Ko te piko o te huero e, tēra te tupu o te rakau.
The way the seedling is shaped determines how the tree grows.
We believe that it is the responsibility of each and every citizen of Aotearoa to actively engage in and understand their obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Māori are tangata whenua of Aotearoa (the indigenous people of New Zealand), and their language and culture are a living part of New Zealand society. Far Friends is committed to upholding the guiding principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and doing all we can in our community and centre to ensure all Māori have rights of partnership, participation and protection.
At Farm Friends, we believe that our tamariki are unique and capable beings who can show us what is important to them through being given time and space to explore, discover and create. Our curriculum and environment provide children with opportunities to build strong and respectful relationships and learn alongside both kaiako (teachers) and other tamariki. Rangatiratanga (the right to exercise autonomy, ownership, and authority) is strongly advocated for our tamariki ensuring their right to explore social skills, problem-solving and develop independence at their own pace.
Kaiako role model social skills and values such as manaakitanga (kindness, empathy and care for others) while treating tamariki with respect and dignity. We believe our role as kaiako is to work in partnership with tamariki and their families, responding to the varied interests of both groups and individuals. These observations are shared with tamariki and whānau, we then use these collaborative conversations to inform our flexible curriculum and programme planning.
Nature and our own connection to the earth is a huge part of Farm Friends. While exploring our natural environment tamariki embark on endless opportunities to develop self-awareness/risk management and learn how to explore safely through taking calculated risks. Through their exploration of our natural (1o acre) playscape tamariki embark on real-life, authentic and unhurried experiences to develop aroha, respect and empathy for the earth and share a deep and spiritual connection to their land (Wairuatanga). This connection leads to an understanding of how to care for Papatūānuku (Kaitiakitanga) to be advocates and guardians for her and her children (all creatures big and small). Together we discover how to make sustainable choices, preserving the wonders of nature for both ourselves and future generations to come.
We revere the role of whānau as children's first teachers and encourage whānau to become active members of our community, sharing with us their own knowledge and experiences. Whanaunatanga (partnerships with whānau and our community) are essential and influential to a child's own sense of belonging to our learning community. Strong connections between whānau and Farm Friends show tamariki that they belong here, their whānau belong here and we are their home away from home.