Welcome to our latest update of information and stories you may be interested in...
It was great to catch up with so many of you at the end of year staff function on Friday night.
Please send any photos of the night through to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certainly on the count down now!
Nicki Cook On Leave
Nicki Cook, Relieving Coordinator, is on leave from Wednesday 28th November to Wednesday 5th December.
Teams who work with Nicki will need to organise their own relievers over this time. We will send out a list by email early next week.
We know this is a busy time so if you have any difficulties please do contact your Senior Teacher on their cell phone or call the office – someone is usually here from 7.30am. You might also want to make sure you have emergency relievers (parents from your kindergarten) who can step in if needed.
You will receive your pay as usual on Tuesday night, 18th December 2018.
The following pay that is due on Tuesday 1st January 2019 will be deposited early and be available to you on Monday night, 31st December 2018.
Please can you have your timesheets, returns and staff hour counts in before 9.00am Friday 21st December at the latest. Any received after this date will need to be processed in the pay of Tuesday 15th January 2019.
The office is open from 3rd January, however there will only be a skeleton staff as many people will be on leave, including the payroll team. Urgent queries only will be able to be responded to. If you have an urgent query about your pay please call the main office number and tell Reception you have an urgent pay query, or call Karen on 021 857 826. Otherwise, you can leave a message on the payroll number and someone will get back to you after 7th January.
The end of the year is fast approaching, and the payroll team have commenced inputting leave requests for all staff for the compulsory leave periods over for the Christmas closedown.
You may receive an email advising that your leave has been approved - please don’t be alarmed - this just enables us to get on top of the end of year rush and ensure that all pays can be processed on time over the Christmas/New Year period.
It’s that time of year when we start receiving requests related to staff gifts. Just a reminder that there is an organisation policy related to this, click here to view. Section 2 of the policy is particularly relevant, but if you have any questions please contact your Senior Teacher who will be happy to provide any additional guidance required.
End of Month Infocare Cut-Off
A reminder that tomorrow is financial month end and next week we will be working on Board and Kindergarten reports for the month of November.
As detailed in the Annual Administration Wall Planner 2018, your Infocare records for November are due to be completed on Monday 3rd December next week. This means we would like you to complete the following tasks in Infocare, up to and including Friday 30th November, as appropriate:
- Sign in sheets marked in Infocare (actual attendance)
- Fee invoices created and committed
- Staff timetables (“staff hour count”) completed
- Online sign off of your monthly roll return
- Any ratio, attendance or roll issues are communicated to the Association (please call Tania or Cathryn)
Tania or Cathryn will follow up with you next Monday if they have any questions related to your records.
Health and Safety Committee
Are you interested in health and safety? Have we got an exciting opportunity for you!
We are calling for registrations of interest from Association staff who are interested in being part of the Health & Safety Committee in 2019.
The committee oversees health and safety in the Association and meets each term.
If you are interested or would like more information, please email Lorraine.Coulston@wmkinderegartens.org.nz
Expressions of Interest will close on 10/12/2018.
Just a reminder that the Termly Hazard Checklist is completed during week 9 of each term. The checklist is downloaded from GOSH and is then completed manually.
Any hazards that are identified during this process that cannot be eliminated immediately are then entered onto your kindergartens Hazard Register using GOSH.
Once you have completed the Termly Hazard Checklist, please upload this onto GOSH using the Hazard checks form (see below) and then following the prompts.
Also week 9 of each term is the time to review your kindergarten Hazard Registers. This is an opportunity to update your Hazard Register, including deciding if the hazard still exists within the kindergarten environment, if there are any changes to the actions and approaches you are taking related to each hazard and ensure that hazards that do exist in your environment are included on the Hazard Register.
As seen below, you will see that on the bottom right hand corner of each hazard on your register (using the edit option), there is a place to add the date the hazard was reviewed and by who. All reviews will show up on the Hazard Register.
