It is hard to believe but we have made it to the end of a busy, eventful and challenging year. We have also come to the end of our COI research contract and it is all over - bar the completion of the final report. We have until February to finish our 11 chapters and after the holidays will be back into it with a vengeance to get it ready for publication on the Ministry of Education website in early 2009.
It has been just the most fantastic experience and we have all enjoyed it immensely. Our research has highlighted how significant relationships are in the transition process and our newest project, with buddies from school visiting and making friends with kindergarten children, just reinforced this finding.
A relieving teacher once commented that we are the only kindergarten she knows where the teachers go on holiday together - and go 'on holiday' we have, often, as we attend and present at conferences. These have been working 'holidays' but have meant that we have met and talked with teachers and these discussions have also contributed to the research. It has been an absolute privilege and delight.
As the contract has ended we have had to say goodbye to our COI reliever, Avis. She joined us at Ambury Farm for our end of year family celebration barbecue, which gave us the opportunity to thank her formally for her contribution to the research projects. By being there and releasing us to research, write, visit school she has made the process easier without massive disruption to the children's programme at kindergarten. The barbecue was a very successful and enjoyable way to see out the kindergarten year and to thank those that have made a difference in our lives. Those that managed the fundraising, the gardens and the working bees, the little extras that are needed to keep the kindergarten tidy, inviting, interesting and well resourced. We say thankyou to you all.
We would like to say thankyou also to all that have been involved in our COI project, especially the teachers - at our local school, over New Zealand and internationally who all participated, talked about their work and made us feel welcome.
Have a very Merry Xmas and a well earned rest and all the very best for 2009.
Carol, Pat, Jemma, Avis and Ingrid.