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Boosting Learning for Under-Fives Through Subject-Specific Classes

Traditionally the domain of primary and secondary schools, specialist teachers are worth their weight in gold. They open students’ minds to exciting new possibilities, and have a powerful impact on student achievement and success.
Preschool education in Tauranga

ACG Tauranga's early learning school has a unique approach to preschool childhood education. 

Placing significant value on the passion, knowledge and experience subject-specific teachers bring into the learning environment, ACG Tauranga is committed to giving their young learners the opportunity to become explorers in their own right. Guided by those expert teachers, the journey provides an unparalleled chance to engage with new subjects and ideas, igniting a lifelong passion for learning.

The benefits of having expert teachers in preschool cannot be overstated. “These classes help lay the foundations for progression to any primary school and are hugely beneficial for children”, says Early Learning School manager Raechel Thompson. “Our experts who teach science, arts, music, dance, and languages bring their knowledge and enthusiasm to our young learners, enabling them to develop new relationships, build confidence and take their next step into Primary School with excitement.”

The advantages go beyond making children “school ready”. These classes are a lot of fun, allowing under-fives to experience their world through a different lens, while exploring their interests. For example, investigating UV light. Young learners consider how insects see the world differently from us and why we need to wear sunblock. Playing with UV light in different contexts ensures curious minds are fully engaged.

Children's fascination with these lessons can be seen through their own authentic words. Five-year-old Cullen expressed his enthusiasm for the experiment, stating, "We are making UV light!". Four-year-old Arabella described the process of observing the UV light as "a bit mucky", indicating that it was messy but still enjoyable. Meanwhile, Noah demonstrated an understanding of the practical application of the experiment, saying, "We can see how not to make the sun get on our body". 

Expert Teacher sessions have proven to be an enjoyable way for children to learn and have become a drawcard for families in Tauranga considering enrolling their children in early learning – especially when realising the wealth of resources and expertise available to them through ACG Tauranga primary and secondary schools, right next door. 

As senior science teacher Andrea Tallon says, “It is the highlight of my week seeing the children’s excitement for their weekly science lesson. I really enjoy how they bring that enthusiasm to mat time, the experiments we discover together and the scientific language and ideas they have started to demonstrate as our lessons progress. It is such a pleasure to be a part of their learning.”

With its innovative approach to early childhood education, ACG Tauranga adds significantly more value to preschool. A highly skilled and experienced team of Early Childhood specialist educators, complemented by weekly expert teacher sessions, creates the perfect collaboration to support children in developing a sense of self and purpose, while fueling their curiosity and developing their confidence. 

“At ACG Tauranga's preschool, children take control of their own learning, early on in the foundation years of their mental and emotional development”, explains Raechel Thompson. “This is based on their current interests and curiosity, providing new opportunities for them to explore, inquire, and learn alongside teachers with subject-specific knowledge.” 

So, what subject-specific classes do children at ACG Tauranga’s Early Learning School enjoy? 

  • Science – Working with a senior science teacher on a weekly basis, the children are encouraged to express their curiosity and explore ideas in a hands-on manner. For example, they may learn about chemical reactions by mixing baking soda and vinegar.
  • Arts – Children enjoy weekly visits to the Primary School for art classes. They may explore various mediums such as paint, clay, and collage. They may also learn about famous artists and art movements and create their own works of art inspired by what they've learned.
  • Music, Dance & Performing arts – The senior music teacher teaches our learners music and dance and organises senior students to work with the children during their lunch break, sparking passion and interest across all elements of the Performing Arts.
  • Language and culture – Students have a weekly session with an early Learning Teacher, who shares her culture and supports them in exploring Mandarin as a language.  Language and culture are valued highly within the environment.
  • Library visits – During visits to the library, children may be introduced to new books and genres, participate in storytime, and learn to use and enjoy the library. Regular small group visits are also made for reading, art, and spending time with our librarian and, of course, Bernard the elephant! 

ACG Tauranga's Early Learning School provides a rich and diverse learning environment, allowing children to explore their interests and passions while developing important skills and knowledge that will serve them well in the future.