Mahuru / Hepetema 2020
Wednesday 23rd September 2020
Last Minute Reminders for LAST DAY OF TERM – Friday 25th September
School Michael Spring Festival – the short version
For school children and their parents (babies and toddlers welcome) please just be mindful that a crying baby or a grizzly toddler makes it very hard for everybody to hear the festival so we ask that you be very conscious of this.
Bring a picnic banket
Park at Utopia Heights if you can – back field and padocks will provide the overflow parking.
Be well settled in the amphitheatre by 11.45 for a 12 noon start.
After the story is told the children will go back to the classes and the community (with Class 7) will enjoy the Michaelic Verse together.
After that we will need 6-8 people to help us take the maypole to the back field and people can gradually move up their too to enjoy a picnic that you’ve brought with you or patronise the class 4 and 5 and the Michael Spring Market food stalls.
If something terrible happens with the weather we will make a call on Thursday, around lunchtime.
The Festival Group
Kindergarten Spring Festival as per invite from teachers
If you have ONLY pre-school children parking will be available from 9am on the lower driveway. If you have also school children please park at the top field as per instructions above.
Puppet Play 9.30am in Summer Rose
10.00am in Autumn Rose
10.30am in Spring Rose
The Cowshed is open for parents waiting between plays or for the School Michael Spring Festival.
Dominique and the Kindergartens Teachers
From the School
Titiro Whakamua – Looking forward
As I sit to write this, with Alert Level 1 confirmed, we’re galloping towards the end of Term 3 and a full Michael Spring Festival scheduled for this Friday – do read the notices, that follow outlining the support we’d love from you, to make the most of the school and kindergarten events.
For those new to it, and for those who like a little background, the school’s Michael Spring celebration is a pageant style rendition of the story of a chap called St Michael who faced, fought and eventually overcame a very large dragon. The story tells of human experience on many levels. It is a story of courage – the courage it takes to face both personal and public demons in order to break through to what is true and what is good. But it is also a story of our interdependency as humans, from the elemental beings of the underground through to the angelic beings of the cosmos.
With the efforts of every class needed to tell this epic, the Michael Spring Pageant is for my money the festival that showcases most poignantly the Waldorf journey. From the little class one gnomes whose feet and hands rarely work together despite their best efforts, to noble class 7 angelic beings – a stretch for any imagination – and many critical and colourful roles in between, every single body is needed and what every single body does, counts.
Over time the children come to understand this and it begins to show in the interest the children have in who will be St Michael? In how well the maypole goes? Whether the dragon manages to stay upright. To give a little context here, one year the dragon inadvertently slithered to a premature death much to the villagers initial dismay until – with incredible presence of mind for villagers who are only 10 – they leapt into the fray and saved the spectacle (and story flow) by miming a truly harrowing amount of unscripted and not entirely warranted, violent stabbing motions. It will long be remembered.
One thing is for certain – while every Spring festival on the surface looks pretty much the same for we adults, for the children every year is a fresh challenge for body, mind and soul.
For me, this year, the thought of our beautiful Michael Spring Festival, followed by a community picnic combined with the specially themed Michael Spring Market on the back field feels like the most wonderful way to celebrate the end of winter, the end of Alert level 2 and hopefully, hopefully, brighter times to come.
Te tiro atu to kanohi ki tairawhiti ana tera whiti te ra kite ataata ka hinga ke muri kia koe.
Te Wiki o te reo Maori, started out with a bang last week with school-wide participation in the Te Wa Tuku Reo Maori at noon on Monday. Working within the national Te Wa framework we tried to cover off all dimensions whakarongo (listen) ako (learn) panui (read) takaro (play) as well as korero (speak).
Class 7 introduced and taught the reo version of the national anthem E Ihowa to Class 1 who also enjoyed their efforts with a te reo reader. Across the school we saw examples of takaro (play) as well as korero (conversation) and as some really beautiful art and design work as well. A significant feature was the senior kapa haka’s (concert party or chorale) daily practice schedule, preparing to welcome our newest school entry cohort during the Te Arakura Hikoi scheduled for the first day of Term 4. Here again we saw ako in action with the older children leading Class 4 in learning Tauranga Moana the waiato a ringa (action song) as well as other repertoire throughout the week.
