At Sweet Pea Early Learning Centre the child is at the heart of everything we do. We believe there are infinite opportunities for children to learn through play, exploration and investigation. Our teachers are a part of a strong foundation we are building to ensure each child is nurtured and treated with dignity and respect. Our whanau’s aspirations for their children are of paramount importance to us. We will work towards fostering an authentic partnership between teachers and parents encompassing all aspects of your child’s learning journey. At Sweet Pea we emphasise the values of sustainability and being socially responsible at a young age which are the values we passionately believe our young citizens should understand and put into practice in their lives.
We view children as capable and confident learners who should explore and discover in a stimulating environment. They should learn through varied experiences using all their senses. Children will feel safe and secure with the development of strong relationships with their teachers and peers. We see each child as unique and endeavour to respect their opinions and their understanding of the world. Children are encouraged to use language to investigate and explore, to reflect on their experiences.
We have focussed our attention on the environment, sourcing sustainable materials and implementing an innovative design. Along with art areas in each room, there is a heightened focus on the use of various materials such as clay, wire, mirrors, papers, drawing materials, paints, fabrics and found objects. Teachers carefully organize spaces for small and large group projects as well as small intimate spaces for one, two, or three children. Children’s work, plants and collections are displayed both at their level and adult eye level. We provide children with a wide range of natural and open-ended resources creating opportunities to stimulate their creativity. Our indoor environment is an extension of the outdoor which will create a relaxed and calm setting.
At Sweet Pea, our teachers are carefully selected, and embody the values of kindness, empathy and integrity. They are passionate about childcare and will go above and beyond what is expected to ensure your child is in a loving, safe and nurturing environment. Teachers play an integral part in the development of children and their learning, their starting point is to observe children, take their ideas and evolve them for further investigation. They will document children’s progress through various media while fostering connections between home, the centre and the community through dialogue with parents and caregivers about the projects being implemented. Every teacher is a vital asset at Sweet Pea because they develop the child holistically into competent and confident learners.
Our starting point is the emergent curriculum which is built from the interests of the children. Teachers work together to plan the possible directions of a project, the resources required, and possible parent and/or community involvement. Learning is intentional and thought-provoking for our ākonga. Throughout a project, teachers help children make decisions about what, how and why they want to learn about the topic. Teachers use sight, smell, sound, touch to teach concepts, which gives children a deep understanding through their experiences. Group work is viewed as a vital component of learning, and children are encouraged to talk, critique, compare, negotiate, hypothesize, and problem solve throughout the project. The relationship and collaboration with the home, the centre and the community all support the learning of the child. We are strongly influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach to learning and guided by Te Whariki the New Zealand curriculum. At Sweet Pea, we also incorporate the philosophies of Malaguzzi, Pikler, Howard Gardner and Gerber to enhance our curriculum.