This year we decided to use our kiln to make xmas gifts. Each child rolled the clay and used shapes and then decorated their shapes. Some made 1, some made twenty and then we loaded the kiln and fired them. Next each cild put the string in their decorations and wrapped them ready for xmas. It was a bit tricky at times working on these gifts as we had to keep them under wraps so that they would be a surprise!! But we did it and we hear they decorated trees not only in Mangere Bridge but all over the country as they were gifted to family members. They looked fabulous when they were done.
We are so excited - our Book "Crossing the Border" is in print and is available from NZCER Press. We celebrated with a launch on August 2nd with our kindergarten families and community as well as the wider educational community who have been so supportive through this long research process.
We would like to acknowledge the following people for their support for our book:
The Centre of Innovation project outlined in this book took place over three years and the resultant research ethos and testing of innovative ideas has become part of the culture of Mangere Bridge Kindergarten. Initially the inspiration was to create an environment for successful transitions for our children and families and the more we learnt the more possibilities we could see. We built our research on earlier learning from work with the Strengthening Education In Mangere and Otara Project (SEMO) and with Educational Leadership Project (Ltd) and are indebted to Wendy Lee for her dedication to research in early childhood education. We are also grateful to Sue Dockett and Bob Perry for their inspiring work around transition to school in Australia.
The teaching team Carol, Pat and Jemma would like to say a huge thank you to the Centre of Innovation (COI) programme which gave us the opportunity to research in depth our innovations around transition to school and to work so closely with Margaret and Sally, co-authors of this book. We have grown enormously as researchers and academics nurtured by their outstanding support. We also appreciate the friendship and collegial support of the centres of Round Three COI; Botany Downs kindergarten (especially Bronwyn, conference buddy and critical friend), Greerton Early Childhood centres, Wadestown Kindergarten and Bush Street Kindergarten, Rangiora who became our Hui buddies; and in particular Anne Meade for her dedication to children’s learning. Roskill South Kindergarten (Round one, COI) led the way for us and we are extremely grateful to Karen for supporting us in our application and on our journey.
Transition in all its forms continues to have a life of its own at Mangere Bridge kindergarten. The research has continued well beyond the initial COI project and the teaching team has recently initiated a relationship with another school, across the bridge, extending our transition relationships outside of our own community.
The school buddies have a special place in our acknowledgements as without their friendships with the kindergarten children one whole chapter would not have been possible.
Our long journey has sometimes taken our attention away from home and we would like to thank all of our families for being so supportive over this time.
Also the teaching team would like to thank the Auckland Kindergarten Association for their support; past teaching team members Kathy, Frances and Sarah; Alexandra and then Avis who so ably replaced us whenever we needed a reliever; Ann Hatherly from CORE Education; Nola Harvey from the University of Auckland for support in dissemination and the Faculty of Education Research Committee at the University of Waikato for overseeing ethical approvals. Our original administrator, Stephanie, was so enthusiastic about the idea of this journey, and our current administrator, Ingrid, continues this tradition; thank you both.
All the authors believe the strategies, philosophies, and pedagogies contained within this book are not only limited or relevant to a single transition from early childhood to primary but rather can be applied to transitions throughout education. Within the research we identified the importance and interconnectedness of relationships: relationships with the children and families, with the schools, with the local community and into the wider education community.
This book is the result of those relationships. We are all indebted to the children and families of the Mangere Bridge community who trusted us and have unstintingly contributed their enthusiasm and commitment to the project. We wish to acknowledge all those who have contributed time, energy, enthusiasm and feedback to the research, especially the teachers and community of the local schools, Mangere Bridge School and Waterlea Primary School. Warm thanks go, too, to Aline-Wendy for her contribution in writing the foreword.
Several of our projects are still in action and form an integral part of our transition partnership with teachers, children and families. We have continued the buddy project and it is now three years old. We have had fabulously positive feedback from parents and the new entrant teachers.
We are still active reporting on transition experiences and research at workshops and dissemination opportunities Our book is now in print. It is the culmination of a very long transition journey and a huge workload.
Our four research articles have been published in:
Early Childhood Folio number 13: 2009.
The second article Google "International Journal of Transitions in Childhood Vol 3 2009" and you will find it there.
The third article has been published in "Dispersing Waves: Innovation in early childhood education" 2010. A. Meade Editor. This is the final COI publication.
Another article recently published in Early Childhood Folio:
Transition portfolios: Another tool in the transition kete. Vol18 (2).
To contact us for further information you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mangere Bridge Kindergarten was a Centre of Innovation (Round Three), one of six centres chosen for this round of the Ministry of Education' s research initiative. The innovative practice chosen to research was Transition to School working with local schools to support children and families in the move to school. Mangere Bridge Kindergarten is a sessional kindergarten with 86 families. It operates under the umbrella of the Auckland Kindergarten Association. The teaching team comprises Carol, Pat and Jemma and are supported in administration by Ingrid who works in the office. We are a community based educational facility operating under the AKA charitable trust and have a supportive and involved Parent and Whanau group.