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, 30 August 2019

Saying farewell to our beautiful Zair

Have you ever heard the saying “The only constant thing in life is change”, well that is what has been happening at Mairtown Kindergarten as we say farewell to our beautiful head teacher Zair. 

Recently Zair has been doing a lot of thinking and decided to take a big brave step to resign and spend more time with her lovely young family, a decision I personally don’t think she will ever regret.  We all know how important it is to spend time with loved ones, it is precious.

We understand this wasn’t an easy choice for her to make, especially since we know how passionate and dedicated she was to her role.  It’s the kind of decision that takes great courage and bravery to step out outside of your personal comfort zone.  Just like at kindergarten when working with our children we talk about risk taking a great deal, and this decision we would refer to as emotional risk taking.  It is about making a choice we know is a bit scary and challenging but also know it will be rewarding.

Nearly nine years ago Zair started as a teacher at Mairtown kindergarten.  Plenty has happened for her over this period of time, she got married, had maternity leave twice to have her beautiful daughters, then during 2015 she stepped up into the Head Teacher role when Kim left to take on the PPM role.

Zair is such a special person I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to have worked alongside her.  She is so inspirational, passionate, dedicated and a truly professional teacher, with the funniest sense of humour and her laugh is just the best it makes us all giggle.  I love how she is so super kind, thoughtful and caring with the biggest heart.  

Honestly you can feel her love for this place and everyone in it, it is so special that it is hard to put into words.  Over the years I have heard many comments from our  kindergarten whānau about how welcoming Zair is, kindness and respect definitely underpins her way of being.  Working with Zair is truly amazing, she has such a sunny disposition that beams positivity where ever she goes. 

Anyone who knows Zair knows that she loves a good laugh at crazy funny stuff and dancing, so we thought we would surprize her with a ‘dazzling disco’ as our farewell celebration.  It was a day of bright sparkling fun dress ups, colourful lighting, disco balls and plenty of dancing.  It certainly was a wonderful way to celebrate Zair and her time with us.

On behalf of the teaching team and kindergarten community I would like to say a massive thank you to Zair.  Thank you for everything you have done and accomplished at Mairtown kindergarten, and for being such a wonderful teacher and friend.  And most of all thank you for being you. 

Zair we wish you all the best, enjoy this wonderful opportunity to spend more time with your lovely family and keep on being true to yourself and being you.  Words can’t explain how much we are all going to miss you.

"If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello"  (Paulo Coehlo)


Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Our Yellow Day celebrations

On Thursday 22nd of August we celebrated our ‘Yellow Day’ to show our support to the Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil day.  Daffodil day is a fundraising event that helps New Zealanders affected by cancer.  We believe it is important for our tamariki to learn through raising awareness and supporting a wonderful organisation like the Cancer Society. 

 At kindergarten there is no better way than having a fun dress up, crazy yellow day to show our support and fundraise money to go towards the Cancer Society for all the great work they do.

When the children arrived to discover that kindergarten had been decorated with lots and lots of yellow.  I heard some children say “Wow everything is yellow, even the windows are yellow!  There was yellow Lego, yellow play dough, different shades of yellow paint, yellow gluing resources, our fire day bread was yellow, face paint and even the sign in sheets were yellow.

It was wonderful to see all the effort our children put into dressing up in yellow, finding yellow strips on a top, some wore yellow socks, yellow shoes, yellow dresses or yellow hats.

It certainly turned out to be a very yellow day, here are some of the children’s comments about what was their favourite part of the day:
Sharlee-Bea: “Dressing up with the yellow hair and skirt”.
William:  “Building with yellow rocks”.
Tristan:  “I liked the face paint”.
Teddie:  “Zair painting my nails”.
Millar-Rose: “Getting my face painted and playing a running game”.
Xavier: “Making yellow bread”.
Ashleigh:  “When I first got here me and Finlay put this yellow blanket on and when I got a yellow face paint”.
Fern:  “The pineapples and popcorn and the bananas”.
Ziggy “Cooking yellow bread”.
Theo:  “Batman face paint”.

