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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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Full time teaching position available

It is with sadness that I write to let you know that after seventeen years with the Northland Kindergarten Association (15 at Mairtown), Donna has decided to retire from her teaching position to take on a role as a reliever.

Donna has taught many, many tamariki in Whangarei and has friendships that reach far and wide in our community. She is a wonderful person and will be missed for her laughter, sense of fun, care and empathy, and team work. 

Donna's last day with us will be on September 12th.

If you have a passion for providing excellence in Early Childhood Education, love your career and want to make a difference in the lives of children and their families here is your chance to join our team of dedicated professionals (beautifully illustrated above).

For more information please click on this link here:

Nga mihi nui

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Matariki Harvest Day

The 2014 month of Matariki comes to an end next week on the 28th July. Here at Mairtown we have continued our Matariki celebrations into term three. Yesterday we shared in our annual Harvest Day.

Traditionally, ‘Harvest Days’ are a celebration of food grown on the land; they remind us of all the good things that we receive from Nature and provide an opportunity to share this abundance with others.

 Harvest Days are a global tradition and in these modern times I believe they provide a wonderful opportunity to celebrate community and build sustainability.

For Māori, Matariki has always been connected to planting and harvest. The coming season’s crops were planted according to the portents read in the Matariki star cluster. If the stars were clear and bright, it was a sign that a favourable and productive season lay ahead, and planting would begin in September. If the stars appeared hazy and closely bunched together, a cold winter was in store and planting was put off until October.” (Te Ara)
Matariki happened at the end of harvesting, when food stores were plentiful. The variety of food which had been gathered and preserved ensured an abundant supply for feasting.” (Te Ara)
Ngā kai a Matariki, nāna i ao ake ki runga.
The foods of Matariki, by her scooped up.

The focus of our Harvest Day at kindergarten is about sharing our abundance, random acts of kindness and nurturing the body and soul of our community. Our parents and whānau were invited to bring an item to share from their garden or pantry, along with a provocation or thought for the receiver.

On Tuesday morning the gifts were placed on an exchange table inside, and what an abundance of beautiful Northland offerings were received including, freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, citrus, herbs, broccoli, pickles, jams and chutney, cakes, bread and cookies, avocado, macadamia nuts, pumpkin and kumera.

Along with the food came messages and thoughts to nurture the soul:

'A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy' - Albert Einstein

''Happiness is like jam, you can't spread even a little without getting some on yourself' - Mi's family

'Share, care hug like a bear' - Tyler's family

'Keep your face in the sunshine and you can never see the shadow' - Helen Keller

As we farewelled the tamariki for the day they were invited to choose something from the harvest table to take home. The opportunity to take something away had created lots of excitement and anticipation throughout the day; sometimes choices are so tricky! 

Lastly I am going to share a little exchange that took place with two of our boys; it beautifully captures the essence of what this day of gifting is all about:

Roman approached Tiaki as he was leaving and opens up his paper bag to show his e hoa (friend) what he had chosen:

Tiaki “Aw what’s that, orange and a big pumpkin and…hey you got some of my parsley!”

Roman “Yeah”

Tiaki “Are you gonna cook that?”

Roman “Nah, my mum is”

Tiaki (looking joyful and laughing) “Aw that’s good!”

“The most important thing to do with children, is to celebrate life”
Helen Fields. MAUMS

Nga mihi

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Celebrating the start of Matariki

Each year at Kindergarten we celebrate Matariki (Māori new year) with a series of special events. The start of Matariki began this year on June 28th and to highlight this occasion today we held our regular Matariki Breakfast. Our Matariki breakfast celebration has become a much anticipated event, and thanks to Donna’s skills in the kitchen we had a selection of different foods to share with our whānau and tamariki.

Matariki marks the Maori New Year. The word translates as Mata Riki - Tiny Eyes, or Mata Ariki - Eyes of God.

The children's wonderful menu

Yesterday there was lots of discussion about the breakfast and the children decided to create this fabulous menu. What a welcome this was for our families and friends this morning. As you can see the kai on offer was Yoghurt, Toast, Sausages, Cereals, Fruit Salad, Porridge, Museli, Scrambled Eggs, Weetbix and Baked beans served with either Milo, Coffee or Tea :)

During Matariki, we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth, Papatūānuku.

Throughout Matariki, we learn about those who came before us. Our history, our family, our bones. Matariki signals growth. It's a time of change. It's a time to prepare, and a time of action. During Matariki, we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give.

Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It's a celebration of culture, language, spirit  and people.

Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year (Māori Language commission)

Of course we have to mention a big thank you to Donna for all her amazing cooking skills, and to everyone who came and enjoyed a delicious breakfast with us all. This is the last week of the term for us, but when we begin back in term 3 we will continue our Matariki celebrations with our Harvest Day on Tuesday 22nd July and our annual Hāngi and Lantern Parade (an evening to definitely mark in your dairies) on Friday 25th July. We also welcome back our lovely teacher Zair, who returns after maternity leave.

Our Matariki breakfast also enabled us to say a sad farewell to Susie. Susie has been with us since October last year as a long-term reliever, yet has become a very much valued and respected member of our team. We have seen Susie grow and blossom so much as a teacher in the time she has been with us at Mairtown, and I know everyone will miss her. Today was a wonderful opportunity to be able to say thank you to Susie for all her hard work, to wish her well in the future and to present her with a lovely gift basket (with items generously donated by our families) as well as a gorgeous card beautifully illustrated by the children.

The Lovely drawings of Susie

Enjoy the holidays and we all look forward to seeing you back for term 3 on Monday 21st July.

Ngā mihi,