Kiaora te whanau,
Itâ€™s hard to believe that we are embarking on week 8 already. For me personally – and maybe for my colleagues too – I am wondering how we got here so quickly and how I am going to do everything I need to do in the next 3 weeks!
Last week we celebrated the amazing performance of our kapahaka group, lead by Matua Anton, at the Matariki celebration at Clearview Primary School. Although I wasnâ€™t able to attend, it was fabulous to see a peek of how great our students were with videos posted on Facebook. Congratulations one and all for a stunning performance.
That same evening the Junior school teachers were extremely privileged to have a long-time researcher and educator Barbara Brann from Queensland Australia take a workshop at our school. Gill Lowe organised this for 30 local teachers to attend. As Emily Langridge wrote about in last weekâ€™s newsletter, the junior school teachers have been inquiring into the benefits of teaching and learning through play and how we can intentionally give our students the â€˜building blocksâ€™ they need in order to access the primary school curriculum successfully. Barbara Brannâ€™s research began with a focus on the teaching of handwriting and has developed into a comprehensive look at the importance of â€˜readinessâ€™ before launching into formal learning. We learned how to observe when a child is ready to use a pencil and paper for writing and what activities we can supply to help them become ready.
Another author (and evangelist) that I have had the privilege of meeting recently is Sharon Garlough Brown who wrote the â€œSensible Shoesâ€ series. It is no coincidence that our Living Christianly programme has been focussed on prayer and that I should get to be part of a community that is studying prayer at the moment! I have enjoyed being able to share some of my own learning and spiritual moments with our children.
One of the little gems I received that day was when Sharron said, â€œWhat comes into our mind as we think of our image of God is the most important factor in our relationship with God. She then asked us to think about our relationship with children and how this image might affect how a child sees God. Does love, grace, steadfast faithfulness and truth form our image of God? Jesus is the full reflection of God.
That following week I asked our children what they thought would happen if Jesus was in the room with them, right now. Most of them thought Jesus would tell them to be good! It was a great opportunity to remind them that Jesus would actually be really excited to see them and that He would want to hold them and give them hugs and let them know how much He loves them. Who is God to you?
On another note, this week we welcome student teachers Mrs Leone Tupou (working with Te Kakano) and Miss Meghan Robb (working with Horoeka). Leone and Meghan will be with us for two weeks this term and will be returning later in the year for four weeks. Please help them to feel welcome by meeting and greeting them when you are at school this week.