Our Philosophy

Philosophy Statement

Active Learners is dedicated to encouraging curious lifelong learners who are full of wonder and questions. We nurture children and empower them to be resilient, capable, confident and competent learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, and secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society.

Respectful, reciprocal relationships are at the heart of our practices and are the foundation from which we extend children’s learning and development. Consistency of care is particularly important for our infants and toddlers and so we assign a “Primary” teacher for each child. This continues through to the preschool with two assigned teachers who take primary responsibility for our two year olds, two teachers for the three year olds, and one teacher for the four year olds.

Active Learners is dedicated to strengthening our commitment to biculturalism and to the partnership implicit in Te Tiriti o Waitangi. We recognize New Zealand’s unique heritage and Māori as tangata whenua and celebrate this by incorporating as much of Te Ao Māori into our curriculum as possible; through the use of Te Reo Māori, waiata, tikanga, myths, values, learning styles, and respect and care for the natural environment. We strive towards multiculturalism and to ensure a sense of belonging for all whānau, valuing the diversity of cultures within our learning community.

We are influenced by a Reggio Emilia approach and see children as full of potential, capable and competent learners and communicators who are contributing members of our community, and who have many different ways of expressing themselves. We see each child and family as unique and we recognize that the best learning outcomes happen for tamariki when their whānau and teachers work together in positive partnerships.

We are aware that the environment acts as a third teacher, and so teachers are thoughtful and purposeful in the organization of spaces, to encourage and support the engagement of small groups.

Teachers observe, notice, question and discuss with children, parents/caregivers and whānau, and colleagues, in order to discover children’s interests, ideas, and theories. They then plan with the children where possible, to enquire into these areas more deeply. Teachers work alongside children to support and extend their learning through their interests, scaffolding and extending their learning.

We believe that tamariki have many different ways to express their thoughts and ideas and to share their understandings of their world, and that children learn through play, by participating in experiences both individually and with others, both planned and spontaneous. Our belief is that children learn best when encouraged to make choices about their play and so we provide them opportunities to initiate and direct their own learning.