Annual Review 2019
We are coming up to the end of the term and the Senior Teachers are beginning to plan their work for term 1.
Next term we will be completing an Annual Review at your kindergarten.
This time we would like to give you a choice of 2 of the 3 areas of practice below to go through and evaluate yourselves against.
These areas are:
- Professional relationships
- Bi-cultural Practice
We suggest that each teacher individually goes through the criteria for the areas of practice that you choose and decide where the team might currently sit. Then you come back together and have some discussion about your decisions.
Be prepared to discuss your thinking. You don’t need to send this information in but need to have it available for your Senior Teacher to look at on the day of your Annual Review. Senior Teachers will be sending out Annual Review dates to their teams.
You can view the document here.
It is also available on Storypark in the Teachers Toolbox. The Plan is titled ‘Annual Review Team Assessment 2019’
It is important that all teachers read, understand and comment on the strategic plan for early childhood education either through your team or individually. You can read it here.
This plan will influence policy and practice in early childhood education in a significant way and everyone needs to be involved.
The first hui, run by the Ministry about the plan, is in Lower Hutt next week but it is already full.
The next hui will be held in Wellington and Porirua in February.
You can register for a hui about the plan here.
There’s also a survey you can take here.
Encourage your families to get involved, and stress the importance of funding 100 per cent qualified teachers to families.
At the weekend Bellevue Kindergarten celebrated their 40th birthday and in conjunction with this they had their front entrance way blessed.
Matua from Nga Hau e wha o Papararangi did the blessing and the welcome and he was supported by the kapa haka group from the marae along with other members of their community.
The kapa haka group were amazing with their singing and actions and the children made everyone so proud with their responses of waiata.
Guests of honour Greg O'Connor, local MP, Mandy Coulston, WM CEO, Bruce Collins from the foundation committee and Jean Pavitt the first head teacher to teach there all spoke. Also in attendance were Peter Gibbert, local City Councillor, several members of the foundation committee and ex teachers along with many past and present pupils and whānau members.
They were fortunate enough to have their parent Te Manu speak in te reo on their behalf.
Despite the weather a great time was had and the day went really well. Huge thank you to all who supported Bellevue Kindergarten community with this day and to those who were able to come along.
Group Planning Focuses on “Building Learning Power”
In their current group planning sessions Pikopiko Kindergarten have been focusing on "Building Learning Power".
This was influenced by their Senior Teacher, Paula Hunt, who sent out an email with the reading by Macpherson (2011) talking about building children's images of themselves as learners and the importance of the language we use with them.
The team really want to thank Paula for gifting them this reading as it has "spring boarded" an array of learning for children, whānau and teachers.
The ideas in the reading resonated with the teachers and the community and the team have already seen children role modelling the ideas and language from the article. The team have created a display to cement the ideas to whānau and make clear links between the curriculum, learning outcomes and intentional teaching.
The team also came across a reading that they thought would be helpful to other kindergartens as it shares the same ideas as building learning power and offers simple, clear parenting tips. They have received really positive feedback from parents about the resource and one parent who is an educational psychologist has taken copies for her colleagues.
You can see the article here, feel free to share it with your community.
Pasifika Learning Support Fono
Sau ta o fa’atasi- Come and we’ll go together.
Toru Fetū Kindergarten hosted an exciting and informative evening - becoming more familiar with the world of Request for Service and Referrals.
It was great to see their community of practices, whānau, teachers, Plunket, Porirua Learning Support and Child Development Services-Puketiro present and participate in talanoa group discussions. Gaining and strengthening their understanding of the world of request for service and referrals and sharing their perspectives and knowledge has deepened their understanding collectively. Empowering their responsiveness to best support and advocate for their tamariki and whānau.
The focus of the fono came about as they recognised the processes and systems of referrals was in the "land of the unknown" for both their whānau and teachers. They questioned how can they effectively support whānau about to receive or having received a diagnosis? How does each organisation share information with one another? What can the whānau expect during the request/referral process? How are Pasifika whānau supported?
