Haere mai! Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Monday, 30 July 2012

Matariki from a families experience

Thanks so much to Leah's nana Colleen who took these beautiful photo's at our Matariki celebration on the 19th of July. We thought you might like to share some of them:

Dining with one’s friends and beloved family is certainly one of life’s primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul-satisfying and eternal. --Julia Child

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Camp fires at Kindergarten

This term we are introducing  'fire experiences' into our programme. Our vision is to provide weekly fires in the cooler months for cooking, warmth and social experiences.

The creation of fire is an essential factor in a Nature programme. It is one of the four elements and provides opportunities for children to experience success and self-accomplishment when starting a fire from scratch that will ultimately cook food.

When planning the fire we rung our friend Jeff from Atomic Furniture in Parua Bay. Jeff makes funky, sustainable designs which often use re-cycled items. Our new fire is based on a successful European model with a wonderful re-cycled twist, all the materials have been re-used. The basket is a wheel hub from a car!

Over the past week we have been discussing our fire with the children. This has included some very important safety rules and lots of idea sharing about what we might be able to cook together.

Christine draws a 'safety bubble' around the fire

Today we had our first fire with the children. The plan was to cook 'Garlic bread'.

Fires provide many opportunites for learning including:

Making paper balls and laying wood for a good fire base (mathematical and science concepts).

Being part of a group and working together (contribution).
Carrying up wood to make the 'safety bubble'.

Developing fire safety skills and awareness (Rangitiritanga)

Making links with our families and community (Whanaungatanga)

Warming our hands

Today we used our especially made 'paddles' to cook the garlic bread. These paddles are great as the long handles allow the children to sit comfortably outside the 'saftey bubble' whilst participating in the creation of delicious kai.

The garlic bread was a hit! 'This is delicious' reflected Eden and we agree. This wonderful new fire will be a well used and welcome resource over the next few months. I wonder what we will cook next?

Kim Townsend

To contact Jeff at Atomic Furniture call (09) 436 5698

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Our Special Matariki Evening

On the 21st June the Matariki star cluster rose into our skies signalling the beginning of a month of celebration and entertainment. We honoured the beginning of Matariki with a delicious breakfast celebration. Last night, a month on, it was time to celebrate the end of Matariki.

Since returning to Kindergarten for the beginning of a new term this week, we have talked a great deal about Matariki with the children, and there has been lots of organising and planning going on!

Carrying one of the hāngī baskets inside

This year we thought it would be wonderful to share a hāngī (a taonga of the Maori culture) on the night with our tamariki and whanau. This was a huge success and absolutely delicious – a real treat. A hāngī takes a lot of preparation however, and many of the children have been hard at work since Wednesday grating and peeling carrots for the tasty stuffing, preparing fires and organising seating for their families.

Here is everyone practising their singing of 'This little light of mine'.

After arranging some seats Katie told us "I think this is where my family will sit".

Matariki kanohi iti 
The tiny eyes of Matariki

Below is a small slideshow of all the preparations.

kkkkmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm kkkkmm
Our Kindergarten looked fantastic on the night, the salt dough stars twinkled on the tree, the candles flickered, the food smelt delicious and the fire was stunning. As everyone arrived it was wonderful to see the work that had clearly gone into making lanterns; and it was lovely to have all the lanterns looking so different and unique. mmmmmmm
Matariki ahunga nui
Matariki provider of plentiful food
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmAfter the hāngī and some delicious dessert, we all enjoyed some toasted marshmallows around the fire along with a good old fashioned sing-a-long, thanks to Glenn on his guitar. Eventually it was time for a really special part of the evening (and the growing anticipation was evident amongst the children!) – it was time for the lantern parade.
Although a little dark, here is a little video clip of the parade mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
It was a truly wonderful night, and so lovely to welcome lots of past children, extended family and friends into our Kindergarten. We would like to say a big ‘thank-you’ to all of our Kindergarten whanau for their donations of food and time, to Reana for blessing our kai, and to Glenn for his awesome musical talent - without everyone's help this would not have been such a fantastic celebration.. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Some more photos from the evening.
Matariki atua ka eke mai i te rangi e roa,
E whāngainga iho ki te mata o te tau e roa e.
Divine Matariki come forth from the far-off heaven,
Bestow the first fruits of the year upon us.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

ERO Report

Kia Ora, welcome back to term 3. It is great to have all our tamariki and their whanau back after a two week break, and also to welcome several new children and families.

Last term, as many of you may remember we underwent an ERO Review at Mairtown. The Education Review Office (ERO) is a New Zealand government department that evaluates and reports on the education and care of students in schools and early childhood services. We received our paper copy of the report towards the very end of last term (which we have available to view at Kindergarten), however just this week the report has been published online. Clicking here will take you directly to the ERO website where you can view the report 'To the Parents and Community of Mairtown Free Kindergarten'. And if you would like to view the whole report in a pdf format (which is only a few pages longer), there is a link on the same page - look for the grey rectangle on the right hand side which says Download Report (.pdf 47 kB).

Enjoy reading and let us know your thoughts.

Ko te tamaiti te pūtake o te kaupapa
                                    The child - the heart of the matter