It's fun being 3 and 4 at Fame!
Our 3 and 4 year olds at Fame have an exciting program of fun activities, and enjoy a fantastic balance between free play and organised learning time. They are cared for by experienced and loving teachers who ensure they are engaged, learning and having lots of fun during each day with us.
Many of these activities are not available at most other centres, and our fees for this age group allow us to provide all these exciting opportunities over and above what the ministry of education requires for the basic funding we receive.
As part of a 'mixed age centre', children play with others of all ages and interact with all our staff, but at certain times of the day they are brought together by their group teacher for specialised learning.
We have two groups: Otters (younger children) and Lions (older children), and they both have fantastic programs to extend them and develop their confidence.
Our Otters have a language group time for around 20 minutes each morning during the term. The session is based on the Before Alpha programme which uses activity-based learning to develop skills in:
· Visual and auditory perception and discrimination
· Manual dexterity for fine motor control
· Appreciation of the relationship between shapes
· Knowledge of left/right, up/down, backwards/forwards
· Knowledge of colours and numbers
· Full spoken language competence (e.g. correct use of tense and pronouns, correct sentence construction and ability to follow instructions)
We encourage children to share their own ideas during the group time, and we explore and discuss things that they are particularly interested in.
Our small group sizes allow us time to keep a close eye on each child's development, and identify any areas that they need particular support with, to ensure they are ready when they step up into the Lions group.
· Worksheets for topics including Language, Maths, Environment, Science and Social Studies
· Exploration of a theme based on the children’s interests and topical events e.g. Around the World, Gardening, Seasons, Matariki etc.
Our worksheets offer various activities and fun ideas to help develop children's skills and understanding of the world around them.
The purpose of these sessions is to prepare our children in every way possible to thrive in the school classroom environment, where they will need the social skills to be able to sit still, take turns, listen and contribute to a conversation.
They also learn the essential skills required by school teachers such as colours, numbers, shapes, pincer grip and cutting.
Our Lions children love these sessions which are always kept light and fun. We have often received great feedback from local schools and parents about how well prepared our children are for school.
Each morning during term time we have an amazing teacher come in from the performing arts school “Peaches and Pickles” to take a session with each of our groups.
Charlotte is one of the owners of Peaches and Pickles, and she takes this session most days. She has a wonderful warm nature with our children, along with years of experience in teaching music and movement with preschool children.
In these groups children take part in music and movement, and activities that develop their co-ordination, rhythm, musicality and confidence. Music involves practically every part of a child’s brain and creates far-reaching benefits in all areas of their cognitive development. We believe that our strong focus in this area is a key advantage children have at Fame.
They also learn some set dances, movement and lines, and at the end of every term, we put on a fun 20min show in the auditorium at Whangaparaoa College.
All our children and teachers have a costume, and sit together on stage, coming forward one group at a time to perform their part. The aim is not to put out a perfect product, (we often have little ones who try to steal the limelight!) but to give them a regular opportunity to perform and gain confidence in front of an audience.
While participating in this unique program, children initially follow the example of others, and then become the example for other to follow as they grow. This progression helps each child to gain social skills and confidence working in small and larger groups.
Our enrolment for 3 and 4yr olds includes a Performing Arts fee which covers having Peaches and Pickles with us each day, preparations for the production, costumes, hire of the auditorium and a technician, and extra staffing needed around show time. We don’t charge family and friends to see the show.
Over time it becomes very normal for our children to stand up and present themselves, and we have often heard from parents about children who have gone on to school and been one of the few, or sometimes only one in their class who was prepared to talk in front of others, or even stand up and speak at assembly. The pride we see in these parents speaks volumes about the value they see in our program, that they couldn't have found elsewhere.
Perceptual Motor Program (PMP)
Each morning we have a physical education session for our children which is based on a programme from Moving Smart (www.movingsmart.co.nz).
We use this program along with other sports activities to help develop skills in children such as spatial awareness, muscle strength, gross motor skills, co-ordination and balance, along with language to describe their experiences.
Specific skills they learn translate into other areas, for example using the correct grip on a monkey bar also trains their thumbs to automatically be in the right position for pencil grip.
Quality Teaching Staff
As a comparison, the ministry requirement for early childhood centres is to have at least 50% of the teaching staff "qualified", and most centres run between 50% and 80% qualified staff. Many centres will only have one teacher per 10 children, and if only half the teachers are qualified, the ratio can be as low as one qualified teacher to 20 children, with untrained staff supporting them.
At Fame, for the number of staff required per child, we have 90-100% qualified staff, and they are also supported by additional staff which increases our over-2's staff to child ratio to at least 1:7, and sometimes even better.
This provides for a very safe and calm environment where there are lots of helping hands and more quality interactions with our children. We also enjoy the flexibility to really care for individual needs.
Our staff who work with children over 2yrs rotate through 4 different positions within the centre, spending one week at a time on
· Science and cooking
· Village area and floating support
This keeps things fresh for them and the children, and allows them to gather ideas and plan for their week in each area. They base their planning around the current centre theme, and look at extending this in various ways appropriate for all ages.
All our teachers undertake an intensive professional development schedule each year, attending multiple courses and training sessions along with our own annual conference, to ensure they are kept up to date and gain new insights into teaching practices for early childhood education. This is a priority for our centre and we often host these sessions for teachers from other centres as well.
Our wonderful teachers are all genuinely here for the right reason – they love working with children and want the best for them and their families. Their passion shines through in the beautiful relationships they develop with the children and the progress and achievements we see each day.
We Love What We Do!
We put our heart and soul into everything we do for our children at Fame, and our entire team are devoted and passionate about creating a loving and nurturing environment that will equip them well, so we can send them off into the world with confidence.
By providing all of these extra opportunities and advantages, we aim to offer you and your child exceptional value and the highest standard of preschool care and education.
Want to learn more?
Our fees are very similar to other preschools in this area, you can find them on our Preschool Page here or contact us for a chat.
We'd love to show you around our centre and find out what's important to you about caring for your special little one. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Contact Fame on 09 428 5048 or use our Contact Form