Our Philosophy

As our name suggests, we are a house, a whare, a home away from home where everyone is embraced in a whànau inspired environment. Where older tamariki can care for younger tamariki and younger tamariki can learn alongside older tamariki; where teachers/kaiako, parents, caregivers, and tamariki learn and grow together in a loving, accepting, caring, kind, safe, and nurturing environment.

At Highbury House ELC you will see us dancing in the rain; jumping in the mud; painting ourselves; sliding down a grass bank; building huts, playing make-believe, being adventurous, being playful, and being involved in challenging play as we believe these are all necessary elements of childhood.

At Highbury House ELC, tamariki are embraced in an environment that allows them to be children. To develop and grow at their own pace while being inspired and challenged by wondrous provocations and Kaiako who are passionate, authentic, dynamic, and embrace their own journey of continued learning.

We highly value people and ngà hononga/relationships ensuring that all who join our whànau feel a sense of well-being and belonging and are empowered to contribute in their own unique way to the life of Highbury House. We make it a priority to support tamariki with settling into our whànau and kaiako are skilled, respectful, and considerate in this. We believe that children are empowered when they feel aroha and safe and then they can be fully involved in and contribute to the world around them.

Social interactions are highly valued at Highbury House Early Learning Centre and we promote an emotionally safe environment where strong collaborative relationships are evident between all. Tamariki are encouraged to develop skills for working with their peers in a way that upholds social justice; allows them to be mediators and negotiators and work toward peaceful resolutions while developing empathy for one another.

Kaiako are mindful and well-considered in their interactions with tamariki and the decisions they make on their behalf. We pay attention to each child’s play and dispositions and our sensitive observations, professional discussions, and conversations with parents are the basis for deciding how to best support each child in their specific stage of learning and development.

Our programme supports the interests and urges of individuals and groups and the development of dispositions/tukunga required to be powerful learners and therefore be successful in life-long learning. These dispositions include: developing perseverance; persisting with challenge; risk-taking; relating to others; being self-motivated and autonomous; being responsible; being confident; building resilience, coping with change; expressing ideas and feelings; problem-solving; curiosity, and a keen interest in exploration and investigating.

Our centre programme upholds the Principles, Strands, and Goals of Te Whaariki – He Whàriki Màtauranga mo ngà Mokopuna o Aotearoa – The Early Childhood Curriculum, which provides a bi-cultural programme and reflects the holistic way that children learn and grow.

We value connections with nature and natural resources and allow children to develop a sense of awe, guardianship/kaitiakitanga and ownership of the natural environment, acknowledging that they are the future caretakers/kaitiaki of our most precious resources.

We view tamariki as capable, skilful, and competent in their ability to direct their own learning. We value children’s prior learning, knowledge and experiences that they bring from their own homes, whànau, and the community and recognise that we are only one of the many co-learners in a child’s life. Our environment invites children to interact with open-ended resources, therefore creating their own play based on what is currently most important to them.

We believe that knowledge/matauranga is not something that is always taught, but rather it should be sought with interest, wonderment, inquisitiveness, curiosity, and fun, and then it is retained and relevant.

Contact us (09) 480 5239 elc@highburyhouse.org.nz