Pukeko (3 – 5 years)
Whatungarongaro he tangata toitū te whenua – Man disappears from sight, but the land remains.
At Kidstown the natural world plays an integral part in our children’s learning, and our tamariki become kaitiaki (guardians) of our native environment and surroundings. The tamariki take an active part in caring for their own special place; showing respect and aroha for Papatūānuku and it’s living creatures.
Our tamariki are encouraged to sign in writing their own name in the morning, further developing independence and responsibility. Our Pukeko children are also encouraged to serve their own food, be responsible for their own belongings and talk to each other in order to sort out their problems verbally with minimal adult involvement. The tamariki are actively involved in caring for their own environment; tidying their resources away after use, taking responsibility with room jobs, helping kaiako choose activities and resources for the tables and making self-directed choices in their own learning journey. To further develop empathy and independence the Pukeko children take a more active role in caring for our animals, geckos, frogs, and rabbits and our teachers help the tamariki to understand what they observe in nature through questioning, research and stories.
Our children in the Pukeko room participate in interactive and informative mat time sessions, which build on current interests, focus and sharing. They are encouraged to be active contributors to these sessions, by sharing their ideas, news, special taonga from home and working collaboratively together. Through these mat times, they build on their language, their knowledge of the current date, letters, numbers, the weather, daily routines and active use of te reo Māori and New Zealand sign language. This engages them in the interactions and understanding of their world around them.