‘In the Butterfly Room we provide a safe and developmentally appropriate, home like environment where the children are encouraged to develop at their own pace. Our focus is to provide a stimulating educational experience which promotes each child’s social/emotional, physical and cognitive development. Our goal is to support children’s desire to be lifelong learners.’
8.00-9.15 Greeting and settling in the children
Table activities set up or outdoor play
9.00-9.15 Mat time
Circle time is a fun time of day where the children can learn alongside others. Each mat time we discuss the letter, number, colour and shape of the week, sing songs and share a Montessori activity with the children before beginning our work cycle.
9.15-10.15 Montessori work cycle
Montessori time is a treasured part of the day where the children are able to engage in purposeful work of their own choosing. The children enjoy doing activities independently or in small groups. Our transition to school programme also runs during this time.
10.15-10.40 Children wash their hands and have morning tea
At morning tea the children sit at the tables and the teachers choose two monitors, who get to help at meal times for the day. A selection of fruit and a healthy snack are offered to the children after singing our karakia.
10.40-11.40am Indoor/Outdoor free play
The indoor and outdoor environment is set up according to the children’s own interests and needs. This is a fun time for the children to explore their environment and engage with their peers. The children have opportunities to be creative, participate in music and movement and gain confidence and control of their bodies using their gross and fine motor skills.
11.40-12.30 News Time, wash hands and lunch
After a play the children love to come inside to share news. Each child has their own news day. After news the children wash their hands and sit together at the tables in the butterfly room. The monitors set the tables and hand out the lunches. After lunch the children are encouraged to clear their own plates and put their drink bottles away.
Shared story after lunch
12.30-1.30pm Indoor/Outdoor play
1.30-2.00pm Peace song, mat time
Every afternoon we light a candle and sing the peace song before settling in to the afternoon routine. During this mat time we often will spend time investigating our current topic/focus.
2.00-3.00pm Montessori work cycle and emergent curriculum activities
3.00-3.30pm Afternoon tea
Children are offered a selection of fruit and a healthy snack.
3.30-4.15pm Indoor/Outdoor play
4.15- 4.30pm Children tidy up and pack their belongings ready for home time
4.30-5.30pm All children combine for family time in the Caterpillar Room then finish up in Nursery at the end of the day.
Quiet activities and late snack
We provide three separate areas of teaching to meet the different learning and care needs of children at various stages of development. The teacher to child ratio is higher than required by the Ministry of Education, and our specialist teachers have strengths in infant child care and development, literacy and numeracy, music, art and physical development, among other curriculum areas.
With our 50m² multi-purpose room, separate from our usual classroom learning areas, we have valuable space for gross motor development, dance, music, drama and more. This means we offer significantly more space per child than most other Christchurch preschools.
In 2011 Minerva House received a House of the Year Bronze Award for excellence in workmanship, creativity and innovation, in the RMB Commercial Projects/Education category.
Our designated arts annex gives children the opportunity to creative self-expression throughout the day. A large, fully equipped kitchen provides healthy and nutritious meals that can be shared in our home-like dining room, giving children a sense of community and belonging.
Our outdoor area will impress, with raised platforms, native and deciduous plantings, sandpits and digging pits, water features, hillocks and clearings, tactile mosaics, log wrought stepping stones and our magical living willow tunnel and cave. Besides the swings, slide and climbing frame that you would expect, our playground contains so much more to excite and challenge children with their developing physical skills and broad imaginations. There is also a secret garden of ferns and other natives alongside our vegetable garden in which children help to grow food for our kitchen.