Nga Whetu/Stars Group Time (aged 2 years— approx 3.5 years)
At around 10.30am Nga Whetu/Stars start group time. We sing a welcome waiata. We usually have a group activity – action song or game with every child encouraged to take part. Movement and music are the main focus for this age group.
Organised activities/puzzles/books may be set up or children spend time together as a small group with a teacher before moving off to other activities.
This is time for the Stars to explore and participate in the outside environment without the “Big Kids” interaction.
Nga Kōkiri rangi/Rockets Group Time (aged approx 3.5—5 year olds)
At around 10:30 we call Nga Kōkiri rangi/Rocket children to come inside and sit on the mat for their group time.
We begin this part of the day by singing a waiata song to welcome the children to the session.
Teachers use morena hui/morning group time to encourage children to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for future learning. Skills are developed such as turn taking, listening, sharing and verbally contributing to discussions. Knowledge on mathematics – colour and shapes, numeracy –counting and number recognition, literacy – name recognition and familiarity with print are encouraged and developed.
It’s a great time for re-enforcing the centre rules, and discussing issues such as being kind and considerate friends or routines such as hand washing.
After this time children select from learning experiences that have been set out around the room which cater to the differing interests, needs and development of the children. Experiences such as cutting, threading, puzzles, art – drawing, clay and finger paint, develop fine motor skills vital for writing, mathematics and literacy.
At 11:20 the teachers ask the children to begin tidying up the centre (this requires team work and teaches respect for the environment).