Developing and building connections between our kindergarten community and the school community is vitally important for our tamariki as they transition on for their next learning journey. I believe strong reciprocal relationships are key for transition to be successful.
“A strong relationship means building sturdy supportive foundations and committed partnerships to care for the well-being of students, staff, and the greater community. A whole child approach to education – which ensures students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged – remains a sustainable approach through the development of these strong, healthy relationships; whether it be student-teacher, school-community, or peer-to-peer relationships.” (Kristen Pekarek, 2014).
Spending the morning together created an opportunity to work together and to share knowledge with each other. Our children displayed great Rangatiratanga, showing the Whangarei Primary School children exactly what we do on our Nature Programme and clearly explained all our rules, for example we don’t pick any live leaves or branches from trees.
As Broadley and Williams state “Rangatiratanga in translation is the strength of one’s own ability to lead or become a leader. Simply translated, ‘Ranga’ (to weave), ‘tira’ (the group) and ‘tanga’ (to draw) from collective knowledge is the basis that not only develops one’s own ability but develops the ability, knowledge and wisdom of all. A true rangatira can be identified by their ability to have good intentions supported with effective actions.”
Hapaitia te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu
(Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations)
I was also impressed to see how all the children demonstrated wonderful manaakitanga towards one another. They supported each other, developed new friendships and rekindled old friendships while exploring and making discoveries together, going on bug hunts, making ephemeral art and making a bivouac (hut).
Professor Manuka Henare (2005) describes manaakitanga in this way, “manaaki tanga relates to the finer qualities of people rather than just to their material possessions. It is the principle of quality of caring, kindness, hospitality, and showing respect for others. To exhibit manaakitanga is to raise ones mana (manaaki) through generosity”.
Here are some reflections from our children about having Room 20 visit us at Mair Park;
“We made flowers from leaves and sticks and we looked for seeds.” Eva
“I know Nicholas from drama. Me and Nicholas, I showed him heaps of Rocky Mountain and we didn’t go past the sign and we went down the rock slide together.” Marcus
“We looked for lizards.” Ben
“I looked really hard for bees, bugs and spiders.” Erin
“They were teaching us their song.” Eva
Thank you to Mr Hensen and all the children from Room 20 of Whangarei Primary School for a great morning at Mair Park. It was a fantastic opportunity our kindergarten children to make connections with the school community. Also a big thank you to all the parent helpers; these outings wouldn’t be possible without your support.