At Ellerslie, we are a community based, not for profit centre. We provide equitable opportunities for children to learn with, and alongside, their peers in a respectful and empowering educational environment, supported by both professionally trained teachers that also have a world of life experiences at their fingertips.
These are our words, this is our centre philosophy.
Ranga Whatumanawa (the open and healthy expression of emotion)
In this place, there is time for children to feel and to express their emotions, to feel sad or happy, frustrated or calm, and to feel excited that a new day has dawned. There is time to feel vulnerable or scared, and to understand that this is a place of sanctuary. Connecting with our emotional state and being able to communicate it with others, allows us to seek help and warmth from those around us. This place seeks to encourage, to understand, to support, and to nurture who the children are and who they will become.
Kainga (place of abode and operation)
This place is for our children. It enables them to be unique, calm, safe and is a place that will always be their own. This place is open to all to talk, act, dance, sing, to build stories and structures, to learn and to be a part of our wider and extended whānau. This place is for Ako (dynamic teaching and learning), with children and adults learning alongside each other through the sharing of knowledge and experiences. Students, teachers and parents all contribute to and receive from the kete of learning and knowledge.
Wairua (spiritual dimension)
This place embraces the heart, spirit and soul and resembles our spiritual home. It is a place that extends from our own family to allow us all to be whānau. This place acknowledges who we are, where we come from and who we will become – a child who comes from their atua (ancestors) and travels towards adulthood.
Whenua (placenta, land, country, ground)
In this place there is a feeling of warmth, security, nourishment and sustenance. There is a feeling of belonging to those who we are kaitiaki (custodian) of, and to those that we are connected to via atua (ancestors), whanau (family) and iwi (tribe) within Aotearoa. With new growth, we seek greater opportunities to observe our world through seasonal change and through tuakana teina (peer relationships) as we grow and learn side by side.
Our curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow through supporting them to become interactive learners and constructors of knowledge. Within the centre we believe that our children will develop independently with guidance and support from our teachers. The children will be given opportunities and empowered regularly through daily learning experiences. Staff will be aware of the development levels of the children and use this information to foster each child’s self confidence. Our staff use positive and encouraging language and wherever possible, the children are encouraged to make choices and decisions and set their own learning goals.
Our curriculum reflects the holistic way that children learn and grow through acknowledging them as unique free-spirited individuals. Our teachers are proactive about introducing children to various cultures and are expected to be respectful of the beliefs of individual families. The teachers at YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie are constantly working to provide an environment that is interactive, age appropriate stimulating and safe.
The wider world of family and community is an integral part of our curriculum and we foster active participation from all three protagonists. At YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie we believe that the inclusion of family and the community are an integral part of the positive development of a child. Our teachers take the children into the community where possible and are aware of the resources that are available in the community to support the centre, children and families.
Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things and we encourage the participation in meaningful relationships. The staff at YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie are committed to role modeling and supporting positive relationships. Reciprocal relationships are paramount and our programme provides opportunities for children to gain a rich understanding of their world, and to learn through trying out their ideas with adults and other children.
YMCA Early Learning Centre Ellerslie acknowledges and reflects the unique place of Maori as tangata whenua, giving children the opportunity to develop knowledge and an understanding of the cultural heritage of both parties to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Teachers reflect this in practice by ensuring programmes include tikanga me ona Te Reo Maori (Maori custom and language).
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