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news&views views

The power of the story

What is your child's unique learning style? Introducing our Home & Kindergarten Committee ICT tools inspire scientific discovery Meet Clare Wells, NZKinc Chief Executive ECE Taskforce report open for consultation
ISSUE FOUR July 2011

NEWS & VIEWS issue no.4

New arrival!
Hello everyone! My name is Ashleigh McPherson and I am the new full-time teacher here at Geraldine Kindergarten. I am in my first year of teaching after studying in Christchurch. I grew up in Timaru where I completed my schooling and have recently moved into the Geraldine district. I have got back into playing hockey since finishing my studies and have joined the Geraldine womensteam. I am so excited about getting to know you and your families please feel free to approach me and introduce yourself and your children! I look forward to my time here and meeting you all.

Great community. Great education. Great kids!

GERALDINE KINDERGARTEN News & Views Magazine 25 Wilson Street, Geraldine 7930 Tania Boland 03 693 8888 EMAIL:


GK NEWS & VIEWS ARCHIVES: DESIGN & PRODUCTION Fi McCafferty@Saltmine Design 24 Hislop Street, Geraldine 7930 PHONE: 03 693 8237 EMAIL:

Leon Lithgow shares his work as an artist working backstage in films around the world; our bantams win second and third prize at the Mackenzie A&P Show; Fonterra reps present high-vis jackets to the children; Elsie, an actor from the Court Jesters, engages the children in drama; Geraldine Kindergarten supports Westpacs Annual Helicopter Appeal; our sunflower head wins first prize at the Geraldine Farmers Market.

from the EDITOR |2

Kia ora tatou

WELCOME TO OUR fourth issue of GK News & Views. In this issue we introduce

An Agenda for Amazing Children

An independent Early Childhood Education (ECE) Taskforce was established by Education Minister Anne Tolley in October 2010 with the vision that they would research and make recommendations to the government on the future direction of ECE in New Zealand. The report, An Agenda for Amazing Children published on 1 June 2011, outlines recommendations covering aspects such as: continued investment in ECE ensuring ECE services are high quality because investment in lowquality is poor value prioritising funding for groups of children with low rates of ECE participation improved performance and accountability arrangements, including much clearer reporting to parents, and building a strong evidence base to guide future investment.

Our learning opportunities at Kindergarten have been enriched since our last magazine by a number of experts and through our children being involved in our local community. These experts kindly mentor our children, immensely benefiting their learning through opening their eyes to new expertise and experiences. Our bulging programme has been so rich that we could not possibly include everything in our magazine so we urge you to visit our blog,, for more photos, videos and stories showing the learning your child has been involved in at Kindergarten recently.

a T nia



the latest talent to join our Geraldine Kindergarten team, show you how childrens learning styles and stories support their learning and share our science learning through research and discovery. We are also introducing new recipes and a Homework column in response to reader feedback.


Giving our youngest citizens a strong start is part of nation-building. Its the basis of a great society and a vibrant economy. Social and individual returns from highquality ECE are substantial. They last a lifetime. Spending on high-quality ECE is an investment. 1
Parents, whanau, employers and the ECE sector are being encouraged to

take part in the consultation process (closing 8 August) so that Government can consider public feedback. Information is available via our blogspot. You can also visit ManagementInformation/RecentAnnouncements /ConsultationECE Taskforce.aspx for full copies of the report, recommendations and to post feedback online. Questionnaires will be available over this time in our foyer and we will make a computer available to anyone who wishes to view relevant information or post feedback online.

3| COURAGE & CURIOSITY adventures from the playground

ICT supports our scientific learning


term two a group of children have been interested in volcanoes. ICT equipment was used to research volcanoes and several videos were watched of different eruptions around the world. Children saw the impact that volcanoes can have on both rural and residential environments. As a group, scientific pictures of the inside of a volcano were looked at closely to further explore how the earth works. The children watched videos of how to conduct experiments that create similar effects as the lava in a volcano. The following day the group of children wanted to conduct their own experiments as they had seen others doing in the videos. The children got together, shared their thoughts and ideas and a plan was developed. The experiments began and together the children were able to see a scientific replica model. Children participating in these experiments questioned and problem solved, applied past knowledge to a new situation and responded with wonderment and awe.

Using ICT to support the groups curiosity and interest in volcanoes allowed them to develop specific scientific knowledge and understanding. Children also extended their interest into the arts where they drew very detailed diagrams of volcanoes erupting. Taking advantage of the ICT equipment and applying the learning behaviour to question and problem solve is a necessary skill they will need in a changing technological world. Through using ICT to support learning children are able to recognise that: Different technologies may be used in various places and settings; ICT can be used for a variety of purposes as they explore their world; Problem solving together develops understanding of how ICT can help them and others. From day to day the children are returning to investigate volcanoes in a variety of ways. We love to follow up the childrens ideas to see where they will lead, allowing them to direct their play where they communicate what it is they want to learn.



