Rutherford Street Kindergarten Newsletter – June & July 2011
Farewell: We’ve said our goodbyes to Emma Courtney, Emma Ray and Manuka Le Saux. The two Emma’s have gone to school, and Manuka has gone to France for two months and will be off to school once he returns. All the best to these three with their school years.
Welcome: Our new children are already well settled into the kindergarten environment – Isabel Cameron, Harry Reith and Georgie Horncastle. It’s lovely to see new faces as we have had so many leaving for school lately!
Family Day:It was great to see so many children and their families come along for the train ride at Founders Park, despite the torrential rain. We’ve had lots of train play since, with more talk than ever about trains: not only carriages and points, but also platforms and waiting rooms! It was great that we fitted this in before the track closed for improvements.
Teaching Staff: Ruby and Ann have used their latest professional development to create a new way for us to do our programme planning. Go and see the wall inside that’s set aside for this…we’ll post aspects of the children’s learning on this display every week. At present the focus is ‘transport’, but we’ll be recording emergent learning as well to go towards future planning. The course Ruby and Ann did was called Let’s Talk About the Curriculum and went into both programme planning and learning story assessment. The second half of this course is due shortly. In addition, Ann and Angie went on a day-long course called Save Your Sanity, and learned, or re-learned, strategies for coping with challenging situations with children.
We’ve had staff away sick and on leave for the odd day lately – this is inevitable at this time of year when bugs are on the prowl! Luckily we have a wonderful reliever in Sarah – as well as Ruby and Ji Young who are happy to take on extra hours – to step in and keep up the continuity for the children, and to keep a quality programme running. Thanks Ruby, Ji Young and Sarah!
Photos: The photos have gone ahead with Des Ellery from Christchurch – he was pleased to have the work as many of his bookings with schools and early childhood centres in Christchurch were cancelled due to the earthquake and aftershocks. All of you have put your orders in now, and the photos should be back next week – look out for a message on the noticeboard and you will be able to collect them from the staffroom.
Angie’s Evening: Angie ran a creative memories evening at kindergarten and a good turnout of people had fun creating scrap booking pages for their family albums. Angie is also going to host a Christmas card-making session in December so look out for this later in the year. Thanks Angie for doing this – a great way to bring families together.
Curriculum:We had a fabulous trip to the Theatre Royal to see The Gruffalo – with our full quota of tickets sold out. It was an action-packed version by actors from Australia; it’s wonderful that our children have these opportunities to watch professional actors at work!
Noa Parker has been in for the first of her three yoga sessions this term – engaging the children in half an hour of slow but challenging movement that involves stretching, balancing and body crossovers. The children respond to Noa attentively as she tells stories, often about animals, which explain the movements. We’ll look forward to Noa’s next session – she always has new stories to tell! These sessions combine physical movement with literacy and cognitive development, all critical areas for a child’s development.
Peta Spooner and Jenny Dravitski brought a group of students from Nelson College for Girls for the first of several half hour sessions with our Friday Class children (they’ll be coming for the rest of this term at least). These sessions will run each Friday from 11.30am – 12.00pm. The first one, last week, was a great success with our children each buddying up with a student (twice their size) to show them around kindergarten! We finished with a mat time and waiata session.
Grounds and Buildings:We are getting our water-and-windproof plastic curtains over Queen’s Birthday Weekend – yay!! They will be most welcome as we have come to think of the deck as an extension of the inside area and it will be lovely to have the option to put the curtains down and keep it warm in there.
Reminders:Peanuts: We are noticing more and more peanut butter sandwiches and muesli bars containing peanuts in lunch boxes – due to allergy issues, we ask you to keep peanuts in any form for home eating only.
Sickness: Please keep your child home if they are unwell. If they have had vomiting or diarrhoea, they need to stay home for 48 hours after the final bout. These are Ministry guidelines that help to prevent sickness from spreading and keep children – and adults – healthy. We are reminding children to blow their noses, wash their hands and also to cough into their elbows. This is so our children develop good skills for hygiene, and again to help keep sickness from spreading.
Self-Help Skills: We love to see the children hang their own bags up and put their names on the name-board on arrival at kindergarten – this helps promote independence and self-help skills! We are working on encouraging children (especially the 4-year olds) to put their clothing and shoes in or under their bags when they take them off during sessions – this should help make life easier for Mums and Dads once these start school!
Eye and Ear Checks: These are underway for all our 4 year olds, and we have our annual visit from Paula Murray on Wednesday August 10th. If your 4 year old is unable to make this day please phone Public Health to arrange another time. Apologies for all the paperwork you’re being required to fill in this week – but we also need the Before Four checklists filled in by the parents of all our 4 year olds and returned to us by the end of the first week back. Thanks.
Management Committee: We’ve had some much appreciated help from Sian (taking the minutes and sorting out our computers), Andrew and Paul (with the strategic/annual plan), and the fundraising team (Jillian, Kim and Karen) who have come up with lots of ideas…watch this space as these play out over the rest of the year, including a gala day in Term 4. Karina has the start of a list of equipment we want to purchase for the children, and she will find grants to apply for some of these items. Thanks to everyone for your input – it all helps with the smooth running of the centre.
Policies for this month:This month’s policies, up for review, are Infectious Diseases/Pandemics and Physical Development. These are situated on the wall where the blocks shelf is. Please have a read and add any comments you have by writing directly on the policy form – or by discussing your ideas with Mary or any member of the Management Committee. These policies will be signed off at the next committee meeting which is June 15th 2011.
Term Dates:The end of this term (still a few weeks away!) will be Friday 15th July. The beginning of Term III will be Monday 1st August.
Mary, Angie, Ann, Ruby, Ji Young and Catherine.