Te Whariki is the Ministry of Education's early childhood curriculum policy statement. Te Whariki is a framework for providing children's early learning and development within a social cultural context. It emphasises the learning partnership between teachers, parents, and families. Teachers weave a holistic curriculum in response to children's learning and development in the early childhood setting and the wider context of the child's world.
This curriculum defines how to achieve progress towards this idea for learners in early childhood learning environments. It is about the individual child. Its starting point is the learner and the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that the child brings to their experiences. The curriculum is also about early childhood settings. Learning begins at home, and early childhood programmes outside the child’s own home play a significant role in extending early learning and in laying the foundations for successful future learning.
There are four broad principles at the centre of the early childhood curriculum. Empowerment -
The early childhood curriculum empowers the child to learn and grow. Holistic Development -
The early childhood curriculum reflects the holistic way children learn and grow. Family and Community -
The wider world of family and community is an integral part of the early childhood curriculum. Relationships -
Children learn through responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places, and things.
The strands and goals arise from the four principles. The whariki is woven from these four principles and from the following five strands, or essential areas of learning and development. The principles and strands together form the framework for the curriculum. Each strand has several goals. Learning outcomes have been developed for each goal in each of the strands, so that the whariki becomes an included foundation for every child’s development.
Strand 1: Well-being
The health and...