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 2 April 2020


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Nau mai ki tenei wiki Kōrero.  


Kia Ora Koutou


I hope you are doing well and this past week has revealed some positive stuff as well as the anticipated challenges. I’m enjoying the quiet of the mornings, and being in the Rāhui with my wife, my great niece, and my great, great niece. I feel very fortunate. I’m not enjoying the loss of freedom. I feel thankful that we live in a country where this is an exception and not something that’s embedded in the national culture.


This past week, our office team have been adjusting to working from home and using Zoom as a vehicle for meeting. Each team has also set up a Messenger group because with Messenger you can see if someone’s seen your post, and it’s an easy platform to use. Some of our people in the office don’t use Facebook, but they can still be part of the group. If you’re interested in knowing more for your team (or just your family and friends LOL!), email Chanelle at Chanelle.Huia-Rutten@wmkindergartens.org.nz


Storypark have also done work around video conferencing, and there’s more information about that further on in the Kōrero.


It’s great to hear that many of you have used this time to sort your email access, and upskill yourself on technology – good on you!


During this past week, we’ve continued to sort people’s pay, pay bills, sort kindergarten windows that have been left open, support teaching teams and support children and whānau.


Supporting children and whānau is a biggy and something that will probably increase over time. It’s so important that you keep connected with your kindergarten and Etu Ao families. The Senior Teachers are a really important conduit between the information you have and our ability to support families, so please keep in touch with your Senior Teacher.


Over the past week, our people have also worked with the Ministry of Education by advising them about resource packs they are creating.  We’ve worked with other kindergarten associations to get the Kindysafe web site established.  We’ve negotiated with MSD to secure additional support for whānau through Whānau Ora, and we’ve set up internal processes to enable us to support families across all of our kindergartens.


We are here to support you, and at the risk of sounding cliché, we’re in this together. We really are in this together. Take care.






As you know, we have been working with our kindergarten association colleagues to support relievers during this time of COVID-19 lockdown.


There appear to be a range of ways relievers can be financially supported depending on where you work and whether you work for more than one employer. We will be sending a message to relievers later today or tomorrow with our best advice, based on what we understand at this point in time. Please read carefully and work out which situation best describes your current situation. It will be important that you determine which situation best describes your current situation and that you pursue that option. 


The message will be sent on StaffSync and by email so please keep an eye out for it.  If you don’t receive anything by the end of Friday please let us know. 


In the pay that will come out next Tuesday night, we will be paying all relievers for the hours they were booked, up to Tuesday 7 April 2020.  This includes part-time teachers who were booked for extra hours. 


We know these are uncertain times and many of you have felt confused and worried about what you may or may not be entitled to.  We have been working hard to get some answers and clarity and will keep working for you. 


If you have questions please email karen.skett@wmkindergartens.org.nz or call her on 021 857 826.


PLD And Conference


As you will be aware all PLD, Reliever Appraisal Meetings and Regional and Head Teacher Meetings have been cancelled for Term 1 and 2.  Conference has also been cancelled.


First Aid And Child Protection

Some of you may have noticed that the expiry dates for your First Aid certification and Child Protection are fast approaching, and you may have even booked yourselves into one of the courses that has since been cancelled. 


We are working with our First Aid facilitators and will provide you with information about First Aid renewals etc. once this is confirmed.  We are also working with our Child Protection providers and will give you more information as soon as it becomes available.


So please watch this space as new updates become available – thank you.


If you have any queries please contact Hannah at hannah.toomaga@wmkindergartens.org.nz


Using Zoom For Meetings       


Some teams have expressed an interest in giving Zoom a go as a way of connecting/having meetings via the internet while we are on lockdown.  If you think this is something that your team would be interested in please follow the information provided below.  Please note you will need an IT device that has a camera and speakers and can be connected to the internet.


You can download Zoom to a laptop or computer by clicking here.  If you are going to use your phone or a tablet or iPad you will need to go to your relevant App Store and install the Zoom app from there.


Setting up a Meeting

Decide who on your team is going to "host" the meeting.  This person will need to set up a free Zoom account and then invite the other team members to the meeting.


See the plan "setting up and using Zoom for meeting over the internet" on The Teachers Toolbox on Storypark for instructions on setting up to host a meeting, and also for joining a meeting when you have been invited.  You can access those instructions here.


This blog from the Otago University has some useful videos about using Zoom.  You can check them out here.


If you have any questions at all please contact Lynette at lynette.wray@wmkindergartens.org.nz or on 029 596 3883.

Teachers Needed


There is currently a shortage of teachers and people who have been police vetted to work as carers for the children of essential service workers. This may be something you are interested in doing. If so, check out this link.  


If you have any questions about how this may affect your existing employment with us, email Karen Skett at karen.skett@wmkindergartens.org.nz .


Puppet Time


Cottle kindergarten kaiako have taken their kindergarten puppets home and are sharing their adventures with their tamariki each day on Storypark and on Facebook.


The children and their whānau are loving these posts and are sharing their own comments and stories on Storypark.  These whānau posts are helping kaiako determine what engages their community.  For example when the kaiako showed their puppet Tama picking blackberries they got photos back of Cottle's tamariki out in their gardens, and when puppet Jemimah did some cooking they got a lot of whānau posting their cooking efforts!


Great innovative mahi happening at Cottle.


The team have also created a social story about Coronavirus.  It has been shared on StoryPark for nga kaiako.  It is saved in the Teachers Toolbox in the Learning Support folder or you can check it out here.




This Week On Facebook   


There are so many great, innovative ideas on the facebook pages of our kindergartens.  This would be a great time to make sure you follow other kindergarten pages so you can see what they have been up to.







Handy Facebook Pages   


Kia Ora! We’re TeacherTalk. We create educational resources that help teachers and parents facilitate meaningful experiences for the tamariki of Aotearoa!  We’re a privately owned and operated business and a leader in this space.  We work together to create high-quality teaching resources for Aotearoa, with our tamariki and being NZ Made at the heart of everything we do. Thanks for being here!



Subtle Messaging!


A clever individual in Kamloops, Canada, took to the streets this week with a message for passing motorists!



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