Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What stories could our "Pear tree" tell??

In two years Nayland Kindergarten will be 50 years young and this has got us thinking about the history of our place.  Our beautiful pear tree that reminds us when spring has arrived, it provides shade and a resting place for children throughout the day and it provides delicious pears to share with our whanau.  Until a month ago we hadn't really realised the significance of this magnificent icon, but now we do.  This pear tree is possibly 60-70 years old and was here long before the kindergarten was built, so we began to wonder about the huge numbers of children and whanau the pear tree had seen passing by.  This also got us thinking about the land in the Stoke area and with the help of Mr Allport, who has lived in this area for most of his life, we learnt a lot of history about the land the kindergarten sits on and the surrounding areas.

We have also discovered that the pear is called "Peter Barry".
This new knowledge has inspired us to try and graft a new tree from our beautiful pear tree so that we can preserve our history and also show it the respect it so deserves.

Loose Parts are getting looser...

I love the freedom of "the theory of loose parts", it can translate right across the curriculum.  It seems to raise children and teacher's awareness of the possibilities of "things" in the whole environment.
It also changes the lens you think through about recycling, reusing and remodelling equipment to have many different uses, which hugely reduces the equipment you purchase.  The "theory of loose parts" also supports a more open ended environment where "things" have multi uses.

A child's passion for the arts

We watch and wonder as a child's passion for the arts unfolds before our eyes.  When children are afforded the time, the space and the resources to follow their passions alongside others, the destination is often unexpected.  When children are empowered to plan their own learning, travel a learning journey that is engineered and directed by them (and encouraged by teachers and peers) then the outcomes are not predetermined, but are INSPIRATIONAL!

Whanau and teachers have continued to celebrate the work displayed by this particular child and feedback has been added to the wall.