The daily schedule for a kiwi 6 year old is vey very different than an American 6 year old! My students have over 2 hours/day dedicated to fitness and play. They take frequent breaks that make nice transitions between lessons. This time is not seen as a waste of time or robbing vital instructional time. The breaks are seen as vital time for socialization and physical activity. At another school, the teachers will frequently have an “oxigenator” time where students can go crazy and sprint all over the field between lessons. They teach that it helps bring oxygen to your brain so it can work better! I have observed that the children are more apt to focus for longer with so many breaks!
9:00 Fitness (includes group dancing called Jump Jam and other games/running)
9:20 Oral language
10:30 Morning Tea (snack)
1:30- 2:45 varies depending on the “Theme” of the term (every 6 weeks the school adopts a theme that integrates all subjects) This time is also used for music, library, art… Classroom teacher teaches library and art, there is P.E. teacher who directs swimming lessons- yes there is a pool at the school!-
* Did you notice there is no time dedicated for science or social studies? Yes, good observation.. science, history, and geography begin in Year 3 (7 years old). The reasoning for this is quite logical. They must learn to read before they can read to learn. Year 1 and 2 are completely devoted to the development of foundation skills in language, math, fitness, self-regulation, and social skills.
** I have had the privilege to sit in on professional development opportunities with the Peace Foundation (Cool Schools Program) and also the math advisor to the school. I have attended school-wide staff meetings weekly and also Team meeting for the Year 2 Team.