Silverbeet Quiche
1/4cup melted butter 3 large eggs beaten with salt and pepper 1 finely chopped onion 1 grated carrot 1 cup grated cheese 4-6 silver beet leaves chopped finely Bacon (optional) 1/3 cup milk 1/2-2/3 cup self-raising flour Mix all together add flour last. Pour into flan dish. Cook 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees. The flour can be substituted for same amount of gluten free flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Researching volcanoes is a very serious business!

5| each child is UNIQUE and full of potential

What is your childs

THE TERM learning styles refers to how

Visual learners
remember visual details; prefer to see what they are learning; like to have paper and pens on hand; doodle while listening; have trouble following lectures; like to write down instructions.

children (and adults) investigate the world, learn concepts, incorporate what they learn and finally use what they figured out. Research tells us that there are three main styles of learning these are:

Auditory learners
learn by enjoying oral discussion; remember by communicating verbally; need to have things explained out loud; have trouble with written instructions; talk to themselves while learning something new; repeat things to remember them.

The most important thing a child can be given to support later literacy is a love of language. Stories, rhymes, songs, jokes, jingles and CONVERSATION are the riches a wha nau can give a child.

learning style?
Kinesthetictactile learners
often prefer activities; want to actually do whatever is being talked about or learned; like to move around while listening or talking; often talk with their hands; like to touch things in order to learn about them; remember things by recalling who did what rather than who said what. Other ways of looking at these styles of learning are: I can see what you mean, (visual); I hear what you are saying, (auditory), It feels right, (kinesthetic).1 Your child is unique. Their favoured learning style may still be developing so sit back and observe. Most are very tactile they want and need to be actively involved in order to understand things. Even though we may have a preferred learning style we can still learn through other styles as well.2

Support your childs learning at home:

Turn off the TV, pull up a chair or a cushion and break out those old board or card games.

POTENTIAL LEARNING: Healthy competition: taking part is equally important to winning and success is a great motivator. A healthy serving of success boosts anyones self-confidence. Learning to engage with a group of people, take turns, negotiate and work together Learning to follow instructions and guidelines Laughter and quality time, conversation, encouragement and praise - the simple act of spending time with your child raises their selfesteem. A positive self image and self- confidence supports children to achieve in their learning by giving them the confidence to feel good about themselves, to contribute their thoughts and ideas, and to take a risk and try something new.3


7| LEARNING IS FUN so be a learner every day


The power of the

THE FINDINGS from our recent

questionnaire to parents and whanau indicated that the learning story is the best way we share information on individual children with families. We found this particular result very encouraging and we began to think about,

How powerful is the Learning Story?

A good story engages the reader, describing feelings and actions and usually takes place over time. The learning story is an assessment tool we use to record a childs learning. The formal record is our assessment, planning and evaluation of the learning of each and every child who attends Geraldine Kindergarten. When a child begins at Kindergarten a first day photo page is entered and learning stories are added each term during their attendance. The learning stories include photos, movies, and narratives to show an individual childs progress over time and strategies for teachers and family to support their learning further. Teachers notice a great deal as they work with your children and increasingly learn more when collaboration occurs with the

child, other teachers, families and community. The learning story gives us an opportunity to cross the borders between home and school to share what we each know about the child. We, the teaching team, value feedback from the child and their families to enrich the stories and add richness to the childs learning. The stories support the childs learning and development in the moment as they allow the child to see themselves as a capable and confident learner and strengthen their ability to reflect on, or revisit the knowledge, skills and learning tools/ behaviours (habits of mind) they are using. This supports the child to develop the ability to learn a necessity in our rapidly changing technological world. Stories can be created in multiple ways. The visual images invite the child and their family to share the information at home and kindergarten. For example, an ideal way to show real evidence of the child settling into play at kindergarten can be recorded through a video/movie.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Learning Stories provide us with a picture of real people in real situations...


The child then shares the movie with his family at home and at Kindergarten. The



child enjoys seeing him or herself and the smiles and exclamations of, Thats me! are shared with family and peers. The confidence grows within the child. The images allow the child to reflect on their play and how they felt, providing the motivation to begin playing and feeling happy when separating away from those the child knows best. The movie images work two-fold also reassuring the family that their child is coping away from them. Therefore, strengthening the separation process the child is learning and the story is supporting the learning in the moment.

9| BEHIND THE SCENES our Board of Trustees

Clare Wells is the chief executive of New Zealand Kindergartens Te Putahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa and works in the NZK national office in Wellington.

The 2011 Board of trustees are: President: Matt Morrison Vice President: Sarah Foley-Smith Treasurer: Max de Bonth Members: Adele Quinn, Ash Pace, Sarah Wilson Copies of the report are available at the Kindergarten.

