Located in St Martins, Christchurch. Fingerprints backs on to Hillview Christian School. Fingerprints offers a range of session and full day attendance options for children from 2 to 6 years of age between 8am and 4.30pm.
Our children and families mean the world to us. We are a small preschool, with only 40 licensed places and a dedicated close knit staff team who share a common desire to see each child reach their God given potential. Our smaller size allows us to build strong relationships and connections with each child, their whānau and our wider community. The fact that we are family owned and operated gives us a greater understanding of, and empathy with, the families we care for.
Our centre is a place where your child is valued as a capable, confident learner and communicator. Our team incorporates diverse teaching styles as they respond to your child's interests and development in a unique way. Our program aims to develop your child's love of learning within a Christian worldview, in a place where they are nurtured and cared for and where they have a strong sense of belonging. We create stimulating learning environments where children are motivated, encouraged to think, problem solve and develop a lifelong love of learning.
We are confident that we offer the best education and care available. In 2014, ERO stated that Fingerprints is "very well placed to promote positive learning outcomes for children." – an accolade reserved for only the top preschools it reviews.
"Caring, responsive and respectful relationships support children's sense of themelves as successful learners. Teachers know children well and make good use of their observation and knowledge to extend their learning." (ERO, 2014)
Quality education is provided by a well experienced, stable staff team. We know and serve our families and children well, through the continuity of a consistent staff team, the majority of whom have been with us since we opened. Our centre manager and senior teacher both act in a full time capacity. They are supported by another fully registered full-time teacher, two registered part-time teachers, two part-time in-training teachers and a wonderful full-time teacher aide. Our owner takes an active part working with the children in a permanent part-time capacity and also acts as a reliever, providing great cohesion to the team. You will see the same faces each day.
Our teachers hold a diverse range of qualifications and backgrounds and bring a wealth of experience to our centre. We are able to work in an adult to child ratio of better than 1:8 (the Ministry of Education require a 1:10 ratio) which results in more personal care of the children.
The high praise received from ERO in both their 2011 and 2014 reports is a reflection of the strength of our team.
"A wide range of purposeful resources are available for children to use to build on their interests and ideas." (ERO, 2014)
Our building and outdoor areas were designed with children in mind. We have a wonderful indoor- outdoor flow, with a heated deck area for those cooler days. Under-floor heating is installed throughout the building to ensure a comfortable, healthy temperature at all times.
We believe children should be able to resource themselves and our furniture is designed to invite children's self-selection. Our fully equipped kitchen in the middle of the preschool provides a nutritious morning tea and allows children to participate in home like baking and cooking experiences. A carpeted room permits quiet activities and is used as a sleep area for our younger tamariki in the afternoons.
Our outdoor area is extremely practical allowing play opportunities year round. A sheltered area allows sandpit play even on drizzly days. Gardens, a worm farm and an indoor monarch butterfly viewing window are incorporated in a way that allows meaningful use by children, encouraging their own planting, exploration and hut making. Children can see the Hillview pupils through our adjoining back gate and our close relationship with the school has enabled us to enjoy direct access to its extensive fields at appropriate times.
"Teachers provide an environment that is attractive,
welcoming and organised to stimulate children's
curiousity and exploration."
Siblings and friends of all ages build friendships as they have free access to the entire preschool. There are no separate rooms for different ages as we believe that children have much to learn from each other and that sibling relationships are precious.
None to share just yet...
At the core of our philosophy is the belief that each of us was created by and is loved equally by God. It is our responsibility as a team to mirror God's love to all people and to ensure that children entrusted to us are given the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and dispositions required to reach their full potential, including having a knowledge of their creator and His saving grace.
At Fingerprints we believe that no-one knows your child like you do. We work with parents and whānau responsively and respectfully to build on the aspirations you have for your child. We value your input and involvement in all aspects of the preschool.
