At Peter Pan Childcare Centre, we offer an integrated curriculum based on both children’s and teacher’s interests. This is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning and underpinned by the Ministry of Education curriculum document, Te Whāriki. These interests often evolve into projects and investigations which may last a short time or a significant length of time depending on the level of interest shown. Sometimes projects involve small groups of children and sometimes the whole class is involved in a project. Often the projects that teachers and children engage in are investigations which may derive directly from teacher observations of children’s spontaneous play and exploration.
Sometimes projects begin with teachers observing children’s level of interest in something. Or a teacher may provoke an investigation by offering something to the children that she thinks may interest them. This may be an object, or perhaps a question or an idea. Teachers take note of the children responses and discuss these with the rest of the teaching team. While some of these teacher provocations are anticipated, projects often move in unanticipated directions as a result children’s responses which extends their thinking and supports dispositions such as curiosity and perseverance.
Prior and New Knowledge Connections
Within the investigation, children are given opportunities to make connections between prior and new knowledge and to represent their ideas using a range of media. Engaging in dialogue and discussion within small groups, children build relationships with others enabling them to take on new perspectives and develop new theories and ideas. We celebrate children’s learning by making this visible in their individual portfolios, the centre planning folder and the wall displays.