Talofa lava, taga’i ane i tala fou o le vaiaso
This is our first week without Jane Braun and it seems very strange! I hope she had a good sleep-in on Monday 😊
Our services are very busy this week with Vaiaso O Le Gagana - Samoa - Samoan Language Week. What wonderful celebrations of not only the language, but also the food, customs, values and overall culture of Samoa.
Thanks to the Senior Teachers and Head Teachers who have been meeting throughout our region over the past two weeks – your leadership and commitment to high quality ECE is fantastic.
Next week we will be briefing you about the changes that have been happening in our Porirua and Whanganui offices as we review what we do and how we do it, in efforts to build and strengthen our organisation.
This weekend is a long weekend – yay! Have a restful weekend and do something wonderful for yourself.
“E FOFŌ E LE ALAMEA LE ALAMEA” - SĀMOAN PROVERB
THE SOLUTIONS FOR OUR ISSUES LIE WITHIN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES.
Senior Teacher Update
Kia ora koutou katoa,
Head Teachers Meetings
The Senior Teacher team is appreciative of all the feedback Head Teachers have shared at these meetings, this information continues to shape how we work with and understand Te Manawa and Te Whāriki.
From here, the Senior Teacher Te Manawa working team will collate all the feedback/feedforward from the HT meetings and share with you closer to the Regional/Team Meeting dates, to support your team’s ongoing kōrero around Learning Outcomes and Communities of Learners.
Remember the Te Manawa PLD sessions are not about racing through the PLD sessions at pace, they are about consideration, time, and engagement, to create shared understanding. Our designed PLD sessions are a place to explore our (Senior Teachers/Head Teachers and Teachers) thinking. We call this our ‘stuttering stage’ as we revisit, discuss, question, gain new understandings and cement our thinking about what matters here.
Relivers Meetings- 9 June 4.00pm to 5.30pm - Venues below
Head Teachers and Teaching teams, please remind your Relievers that their network meeting is coming up, the agenda is focusing on the Quality Practice Templates.
Lyall Bay Kindergarten
Porirua Office - Whare Manawa
St Johns Hill Club
New Head Teachers Meeting Term 2
Monday 28th June at Te Puna, WMK offices 10:00am to 3:00pm.
Annual Review Survey
Remember to check your Kindergarten’s StoryPark Community Post for the Survey link. We really appreciate you taking the time to complete the survey, as it feeds into shaping the review process of the ‘Annual Review’. Contact Fiona if you have any questions.
Testing with our 3 kindergartens is continuing and we are finding ways to refine the system as we go. Thanks so much to the teams at Island Bay, Lyall Bay and Nuanua for being so amazing and jumping into this with us.
For now, everyone else:
- Day to Day Relievers: We are now paying you for all your hours through StaffSync (not from timesheets or from Infocare). Please make sure all your relieving jobs are put into StaffSync and are correct. You can talk to the Relieving Coordinators and/or Head Teachers if anything needs correcting. If you have been sending in Timesheets, you no longer need to do this.
- Part-time Teachers who work extra hours: Please continue to send in Timesheets if this is what you’re used to doing. If you work in Upper Hutt, Wairarapa, Whanganui or Central Plateau you probably don’t need to do this (if you haven’t been).
- Head Teachers and Administrators:
- Make sure all Day-to-Day Relievers hours are logged and correct in StaffSync as this is what we are using to pay them (not Timesheets or Infocare).
- When you ask the Relieving Coordinators to find a reliever for you, please can you include who the person is who is away. This means that the roster for that day/week can be amended.
Thanks everyone for your patience. We are eager that our new systems and processes are robust and as easy as they can be for you and so this testing phase is taking a little longer. We will make sure we have opportunities for you to refresh your knowledge of the system when the time comes.
Evacuation Drills - Audit
We are currently undertaking an audit of evacuation drill records. So just a reminder that we use GOSH to report on ALL evacuation drills.
The drills we report using the Evacuation Drill form in GOSH are:
Earthquake evacuation drill (Monthly)
Lockdown drill (Termly)
Fire Evacuation Drill (Monthly)
Notifiable Fire evacuation drill (6 monthly)
When you are reporting on your drills using the Evacuation Drill form on GOSH, please ensure that you tick the box that indicates what type of drill it is (blue arrow below). If the drill is the notifiable 6 monthly fire drill, please tick “Yes” in the “Is this a notifiable evacuation drill” (green arrow below). By selecting “Yes” the Fire Service will automatically be sent a copy of the report.
