Kōwhai Room Children (2-5 years)

Our Curriculum in the Kōwhai Room at WELC.

The New Zealand early childhood education curriculum, Te Whāriki, recognises the importance of children’s play as the vehicle by which children experience their environment and build knowledge. This early childhood curriculum document is what services across the country base their individual programmes on.

Here at The Westport early Learning Centre (WELC) we use the curriculum framework to provide a consistent programme that along with our centre philosophy is based on relationships which recognise, support and nurture the individual child as a learner who brings with them into the early childhood education setting their own wealth of experiences and knowledge from home, and their wider community.

Relationships are fundamental to learning and at WELC we have a highly motivated and experienced team of teachers who aim to provide a welcoming open door environment for each child and their family/whanau so that they develop a strong sense of well-being and belonging.

Teachers engage with children, providing activities based on their emerging interests to extend them further and open up a world of possibilities for their lifelong learning journey. Our programme allows for children to learn while having fun, providing opportunities for a balance of spontaneous and planned learning experiences. We scaffold children to extend themselves through open ended questions, modelling an activity, encouraging a child to try a different approach, or directing them to another opportunity until the child is ready to act alone.

Our transition to school programme (“Young Explorers”) helps support a smooth transition to primary school as a fun and positive experience, while learning essential skills that will support that next step in the journey.

Transition to School Program - The Young Explorers (from 4 years)

The children who settle into school easily are the ones who have attended some kind of quality preschool or kindy say new entrant teachers. Children who are confident and capable when they enter the school setting have a head start on children who have not previously experienced a more structured environment.

Everyone learns at different speeds and while adults think counting and spelling is a sign a child is ready for school, not all children are ready to learn this, before they begin school. Often the children have simply memorised letters and numbers. Experienced teachers at Westport Early Learning Centre know how to encourage and support each child’s learning.

Being familiar with routines, like mat time and knowing how to relate to others, negotiate and take turns so they can manage group work are other important skills pre-schoolers learn. Qualified and dedicated teachers support children in creative and critical thought processes all day. Teachers provide purposeful experiences that introduce children to early concepts of maths, science, art, reading and other curriculum areas.

When children are interested in something, they engross themselves in it.

A skilled early childhood teacher will take that fascination and build on it.

Children who have learned how to think clearly and solve problems take these skills into the next phase of their education. They will have the courage and confidence to ask questions and expand their knowledge.

The Young Explorer program is delivered by our well experienced teachers and has received great feedback from local schools saying our children are turning up to school well prepared for learning.

Some of the learning opportunities the Young Explorer programme offers includes:

  • Literacy skills
  • Numeracy skills
  • Understanding the world
  • Creativity, arts and music
  • Sharing and relating to others
  • Physical and gross motor skills