Our Philosophy - Magic Thinking
Priorities for Learning
Magic Garden has identified priorities for learning:
Discovery, Investigation and Exploration
Foundation Skills for Literacy and Numeracy
Strong and Respectful Relationships within this Community of Learners
These priorities have been symbolised as three pillars supported by a foundation of relationships. A description of these priorities can be located here.
The Magda Gerber/RIE™ Approach for Infants and Toddlers
The Infant and Toddler Centre is strongly influenced by the Magda Gerber/RIE™ approach of caring for children, alongside the NZ Curriculum, Te Whāriki. It is an approach of respect. For babies, "being who they are" is our curriculum. This means accepting, enjoying and loving each child as she is and not expecting her to do what she cannot do. It is allowing the time, the space, the love and support to be herself and to discover the world in her own unique way. It means letting her crawl until she can, on her own, take her first steps. The environment is carefully crafted for safety, caring times, exploration and challenges, small group eating, calm and unhurried days, talking spaces, inside-outside flow, respectful interactions, homeliness and cleanliness, with natural objects setting off an aesthetically pleasing space. For further information see our Parent Information Booklet for the Infant and Toddler Centre.
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.
Magic Garden is a place where relationships matter. We believe in developing reciprocal relationships embracing families and whãnau. We value the wealth of knowledge that families and whãnau bring and share, and we join them in partnership to enable children to grow and reach their full potential. We value the unique place of Māori amongst the multiple cultures in our community and respect and celebrate these cultural heritages and identities.
The New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum, Te Whãriki guides and inspires our work with children and adults. We value ongoing learning, so we enrich our thinking and practice with the approaches of Reggio Emilia, Magda Gerber/RIE™ and current theory. We are committed and passionate about professional learning and shared team understandings to enhance our practices and uphold a high standard of teaching. We believe children’s learning is fostered through a socio-cultural, emergent curriculum. Our Priorities for Learning statement shows we value self-initiated investigations, experimentation, social competence, creative expression, and foundation skills for literacy and numeracy.
We recognise the importance of a safe, secure, unhurried, peaceful environment that is respectful and empowering for each child. We believe children enjoy, and learn through, making decisions, working together, problem solving, and leading their own learning. We value making time to listen, supporting children to know themselves and become increasingly independent. We treasure each child’s unique gifts, curiosities, passions and potential. We view children as life-long learners, capable of contributing knowledge and understandings as global citizens.
We value an aesthetically pleasing, sustainable environment full of natural and cultural resources reflective of our wider community. We value links with our community and are inspired by regularly dialoguing with local and international visitors in our centres. We enjoy sharing innovative ideas and practices.
He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people! - Mãori Proverb