6 Monthly Fire Evacuation Drill
Please remember that when you are undertaking the 6 monthly fire evacuation drill The Fire Service Communication Centre must be called 10 minutes before the drill, on phone 04 801 0812. The purpose of this is to ensure the Fire Service or neighbours do not respond unnecessarily. If the Fire Communications Centre does not answer the phone, teachers will need to delay the drill.
Even though this is a drill, you must respond as if this was a real emergency and make a call to 111 emergency services and evacuate as per your plan.
You are able to access records of your previous drills on GOSH by logging into “My Kindergarten” and selecting “Evacuation Records”
Please don’t hesitate to contact Lorraine if you need any clarification.
Just to confirm that the new GOSH platform will not be introduced until early July – we will confirm the actual date when we know.
So you will not need to change your password until closer to that time. You will receive an email request from GOSH with instructions. Apologies for the confusion.
If you have any questions please contact Lorraine.
Updated Enrolment Agreement
The Enrolment Agreement form for all children has been updated, please destroy all old copies that you have. You can click here to download the new Enrolment Form. Please use this copy for all new enrolments.
Any questions, please contact Tania.
You can click here to get a copy of the latest PLD calendar. Just remember though that PLD can change at any time so it is always good to check the online calendar and the Kōrero regularly.
Support Staff Week
It’s Support staff week from June 8-11, and kindergartens are encouraged to take part and celebrate the work that support staff contribute to our kindergartens, this week and every week.
Support Staff week is organised by the education union NZEI Te Riu Roa, and supported by Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens.
NZEI is working to progress a pay equity claim for kindergarten support staff covered by the Kindergarten Association Support Staff Collective Agreement known as KASSCA, following a pay equity settlement for teacher aides last year which saw a significant pay rise.
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens has been represented at meetings with NZEI to progress the claim.
Facebook And Children’s Photos
Recently, a few kindergartens have been covering children’s faces on Facebook. As an organisation Whānau Manaaki does not support this practice, as it makes it look as if the child is a problem, and detracts from the post, rather than adding to it.
Every kindergarten may have one or more children whose parents do not want them to appear on Facebook, however, most parents are happy and even eager for children to feature. If a child is not permitted to appear on Facebook, it is best not to use a photo with them in it rather than cover the child’s face. You can either take a specific photo with the permitted children, or sometimes, crop the photo.
Photos of children learning, communicating, concentrating, laughing, singing, exploring and moving are an important way to make our kindergartens and the learning visible. Humans are hardwired to look at faces – in fact there’s a special region in the brain called the fusiform gyrus which is about identifying faces. Our eyes quickly locate and look at images of people and their faces.
For this reason, Facebook posts that feature people attract more engagement than those that don’t.
If you have any issues relating to children appearing on Facebook, please talk to your Senior Teacher.
Pay Parity For Early Childhood Teachers
Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens is making a submission to Parliament’s Education and Workforce Select Committee in support of the government’s change in the law to make sure that extra money intended for pay parity is spent on salaries for teachers. We will ask to appear before the Select Committee to talk about funding issues.
This week, several early childhood teachers appeared in front of the Select Committee, explaining what pay parity would mean for them, and asking for more to be done to address issues in the sector.
The current lockdown in Melbourne is a reminder that Covid 19 is still with us, and we need to keep taking precautions. As Ashley Bloomfield said this week, it's possible we are only half way through this pandemic.
We need to keep using the QR codes, keep the app visible at our kindergartens, keep washing our hands and keep home if you're sick.
We also need to keep supporting the vaccination programme as it rolls out over the next few months.
NZEI Te Riu Roa Learning Support Campaign
Last month NZEI launched a new campaign that not only advocates for kaiako but for parents and whānau as well. Below is a snippet from the media release.
Ngā Aukaha All in for Tamariki will campaign on issues of funding and access to learning support for children.
The current system means that the youngest learners are waiting an average of 104 days to access an early intervention service and approximately one third of Ongoing Resource Scheme (ORS) funding applications are rejected.
“The learning support system is severely under-funded meaning many children are missing out on their right to a high-quality, inclusive education,” says early intervention teacher, Louise Hoggart.