Above all, Te wiki o Te Reo Maori was an opportunity for all of to renew our commitment to the kaupapa of te reo Maori as taonga. And to demonstrate this by pushing ourselves over the week to kia hui ake te ako ka korero ai (learn more, as well as use what you know). In that vein, parents of next year’s class one experienced a tautoko whakatau for Suzanne, the kaiko who will lead Te Arakura transition-to-school program again this year at their afternoon class meeting. And these future school children were also done proud with a He wa whakapono ceremony in our Thursday evening College meeting.
I’ve been thrilled to watch our te reo capacity as teachers slowly grow in recent years and get a bigger boost too in 2020 through weekly te reo classes with several individual teachers taking on addition reo intensives as well, in the last 6 months. These have all fed straight back in to the classrooms, working with the kaupapa that language is not so much taught as caught; and that the more every one of us adults grow in our relationship to and use of te reo, on the daily, the more and the more easily, the children will acquire it and use it.
Those of you who’ve got on board with our weekly Korero Corner parent challenge are doing something very important towards this goal of creating a growth environment for te reo in our community and if this horse has bolted, remember it’s not too late to start supporting us. There is nothing guaranteed to support tamariki learning development more, than a home/ school partnership that is aligned in its purpose. And there are so many amazing new resources coming out to support us all in a te reo journey!
If the korero corner hasn’t worked for you (and remember we all have different learning styles and strengths) would you consider downloading the new Korerorero app, designed through Aut? Or would you follow Everyday Maori, on Instagram and Facebook? It’s wonderful to have small chunks of grammar and syntax explained in a causal low stakes forum. These apps are all free, easy to use and can only help us collectively make good on our shared aspiration for our tamariki. Hikina te manuka. We urge you to take up the challenge.
Kia kaha o te reo maori.
We are looking forward to be having you coming onto the grounds this week and to help us in the gardens. A lot of work has already been going on in the wilderness, to get more light into the area so that the new plants can thrive. The big heap of branches that resulted provided days of focused work, cutting them into firewood, of learning to use the saw, of growing muscles and stamina, of not giving up and of waiting for a turn.
Spring is in the air and like the gardens, the tamariki seem to be growing faster at this time of the year! The older ones are busy sharing the excitement of wriggly teeth, while the younger ones at Kotahi are having playdates over at the bigger kindergartens. Behind the scenes we are preparing for the next big transition, due at beginning of term 4.
In the classrooms though, the children are playing solidly, engaged as usual. The upcoming changes are not at the forefront for them and this is very much your work and to your credit. We are so grateful for the parent community’s support in providing all tamariki with a space that is free from too much information at this early stage. It means they are able to be fully engaged in kindergarten life and their relationships. We heartfully thank you for keeping your own excitement at bay. I definitely can say that I myself sometimes have to bite my tongue, as not to mention Te Arakura in earshot of our six year olds.
Te Wiki o Te Reo was a timely reminder for us to keep increasing our use of Te Reo in all areas of Rose Ring Kindergartens. Some children are very quick at picking up new words or waiata. Some take a little longer and some are making clear distinctions in which environment they are using Te Reo (or another language they might be speaking).
However just last week, when the Hearing and Vison technicians visited to test our 4 year olds, both nurses were stopped in their tracks, by an answer to a question being delivered in te reo. They looked at each other and checked with the young boy to see if they heard right. They had indeed, and we had a proud moment!
One of the highlights of term 3 is the weekend playdates arranged ‘over the fence ‘ at school for all tamariki turning 6 the following year, with the school principal Mary. These consist of the children playing some simple games and completing a range of tasks. The word game a favourite and an activity that allows little ones to show what they have discovered about how words work , what they mean, how they can be different and how they fit together into terms of grammar and syntax. It starts simply and gradually become more complex and goes like this.
Q I sit on a chair I sleep on a A bed, bunk, couch, futon.
Q I eat with a spoon I cut with a A knife
Because Waldorf kids experience a word rich environment reinforced with story- telling though, their answers are often original and /or sensational. Here are a sample of this year’s treasures.
Q A red light says stop . A green light says A YESSSSSS!
Q A river is deep . A pond is A Well medium deep, obviously
Q Vinegar is bitter sugar is A Tasty
Q John is a boy . Mary is a A Person
A Wife ( Untrue as it turns out)
Q A young boy runs and old man A Strolls
A Drives! (And my personal favourite)
This term a number of families found themselves in challenging times and have received the support of the community through meals, carpooling, helping hands and kind words.
Nga mihi nui! I feel proud.
