Our children’s mana whenua, their sense of belonging, is at the heart of all that we do at the Preschool. Within our ‘Pohutukawa’ class for example, we continue to support our children to make connections with people, places, and things around them.
It is crucial for our children to make sense of ‘their world’ at the Preschool and gain a deeper understanding of routines and rituals that help make them feel safe and secure. Towards this end, we have begun establishing regular routines where they get involved, are encouraged to think, have their voices heard, and develop a sense of ownership of the actions that are expected of them.
We start our day with ‘Hui Time’ where our children welcome each other. Here, we introduce a ‘provocation’. Over the course of a few weeks, the children were challenged to think about their bags and all of the belongings they need for their ‘Day at the Preschool’.
Our teachers facilitate a discussion on the importance of what we have in our bags and pose questions such as:
“Do I have everything I need for my day at the Preschool?”
“What do I do if I get wet clothes?”
“Where do I put my wet clothes?”
“What else do I have/need in my bag?”
Through this exercise, our children build their confidence by learning to take responsibility for their belongings, as well as thinking critically to ensure they are prepared for their day ahead.