Highlighted was the absence of Pasifika representatives within the world of referrals. Feedback provided reflected a dire need for Pasifika involvement within the referral system of both Ministry Education and Ministry of Health.
The government has changed the law so that teachers are now represented on the Teaching Council (formerly the Education Council, and for those with long memories, the Teachers Council). This is important as the Teaching Council has such an influence on our profession, and its decisions can have a big impact on individual teachers.
Nominations are now open for these elections. The early childhood sector gets two representatives – one a teacher, one an ECE leader. In addition there is a teacher education position, and this could also be someone from our sector.
Here’s a link to more information.
Free Play Best For Young Children, Studies Confirm
The US magazine Psychology Today has published an article showing that formal learning at a young age not only impedes academic achievement but is associated with anti-social behaviour and even crime.
The article considers studies in several countries, including Germany where a government sponsored study compared 50 play-based ECE services with 50 more academic services. Children from services that pushed academic skills were less advanced in reading and maths, and less socially and emotionally skilled by age ten. As a result, Germany changed its curriculum back to a play-based focus.
Studies in the United States have produced similar results, including one which followed children until age 23. Those who attended an early learning centre with direct instruction had more friction with others, were more likely to show emotional impairment and far more likely to have committed a crime than the group that attended a free play centre.
The author of the article, Peter Gray, considered what might have led to these dramatic long term effects. He suggests that with free play children learn to plan their own activities, to play with others and to negotiate differences, which may lead to lifelong patterns of personal responsibility and pro-social behaviour. The academic focus on achievement and getting ahead could lead to friction with others and even crime as a misguided way of getting ahead.
This article could be useful to give to parents who are interested in our curriculum approach.
Here’s a link to the story.
Hiking the Tararuas
Over the weekend of 17th and 18th November 4 teachers from Whānau Manaaki Men's Network Group embarked on a two day hike in the Tararuas, staying overnight in the Waiopehu Hutt. They had originally planned to go during the weekend of 3rd and 4th November with a group of 9 but the weather put paid to that and they had to postpone it to the 17th.
On their ascent they were pretty excited to find a puriri moth with quite a stunning shade of green, bush asparagus and plenty of other interesting natural delights, many of which were explained by the very knowledgeable botanist Joseph from Childspace.
Joe (Miramar Central) reminisced about previous tramps he had done in the area and an old shelter and hut that had both been dismantled with the hut since being rebuilt.
Archy (Berhampore) entertained the group with his stories of mountain biking through a long stretch of the American frontier.
These were all great exchanges and just highlighted and affirmed the need for a network among the group. And yes, they were all very satisfied to get to the top!!
If anyone is interested in joining or getting in touch with the network group, or would like an invite to the closed facebook group please contact Adrian at Johnsonville Full Day Kindergarten at email@example.com
All teachers welcome!
Nime Fights For A Cause
Here in the office we are very proud of Nime, one of the Assistant Drivers in the Amataga team, who fought for charity last weekend. Nime participated in the Bring Back The Biff charity fundraising event raising funds for the Mary Potter Hospice.
And she won!!! Fighting an amazing fight she outscored her opponent by miles!
Nime says it was a great experience but she wont be taking up boxing any time soon. "It was definitely a bucket list tick" she said.
Well done Nime, you rock!
End Of Year All Staff Celebration
It was a great night last Friday at the end of year all staff celebration. Lots of chatter, good food and some great dance moves!
If you took the opportunity to utilise the props and took some photos of your teams we would love to put them in the next week's korero.
You can email them through to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a few of the office teams.
This Week On Facebook
The children at Carterton Kindergarten were so excited the rain had cleared up enough for them to head outside to play.
The children experience first hand the persistence and determination of the Tuna. The team at Owhiro Bay Kindergarten highly value these dispositions for their children.
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