Our philosophy is to welcome children and their families to be partners together with us at Rabbit Patch.
Our commitment to every family in our care is to offer a warm, nurturing, home-like environment where every child feels safe, happy and has a strong sense of whanaungatanga – belonging. Where meaningful relationships both within and between groups of children, parents and teachers are developed. One of the focal points of our philosophy is the image of the child, who is competent, full of potential and active in constructing their own knowledge through interactions with others.
The philosophy of Rabbit Patch is based on the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum – Te Whaariki – He Whaariki matauranga mo nga mokopuna o Aotearoa, with a strong inspirational influence from the educational philosophy of Reggio Emilia in Italy. Both place emphasis on the development of the whole child, connecting tamariki with their heritage, creating a pedagogical “fabric”, interwoven with many fine threads. We believe in the individual child and the rights of that child.
Listening and communicating are key elements of our philosophy. We believe every child needs time to think, talk and play. We believe that play is childrens learning, it builds resilience and takes place in the context of relationships. Play gives children the freedom to imagine, to explore and to create - te whakaaro me te tūhurahura i te pūtaiao. It supports the dispositions of mind that lead to life long learning. Play is empowering and provides the opportunity for discovery, questioning, theorising, cooperating, and social and emotional interaction, which are necessary for growth and healthy self-concept.
The importance of play
Play allows children to make choices and uncover information. Play directly influences all areas of development by offering children opportunities for learning about themselves, others and the environment. Play is childrens work. Teachers are learners alongside the children. Together they participate and collaborate in the vast array of experiences offered in the carefully crafted, rich, and challenging environment at Rabbit Patch. Taking our inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach we work hard to provide classrooms that are full of beauty. These become “the third teacher.” They inspire the children and encourage them to question and seek answers through their own working theories. The teachers role is to extend and deepen childrens ideas and theories by nurturing and guiding research. Through careful observation, documentation, thoughtful questions and deep reflections, our teachers work in partnership with the children to extend thinking and develop explorations. The children are given time to reflect, revisit and react to their learning investigations