At the heart of everything we do at Natural Steps is the child.
We aim to develop a positive attitude and disposition towards learning in each and every child. Learning is most effective when a child is able to interact freely, feels comfortably challenged and most importantly is happy and having fun. At Natural Steps, every encounter is an opportunity to learn; a holistic approach in which children learn through everything they do as active, investigative learners.
Children's learning is supported by our philosophy, vision, our guiding values and based on Te Whàriki, the New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. We incorporate aspects of the Emmi Pikler Approach and the Reggio Emilia Approach into our programme
Our teachers provide a safe and loving environment where infants can grow and develop early independence. Inspired by the work of Emmi Pikler our Nursery room is an environment which allows children to discover as much as possible on their own, with the comfort of knowing that their teacher is close by.
Emmi Pikler Approach
On the journey to identify quality care and education of infants and toddlers the centre was lead to pediatrician Dr Emmi Pikler. The Pikler approach is based on a respectful relationship between an adult and infant, through choreographed tender care moments, a naturally paced motor development, free movement and uninterrupted play.
At Natural Steps we believe to understand and know the child there must be consistency of care. Therefore we practice whānau care. This is when one teacher will take the lead role in caring for the child during the day, with the other teachers work as a support role. This approach is based on a stance of utmost respect for the child.
We have outstanding teacher to child ratios in this room. 1 teacher to 5 children when the Ministry of Education state a 1/10 ratio. We recognise that this age group display a range of emotions – such as happiness, sadness, anger and fear and the best care and education this age group can receive is caring knowledgeable adults to support there emotional and social development.
To support our toddlers to grow self-regulation skills we also have a lot of space in the room for them to move and multiplies of the same toys (sharing will be learnt) so everyone can play.
Reggio Emilia Approach
At Natural Steps we are inspired by The Reggio Emilia Approach. We are a member of the Reggio Emilia Aotearoa New Zealand. The centre regularly has teachers attending workshops, seminars, conferences and centre tours in New Zealand and internationally (Reggio Melbourne Study Tour, Australia and Reggio Emilia Conference, Italy).
The Reggio Emilia Approach is an educational philosophy started in Reggio Emilia in Italy. Its signature educational philosophy is recognized worldwide for its innovative approach to education.
We would love to have you and your child as part of the family. Enrol with us today and start your child's Natural steps into early childhood education.