We see your child as a unique individual and an emergent learner, with his/her own temperament, style, specific interests and prior knowledge and experiences. Our curriculum gives children many opportunities to learn in both group settings and as individuals. We provide a quality environment that reflects and extends the current interests of tamariki in ways meaningful to them. Our desire is for children to feel comfortable and confident enough to take risks, discover, explore, participate, create, problem solve, take responsibility, interact, co-operate, play and laugh.
Each day children are free to choose from a broad range of activities set up to promote literacy, numeracy, science, art technology, music, physical play and drama. In addition, teachers co-ordinate a range of group learning experiences which children will be invited to participate in.
Each child has a portfolio teacher to take a particular interest in their development, learning and wellbeing. The needs of each child are identified through observation and documentation of their interests, development, progress and parental input. Through this deeper knowledge, key teachers carefully plan small group learning experiences to meet the individual learning needs and goals of each child in the group.
Below are some aspects of learning that are important to us –
"Teachers promote children's independence and use of self management skills. Ako and tuakana teina are fostered to give children opportunities to share their knowledge and skills with others." (ERO, 2014)
At Fingerprints we are committed to help each child develop positive values and social competencies in order to become successful members of our society. Children are assisted by the staff in developing positive behaviour with their peers, skills in conflict resolution, and responsibility for others and for property. Staff use positive behaviour strategies at all times which include encouragement, positive guidance and explanation of appropriate behaviour in relation to Godly principles.
Problem Solving and Thinking
"Children benefit from an interesting and flexible free play programme. Teachers make the most of teachable moments and use
effective practices that extend children's ideas, interests and
problem-solving skills." (ERO, 2011)
Brain development is more significant between the ages of 3-5 years old than at any other time. Young brains are deciding what information to store and forming pathways and links between this stored information. At Fingerprints we place great emphasis on helping children to think, to reason, to theorize and to pose potential solutions to problems. We encourage children to problem solve across the whole curriculum, from resolving social conflict to considering scientific possibilities. You should expect to hear questions such as ”What do you think?”, or “How could we...?”, being used to advance these skills.
"Partnership in learning with parent / whānau is a strong feature of the centre's practice." (ERO, 2014)
Fingerprints is a place for everyone - big or small. At Fingerprints we value each child's presence and contribution, acknowledging that the learning process is as important as the end product. We recognize the distinct relations, obligations and opportunities that diversity creates. We celebrate the cultures and gifts of each of the families involved in our centre and we encourage parents and carers to be involved in the work we do at the centre.
Our Treaty Commitment
Māori principles such as whakawhānuangatanga, ako and manaakitanga are core to the ways we work with all our tamariki and whānau. Our commitment to working with whānau goes further than respect, with our teachers focused on working with Māori whānau to see their aspirations for tamariki met and their children succed. Our teachers are committed learners, working in partnership to extend their knowledge of Te Ao Māori and appropriately integrate this with our Christian philosophy.
"The Māori concepts of whanaungatanga and manaakitanga are highly visible in the curriculum and teaching practices." (ERO, 2014)
Transitioning to school
What makes a successful transition to school?
We believe that being appropriately prepared for school means so much more than knowing the alphabet and counting to ten. There are a myriad of skills children need in order to truly be ready to thrive and grow in those early months and years at school. In order that children can make the most of every learning experience and opportunity outside of our walls, we see it as vital that they are able to: write their own name and make meaning of numbers, recognise the letters of the alphabet and know each sound rather than just each letter name, use scissors and have developed pencil control, express an idea, ask a question, risk an answer and follow an instruction; have the confidence and social skills to make new friends whilst also having the resilience and determination to overcome challenges and conflicts, and finally, have the independence to manage their own clothes, lunch and belongings. While it is our desire to facilitate the learning of each of these skills, our main passion is that every child in our care learns to love discovery and find joy and satisfaction in learning opportunities in all aspects of the curriculum.
The Education Review Office | Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga (ERO) is the New Zealand government’s external evaluation agency. It evaluates and report on the education and care of learners in schools, kura, kohanga reo, puna reo, and early childhood services.