For the Rose Ring Kindergartens
From Sandra Landolt
Kia Ora. My name is Sandra Landolt and I am pleased to be relief teaching in your child’s class.
I moved with my family from Brisbane to Tauranga at the beginning of the year and I am a mom to my eight year old boy and my eleven year old daughter. After finishing my Master in Fine Arts in Sydney, I worked as a freelance artist for the State Library in Brisbane.
In 2016 I graduated with a Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood and since then I have been teaching in primary schools and in a Montessori kindergarten in Brisbane.
I am very passionate about the arts, sewing and making objects and I love spending time with my family outdoors, hiking and exploring our new home.
I am excited to be involved in your child’s kindergarten journey and I am looking forward to getting to know you and your children.
From the Board of Trustees – Early Survey Results – What you said!
Thank you so much to those of you who completed the recent survey, we received 134 responses meaning a return rate of 45% which, in the survey world is not too shabby! Your feedback is very much appreciated.
A bit of background… COVID-19 was the trigger to develop a new drop-off/pick-up system but it also provided a very timely opportunity to help begin to address some longer standing parking-related issues we knew we had to deal with, that you may or may not be familiar with:
- We are zoned for a maximum of 115 carparks on site when we actually have more than 200 cars on site daily
- A historic agreement with our neighbours to (only temporarily) use the shared right of way (between the school entrance and kindy) for parking, based on a proviso that the school would eventually develop further up the site and that alternative parking arrangements would therefore be made.
- Ongoing and increasing safety issues for children and a desire to encourage active forms of transport
We received such an enormous amount of feedback we are still digesting it but for sure there is specific feedback which we can forward to TCC for consideration to make the surrounding streets safer. There is also feedback we can share with the traffic analyst to improve drop/off pick up and feedback we can consider moving forward to enhance our community… here are some highlights.
In relation to travel:
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, car was the most common means of transporting children to and from school (75%) with distance from school being cited as the key reason (86%) parents drove to and from school.
- 45% of parents said they would definitely consider carpooling, 23% would maybe, a fifth would not. For those that weren’t already carpooling, the main issues were logistics, car seat safety concerns, car size, and organisational issues with after school activities and families utilising the OSCAR programme.
- Of those close enough to consider active transport to school (50% of respondents), the lack of safe crossings en route to school are fundamentally the key barrier to parents choosing an active transport option for their child(ren). Two thirds of the suggestions for improvement were related to increased safety for road crossing/pedestrians in their response to this question, e.g, safe crossing options near the school, across Waikite Road, and again near the Welcome Bay field/toilets area. The next most common suggestion was a reduction in the speed outside the school (23%). A safe footpath/cycle track (14%), and a buddy and/or walking school bus systems (9%) were also suggested.
Drop off/pick up
We found out over two-thirds of you use the drop off and pick up system all or most of the time, the rest used the park and walk option. A large number of comments noted logistical benefits (e.g. better use of parking). Several difficulties were also raised with the system, these being largely logistical in nature (small turning circle, pinch points etc). We will feed these back to the parking analyst to help refine the system. Term 4 will help alleviate some of the kindy-related congestion when some 30 Te Arakura parents will park on the field to drop-off and pick up.
And just a reminder! You can park at the top of the hill and walk your children down to school in the mornings and in the afternoons get them to come and meet you on the back field. And do remember to please contact Michael if you are experiencing any parking- related issues or have any special needs – more than happy to keep accommodating these.
Gains and losses
An equal number of comments were received in relation to gains (120) and losses (121) relating to the new system. Some felt the benefits outweighed the losses and some felt they did not.
- 62 comments were related to the system being more efficient, easier/quicker. 36 comments spoke to it being better for children (less stressed, more independent, smoother transitions). and 13 commented time was a gain. 7 comments reported no gains.
- Many people spoke of the loss of connection (to other parents (29), in general (18) and to teachers (15)) and were the things missed the most. The lack of spontaneous interaction and casual chats between parents was commented on 21 times. “No losses” was reported 15 times while 16 comments related to the preferred method of intentional interaction.
How do we build intentional community?
How do we support new families? How can parents meet their needs to connect with other parents? How do we retain – or build – a sense of community that centres on our common purpose of coming together to support our children’s Waldorf learning journey?
You made quite a number of suggestions! the vast majority of comments (29) suggested continuing to build the Friday Market (now run by parents). Other suggestions were: Building more parent/family interaction time before/after events and festivals, structured time for class catch ups, greater role of PL in organisation class social events, and a school café/coffee cart (run by parents).
