The Explorers Programme
Wanaka Preschool offers the Explorers Programme for the oldest children before they start school. It is held one morning each week at nearby Wanaka Station Park. This programme grew from our commitment as an Enviroschool for children to grow up with a, “connection to nature and a sense of belonging to the environment and community.” The Enviroschool Foundation, NZ May 2011. Through the programme our philosophy and vision for children to reach their full potential is championed in the outdoors. The children develop a growing sense of guardianship over the park through visiting weekly to observe plants, creatures, the effects of seasonal changes and the weather. Within nature their delight to co create the morning with the teacher’s establishes a rhythm and joy to build on for future visits. Favourite experiences engage children in search and rescue games, climbing trees and gathering pears, bush walks to the hut, exploration of the lake shore and creative pursuits using natural materials. The conversations provoked by our explorations are diverse and varied and prompt innovative thinking and language skills. We know from the feedback that our Explorers Programme is a highlight of being at Wanaka Preschool. We believe the foundation for critical learning dispositions such as being curious, taking responsibility, teamwork and respect for people, places and things are enhanced. Everyone returns from a morning at Explorers invigorated from learning together outdoors!