Centre Practices - Enjoy the Magic
The Role of the Teacher
Relationships between teachers and parents are crucial in our learning environment. Teachers are intensely involved in what the children are thinking, saying and doing. They are present for them and actively engaged with them in their activities. Reciprocal relationships with open dialogue valuing the contribution of each team member allows collaboration of knowledge at planning meetings, sharing of observations and interactions of children. Combining of insights promotes a programme linked to children’s interests and skills. We have a strong emphasis on reflection of teaching practice supported by our professional development programme.
The beginning at Magic Garden is critical. Parents and children are welcome and important. This is when relationships between home and centre start, where a sense of belonging and trust develops. Parents, children and teachers together create a pattern of communication and reciprocity. Teachers and parents give these beginnings time. Key teachers in each centre support families and their children with settling and transitions. Parents come with their children to the centre and work closely with the teachers to help the child become familiar with the new environment. Teachers respect the attachment of the child to the parents, with parents separating as the child feels secure in the new surroundings. Teachers need to be aware of the child’s routines, interests, skills and patterns and parents need to know the teachers and how the centre works. For children for whom English is not their first language, special planning needs to occur to enable comfortable settling for the child and the new family.
Transitions between centres are carefully planned according to the needs of the child and as vacancies occur. This allows for overlapping of ages and flexibility of arrangements in the programmes. Parents are asked to be closely involved in transitions. Meanwhile, with the support of key teachers, children will be visiting the new centre during the day to establish new relationships and become familiar with the new centre.
Careful attention is given to children proceeding to school.
We have a large central kitchen with a cook and assistant to prepare meals and provide a nutritious, four-weekly rotating lunch menu. Close attention is given to children who have allergies. Water is available for drinking at all times. Children are provided with a variety of snacks and fruit for morning and afternoon tea.
In the Over Three Centre we have a 'Lunch Box day' once a month that parents provide as a school preparation activity. Here unwrapping packaging, awareness of different food choices, and experimenting with a different eating style is part of children's learning.
The Education Review Office (ERO) undertakes reviews of Early Childhood Education Services and schools thoughout New Zealand. If you wish to view our latest ERO report please click here.