The Tuatara group is comprised of children aged two to three years old. Our programme is planned to match the needs of the children. The various learning areas provide opportunities for self-directed play and participation in a wide range of developmentally appropriate and interesting activities, including:
Music and movement activities are available in the morning and afternoon
Messy Play, Sand Play, Challenge Courses, Physical Activities like jumping, running and using bikes and trolleys, and gardening are provided daily as outdoor activities
Block play, puzzles and mathematical sorting, classifying, grouping and counting that involve Pre-Math Skills (Numeracy) are provided as open ended activities and accessible in the open type shelves
Reading books and other large print materials to help develop recognition
Painting and collage activities are readily accessible to encourage children to become creative and expressive
Children experience planned and spontaneous trips/walks to extend and affirm their connecting links with family and the wider world outside the centre
Our routines on nappy changing, using the toilet, mealtimes and sleep times, are structured, respectful and supportive of the varying needs of the children. This also allows teachers to engage children in learning self-help and self-care skills, for them to become confident, competent and independent.
The Tuatara programme, which is based on Te Whaariki (New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum), is an “emergent curriculum” and is based around the philosophy of following children’s interests, ideas, strengths and dispositions. The teachers assess children’s learning and development using a socio-cultural approach, observing children in a social context and documenting the learning that occurs through interactions with others. Parents are encouraged to contribute and have a voice in their child’s learning and development and to become involved partners in the education and care of their children.
There is a high quality teacher-child ratio in the Tuatara area. Based on the Ministry of Education requirement, adult-child ratio is 1:9 for Over Two’s and the Tuatara area has 1:5 adult-child ratio. Teachers aim to support and challenge each child’s learning by providing a rich array of activities and learning experiences which reflect each child’s interests. All teachers are responsible for documenting all children, either individual or group stories, this may include photos, group art activities, reports, letters and surveys etc.