Years 1 and 2
Ka whānaia, ka tipu, ka puāwai
Nurture and it will grow, then blossom
Play Based Learning
In Team Tahi we strongly believe in our Play Based Learning approach. This allows our tamariki opportunities to explicitly develop the values of ‘Our Whakawhanaungatanga’ which is the essence of TPS. Our kaiako have been involved in professional learning giving us a strong foundation and understanding of the principles behind Play Based Learning. Our Play Based Learning is explicitly planned for but also remains flexible ensuring that each learner can develop and grow. We place importance on the role of the kaiako in forming strong relationships with the tamariki and in their ability to not only coach when required but also to allow for self-directed play, develop growth mindset and oral language. We are lucky to have an excellent outside environment which allows our tamariki to experience Play Based Learning both inside and out. Our Literacy and Maths programmes are taught within Play Based Learning through integrating learning experiences and by daily withdrawal of small groups for explicit teaching.
We understand that not all our learners come to school ready to start formal learning. In 2022 our kaiako undertook professional learning to help us gain a deeper understanding of the readiness for learning skills. We found this extremely valuable and will be continuing this professional learning in 2023. We identify those tamariki that require further growth in these areas. Play Based Learning allows us the opportunities to explicitly target these skills with ākonga in both the inside and outside setting in a fun and engaging way.
We place importance on reflection, not only the kaiako reflecting and being able to notice and make changes but also we listen carefully to our tamariki. Their voice is hugely important and we are extremely aware of encouraging and developing student agency. We also believe that the process of ‘doing’ rather than the end result is the cause for celebration.
In 2021 Team Tahi kaiako began investigating and researching the Structured Literacy approach of teaching Reading and Written Language. This involved looking closely at the evidence and research around the ‘Science of Reading’ which ultimately helped inform our decision to adopt the structured literacy approach to teaching reading and written language. During 2021 and 2022 Team Tahi undertook further professional learning which gave us explicit knowledge on how to teach structured literacy to our tamariki in a planned and systematic way.
During 2022 the Year 1 kaiako have been using the Structured Literacy approach. We have been delighted with the engagement and progress of our tamariki. These tamariki will continue to be taught using this approach in 2023 by the Year 2 kaiako.
Structured Literacy is part of our Strategic Plan going forward and in 2023 we begin whole school Professional Learning that will tie this together throughout all three teams.