At the PolyHigh Preschool, we help children informally acquire the skills needed for school. It is these skills that will enable your children to settle into the Primary School environment with ease. The curriculum is delivered through play-based activities, which reflect all aspects of Te Whāriki: He Whāriki Mātauranga mō ngā Mokopuna o Aotearoa (the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum). Throughout the day the teachers setup and plan fun and challenging activities that extend children’s interests and learning. These activities will hopefully instil a positive attitude towards learning that will help your child during their time at School and later on in life. We also have a Transition to School Programme, where the eight oldest Preschooler children spend two hours twice a week with our Transition to School teacher Meg. The goal of this programme is to provide more complex, challenging and stimulating group activities to further develop skills in literacy, numeracy, organisation, concentration and problem solving.
In the Preschool Group the teachers help children learn:
To become confident speaking in a group, and contribute their ideas, opinions and knowledge in a safe and supportive environment.
To ask questions in group situations (what, where, why, who and when etc), and to seek help from teachers and their peers when needed.
How to follow instructions.
Foundation literacy skills. Recognising their name, the names of others, recognising simple words in the environment, learning that print has a meaning and is a symbol for spoken words, learning that print goes from left to right and where a book starts. We do not specifically teach children to read and write, although we will support children if they show an interest.
Essential listening skills. To listen to others when they are in a group, putting their hand up to talk when in a group, listening to stories, and to recall information from stories.
Early literacy skills. How to hold a pencil correctly, which direction to write, practising their writing in their exercise book, and for those who are interested, how to write simple words.
To hold and use scissors.
How to take turns and share equipment.
Social skills. Developing positive conflict resolution strategies, working with others in groups, developing empathy for others, and how to respond to their own emotions appropriately. These skills will enable children to manage their relationships in the School setting.
Research and investigative skills. Learning how to find information that is of interest to them, extending their curiosity and seeking more than just the answer.
To become responsible and independent with self help skills. Wiping their nose, going to the toilet, putting away their clothing, shoes, and bags etc.
Respect. Respecting their teachers, peers, environment, belongings and themselves.
To foster a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
Early mathematical concepts. Numbers, length, shape, weight etc. This is incorporated through a range of activities – singing, play, stories, games, and mat times.
Scientific concepts. This is developed in many different ways – baking, sandpit play, water play, the light table etc.