Preparing Four Year Olds for School

At Small Kauri we work to help children develop essential tools for being active engaged learners, and grow into confident and capable lifelong learners.

Attending a childcare centre (or playcentre), with qualified experienced Teachers, allows your child to:
-Play and explore their own ideas as well as sharing ideas with peers, building on ideas.
-Develop inquiry skills, asking questions. Learning that not knowing is an important part of the learning process.
-Learn to work with others within a group, turn taking, negotiation, leadership.
-Develop thinking and problem solving skills through choosing their own materials and building on their own ideas.
-Learn an awareness and understanding of their own feelings and those of others, building empathy.
-Learn about disagreements and working to manage and resolve them.
-Build language and conversation skills through having conversations with adults, Teachers and other children.
-Form friendships, and develop skills involved in building and maintaining friendships.
-Begin to understand and make sense of the world around them.
-Learn to be courageous and try new things.
-Build confidence in their own ideas and what they know. Learning to provide their knowledge to different situations of learning and play.
-Learn creativity and creative thinking.
-Learn about words, numbers, and how things work.
-Learn that words and books can "amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform, and excite".
-Sing, dance, and play games.

We provide the resources and tools to allow children to explore and discover that finding out things is fun and exciting,

At Small Kauri being school ready means, having the attitude and capacity to stick with a task even when it is difficult. The ability to try things out, make mistakes, but carry on and work to find solutions. Creating a 'brain file' of knowledge that allows them to bring what they know to new learning experiences.

We also have a regular transition to school relationship with Mangere Bridge Primary, as well as a by arrangement transition relationship with Waterlea Primary.

Our early childhood curriculum Te Whariki is avaliable online in full for further reference to what is valued and important for the learning and development of children up to school entry.

Why don't we offer a structured "four year old program"?

There is extensive research into the learning and development of children, at Small Kauri we continue to offer best practice in line with past and current research. We have a dedicated and qualified teaching team that continue to engage with and reflect on educational theory, maintaining a high standard of teaching and learning. We staff well above the Ministry of Education required ratio of teachers. With all our Teachers being qualified and experienced early childhood teachers (please refer to our 'your teachers' page to meet the team). In the standard circumstances a centre of our nature (licenced for 37 children, including 7 under twos) under Ministry of Education guidelines would have 5 staff, 3 of which would need to have an early childhood qualification. This ratio is 1 teacher or unqualified staff member to 10 children over the age of 2 years. At these ratios it is difficult to engage in high quality teaching. 'Activities' and 'four year old programs' engage with rote learning as the key teaching tool, seemingly learning the numeracy and literacy to go on to begin school, and learning to follow orders and guidelines, is not best educational practice. At Small Kauri we engage with a deeper level of education. Our four year olds learn not just basic numeracy and literacy, but the learning happens through play, following each childs individual interests and extending their ideas and thinking. Numeracy and literacy becomes a part of everything we do and our children develop an interest and passion for learning.

We continue to receive positive feedback regarding our beginning school five year olds achieving well above the expected levels.
Come in to see more of what we do.