The ECC Program offers a diverse curriculum that is age appropriate and developmentally stimulating. It respects and promotes the diversity that exists in such an International school and adopts the school wide ` Expected Student Learning Outcomes (ESLR’s) as they relate to early childhood education.
In early childhood, teaching, learning and assessment are interrelated and connected and this is reflected in our Te Whariki curriculum framework. Te Whariki is founded on the aspirations that children "grow up 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 valued contribution to society".
The Te Whariki Curriculum is based on four principles.
- Holistic Development
- Family and Community
These four principles are interwoven within five strands:
- Strand 1 Well-Being
- Strand 2 Belonging
- Strand 3 Contribution
- Strand 4 Communication
- Strand 5 Exploration
Each strand has goals associated with it:
- Strand One – Well-Being: Children experience an environment where: their health is promoted, their emotional wellbeing is nurtured; they are kept safe from harm.
- Strand Two – Belonging: Children and their families experience an environment where: connecting links with the family and wider world are affirmed and extended; they know they have a place; they feel comfortable with the routines, customs and regular events; they know the limits and boundaries of acceptable behavior.
- Strand Three – Contribution: Children experience an environment where: there are equitable opportunities for learning, irrespective of gender, ability, age, ethnicity, or background; they are affirmed as individuals; they are encouraged to learn with and alongside others.
- Strand Four – Communication: Children experience an environment where: they develop non-verbal communication skills for a range of purposes; they develop verbal communication skills for a range of purposes; they experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures; they discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive.
- Strand Five – Exploration:Children experience an environment where: their play is valued as meaningful learning and the importance of spontaneous play is recognized; they gain confidence in and control of their bodies; they learn strategies for active exploration, thinking, and reasoning; they develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social physical and material worlds.
Each child has a developmental portfolio.
- The portfolio includes:
- Learning Stories (stories and photographs of individual children’s experiences in class)
- Examples of children’s own work and photographs.
- A valuable communication tool between home and school (children take them home 4 times a year and parents provide feedback).
- Provides significant information to a teacher when assessing a child’s progress.
- Becomes a way to evidence the learning and development of each child throughout the year.
- Is a wonderful keepsake, in order to revisit events and create memories of the early years of schooling.
Assessment in the ECC
All the curriculum documents and approaches used in the ECC are weaved into the program and planning process and are used to inform and guide children’s strengths, interests and development.
Our Progress Reports are an assessment system that reflects the goals and learning outcomes from Te Whariki, our school wide ESLR’s, and our literacy and mathematics curriculum.
In addition, parent conference meetings and individualized goals for children are also incorporated into programming and are an important part of assessment in early childhood.