Other suggestions included: more parent evenings/mornings and more parent education opportunities (at different times), a buddy system for new families and having some combination of old/new system that would provide for more spontaneous interaction.
Once again, thank you so much for responding to the survey and in your continued enthusiasm and cooperation as we continue to work on this!
Lisa Hickling for the Board of Trustees
From the Waldorf Schools Trust – PLEDGE TIME AGAIN
Kia ora e te whanau,
Planning for 2021 has already started and so it is that time again when we ask our community to think with us about their possibilities to support the Special Character of our school in the year ahead.
During the approaching holidays we will send out a pack for you containing an overview of your valued contributions received so far in 2020 as well as the pledge form for 2021.
By returning the pledge form you confirm that your child/ren intend to return next year. We have a big number of families on the waiting list for all classes, so please if you plan any changes let us know in time.
We understand it is a big ask in these uncertain times and perhaps just because of the times being so uncertain, it is even more important that we have an indication of your willingness and commitment to support the WST with pledge donations in 2021.
Receiving your pledge form allows us to plan what services, programs and learning opportunities we can offer the children in the year ahead. The pledge forms will be required back to the office by the 20th of October please. Thank you on behalf of all the children of the school and kindergarten, for cooperating with these time frames.
School Fair & Open Day Postponed till Sunday 21st March 2021
This week the Class 2 Fair Organising Team made the decision to postpone the Fair to Sunday 21st March 2021.
Moving the annual Fair date away from the busy Term 4 period is an idea that has been raised in the past and the suggestion re-emerged this year, due to the uncertainty created by Covid-19.
The recommendation to move the date received strong support from Class 2 parents, the Waldorf Schools Trust (the WST – proprietor’s Trust), the Board of Trustees and school management. “It just makes sense” was the common viewpoint.
March 21st was chosen as it’s near the end of Term 1 and just prior to the Easter break and school holidays. Of course, we’re very likely to still have Covid-19 uncertainty in March, and the organising team will consider and respond to the situation at the time.
This new timing brings with it an opportunity to re-think some of our stalls due to different weather (i.e. more shade needed) and different produce available (i.e. no tangelos). If you would like to put forward ideas or considerations for this new Fair timing, please do so via this short questionnaire: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3C5VKQX
We warmly request that we all stay committed to the crafts and contributions and various roles that we’ve all signed up for, unless the timing means it really is no longer possible for some people (e.g. some Class 7 families leaving this year). This includes returning any crafts by the end of this week please.
Further information will be communicated once the team processes the impact of the date change, but if you do have any specific queries, please contact your class fair coordinator, the relevant class 2 parent or myself.
Thank you for your ongoing support towards our next wonderful Fair.
Thank you for your ongoing support towards our next wonderful Fair.
- Friday 25th September – Last day of Term 3 – Michael Spring Festival. School finishes @ 1pm, Kindergartens operate as usual till 3pm, Oscar Programme is closed in the afternoon.
- Rambling Rose Kindergarten operates during the school term break – Mon 28th Sept to Fri 9th Oct / 9am-3pm.
- Monday 12th October – School TERM 4 starts, Te Arakura Hikoi, Kindergartens and Oscar Programme all return.
- Tuesday 13th October – Rosebud Playgroup returns – 9am to 12pm.
- Friday 23rd October – Teacher Only Day, Rambling Rose Kindergarten operates 9am to 3pm – drop off & pick up at Micheal Hut.
- Monday 26th October – Labour Day – School, Kindergartens and Oscar Programme are closed.
- Friday 30th October – Ceilidh for School children 2pm-3pm
- Friday 30th October – Royal Garden Party for Kindergarten children, 5pm-6pm
- Friday 30th October – Te Arakura Pizza Night, 5pm-6pm
- Monday 9th November – Teacher Only Day, Rambling Rose Kindergarten operates 9am to 3pm – drop off & pick up at Micheal Hut.
- Wednesday 18th November – Kindergarten Information Afternoon @ 3.15pm.
- Tuesday 15th December – Sheperd’s Play, further details to come.
- Wednesday 16th December – Last day of Term 4 – School finishes @ 1pm, Kindergartens operate as usual till 3pm, Oscar Programme is closed in the afternoon.
- TERM DATES FOR 2021 coming soon.