Monday, September 1, 2014

Playground Drainage Investigation

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At Manaia we have plans for developing our playground. Tamariki, kaiako and whanau have all contributed ideas to the design. But before the work gets off the ground, it has first had to go under the ground to find out the state of our drainage. This is what happened on Friday, to the children’s interest and delight. Marshall’s dad Shaun, of Manaia Excavators, came by with Aaron and Shane, two other dads of former kindergarten tamariki. They brought their truck and their little blue digger and did some investigative digging.

Tai, Max and Thomas discuss the job ahead. Max says, "He came to my house to fix the driveway - to make it nice and flat and we saw the digger ramps that go up onto the truck...And there was a bobcat and someone else drived it. ... They were just trying to flat out our driveway. .. (At the kindergarten) we have to put in some pipes that go way down to the sea."
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The children take their seats as the digger makes a neat hole in the lawn to look for the drains. 

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Aaron explains what the digger has found and what they'll do next.  
The drain is excavated. No dinosaur bones or pirate treasure, but the drainpipe is found!
  Investigation complete, the children help shovel the drain rock back in.
Harper, Oliver and Max get the job done. 

Seeing the children's interest, enthusiasm and excitement at being involved in this activity confirms the importance of real life experiences as part of early childhood curriculum and shows the appetite these competent young learners have for being involved in meaningful  activities that engage all their senses.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014



21.8.14  Our Journey to Motukiore Island.

With the aim of building on our knowledge of local sites of historical significance, as a kindergarten we planned a trip to  Motukiore Island, an island that sits at the harbour entrance to Parua Bay. We learnt that motu in te reo maori means island and kiore means rat! We discovered the island has an old Maori pa site at it's highest point and researched how early Maori tribes may have lived on the island. We researched what food may have been eaten on the island and how it could have been stored. We then acted out our theories creating stories about the island.

We learnt that Zeke's Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather was the first European settler to live and farm on the island. We discovered that Elliott Ross also had ancestors that lived there and that the island used to be called Ross Island. Grace Van Buuren's family also had a connection with the island as her ancestors were the last family to live there.

With this knowledge and lots of questions in our minds we ventured by bus to the beach at Headlands Farm Park.  After a quick snack we were able to walk at low tide out to the island. Some children raced ahead keen to get to the island, others stopped to look at sea life along the way.

Once we arrived the children were keen to climb to the top of the island and we headed up the steep hill to the top, passing sheep and lambs that Zac's dad now look after.

When we got to the top we were rewarded with an enormous view of Parua Bay with Mount Manaia and Bream Head in the background. Sally suggested we may like to sing our special Mt Manaia song to our maunga, our mountain. A special landmark in their daily lives of many of our children. Ka rawe. We then enjoyed a warm milo drink and biscuit and soaked in the beautiful view.

A number of the children then decided they would like to run, roll or slide back down the hill. Great fun!   Once back at the bottom we explored along the beach towards one of the old homesteads and found some old fencing, a cattle run and some old cattle troughs provoking more questions and thoughts.

Before we knew it, it was time to head back across to the mainland to take the bus back to kindergarten. We stopped for another brief snack and then hopped back on the bus full of tales to share with our whanau of our great day!A big thank you to everyone who made this day possible.Tau ke koutou! Sally, Anne and Becky.