Our preschool curriculum

Our curriculum for kindergarten and preschool children

The preschool curriculum at Adventureland preschool in Ellerslie, Auckland NZ takes a holistic approach to children’s learning and development.

Our preschool curriculum is provided by the people, resources and experiences at Adventureland. The learning environment integrates education and care, and includes activities that are planned, and spontaneous.

It includes…

  • Core preschool curriculum (resources, areas of play),
  • Emergent preschool curriculum (responding to children’s ideas and interests), and
  • Negotiated preschool curriculum (resulting from discussion).

We take a holistic approach to children’s learning and development. These are enhanced and developed through meaningful experiences and reciprocal responsive relationships, within the context of the children’s family, culture and community. These are recorded in children’s individual portfolios which are always available for children and parents. We encourage parents to take these home to share with their families and to contribute their views.

Effective assessment and evaluation practices inform our planning. This provides an environment which is positive, inclusive and responsive to each child. Our children’s individual portfolios are the record of their learning and development here.

These are central to our assessment and planning for the children. Children’s learning is viewed in the light of the strands and principles of Te Whariki and the national preschool curriculum framework. Each child’s portfolio contains group and individual learning stories, children’s voices and parent contributions. We endeavour to contribute to each child’s portfolio each month. We invite parents to contribute their ideas and interests to our preschool centre.

We do this through informal chats or by appointment, and regular planned parents’ events. Monthly staff meetings are the forum for documentation, planning and evaluation of the program. The curriculum is a mix of teacher-led, child-responsive and parent or child-initiated events.

Our preschool staff attend regular professional development to keep up to date with current ideas.

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Our preschool curriculum priorities

The two key strands of Te Whariki that we emphasise are wellbeing and belonging. Children need to feel safe, secure and that they belong. This then gives them the confidence to explore, communicate and contribute to their learning. Our centre is multi-cultural so we feel a sense of belonging is important.

These curriculum priorities of wellbeing and belonging are visible in practice in many ways…


The children play an active part in the running of the programme and the planning of the programme is based around children’s particular interests.

They develop skills in caring for the environment such as cleaning, fixing and gardening. They help out with with self-care skills and our young children help to arrange and put things away in the right places.

The children have an understanding of the routines and regular events of the early childhood setting. They develop capacities to predict and plan from the patterns and regular events that make up the day, and an understanding of the consequences of stepping beyond the limits of acceptable behaviour.


There are a number of things we support children to develop around wellbeing. For example, knowledge of how to keep themselves healthy, self help and self care skills for eating, drinking, food preparation, toileting, resting, sleeping, washing and dressing.

We want them to develop an increasing ability to determine their own actions and make their own decisions. And to grow in confidence and ability to express their emotional needs. They also need to trust that their emotional needs will be responded to. It’s also important for them to feel confident that they can participate and take risks without fear of harm.

We support children to learn respect for rules around harming others and the environment, and an understanding of the reasons for such rules. Plus respect for other cultures and backgrounds.

This information is shared with parents by newsletter, via Infocare, Daily Diary, parents evenings and functions. Parents are encouraged to have a voice on planning which fosters belonging, and we welcome open communication and feedback.