We acknowledge the wonderful learning opportunities our environment can provide children. We strongly believe that the environment is our third teacher, and have created naturally beautiful and functional spaces in which we can ignite children’s learning and spark a lifelong passion for our natural world.
We aim to provide areas within our service that allow our children to explore, extend their learning, investigate and discover. We want children to have a positive relationship with their environment and our resources are reflective of real life objects. We incorporate a lot of loose parts and natural pieces for children to explore, as we believe that they are valuable resources in that they offer open-ended learning opportunities, where children are free to use their imagination and initiate their own learning.
Our Indoor Play Area
Support and provision for gross and fine motor development is essential for young children as they learn to explore, challenge themselves and become comfortable within their bodies. It is important that we provide a range of age appropriate, challenging and stimulating activities and resources where children can develop these motor skills whilst taking responsible risks within their learning environment.
We know the benefits of physical play for our young children and see the importance of this happening every day, despite some of the environmental factors that can sometimes challenge us. Alongside our beautiful outdoor spaces, we have created an inside physical area where we can continue to offer children the opportunity to run, jump, move confidently and explore as they play alongside their peers. We also use this as an extension area where we tailor our localised curriculum to provide extension opportunities for all our children within our service.
Our Garden Area
We believe that it is important for children to learn about their natural world around them as they develop their working theories. Where things come from, how things grow and most importantly, how to care for and look after our environment.
We encourage children to be active participants within their environment here at The Oaks Early Learning Centre and provide avenues that encourage children to learn about nourishing their bodies with healthy and nutritious fruit and vegetables. We educate children around the processes involved in growing your own kai and encourage them to be active participants in this process.
With a designated vegetable garden area as a learning space, we can offer the opportunity for children to learn about their environment and believe this provides many benefits to our learning community. It helps foster important skills children can use within different areas of their lives, such as responsibility, understanding, reasoning and discovery, cause and effect, sensory exploration, social skills, nutrition and patience.
Not only will this encourage children to try the food they grow and harvest, through involving them in each step of the process they are likely to develop positive relationships with each other, take ownership, develop responsibility and leadership skills and have a strong sense of pride over their achievements as they become Kaitaiki of their garden space.
Good nutrition is essential when meeting the growth and developmental needs of young children. In order for children to learn, explore and develop, it is important that their bodies are nourished with fresh, healthy food.
We are fully catered and provide morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea for your child/ren whilst attending our service and all our meals have been recommended by a dietitian, so that we know we are offering wholesome and healthy meal options. We have a specialised menu for our youngest children and are happy to work alongside you as your child transitions onto solid food.
All food provided by The Oaks Early Learning Centre is reflective of the Ministry of Health recommendations for healthy food and drink for young children and we can cater to all dietary requirements.
Child well-being is at the forefront of our practice and we believe that food plays a important role in supporting this. We encourage children to have a positive relationship with food and strive to offer a variety of healthy, nutritious and delicious meals for all to enjoy.
“Poipoia te kakano kia puawai”
Nurture the seed and it will blossom