- Linkage to Te Whariki/IB PYP
Our philosophy and curriculum
St Mark’s is an IB World School providing the Primary Years Programme to children from 3 years to 13. We have aligned the Early Learning Years to the philosophy of the International Baccalaureate, which is centered on the individual child and an inquiry approach to learning. This programme also provides opportunities to align with to Te Whaariki, the New Zealand curriculum for Early Childhood Education.
Throughout St Mark’s we continually strive to provide quality teaching and learning programmes to prepare our children for successful learning experiences in the future. The Preschool, where they begin to develop a love for learning, is no exception. To encourage and foster lifelong learners, we offer varied, stimulating and enjoyable learning experiences.
The IB Primary Years Programme defines early childhood years as those from three to five. These years are distinctive in several ways. The rapid rate of development which occurs in the physical, social, emotional, intellectual and aesthetic areas is particularly significant. We recognise that children are unique. We respond by ensuring that the pace of the programme suits their individual needs.
The aim of the Preschool Programme is to extend our students in all areas of growth. It is to give meaningful experiences and provide new opportunities in a positive and accepting environment. In such an environment, students will develop:
- A positive self concept
- A positive attitude towards others
- A positive attitude towards learning.
The role of the teacher is to facilitate and guide our children’s learning.
St Mark’s Preschool
St Mark’s Preschool is a purpose built Preschool that has two rooms: one for three year olds and the other for four year olds. The three year old home room has a curriculum focus on art, construction and family play. The four year old room focuses on literacy and numeracy and offers a reading and writing programme for children that are ready. The children have access to all areas of the curriculum over the course of the day.
Both rooms follow the IB Primary Years Programme covering one unit of inquiry each term. All areas of the curriculum are integrated into these units: science, social studies, arts, maths and language. Children in both rooms enjoy working with the Spanish and Music teachers from the Primary School, and have weekly visits to the school library and multi-media room.
This room caters for 3 year old children. It is a safe and nurturing learning environment providing opportunities for meaningful learning to occur across different areas of the curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their independence in an environment where enquiring, thinking, risk-taking, problem solving and decision-making are promoted.
A wide range of art activities are offered each day, along with many opportunities for construction, fantasy and family play. Outdoor activities include climbing, balancing, ball skills, water play, carpentry and gardening.
Children in the Preschool have already started their learning journey. We see that our role is to carry them forward, deepen their knowledge and understanding of learning and encourage them to celebrate their successes.
Children start at four years of age. We have children from the 3 year old room moving through and also take children directly from the wider community.
The programme builds on the foundations started in the three year old room. Here they are encouraged to develop early literacy and numeracy skills, using traditional and ICT technologies. The literacy programme includes phonics, daily writing with children signing in and learning to write familiar words, and reading when children are ready. The numeracy programme allows children to explore all mathematical concepts including number recognition, counting, ordering, telling the time, geometric shapes and measurement.
Children are encouraged to be self-managing, to develop self-esteem and strong interpersonal skills, to engage in appropriate risk-taking and exploration, and to enjoy problem solving and reflection. The teacher supports the children, encouraging and extending them on their learning journey.