Our Rooms

Active Explorers Leeston has three separate rooms, enabling us to deliver age appropriate experiences for children at each different age and stage.

Explorers’ Room

This is our nursery – a safe, secure and nurturing space for our under two’s. Purpose built in 2017, this room features inside and outside learning spaces that are naturally inviting, encouraging curiosity, exploration and gentle, meaningful play. We have a teacher to child ratio of 1 to 4.

Daily Routine

In the Explorers class we like to follow the lead of our infants and toddlers and routines are offered around home as much as possible.  Sleep and eating times vary depending on individual needs.  We utilise our environment as a third teacher, providing infants and toddlers with opportunities to explore, and learn about their world and the people in it.  We give our children the time and space to develop skills and milestones at their own pace.  We offer opportunities for creativity, using all of their senses and cater to the age and ability of individual infants and toddlers.

Discovery Room

Our 2 to 4 year olds are well catered for in our Discovery Room with an engaging daily programme and free access to both the inside and outside environments including a large, grassed area at the back of the centre. This is used for riding bikes, ball games, obstacle courses, group games and also includes our vegetable gardens, compost heaps and worm farm.

Daily Routine

7:00 am: Centre opens, children are settled. A range of activities and experiences are provided. Many children like to sit at the kai table with a teacher and have a snack as they think about the day head and wait for their friends and other teachers to arrive.

8:30 am: More teachers arrive and our under 2s head off into the Explorers class to continue their day. Our older 4 year olds move over to the Enquiry class, where they help set up for the day and continue with their play and learning.

9:00 am: Discovery children go about their day being involved with and alongside their peers and teachers in a facilitated free play and explorative environment inside and outside. Teachers begin to implement any planned daily experiences. The float teacher goes through her nappy, toileting and sleepers list for the day to ensure all children in these criteria are supported throughout the day.

9:00 – 10:20 am: Rolling morning tea - the kai table is available between these times for children to come and eat with and alongside their friends, as they fit eating around their play, learning and exploration.

11:00 am: Children are encouraged by teachers to tidy up a little in preparation for mat time.

11:15 am: The inside teacher picks a child to ring the bell for mat time. Discovery children all come inside for mat time. The teacher taking mat time usually picks a couple of the following actions: songs, nursery rhymes, magnetic board stories, or book stories. These may be based around a theme that the children are learning e.g. colours, bugs, a season. A karakia is said all together at the end of mat time and children are released in small groups to wash hands for lunch.

11:30 am: Children find their lunch boxes and sit at a table with their friends for lunch. A teacher sits at each lunch table so they can support the children for mindful eating.

11:45 am: Teachers facilitate an environment for planned and spontaneous experiences and activities. Teachers again are stationed inside and outside to support children’s play and learning.

12:00 pm: Children who sleep are gathered up and prepared by the float teacher to be taken to the sleep room. Once asleep they are checked every 10 minutes.

1:30 – 2:15 pm: Rolling afternoon tea.

2:30 pm: Impromptu mat time for children who want to join

3:00 pm: The majority of teachers and Discovery children go home. The children left in the Enquiry class come over into the Discovery class for the rest of the day.

3:30 pm: Free play inside and outside, along with facilitated activities.

4:00 pm: Late snack.

4:15 pm: Children continue with their free play or get involved in facilitated activities. A teacher often facilitates an impromptu mat/story time during this time period.

5:30 pm: Active Explorers Leeston closes.

Enquiry Room

This is where our biggest Active Explorers prepare for their transition to school, with a learning programme and routine that is more structured, and helps develop the social skills, independence and resilience they will need for the next stage of their learning journey.

Daily Routine

7:00 – 8:30 am: Our early arrivals start their day off in the Discovery class. Early settling occurs. Activities and experiences are provided for the children to experience and explore. Many of our children like to sit at the kai table with a teacher and have a snack as they think about the day head and wait for their friends and other teachers to arrive.

8:30 am: More teachers arrive and our under 2s head off into the Explorers class to continue their day. Our older 4 year olds move over with a teacher to the Enquiry class, where they help set up for the day and continue with their play and learning.

9:00 am: All teachers are now at Active Explorers ready to start their day and programme of learning. Enquiry children go about their day being involved with and alongside their peers and teachers inside and outside for planned and spontaneous activities and experiences. 

9:00 – 10:20 am: Rolling morning tea - the kai table is available between these times for children to come and eat with and alongside their friends, as they fit eating around their play, learning and exploration.

11:15 am: The Discovery mat time bell goes, so all the Discovery children go in for mat time. The Enquiry children stay out and enjoy having the playground to themselves. At this time often the inside of the Enquiry class is tidied up and readied for lunch with children being encouraged to help.

11:30 am: Enquiry mat time in the Toanga Room, based around the letter and number of the week as well as concepts such as shapes or projects the children are learning. A story is also provided. Children are allocated news days, so on their news day at mat time a child will be asked to come up and show and talk about their news. At the end of mat time a karakia is said all together and children are released to wash their hands for lunch.

12:00 pm: Children get their lunch boxes and drink bottles and sit at a table with their peers and teachers for lunch. Here children are encouraged to be independent mindful eaters.

12:15 pm: Teachers facilitate an environment for planned and spontaneous experiences and activities. Teachers stationed inside and outside to support children’s play and learning.

2:00 pm: Enquiry children come in for Read and Feed (afternoon tea), in the Toanga Room. If there was no time for news at morning mat time children now get the opportunity to share.

3:00 pm: Children go outside to join the activities there or head across to the Discovery class, as the two classes now merge. Free play and facilitated activities inside and out.

4:00 pm: Late snack.

4:15 pm: Free play and facilitated activities. A teacher often facilitates an impromptu mat/story time.

5:30 pm: Active Explorers Leeston closes.