We know children are born with remarkable potential and are competent, active explorers capable of leading their own learning journeys, as well as inspiring others.
We are influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach within our programme, and acknowledge Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of Aotearoa New Zealand. We are committed to embracing our bi-cultural heritage.
Our warm and welcoming family-like environment promotes safe, secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships. We believe that partnerships and relationships, form through regular communication with family and whānau. The programme is enriched through the sharing of ideas, knowledge, skills, culture and experiences, as well as continually focussing on children’s learning through assessment.
Acknowledgement of the Treaty of Waitangi and respect of our bi-cultural heritage is evident through our focus on building strong, reciprocal relationships with all families where children, parents and whānau are heard (taha hinengaro); where our children, parents and whānau feel safe (taha whānau); where our environment supports the development of physical growth (taha tinana); and where our practices empower children, parents and whānau to weave their own beliefs and values to promote a sense of wellbeing within themselves and community (taha wairua).
We value collaboration as vital to the success of our programme and see ourselves as learners with children through projects inspired by their curiosity. Teachers intentionally prepare spaces for learning that builds on children’s strengths and interests to grow potential. We believe that children can independently communicate their knowledge and understanding through the use of symbolic languages (e.g. painting, sculpting, drama) in everyday life.
The neutral learning landscape provides a canvas that encourages exploration, discovery, and challenge as tools for navigation through our natural and physical worlds. The physical learning environment, both indoors and outdoors, is viewed as the “third teacher” and promotes positive and engaging relationships between children and others, supporting children to problem solve and take risks. Sustainable practices and organic gardening practices play a pivotal role in learning about and caring for our natural world.
Listening to children and engaging in conversations that provide children with time to think is critical for our teaching. Careful observation informs our decisions and inquiry, supported by regular training and professional learning about quality practice.
At Piccolo Preschool we make healthy choices. We understand the importance of providing children with healthy choices and good nutrition as the foundation for the development of healthy and happy children.
We freshly prepare meals and snacks daily in our own kitchen using quality ingredients - choosing wholemeal bread, quality meats and chicken, fresh vegetables and fruits to establish healthy eating habits (organic where possible). Children will receive morning tea, a hot lunch, afternoon tea and nutritionally appropriate snacks.
Our menu provides 70% of children’s daily nutritional intake. The menu is designed to provide a variety of different foods throughout the week. We are interested in offering a multicultural menu, so any recipes from your family culture are always welcome.
While healthy eating is encouraged at Piccolo Preschool, we know that for some children, developing healthy eating habits can take time. We create a relaxed eating environment where children can develop a healthy eating habit at their own pace. We are happy to discuss the nutritional needs of your child.
Meals and Piccolo preschool should be:
We know that meal times may also be messy for younger children! This is all part of your child's growth and development.
The staff at Piccolo Preschool recognise the importance of fun and creating a love of learning through play. We provide children the opportunities for daily problem solving through provocations and creative thinking within the learning environment. We promote imaginative play as well as provide chances to integrate home life experiences and community connections within the learning. We provide opportunities for research and investigation and help nurture children's emotional and social development.
Our youngest children, the Kea Group (2 – 3 year olds) have a safe and nurturing environment. We allow this age group to have time to themselves in the mornings, before becoming part of the larger group in the afternoon. The area for this age group It is richly resourced with age appropriate play equipment and activities. The inside area flows nicely to an attractive outdoor area with sandpit and water play.
There are structured sharing times and the opportunity to enjoy music times or yoga for wider group interaction throughout each day. Piccolo Preschool, regardless of the group, is child-centred and allows the children to explore and learn through all areas of the curriculum.
Our Piwakawaka group (3 - 4 year olds) area is spacious and designed specifically for children to learn through play and structured activities while preparing them enquiry. It features access to the richly resourced and naturally enhanced large outdoor area where children are able to develop their physical motor skills through active movement.
Throughout the day, children are encouraged to learn through collaboration with adults and peers. Children at Piccolo Preschool learn through participation and observation, as well as through individual investigation and reflection.
Our daily sharing times promote group collaboration, respect of others and learning, as well as transition to school readiness.
Our older children, the Kiwi group (4 – 5years) develop a readiness for school in literacy and numeracy knowledge as well as the promotion of social skills. We aim to work with these children to transition children and foster their love of learning, while developing their independence, concentration, co-operation and communication skills in preparation for a classroom environment.
Our ongoing relationship with the community and local schools also supports a positive smooth transition.