At Pipitea we support the transition of tamariki both into our centre and from Pipitea to school.
Settling in to Pipitea
To support a smooth transition, we welcome whānau to spend time at the centre before starting. This helps us gather information about the interests, routines, and preferences of each tamaiti. We strive to support each whānau to create a strong sense of belonging and believe that a smooth transition will help achieve that.
To begin the process, we offer the opportunity for a key kaiako to visit at your home. This provides an opportunity for your tamaiti and yourselves to get to know your key kaiako in an environment that is secure and familiar. Research shows that tamariki settle more quickly into a new environment if they have had the benefit of a home visit, as they will remember seeing a familiar, trusting face within their own space. This will naturally help your tamaiti to feel more secure. The home visit is optional.
We have compulsory settling-in visits prior to starting. This ensures that your key kaiako is there to support tamaiti needs. Below is an example of how what settling might look like:
- First visit (9.30am – 11am) – Begin building a reciprocal and trusting relationship. We ask that you stay in the room for this time.
- Second visit (9.30am – 11.30am) – It is time to start spending short periods of time leaving the room and visiting the office/staff room allowing the relationship between your tamaiti and kaiako to develop.
- Third visit (9.30am – 2pm) – Start experiencing more of the routines and allow the kaiako to become familiar with your tamaiti. After settling them into the room and spending a while playing with them, you will say your goodbyes and spend time in the office/staff room. You will be continuously communicated with throughout the day.
- (Optional) Fourth visit (9.30am – 3pm )– Similar to the third visit, allowing tamaiti to experience the room and develop thir relationship with kaiako with you close by for information and support if needed.
Pathways to school
Pathways to school at Pipitea is seen as continuity of learning rather than a one- off event. It is is an ongoing journey of supporting tamariki to instill the foundational dispositions of learning. We support the transition in numerous ways, including:
- Te Whariki assessment report– Key kaiako create a strength-based assessment report for each graduating tamaiti which includes next steps for learning. This informs the new school kaiako about their learning journey to date.
- Graduation excursion – In their final week tamaiti choose a hoa (friend) to go on a special graduation excursion to a local cafe with their key kaiako.
- Kai rituals – We encourage whānau to provide a lunch box of kai approximately 2-4 weeks before graduation day. This will include morning and afternoon tea to support the tamaiti to plan for enough food to support them through the whole day at school. This also develops their independence and skills for opening packaging.
- School connections – All local schools are invited to yearly information evenings and to visit us at any time. We also request that a Pipitea kaiako takes the tamaiti on one of their scheduled pre-enrolment school visits to support their transition and strengthen open communication. We also love being invited to celebrate their mihi whakatau or powhiri at their new school.
- Graduation ceremony – On their last day we hold a very special hui in their honour. There is opportunity to share past experiences, learning opportunities and celebrate their time at Pipitea. Tamaiti are encouraged to wear our korowai (cloak) and are gifted taonga (treasures).
- Graduation display – A graduation display shows photos of local schools and where past tamariki have gone. This supports discussions in the tamariki to recognise their new school and make connections of tamariki they know or siblings who attend there.