support them as the child’s primary caregiver. Whakawhanaungatanga, the development of positive reciprocal relationships allows us to work collaboratively to holistically support children’s learning and development
Kotahitanga: Working together as one. Unity, coalition, collective action, togetherness
At Gail’s we work collaboratively with all members of our community including children, wh?nau, teachers, outside agencies and tangata whenua. We believe our role is to build reciprocal relationships and take an active role in community projects
Our role as guardians primarily encompasses the safety of children; physically, emotionally, spiritually and culturally. However it is also to help our children learn an appreciation for Papatuanuku and a connection with te whenua thereby becoming kaitiaki of their natural environment.
Ako: Learn, teach, study, advise. Both learning and teaching. Every Teacher is a learner and every learner is a teacher.
Active and ongoing learning becomes a way of being. Children are encouraged to seek knowledge using and developing understandings and skills to research, hypothesize and test theories. They learn how to; problem solve, set challenges, persevere and persist through difficulty, develop confidence to explore and question. Sharing ideas, theories and new learning with others in their community of learners – this is their way of knowing. Our teachers understand their role is multifaceted; to share knowledge but to also learn from and alongside children. In their own quest to improve their professional practice, they role model continuous and ongoing learning.
Kotahitanga: Holistic Development
We are dedicated to children’s learning, supported by recognising the importance of hauora; emotional, physical, social, spiritual and cultural well being. Through primary care giving practices each child and their unique culture are celebrated within the centre, strengthening their sense of identity, mana and mauri.
We believe that strong relationships with kaiako support children on their endeavour to becoming competent akonga. Empowering children to take ownership of their learning, lead their own risk management and create relationships built on ako and tuakana-teina. As teachers we scaffold children on their journey of identity by providing an environment that promotes sense of self, enables free movement and facilitates self help skills.
We acknowledge whanau as the primary caregiver. Through whanaunatanga we can foster secure relationships with both child and whanau that are influential to the child's learning. Sharing intimate knowledge of your child's interest, routines and rhythms allows us to respond in a way that extends your child's identity and learning. Through this ako relationship we can capture your child's identity, extend their interests and make the centre an extension of home.
Children are encouraged to create connections with nature as they learn, explore, appreciate, respect and care for Papatuanuku and our environment. Developing an understanding of the importance of kawanga, manaakitanga and whakatue to not only individuals but their environment children become kaitiaki. We actively promote children to become guardians of their environment and nurture it for future generations.