Little Ark is a rural Christian Enviro Preschool in Kimbolton, New Zealand, open for 2 to 6-year-old children. We offer good child to teacher ratios and a group of 20 children or less per day.
We operate under the auspices of the Sabbath Rest Advent Church (NZ) but anyone can attend whether Christian or not.
As well as Little Ark, the church centre in Kimbolton includes the Wholegrain Organics registered kitchen and shop, health centre and Hands-On Oscar-approved Education Program.
The philosophy of Little Ark is based on Christian principles, values, and character development, with the purpose of serving and giving. At Little Ark we emphasise nature, sustainability and health in practical ways through real life experiences. Through the holistic development of the physical, intellectual, spiritual and social capabilities, each child forms an all-rounded balanced character, learns to be self-governing and take up responsibility, to be a blessing to whānau (family) and the wider community.
"Jesus said: 'Let the little children come to Me.' 'Tukua mai nga tamariki nonohi.'" Matthew 19:14
The foundation of Little Ark is the Bible. Christian values are applied throughout the day in social interactions and play, the spiritual not being confined to particular times or activities. Through the reading and acting out of Bible stories, waiata (singing) and artwork we give the children the opportunity not only to hear these stories, but learn the Christian values behind them. We use other resources to support these principles, including stories from nature, history, real life, and different cultures.
Hands-On Outdoor Education
Little Ark is an Enviro Preschool, with a strong focus on the outdoors and caring for the environment in a sustainable way. We take the children outdoors in all weather, where they observe and engage with nature through the changing seasons. We provide 21st century authentic learning – building learning power through real-life experiences, such as basic cooking, woodwork, organic gardening, beekeeping, and other simple activities. We have free-range chickens, a horse, goat, pet sheep, beehives, a worm farm, an aquarium and a cat which the children enjoy learning to care for. Young children learn best through hands-on experiences as they actively try to make sense of their world.
Purpose-built on spacious grounds
Little Ark is a purpose-built ECE centre on 3 hectares (7 acres) in a peaceful country environment. We use the enviro Woodlands play area, orchards and gardens daily. Our facility includes a registered kitchen, dining room and spacious play and resting rooms.
We emphasize a healthy lifestyle. We serve the children a home-made, balanced, hot, vegetarian lunch every day, prepared in our registered kitchen using fresh, organic vegetables and fruit, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Children drink freely pure filtered water and enjoy fresh air, sunshine and outdoor activities in all weather. Once a week we also offer an exercise class for not only Little Ark children but also for those who have just left for school.
The children at Little Ark develop social interactions with one another and with adults, both at the centre and in the wider multi-cultural community. Reciprocal relationships are formed through sharing our learning and welcoming others to Little Ark. We invite whānau and community members to various events at our centre, and involve the children in various community activities.
Literacy & Numeracy
Literacy and numeracy are embedded in all the activities and routines at Little Ark. In order to facilitate the transition to school we offer a special session for our 4 and 5-year-olds every afternoon which they enjoy. In the literacy group we use many tactile techniques, such as play dough and coco blocks, to learn the shapes of the alphabet. It’s fun to make the letters with our bodies! We sound out each letter we make. The more ways we use to form letters and words the better our brains learn them.
Our numeracy sessions include learning various skills, such as identifying number patterns, simple addition, grouping, estimating through hands-on games, songs and other multi-sensory techniques. The children enjoy using Numicon® maths equipment which teaches numeracy using patterns to represent each numeral. Because children learn best by doing, seeing and experimenting, Numicon® shapes help them to understand basic mathematical concepts through developing a strong sense of pattern. We find Numicon® is a great tool that helps establish the essential mathematical foundation each child needs before starting school.