Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It's been a buddies morning again today, which is always very busy and noisy. The buddies come from school to play with our kindergarten children who are transitioning to Mangere Bridge School. Today after our meeting which we have at the beginning of each visit they played Scaredy cat, a popular board game and also used the clay. It is Abbotts white and was obvious where they had been by the state of the black t-shirts. This pilot project for our research has been an amazing success with children from kindergarten forming a relationship with the school children and continuing that relationship when they visit school and then transition into the new entrant room.
On a recent visit to Waterlea school with a small group we took photos for a small book about the school. When they returned those children and the teacher at kindergarten printed the book, laminated the cover and bound it and now each of these children have a copy of this great resource. It shows the teacher, new entrant room and areas of interest around the school. It has been very well read both at home and at kindergarten.
Children going to that school and others who are going elsewhere have all read it and enjoyed talking about the visit.
We were interested to hear Steve Biddulph on Close Up, TV One talking about the need for boys to have a physical outlet each day and that readiness for school is not necessarily judged on age. Our research around transition has lead us to investigate readiness from different perspectives and we have been thinking about New Zealand's very individualistic approach to transition to school.We enjoy providing challenge for our boys outside and engaging them in play that provides an outlet for all that energy. We have some who are extremely agile and strong and for us it becomes a matter of thinking about positioning equipment in the playground to challenge their abilities.
Our working bee at the weekend to tidy and garden and make our outdoor area look more attractive was not as well attended as we would like but wonder if this is because it is getting closer to Xmas or whether the 20 hours free funding has created a perception that we are fully funded and can afford to pay for services like landscaping and gardening. This is not the case and we will need to hold another to get our new garden further along.

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