“High caseloads and long wait lists put pressure not only on learning support specialists but teachers, principals and support staff in classrooms and early learning centres across the country. This in turn impacts on tamariki, their whānau and the wider community.”
Click here for more information and to sign up to add your voice.
Party Packs For Children Turning Five
Here are Whānau Manaaki staff are putting together party packs for children who are leaving the Etu Ao homebased service and moving to school.
With funding donated by the charitable trust ’Given for You’ Whānau Manaaki offers the ingredients for a birthday party to each family when their child is about to turn five and leave for school.
The pack includes a cake mix and a silicon baking dish for making a birthday cake as well as lollies, candles and balloons.
The transport team say it’s a nice present to farewell children as they leave for school, as the van service and the relationships they have formed, have been an important part of the children’s lives.
Kathy and Menime prepare the birthday packs.
Kāhui Ako – Kōrero Looks At How Kindergartens Are Involved Across Our Region
Maraeroa Kindergarten teacher Alex Owens has been involved in the Porirua East Kāhui Ako as a cross community lead based at Corinna School in Porirua East.
Kāhui Ako or communities of learning are about education providers working together for the benefit of children and young people.
Early childhood education was a late addition to the concept, and there are still challenges for the early childhood sector to get involved.
Alex says it has been a great project to be part of, and it’s all about building relationships and increasing understanding to benefit children and families. In Porirua East, there was already a lot of good will and a history of schools working together rather than competing for students.
She says the experience has given her a good understanding of schools and she has been able to develop relationships across the sector. While there is real interest and support for the early childhood pedagogy, it is useful to have the chance to explain what we do and how our curriculum, planning assessment and evaluation all work. One thing Alex has been able to do is to articulate what play based learning is all about.
While many people think Kāhui Ako are about transitions, that is only a small part of the work. Most of what the Kāhui Ako has been involved in is professional development and sharing best practice across all sectors.
The Kāhui Ako has developed a graduate profile known as VAI – standing for Voice, Action and Identity. The idea is that students learn that they have a voice for change, and they make a difference, and that they know who they are. The challenge for teachers is to support learners to reach these aims.
Many of the issues teachers face are similar, whether early childhood primary or secondary – how to engage with families, how to reflect language, culture and identity, how to cope with challenges in society that communities face and how to grow teacher capability and leadership.
Despite early childhood being left out of the Kāhui Ako framework to start with, Alex found the Porirua East principals involved recognise the value of early learning and have a genuine desire to connect and learn. The sectors use different language, but there is a commitment to inclusiveness Alex says.
However, getting involved was a challenge as there was no money to support the involvement of the early childhood sector. Alex has to be employed in the primary sector to get paid for her Kāhui Ako work two days a week, as that was the only way it could happen.
Porirua East has a high proportion of students with a Pacific background, and group learning suits the culture and values of students. One initiative is known a DMIC maths, which is about developing an inquiry model of maths, based on a United States intervention and developed here by two academics of Cook Island heritage.
Alex encourages other early childhood teachers to engage with Kāhui Ako, both to increase their own understanding and relationships and to better support children. She hopes by taking a leadership role in Kāhui Ako to open the door for other early childhood teachers to get involved.
The Life Of An Itinerant Reliever
Sandra Faulkner has been enjoying working as an Itinerant Reliever, after two years of casual relieving for Whānau Manaaki Kindergartens. Sandra is one of ten itinerant relievers recently appointed for the winter terms.
She chose relieving as a choice after working for a community based early learning service that had to close. Sandra wanted to see what kindergarten teaching was like, and to have a look at the different services on offer. Also, after 20 years as a teacher, she was ready for a break from some of the responsibilities that go with a permanent teaching job.
She is committed to community-based services and chose not to work for an agency that involves profit-oriented centres.
Sandra says as an Itinerant Reliever she gets a higher pay scale, whereas day-to-day relievers’ pay is capped at step six of the Kindergarten Collective Agreement. The position also means guaranteed hours, while casual relievers can be offered many short days.
Sandra recommends relieving in general. “I have seen many different centres, and every centre has been fantastic although they have had different styles.”
She says as an Itinerant, she is prepared to travel further to where the Association might need her to be. “You do need to be flexible and organised, and be prepared to travel at short notice.”
Sandra says because every kindergarten is different, you do need sensitivity to adapt to suit the style of the kindergarten.
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