From all the smiles on our children’s faces I could tell that it was so much fun and a successful day.  Thank you to all our kindergarten whānau for supporting our ‘yellow day’ and the Cancer Society.

Mā te wā, Susie

Wednesday, 14 August 2019


“When one tugs a single thing in nature, 
he finds it attached to the rest of the world” 
– John Muir

As we have recently joined the Enviroschools movement and reflected for Bronze accreditation, we have been thinking about how we can support the children grow their environmental awareness. Part of my teacher inquiry also involved supporting children to “develop a strong vision of themselves as kaitiaki for a sustainable future”.

During a professional discussion with a colleage I was challenged to look into the meaning of kaitiaki. What understanding did the children have of this concept? How could we support them to become kaitiaki for our future unless they had a strong knowledge of this role? I began some small group inquiry work with the children, inviting them to share with me their ideas around what it means to be a kaitiaki and how we show this in our actions. I then invited the children to create art showing their idea’s around the role of kaitiaki.

Ezra: We catch rats in rat traps

Mana: We could look after bees cause them make honey. Cause we always need to be gentle to bees when we see them.

Grace: We can look after sharks because in a boo from Elsie's library at school, people are catching sharks. I saw a few sharks on Blue Planet. 

As we run a very successful nature programme at Mairtown Kindergarten, and we incorporate environmentally sustainable practice into our programme, my initial thinking was that our children would be quite knowledgeable in this area and would have lots of knowledge to share with me. To begin with this was true, as our wonderful environmental warriors had sustainability at the forefront of their mind!

Anna: We could garden the soil and plant carrots

Patrick: Keeping earth nice

Jesse: Kaitiaki means you guard something

Ezra: Catching rats in rat traps

Teddie: Yeah and looking after the baby eggs

Bella: Don’t throw any rubbish on the road

Nikos: If we don’t have a world we won’t have anywhere to live

Levi: I make sure I don't step on the flowers because the bees need them

Bella: At Kindergarten we clean the easels

But then a different theme emerged, as many of our children began to talk about being “kaitiaki of the people” and nurturing and protecting the wairua of those around them so that as a collective, we can thrive.

Jesse: We care for our friends and the teachers. We can send presents to people, that will make them feel really happy if we sent people a card. That's being kaitiaki of the people

Joshua: Kaitiaki is being kind to people

Gabrielle: Remember the other time when I was looking after people at Kindergarten? That is kaitiaki

Sharlee-Bea: I look after my sister. Take care of her and have a snuggle on the couch

It was so interesting that the children naturally took this holistic view and seemed to know that the environment and those living within it could not succeed unless in mutuality. This relates to a Māori worldview of kaitiakitanga which considers the well-being of natural resources to be directly related to the well-being of the people. Having this vision of what it means to be a kaitiaki at Mairtown has opened our minds to new possibilities within our wider community. One of the guiding principles or ngā mātāpono of the Enviroschools kaupapa is to create sustainable communities. These are communities which “act in ways which nurture people now and into the future”

Gabrielle: Remember the other time when I was looking after people at Kindergarten? That is kaitiaki

Millar-Rose: We have baby bunnies and we have to look after them because eagles might get them because did you know, we have eagles in our town. We love every animals in the whole entire world

“Without a doubt our most significant resource and potential lies in our people and so looking into the future, how we nurture and support each other’s potential and how we plan for the future will have a significant bearing on what we achieve for ourselves and future generations 

(Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Awa, 2010, p.4)

One of the reasons why I absolutely love teaching in Kindergarten is because our children see things in amazing ways, and I learn so much from them! I feel like the most important moment in this learning for me has come from the words of one of our beautiful 4 year olds, Florence. I think she has encapsulated the essence of kaitiakitanga and of environmental education and I would like to leave you with her poignant words...

Florence: I’m going to be a kaitiaki of the whole wide world. Do you know that’s a huge job for one person, but everyone can help