Whiringa-ā-rangi / Noema 2020
Wednesday 11th November 2020
Special Character Talk – ALL WELCOME
Wednesday 18th November, after drop-off in Spring Rose Kindergarten
Attending a Special Character Talk is one of the steps towards establishing Special Character Preference, a prerequisite for families wanting to enrol their tamariki at the Tauranga Waldorf School. However, the talk is suitable for all whanau wanting to learn more about the school years. Please also feel invited if you are caring for a young kindergarten child and are curious about what to expect, should you continue with Waldorf Education. All school parents who would like a refresher are warmly encouraged to come along. And of course, please do join us if you are a grandparent, a new addition to a blended family or in any other way involved in a child’s homelife.
Mary T-J & Dominique Adcock
Intermediate Years Talk – Invitation for Class 4 & 5 parents
Tuesday 24th November in the Whare, 6.45pm for a 7pm start
You are warmly invited to a talk about the Intermediate Years (Classes 6 & 7) on Tuesday 24th November in the Whare, 6.45pm for a 7pm start.
This talk gives an overview of what our Tauranga Waldorf School and curriculum offers in the Intermediate Years. If you are looking at options for these years, do come and see what goes on here so you can make the best choice for your child.
The College of Teachers
Intermediate Years Play
Te Arakura Hikoi
After the stunning Micheal Spring Festival with which we ushered out Term 3, the last quarter of 2020 is upon us and steaming towards a close.
And the pace was on from the first moments of Term 4. By 9.15 on the very first day, the children who will form Class one in 2021 were on their way – out the blue kindergarten gate one last time and dressed for serious business.
First they proceeded through the cowshed gate to be greeted, welcomed and just as quickly farewelled by a sweetly singing sea of sunflowers. Class one were particularly delighted to see little ones they had shared a kindergarten with just a year ago.
Next was the formal school welcome. As the Te Arakura children rounded the corner of the junior classrooms the call went up and the waiata began. This is of course not a matter of manuhiri and tangata whenua but the older children reinforcing the idea of whanau and hikoi.
The hikoi wended its way up the ring road on the side of the field and just as suddenly it was time for parents to watch their children take the next big step forward in their learning journey. Our Class 7 students offered a big kia ora koutou singing them through with our school song.
Leading the Te Arakura experience again this year will be Suzanne Allen who as the longest serving staff member in the school needs no introduction. She tells us the group is settling in to their new home and are thoroughly enjoying discovering all the marvellous play possibilities and all the magic nooks and crannies that make up the child’s paradise that is our farm and bush classroom program.
A short history of All Hallows Tide
Festivals come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are a huge part of our school and kindergarten culture. Some festivals celebrate seasons. Those ones tend to be pretty easy for people to grasp and can generally – god and weather willing – be accessed by the whole community, because Spring is more than a day and rescheduling is therefore possible. Other festivals have a very different nature and are designed for children only, sometimes even selected cohorts of children, only. Some are a mixture and some are a surprise – which you only find out about towards the end of the learning journey.
All of our festivals develop and change over time, but it’s never a wasted effort to go back over what they are actually trying to offer our kids. And that is very true of our very latest festival, All Hallows tide – which can be a bit of a hard one to grasp.
What has been, for the last about five years anyway, our annual All Hallows Ceilidh, arose out of shared teacher and parent worry about Halloween fever and the mounting pressure to have children involved in excess, unmeaningful sugar consumption via trick or treating. Our festival group, bless them, responded with the idea of offering an alternative All Hallows festival experience.
Halloween, as it has come to be known is the first of the triduum, or three days which make up the Hallowmas Season. All Hallows Eve – that’s how it used to be known – is thought to be a time when the division between the spirit world and the physical/material world becomes very thin. Historically therefore, it was a time when communities needed to come together and undertake various activities (including sometimes offering elaborate sacrifices) to ensure that any randomly unhappy or mischievous souls stayed where they ought, and did not arrive back on earth to go messing with the crops, the cattle and other peoples wives.
When the Festival group thought about how we could provide an All Hallows Eve experience that wasn’t a ghoulish parody and/or a crazy sugar rush, they settled on a ceilidh. The reasoning? Well, a ceilidh brings the children together to dance as a community and when you dance you hold hands, and in the circle you are together, as one. Anyone who’s ever had a crack at folk dancing knows it’s impossible to stay unhappy when you dance, and the mad merriment and collegiality that always ensues, obviously ensures that the chances of unsavoury spirits getting a foothold – should the circle break – is well taken care of!
Because the intention is always to offer a meaningful festival experience though, one that the children can come to understand over time and not just a hoe – down for the sake of it, a Ceilidh on its own could not ever be the whole All Hallows deal. Another step is needed to incorporate the other all – important aspect of the full All Hallows tide Season – and that is the acknowledgment of those who have gone before and/or passed.
So, the day after the ceilidh, a second ceremonial event is always held. This time, once again in individual classes, the children come to the Whare to create a School Remembrance Tree, naming people, pets or any folk either no longer or not currently with them that they want to specially hold in memory.
