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, 21 October 2019

A special tradition - Hundertwasser inspired calendar art

At Mairtown Kindergarten we love rituals and traditions; each term there is something special to look forward to.  At the beginning of term three, it was a special time for the children to start working on their own individualised calendar art work.  This special piece of art work can then be made into calendars, cards, note pads, diaries or mouse pads.

What is so special about the calendar art is that every single piece is individual and unique, just like the child who created it.  This year, like past years, we have gained inspiration from artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.  He is a favourite at Mairtown and the children are familiar with his work.  We now have quite a collection of his books at kindergarten that illustrate many of his colourful and vibrate art, these are on display for the children to look through before they start their own work. 

It’s lovely to observe the children’s expressions when looking at the books, you can tell when they have found a favourite piece of art work they seem to be drawn to and gain inspiration from.  I love how Hundertwasser’s work seems to trigger our children’s imagination and creativity.  Yet, for some children they don’t appear to need any Hundertwasser inspiration, they are happy and confident to create their artwork using ideas from their own imagination and interests.

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, and ways of being.  When we are creative we can develop meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, and interpretations.  Creativity is risking what is for what could be”.  (Childspace)

I find it incredible how much time and effort each child puts in their artwork.  It is wonderful to see our older children who remember completing their calendar art last year, and now they are able to explain the process to their new friends.  I remember when I first started at Mairtown years ago, it was during term three and the children had already started working on their calendar art.  I couldn’t believe what a massive effort that they put into their work, it can take days and days, even weeks to complete.  Fast forward to this year, our children still put so much time and effort into their art. 

I love how some children are super keen and excited to try and complete their work quickly, whereas others are happy to take their time and revisit their work over many days. Either way, all put great thought and creativity into every mark of the black pen, every stroke of the dye and all the detail of the gold and silver pens.  We know that amazing art work takes time to create, that’s why this process takes months to complete, in fact it takes almost all of term three.  We never rush the children and they know they can revisit their work and continue the process.  Just as we know that each child is unique, we respect the way they each approach their calendar art, as there is no right or wrong way to use our imagination and creativity.

“You can’t give someone a creativity injection.  You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them”.  (Ken Robinson)

Here are some examples of this year’s work, don’t they look truly magnificent.

I think you will all agree with me that our children have put in a massive effort to create such stunning calendar art that would look great hanging on the wall as next year’s calendar.  With December approaching fast, the calendar art would make stunning Christmas presents. The art is now ready to be viewed and the order forms are available.   On behalf of the teaching team, thank you to our wonderful children who are full of imagination and creativity and thank you to our kindergarten whānau for all your ongoing support.

Ngā mihi nui

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Ka kite ano to our treasure Amy

Recently there has been great anticipation and excitement as we have been counting down to our ‘Dress up Day’.  Finally the day arrived and on Thursday the 26th of September we held our ‘Dress up Day’ but there was more to it than just a party.  It was a special time to celebrate Amy and her time with us.

At Mairtown Kindergarten we believe it is really important to celebrate everyone’s time with us. Over the years we have developed a lovely and meaningful farewell ritual.  In accordance to Amy’s wishes we clearly understood there were to be no surprises.  We discussed ideas with our children, they were all keen to dress up and have fun, so that’s what we did.  That’s one thing we all know about Amy is that she has a wonderful sense of humour and loves a good laugh, or be it giggle.  When Amy laughs we all end up laughing along with her.  

Sadly, we farewell Amy as she is taking a break from teaching to spend more time with her young family and to help out with her family business.  Amy has been with us since October 2017, when she arrived as a beginner teacher and quickly become a valued and treasured member of our team who has contributed whole heartedly. 

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard".  Winnie the Pooh

Amy is a super talented and lovely teacher with a generous heart, caring nature.  We have seen her grow and blossom in the time she has been with us at Mairtown, and I know she has touched many lives and created many memories with her beautiful way of being.  Also I know she will be greatly missed by everyone in our kindergarten community. 

Today was a wonderful opportunity to be able to say thank you to Amy for all her hard work, to wish her well in the future and to present her with a lovely gift as well as a gorgeous card beautifully illustrated by the children.

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”  Dr Seuss

On behalf of the teaching team, I would like to say a massive thank you to Amy. Thank you so much for all that you have brought to Mairtown.  Thank you for being such a beautiful and courageous teacher and colleague, also a great friend to us all. And most of all thank you for being you!  It has been a wonderful journey working with you. We are going to miss you but at least we know we will continue to see you regularly in your other role in life, as a parent dropping off your son to kindergarten.

“Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa”
Let us keep close together, not far apart