The early years at Whangamata Area School focus on building capacity to learn through positive relationships and experiences, as well as securing key foundational skills in Literacy, Numeracy, Digital Technologies, the Sciences, Arts, and Physical Education.
Our early years curriculum makes the most of our local environment and acknowledges the natural curiosity of young people and their ability to learn through play and exploration. Students are also encouraged to develop cultural awareness through Te Reo and Te Ao Maori, and Kapa Haka skills.
The establishment and maintenance of positive, powerful, and effective relationships with the families and Whanau of our students is paramount in these key developmental years.
Transitioning from home or an ECE Centre to school when your child turns 5 is very important for you and your child to settle into what can be a very new or foreign environment. We hope to make this as smooth as we can.
Child led play that is initiated or driven by the natural curiosity and interests is fully engaging and vitally important in developing the brain, physical skills and meaningful learning. The learning is supported and extended by challenging environments, stimulating resources, peers, parents and teachers. We endeavour to incorporate a variety of settings and opportunities for children to investigate the natural world, set up experiments, solve problems and use their imagination.
Team Tahi incorporates play into daily classroom life, a teamFabulous Friday Session where children can freely move into the other classes in our team to interact with other students, teachers and enjoy new resources. We have fortnightly excursions to various locations to engage with and explore the outdoors and local community.
Team Rua and Toru incorporate many child driven activities and projects within their classrooms and in “Passion Project” sessions. Every Wednesday, Year 3 & 4 Students are fortunate to be able to opt into Te Kura Tuuhura (School of Discovery and Exploration) Bush Kura sessions.
Structured Literacy is an evidence-based approach that is grounded in the Science of Reading and our understanding about how all brains learn to read. In our classrooms, teachers are using systematic and explicit instruction that integrates listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
The findings from the Science of Reading have taught us some very important lessons that cannot be ignored. This body of research findings has been a welcomed addition to the education sector and we are proud to share with you that we are certainly taking heed of these.
At WAS we are implementing the Numicon Approach to teaching mathematics in Year 1-6 classes. Our Tamariki enjoy hands-on, engaging learning experiences which make math concepts and relationships so obvious for them. We utilise a range of Numicon resources to create consistent pathways for learning to meet all learner needs across the school.