Welcomes and Farewells: A big welcome this term to Sebastian, Nova and their families. We hope you have lots of happy and productive times here. We are saying goodbye to Tyler and Meila over May also, and hope to see you both back to visit!
Family Survey: Thanks to chairperson Karina for evaluating the Family Survey put out last term. Overwhelmingly, families voted to switch Friday Class to a Monday morning instead. So, from the first week in Term 3 (from Monday July 29th, Monday morning will be reserved for our 4 year old transition-to-school class; Monday afternoon will become non-contact time for staff, and Fridays will be open all day and run the same way as Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays with 3 and 4 year olds in the mornings and 2, 3 and 4 year olds in the afternoons. Current Monday children will have first option to take the Friday sessions, both morning and afternoon. Current Friday morning children will be able to switch straight to Monday mornings. Karuna and Mary will be undertaking to change booking details and attestation forms over this term – so we will be in touch with anyone affected by the changes. If you wish to have a copy of the evaluation, please email or talk to Karuna or Mary in the office.
Teachers: The team is working hard on developing our assessment, planning and evaluation system. We are including artwork and snippets that will lead to a learning story per term in your children’s profile books; these will reflect their interests, strengths and needs. Each teacher has a list of key children (list situated on our assessment, planning and evaluation wall inside above the lino area); in addition to gathering material for profile books your child’s key teacher will be your first point of contact for settling into kindergarten life, and discussing the learning and development of your child over time. We are having professional development with Liz Depree from Interlead over the year to help us develop our system – our second session with her is just two weeks away.
Congratulations to Sheryl who has gone to Hamilton for her graduation, where she will receive her Diploma in Child Protection. Sheryl worked hard to gain this diploma, and the benefits will continue to show up with staff putting child protection strategies into place.
Curriculum: So far we have noticed that children are really interested in the chrysalis that hatched into a butterfly on Monday, messy play and Autumn leaves. We teachers are catering for these interests by re-establishing our swan plants and by picking up on children’s ideas to engage in a variety of activities involving leaves. More and more children are bringing different leaves to show and share – both evergreen and deciduous, so we are learning a lot! Some of the children laminated leaves to go in the window a few days ago – the light seems to shine through them! Cats are also a hot topic; and there is sustained social play going on in all areas of play with children conversing and sharing their ideas and negotiating effectively to get their point of view across – friendships are being consolidated and new ones formed.
We will be having something of a physically active focus this term, with visits from Noa to take yoga, more wheelie bins from Sport Tasman and a training session for teachers on how to use it effectively with children, and a trip to the gym at Nelson Intermediate. This has come about due to children’s interest in yoga, a need in children to run, and a specific request from a child to visit the gym. We know that physical activity impacts positively on brain development and therefore many other areas of development in children, including social and emotional, cognitive and language acquisition, so all this activity should bring positive outcomes for the children.
We have Kapataraina Callaghan coming to take bi-cultural sessions with us a few times every term, starting very soon (she’s coming to meet us this Thursday). This will be based around Māori legends, reo (language), tikanga (culture) and waiata (songs). We hope to gain some deep experiences of bi-culturalism.
Changes and Reminders: We’ve reviewed our afternoon mattimes and as a result have changed the way we transition children into this routine. From now on we will be having a short story and karakia at 2.30pm on the mat then children will transition from there to wash their hands and have their kai. Tidy up time will follow with a final shorter mattime at 3.15pm. So far, this is working well for our children, but we will evaluate how it goes for them into the next few weeks and make adjustments as needed.
Another small change is the names – we now have velcro dots on the white shelf, and already children are engaged in taking responsibility for putting their names above their bags on arrival at kindergarten, and for putting them away when they leave.
Just a reminder that we would love to see families supporting their children into putting their own lunch boxes onto the shelf inside ready for kai times – this sees children developing those independence skills.
We are ALWAYS on the look-out for natural materials for children to use in a variety of areas of play including science/nature table, art, sandpit, collage, woodwork, blocks, music, clay and water. If you visit a park or the bush or a beach we would love you to fill a bag and bring it in! Thanks!
Please be very careful to let only your own child out of the red gates with you – it’s easy for another child to slip out unnoticed without their Mum or Dad actually there with them. Thanks.
Thanks for the fruit that is going into the fruit bowl for the afternoon kai times – this is working really well!
Don’t forget we have a Parent’s Library just inside the door. You are welcome to borrow books from this – please write your name in the notebook provided so we know where they are. You are also welcome to suggest books you think would be good to have in the library as we are always prepared to buy relevant material. (We have a few outstanding books – please return these so other parents can take a turn – thanks).
Upcoming Events (look out for notices in your children’s pockets):
• Bi-cultural sessions with Kapataraina Callaghan – these will be advertised in advance on the noticeboard – anyone welcome to come along.
• Trip to gym at Nelson Intermediate
• Visit to St Joseph’s School
• Family lunch day to celebrate both the opening of our mural and Matariki – again, look out for a notice about this.
• Des Ellery Photographs – see below.
Des Ellery Photography: Des is coming to take photos of the children on Wednesday May 29th. He will be here in both the morning and afternoon sessions to capture as many children as possible. He will take individual and group photos; and sibling photos as families wish – please talk to the teachers if you do want sibling photos. Please order your photos from the samples provided and pay when ordering by cash, cheque or bank deposit (the latter marked with ‘photos’ and your child’s name). The last day for orders/payment will be June 14th, when we will send the orders away.
AGM: A new board was voted in at the AGM. Board members are Karina Murray (chairperson), Sarah Drozdowski-Mant (vice-chairperson), Nicola Hill with Leanne Cross (treasurer), Haylee Eagle and Sandy Vincent (advertising, marketing, public relations and fundraising), Nicola Gabelich (Grants), Paul Harrington (OSH, maintenance and quotes and iwi representative) and Vicky Bell. Thanks to all of you for coming onto the board – our centre couldn’t run without you! Anyone can come along to board meetings, so if any other parents are interested please feel welcome – these are always advertised on the noticeboard by the office window.
Policies: Our policies up for review this term are Cybersafety, Learning and Teaching, and Continuing Professional Development. Please look on the noticeboard above the bags for these, and have a read, add notes, talk to Mary or one of the board members or come along to a board meeting with your ideas.
We are currently updating our Philosophy Statement – please take the time to fill in a bit about what you value at kindergarten for your child in our Family/Whaanau Voice book – these can be your thoughts and/or your child’s thoughts – we are also asking the children during kindergarten time what RSK means to them.
Committee Meeting: Tuesday 14th May here in the office at kindergarten, 7.30pm. All welcome.
Mary, Ruby, Deanna, Sheryl and Karuna