Michael Park Kindergarten is inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s indicators for education, relevant for Aotearoa. At its heart is a spiritual and human-centred world view based on an understanding of the human individuality, as a being of body, soul and spirit.
Michael Park recognises and values the interconnectedness of:
Te Taha Tinana – the active physical and physiological aspects, which in Steiner education recognises the involvement of life forces (etheric) in vitality and learning.
Te Taha Whatumanawa – heart and emotions, which in Steiner education is enriched through the arts and creativity.
Te Taha Hinengaro – the mind, which in Steiner education is stimulated by open ended opportunity to bring ideas to life in play.
Te Taha Wairua – the spiritual core, which in Steiner education is at the centre of identity and self organisation and influenced by human relationships.
Aroha: loving interest in and acceptance of tamariki and their whānau (family) is at the heart of our philosophy.
Michael Park is committed to an equitable learning environment that acknowledges the role of the Tiriti O Waitangi, is free of discrimination and aims to foster an environment that is tolerant, understanding and respectful. Joy, humour and happiness in our everyday life express our love for tamariki and whānau. This whakatauki describes how we see our purpose.
“Akiaki te tī o tangata”
To nurture the indescribable light in a person
Kaiako (teachers) create a learning environment where there is meaningful adult activity for children to imitate. Practical mahi (work) such as cooking, baking, gardening, craft and caring for the environment is woven into daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms.
Artistic activities and creative experience further children’s capacity to speak, listen and communicate well with others. Storytelling, waiata (singing), drawing and painting, rhythmic games, modelling and craft foster the healthy development of imagination and creativity.
Our priorities for learning:
The spontaneous, self-directed play of tamariki is valued as an essential activity and seen as a (an innate) childhood right. Play is an opportunity to meaningfully make sense of experience and integrate cognitive and problem-solving skills, creativity and imagination, self-expression, concentration, investigation, language, numeracy and social skills. It is a priority that tamariki have plenty of opportunity to play with depth and purpose and are able to pursue their own ideas and interests through play.
The kindergarten and school aim to maintain a distinct curriculum that is age appropriate and developmentally attuned. The stepping stones between kindergarten and Class 1 are aligned.
Tamariki move from Kindergarten to school at the beginning of the school year, after they have turned 6. Each year, in Term 4, the school organises visits to the school for those children moving to Class 1.
Although kindergarten teachers are responsible for providing the curriculum, parents, family and whānau are encouraged to contribute to the curriculum; cooking, gardening, developing the outdoor spaces, making music, crafting, weaving, harakeke, telling stories, repairing toys and helping out with maintenance.
Secure rhythms protect tamariki mauri (life energy), provide security, continuity and a sense of the wellbeing, belonging and wholeness of life.
The kindergarten is open from 8.30am to 2.00pm, Monday to Friday, for tamariki aged 4 to 6 years.
We give thoughtful consideration to these groupings, ensuring that children who share a first language, family relationship (i.e., siblings or cousins) or cultural connection are grouped together in mixed age groups.
We follow the same term dates as the school.
Tamariki bring lunch boxes every day. In terms 2 and 3 we also cook lunch. Food is prepared with care and respect to support healthy eating habits, digestion and physical development. Where possible, food is grown organically or biodynamically.
Festivals, including birthdays, seasonal and cultural festivals, Easter and Christmas are celebrated in a variety of ways. We value festivals as they give opportunities for the children to experience joy and wonder, giving and receiving, caring for others, a sense of belonging, being special and valued.
We have carefully created an environment that makes children feel accepted, respected and free to learn at their own pace.
As soon as you step inside, you’ll notice the home-like feeling of inviting colours, earthy tones, handmade wooden toys and simple resources. We encourage tamariki to learn from real experiences and strongly discourage learning from screens at home and at kindergarten. Our kindergarten values self-directed play in a creative, natural environment that protects the developing senses.