Festivals constantly evolve and change and our All Hallows Tide celebrations – which started out with quite a bang in the first years only to fizzle subsequently – is no exception. A serious dwindling in participation over recent years suggested the festival was perhaps not well valued by parents? Perhaps it was just not understood by some? Or even – and this seems likely too- life was just too hard to add this extra thing to already over- busy schedules?
In any case, this year we made a conscious choice, despite some quite complex timing and personnel issues, to retain the festival. And we especially decided that the mindful commemoration with which our Hallowmas season builds to and finishes with, is far too important a spiritual experience to be just offered to, or reserved for children whose parents choose or are able to choose to manage it logistically.
We wanted it to be for all children and so, for these reasons and more, we decided to hold both during school time this year.
As most of you know though, we reckoned without the threatening rainstorms which our sound system could not withstand, on Friday. Strike 2 was the fact that our dancing floor was already sodden as a result of a lawn mowing contractor’s failure to show up. Two half-size ceilidhs were therefore held in the whare instead, to round out our All Hallows eve event and prepare the ground for our special Remembrance festival on Monday – sans audience except those who failed to receive or read the App notification.
Our best efforts, as it turns out, disappointed some. Of course all the melancholics’ hearts were bound to break, but some other little ones, who at this early stage probably think of the ceilidh as a sort of a concert where they perform for and with their parents, were quite sad too. On the other hand, many older children told us they rather liked the change and a surprising number told us it was the first one they had ever been to! That last result was precisely the one we were hoping for all along, and, can I say, is one which makes everything worthwhile for we teachers, ALL the sacrifices, all the disappointments, all the criticism and failures, notwithstanding.
Just as with this year, future festivals in our school will depend on a number of factors. And weather is just one of them. In the circumstances we faced last Friday, in this very, very difficult year, I feel chuffed that our children (even the disappointed little ones who later cried) got to carry the spirit of All Hallowstide with them into the weekend. And round it out on Monday with remembrance. Not the perfect festival but a complete one. Thanks for bearing with us to achieve that, and better luck next year!
P.S. For those of you who were disappointed not to see your children dance or in fact to dance yourselves – would you think about setting up a ceilidh of your own one fine Friday afternoon and having a wee jig together during a market? We have all it takes, if you’re interested.
Kia Ora Kindergarten Whanau,
We are still working on finding a day the King and the Queen are able to come to a picnic with us. Once the Royal staff have confirmed, and the weather forecast looks promising, we will let you know to get your best garden party dresses and outfits ready.
In the meantime, please do come along to the Parent Evening on Tuesday, November 17th. Hopefully everyone is able to attend and to meet the fellow parents of the newly formed classes. Please meet in your respective classes at 6pm for a brief housekeeping chat. We would give you a peek into kindergarten life and the season to come. Those who would like to stay for a more casual evening and/or some crafting, the teachers are preparing a few little crafting workshops for you with the festive season in mind. You will be able to choose the craft that interests you the most across the classrooms.
Early next year, we will be organising a working bee to cut some firewood. At this point I would like to hear from those of you who are keen to bring along their chainsaws, a wheelbarrow or just their muscles and spend a few hours on a Saturday morning, filling up our woodshed. We can then find a date that suits the crew.
Nga mihi nui
For the Rose Ring Kindergartens
From the Board of Trustees – Health & Safety Procedures and Proposed Speed Limit Changes
Perhaps not the most exciting thing to mention, but the Board recently signed off a whole bunch of Health and Safety procedures updated by Michael and Robyn. Why is this news worthy?
Well, this is very important for our school as we place so high a value on outdoor learning (Te Arakura, outdoor classroom, building projects etc) as well as camps where age-appropriate opportunities for experiencing risk are provided. From the “back to basics camping” in Class 4, Olympics in Class 5, tramping/water experiences in Class 6 and culminating in the “Odyssey” in Class 7 that involves the students planning and executing part of the camp on their own, our school is pretty special and unique in the opportunities we provide. Especially this year when our neighbouring schools have cancelled theirs.
We are incredibly lucky to have staff highly qualified to deliver these camps – Robyn and Michael are both specialists in outdoor education training – and that the school sees camps as a wonderful opportunity for the children to experience and test their comfort levels, master physical challenges and build team and leadership skills.
As the physical environment can be unpredictable and always contains an element of risk, it’s reassuring to know the school has the highest levels of health and safety procedures in place. The bad news is that this means more paperwork for staff with increased risk assessments, but the good news is our children get to have experiences that they will grow from and will cherish for life. Thank you, Michael, Robyn and teachers!
News from Travel Safe
On another note, we have been informed that Welcome Bay Road is under review to lower the 60km/hr sections to 50km/hr. This was highlighted as an area of concern by many of you (and Welcome Bay School). If you would like to make a submission on this, please please do!
