This Kindergarten is a place where sustainability and kindness are prioritised!
Children at Comrie Park Kindergarten have the opportunity to:
- Engage in, discover and take responsibility for the natural outdoors.
- Take responsibility for their own learning and being encouraged to think outside the square.
- Form beautiful friendships
- Gain confidence and empowerment and feel a sense of belonging within the Kindergarten and community.
- Experience our Ngāhere programme.
Comrie Park kindergarten are leaders in sustainable education in Early Childhood in Northland. As the first Green Gold Enviroschools Kindergarten north of Auckland, our commitment to working with community to create significant changes in sustainability knowledge, and therefore actions, is widely recognised. We know that lifelong learning begins in the early years; what children learn when they are young creates mind-sets and habits for a lifetime. This means that through our work with children, we are directly influencing the future of our community and our world. We believe that shared knowledge and participation builds power, so through our partnerships with the Northland Kindergarten Association (NKA),the Northland Regional Council, local marae and schools we actively facilitate opportunities for our community to be involved in our projects focussed on sustainable outcomes.
The Enviroschools kaupapa and guiding principles (empowered learners, respect for diversity of people and culture, sustainable communities, Māori perspectives and learning for sustainability) fit seamlessly beside the principles and strands of Te Whāriki, our national curriculum. Empowered learners participate in their environment through exploration and discovery. This builds children’s literacy and language repertoire, allowing them to develop strong communication alongside a confidence in contributing to the achievements of the collective. The connection with nature and the wider community ground children in their place, creating a sense of tūrangawaewae that we believe is lifelong. Through caring for, and being deeply involved in their environment and community, our tamariki are gifted the treasure of belonging, something we treasure. All of these aspects create a well-being not only of body but of wairua, enabling our children to confidently step into the next phase of their learning with pride. We believe that by upholding this kaupapa we are supporting our children to grow as “competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society” (Te Whāriki, 2017.)
Our outside environment is an ever evolving, living landscape filled with raw, natural materials. Intelligent materials (also known as loose parts) are sourced from families, local second-hand stores and the local refuse centre shop. We believe that by giving our children an open-ended space, filled with materials that can be used in infinite ways, we are expanding their minds, showing them how they like to learn and why. These materials often lend themselves to group design and play, allowing time for children to work within the ‘soft skills’ of learning such as collaboration, empathy, communication, and higher thinking; the skills that we believe are the most important for our children to develop.
Our inside environment is an exciting place that mingles discovery and sense of homeliness. A rich variety of resources allows our tamariki to experiment, create, role-play, read and socialise to their hearts content.