Kindergarten is iconic in New Zealand. For over 120 years we have provided high quality early childhood education (ECE) to our youngest citizens, working with families across communities nationwide. New Zealand Kindergartens (NZK) is the umbrella organisation representing twenty-nine regional kindergarten associations across New Zealand, including the Geraldine District Free Kindergarten Association. Our network comprises over 430 kindergartens and ECE services, with nearly 30,000 children and their families involved. We are passionate about kindergarten, working alongside families to support every child to be successful and to reach her or his potential, to be confident about who they are and where they belong in the world, and to take that next step in their learning. Literacy, information technology, the arts, mathematics, and science are all part of the ECE curriculum Te Whariki. While these may not be presented in the same way as in schools, each curriculum area is very much part of the kindergarten programme. Our 100% qualified and registered teachers work with the curriculum to ensure children experience a wide range of opportunities, encouraging them to extend the boundaries of their own learning. Although kindergarten has been around for some time, we have continued to grow and change to meet the changing and diverse needs of families over the decades, and to make sure teaching and learning is based on research evidence. We work with our regional associations to assist them in their role of providing high quality ECE services. We work at a national level, advocating for greater investment in ECE and policy to ensure early childhood education is accessible, affordable and of high quality for all children and families in every community. Kindergarten is communitybased and kiwi owned. It is not-for-profit with every dollar of funding invested in kindergarten to achieve the best teaching and learning outcomes. If you would like to know more about kindergarten, go to our website or sign up to our Kindergartens Great Start 100% website,, and support us to promote high quality early childhood education as a right for every child. CLARE WELLS

Finally, I would like to say a personal thank you to all of you. The last 12 months have again been busy, but immensely rewarding. We continue to be a Kindergarten that raises the bar in Early Childhood Education. This is no fluke, you should all be very proud of what we have here. MATT MORRISON

2011 TERM


26 January - 15 April 02 May - 15 July 01 August - 07 October 24 October - 21 December


parents NOTICEBOARD |10

Geraldine Kindergarten

Home and Kindergarten Committee

The newly formed Geraldine Kindergarten Home and Kindergarten Committee (pictured on the right) is a Board of Trustees initiative which aims to provide a supporting role to the teaching team and Kindergarten. By communicating with other families and whanau and providing valuable feedback we can help build relationships which will assist the teaching team to create an efficient and happy learning environment for our children. Two of our main responsibilities is to oversee fundraising initiatives and to raise the profile of the Kindergarten within the wider community. Funds raised will be used for special projects and purchases which will ultimately enhance our childrens learning environment. We are a new committee with an enthusiastic and dedicated team, but we welcome involvement by all parents. Feel free to contact any of the committee at any time to discuss ideas, suggestions or to join the team.

Fra (Frances) Mills, Treasurer I am married to Allen and we have two boys, Josh, at Carew Peel Forest School, and Olie who is at morning Kindergarten in Geraldine. We moved down from Tauranga a year ago and are dairy farming at Rangitata. We love being part of this wonderful Geraldine community; its a very special place. Lyn Holmes I am married to Alister and have
two children. Harry started at Kindergarten this year and Guy is 18-months-old. We are sheep, beef and deer farmers at Woodbury.

D iary

Fo r your

Our Committee
Karen Pace, Chair I am married to Ashleigh
and we have two boys, the youngest of whom recently started afternoon sessions at Geraldine Kindergarten. We enjoy being part of the community and have found it a great way to get to know people and make Geraldine our home.

Philippa Goldsbury Aaron and I moved to Geraldine from Hamilton a year ago with our children Will (5) and Emily (3). Will loved his short time at Kindergarten before starting school and Em is a little dynamo who adores her friends, her teachers and all the activities available to her at Kindergarten. We feel so lucky to be back home in the South Island and very privileged to be part of our new community. Marcelle de Bonth Mother of three girls, my eldest recently started primary school, middle child at morning Kindergarten and youngest is a year off afternoon sessions. Rare spare time I spend crafting, sewing or reading. Lynore Bradshaw I have lived in Geraldine for nine years. I am married to Murray and have four children; Jackson (16), Kegan (13), ShilahMay (4) and Tahlea (2). I am here to serve.

EACH TERM The Home and Kindergarten Committee will be holding a casual get-together with parents and caregivers of children new to Geraldine Kindergarten, on the waiting list or who would just like to know more. These dates will be advertised in The Prospect and on the Kindergarten noticeboard. TUESDAY 28 JUNE Meeting of the Home and Kindergarten Committee. if you would like to be part of the committee, or can offer help on a sub-committee, please let us know. We appreciate your help and support. TUESDAY 30 AUGUST Our first major fundraiser as a committee: A night out for the ladies of Geraldine featuring a range of pamper & wellbeing specialists. The night will be broken up into ten minute tester sessions of treatments and new experiences. An evening of fun, entertainment and pampering. More details to follow soon.

Amanda Taylor, Secretary Andrew and I have two boys; Harry who has just started afternoon sessions and enjoying every moment of it; and James, who has another two years before he starts Kindergarten.

BOT Representatives
Sarah Foley-Smith; Sarah Wilson

Teaching Team Representatives

Term 2&3: Gael Williams; Louise Sherratt


Wilson Street, Geraldine 7930


03 693 8888