|At Open Spaces we are blessed with many acres of native bush to which our tamariki have weekly access. This 'outside classroom' is central to the learning of our tamariki. Wild Woods trips happen every week with a small group of up to 8 children and 2 kaiako, (a 1:4 child teacher ratio). The older children occasionally get to go on a big adventure to feed our local Tuna (eel) in the Waitangi stream that runs behind the Woods area.
At Open Spaces we build our curriculum around the natural environment. We believe that there is nothing more important than helping our tamariki develop a life-long passion for nature and the dispositions to seek out, appreciate and understand important natural phenomena in their daily experiences.
|In nature, children get to use all their senses. They experience peace, solitude, beauty and wonder. They challenge themselves, they work collaboratively, they ask questions, they wonder, they think. We hope that the dirt they get under their nails travels to their hearts and ignites a passion that will endure as long as life lasts.
We strive for our tamariki to be capable, competent, confident learners who are curious about the world around them, exhibit positive learning dispositions, values, and an ethos of kaitiakitanga. Through our learning programmes we hope to build a strong sense of place, a deep connection to Papatūānuku, and the courage to stand up for her.
|Environment-based education is shown to develop the foundations for social studies, science, language arts, and math. Children who play outside every day, regardless of weather, have better motor coordination and more ability to concentrate in problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. Self-confidence, self-esteem, leadership, collaboration, compassion are all developed in this type of learning environment.