All the information you will need, consultations document, maps and submission forms are available on the TCC website www.tauranga.govt.nz/speedlimits
We continue to work on improving our own traffic flows and parking and are using your feedback to do this, we really appreciate your continued patience and understanding in this, thank you.
Lisa Hickling for the Board of Trustees
From the Office – Planning for 2021 in full swing
…. We are in such a lucky position to have a great relationship with our proprietors the WST. I wholeheartedly believe that all trustees and founders have the success and prosperity of the Tauranga Waldorf School at the centre of their governance and decision making. They have supported all staff during the troublesome start of Covid-19 with steady reassurance and presence, they have allowed maintenance and upgrade works to happen outside the budget, taking every possible effort to keep all children and the community safe.
At this time of the year we traditionally work on the budget and plans for 2021 to present to the WST before the end of the year. This time more than ever, we need you to please give us your best forecast of intentions for 2021, so we in return can develop a plan of what can be offered to our children and community over the next 12 months and longer.
I am very thankful to the 139 families/caregivers that have sent their pledge forms to date and kindly ask the remaining 34 to please return theirs with haste. If you have any questions get in touch, I am happy to discuss possibilities and answer any questions you may have. Please also note that by returning the pledge form you let us know the intention of your child returning next year. We have over 100 families waiting for an opening in any of the classes and we wish to treat them fairly by offering spaces coming up vacant.
Thank you all for your ongoing support.
Finances firstname.lastname@example.org 07 544 2452
Lions raffle 2020 in a new way
Have you been missing the Welcome Bay Lions Raffle tickets sent home to you this year? We are trialling a new way to keep supporting the local charity with which our school has a longstanding relationship.
Last weekend we sent out a link to sign up to purchase tickets yourselves – and share the opportunity with your social channels. This year there is no need to go from door to door to sell the tickets. Anyone wanting to purchase a ticket or booklet simply has to fill the online form and do a bank transfer. Here in the office we will then do the rest and send you the numbers of your tickets.
Thank you all for your support and for sharing the link. Please remember the last day to receive the payment is Thursday 3rd December 12pm.
Last year the BOT and management embarked on a communications review. One of the outcomes has been to improve the ways and means at hand to keep communication flowing easily and timely.
To help us achieve this goal we have migrated our data to a more sophisticated system earlier in the year. As you can imagine this needs upskilling for all staff, which can be a big ask on teachers holding a very big job already. We further have upgraded the student management system use – and as part of that a change of their server has led to you receiving emails from a ‘noreply’ address last weekend.
It took until Monday for the issue to be fixed and has made me realise that many of you have very good Spam detecting software installed!
The email I sent out last Sunday night contained important information – but for a number of caregivers it was sent straight to the spam folder.
I am sorry for the unnecessary stress this may have caused to you.
We will continue to improve systems and skills and hope there won’t be any major glitches in the future.
From the School Grounds & Gardens
We need your help to stir the Spring Biodynamic 500 preparation. We would stir for an hour then spread the 500 over the school grounds. 500 works with the water forces to build up the soil life.
This is a great social community activity taking turns to keep the 500 preparation whirling in a vortex to enliven both ourselves and the soil, gardens and grounds.
When: Friday 27th November @ the School Market
Time: stir from 3pm-4pm, then spread for half an hour.
Bring: a bucket to take some 500 home for your garden, if you help.
Children are welcome, please all come to help and learn.
KEY DATES TERM 4
- Tuesday 17th November – Kindergarten Parent Evening @ 6pm.
- Wednesday 18th November – Special Character Talk ALL WELCOME, 9am-10pm in Spring Rose.
- Wednesday 18th November – Kindergarten Information Afternoon @ 3.15pm.
- Tuesday 24th November – Intermediate Years Talk, 6.45pm for a 7pm start.
- Thursday 26th November – Te Arakura Parent Evening @ 6pm.
- Monday 14th December – Class 7 Rose Graduation @ 1.30pm. If the weather is good it will be held in the Amphitheatre and all school parents are welcome. If it is wet it will be held in the Whare and ONLY the parents of Class 7 will attend. You will be notified on the app between 10am and 11am on the day of the final decision. All children are to wear white.
- Wednesday 16th December – School Sheperd’s Play, further details to come.
- Wednesday 16th December – Kindergarten Puppet Play, please be seated by 10.25am for a 10.30am start and allow for an hour for the play and the get together in your classrooms.
- Wednesday 16th December – Last day of Term 4 – School finishes @ 1pm, Kindergartens operate as usual till 3pm, Oscar Programme is closed in the afternoon.
- 17th-18th-21st-22nd-23rd December – Rambling Rose Kindergarten, 9am – 3pm, drop-off and pick-up at Micheal Hut.
2021 TERM DATES
- Rambling Rose Kindergarten, 9am-3pm from 11th January right through the first day of term 1
- TERM 1: Wednesday 3rd February – Friday 16th April
- TERM 2: Monday 3rd May – Friday 9th July
- TERM 3: Monday 26th July – Friday 1st October
- TERM 4: Monday 18th October – Wednesday 15th December