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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Friday, 19 April 2013

Today we celebrated our last day of term one with a hikoi to Mair Park. This was a fantastic day full of wonderful family involvement. Thank you for everyone who joined us.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Wheel-a-thon Family Fundraiser

On Tuesday afternoon we held our annual Wheel-a-thon fundraiser at Kensington Courts, and what a fabulous afternoon we all shared together.

In the morning the children were all excitedly discussing the forthcoming event.

Emma “I’m going to dress in something fancy, with lots of sparkles”.

Jaimee “I’m bringing my bike, my big bike, it’s pink and white, I might decorate my bike”.

We also welcomed lots of manuhiri (visitors) – parents and grandparents – who donated their time - preparing bread and onions for the sausage sizzle, as well as collecting the barbecue and transporting items down to Kensington courts.

By 4pm the courts were bustling and busy, with lots of bikes, scooters, trikes, skates and other wheeled vehicles lined up ready to go.




How fantastic to see everyone joining in and ‘wheeling around’ – brothers and sisters, even mums, dads, grandparents and teachers took part - well done everyone!

Some of the bikes and scooters had been embellished with some fantastic decorations, it was clear to see the time, thought and consideration that had gone into making many of the bikes and scooters look wonderful. Tō ātaahua hoki! (Beautiful!)

Events out of Kindergarten are a wonderful way for whānau to mingle and relax with each other, for all of us to socialise over some kai, and for us to catch up with past children and whānau.

Thank you to Candace, Mike, Elena, Risini, John, Deb, Sarah, Laurenţiu and Moana for your support, donations and help; we really couldn’t have done it all without you.

Money raised from the Wheel-a-thon will go towards the door we are having commissioned for our family corner (see our past blog here for the children’s work and design). We will let you know as soon as possible how much we have raised. Thank you to everyone for making it such a thoroughly enjoyable and fun afternoon, and for supporting us in our fundraising at Kindergarten.

"Family and Friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches" Wanda Hope Carter

New Project1 from christine alford on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Great White sharks and a partnership for learning

Our attending children and families arrive at kindergarten with a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise which are abundant and varied.
Recently we have had the opportunity to share some of these skills when Ben’s Dad Dave offered to come and talk to us about sharks. Dave has a really interesting job; he is a specialist underwater and adventure-sport cameraman and producer.

Ben says, “My dad films sharks, he never kills them, he likes them, he like bears too”
In preparation for Dave’s visit we discussed the children’s current thinking and ideas about sharks; this was prompted by images shown on the projector
Cohen “It’s a great white”
Helena “That’s an angry shark, it has sharp teeth”
Ben “My dad does shark movies”
Christine then opened up the discussion further by asking “How do you think they get the pictures of sharks?”
Jessie-may “You go underwater”
Emma “They use a water camera”
Leah “The sharks have little teeth and eyes that don’t know who you are”
Pesiki “Sharks can jump up and go deep down under water. Sharks are big and whales are bigger. Sharks eat fish so that people can take photos”
Jessie-May “I know how people stay safe from sharks, they hide behind rocks”
These discussion’s naturally led on to exploring and representing more ideas through drawing.



Drawing enables children to transfer their ideas into images.

Christine also provided the children with some photographs from the internet to promote and support thinking and processing, and consolidate ideas.

Knowledge is not given to a passive observer; rather, it must be discovered and constructed by the activity of the individual.” –Jean Piaget
On the morning of Dave’s visit the children were very excited. Imagine diving with a Great White shark!
Dave introduced himself as Ben’s Dad and told us that “I make films, lots of my filming is underwater and one of my favourite things to film is sharks”. Dave then showed us a set of Mako shark teeth. Mako’s have sharp pointed teeth for eating fish.


Through images, Dave then made comparisons with the teeth of a Mako and those of a great white. Great Whites have much bigger and triangular teeth; Great Whites eat seals.

Dave has recently returned from a film shoot of Great Whites in the deep south, he showed us many amazing images of Great Whites and also explained to the children how he is able to get these images; through the use of a shark cage and cameras.

We were amazed to notice that the shark cage has a huge open space in the front! This is so that there are no bars blocking the camera shots and means that the cameramen need to sometimes push the sharks back with their hands, a pole or the camera.

When Dave had finished showing his slides, some of the children had questions; they asked about how many different types of sharks there were, how many families of sharks there are, if Dave catches sharks, and if he films other sea animals as well.

Look at how proud Ben felt today!
Dave finished his talk with a video snippet of some of his recent filming. This was wonderful, as the footage totally re-captured the children’s interest and imagination.
Then it was time to for the children to share their art works and drawings of sharks. Thank you Dave for being so thoughtful in your feedback to the children and taking time to notice the many details they had included in their observational drawings.

 Promoting collaborative relationships

The wider world of family and community is an integral part of early childhood education. By inviting our parents and whānau to share their knowledge and expertise in the programme, we are promoting diverse pathways of assessment and education.

Te Whāriki and early childhood policy both emphasise the centrality of parents and whānau as partners in an early childhood setting - ECE Educate, The Ministry of Education