In this article we present some initial findings from a Teacher-led Innovation Fund study undertaken in a kāhui ako based in the small community of Dannevirke. Teachers from the eight early childhood education (ECE) services and six schools have worked together to explore teacher practice and research the impact of teacher pedagogy on the transition, wellbeing, and academic engagement of tamariki in their community. The findings demonstrate that while, initially, there was little understanding or use of the other sector’s curriculum, teachers have been sharing their knowledge and expertise across sectors, leading to deeper understandings of children’s learning and the links between curricula. Using knowledge gained, each setting has been working on its own goals. Two trends in these goals have been to enhance the confidence and independence of tamariki in ECE and offering play-based pedagogies in the new entrant classrooms. The study shows the power of teachers working across sectors and the possibilities when teachers come together to work for the benefit of tamariki across their whole community.
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