Our curriculum embodies Maria Montessori’s philosophy and New Zealand's Te Whāriki curriculum. We have created an environment designed to encourage independent learning and exploration.
Our children learn to take responsibility for themselves and each other, to get along with children of different ages, abilities and culture, to respect each other’s work and work space and to treat each other with courtesy and respect.
Our tamariki take an active role in maintaining their environment by looking after their garden, maintaining our outdoor and indoor spaces tidy and clean, setting tables for kai, doing dishes and making sure everything is ready for others to use.
What the hand does, the mind remember
Our community needs children who garden, who clean, who climb trees, who dream, whose lives and learning are connected to our human reality.
Te Whāriki’ at City Heights
City Heights curriculum delivery abides to the Te Whāriki’ s principles that all children, no matter gender, ethnicity, or ability will be empowered to learn with and alongside others, in all sorts of experiences with meaning for them.
Children will grow their capabilities in all dimensions, physical (tinana), cognitive (hinengaro), emotional (whatumanawa) and spiritual (wairua) through a wide range of experiences.
Each child family, community and culture will be affirmed and place at the centre of their individual learning journey. Our promise is to provide an environment where parents, whānau and tamariki are welcomed and treated with respect, encouragement, warmth, and acceptance.
(Te Whariki, 2017).
For our 0-3 years old tamariki, we have two separate environments, Manawa Titi-pepi (babies) and Manawa Titi (toddlers) as we strongly believe their special needs and competences differ too much among them as to share the same space.
Manawa Titi-pepi is designed to stimulate and meet the developmental needs of babies from 4 months old to the developmental milestone of walking independently.
The focal point in Manawa Titi-Pepi is on nurturing trust on kaiako and the environment. Adults will always respond to their needs with extreme care and respect, expressing unconditional love and acceptance.
Manawa Titi is designed for tamariki who are walking securely through to approximately three years of age. The pace is simple and slow and the routines robust and consistent.
The environment is prepared to meet the needs of the group and to foster independence, motor development and language acquisition. Practical life activities give tamariki the chance to develop skills to care for themselves and their environment. Group activities offer our children the possibility to practice grace and courtesy and the experience of belonging to a community while outdoor play provide context to encourage practising social and gross motor skills.
Activities are simple and offer a repetitive cycle, establishing patterns of order and sequencing. Building our tamariki self-esteem, self-confidence and concentration is the definitive goal. This is achieved through repeated victories with the activities in the classroom.
Freedom is crucial in our programme; however, it is always modulated by two important limits, respect for others and respect for their environment.
Our tuakana’ learning environment is designed to encourage each child to move, touch, and manipulate. The child has freedom to work independently, based on their own initiatives and interests with respectful guidance from their teachers.
City Heights’ environment contains hands on materials that invite children to engage in learning activities of their own individual choice. Our children are guided and encouraged to make purposeful independent choices from a rich curriculum spanning from practical life, cultural, sensorial, language and math's, both indoors and outdoors.
At our whare, tamariki are provided with real implements and given real responsibilities in the care of the environment, themselves, and others. “Contribution” is paramount to our local curriculum as it aims to affirm children as individuals and instil independence, a love of learning and “can do” attitude that will accompany them for life.