Thursday, 30 March 2017

Keryn Davis Interview on Breakfast 30/3/17

Keryn is a Senior Researcher at CORE Education, based in Christchurch. Her interests include collaborative practitioner research and change, teaching and learning in the early years, and assessment.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Phonics song

I have challenged the children to learn this song and all of the letter sounds. 

Saturday, 25 March 2017

What are the 21st century skills every student needs?

Play based learning ticking many boxes here.

Pukeko Update

On Thursday the 30th March at 11-1pm (this is different as advertised in the newsletter) we are hoping for some warm, fine weather so the junior team can show you the Sport Start games that we have been learning to play.

Week 8 in Pukeko has been quite dynamic! More cold and rainy weather curtailed much of the outdoor play but imagination and creativity were ever present inside.

A very involved story was drawn on the whiteboard by storytellers Levi and Pietro.

Engineers Tyson and Dimitri showed perseverance and focus while they constructed their creations.



Elsie was making her debut as a wearable arts fashion designer with the wallpaper dress.

Kodi started school this week and while inside, he was exploring all of our equipment.

And finally on Friday we saw the sun again and were outside enjoying pavement art with chalk and the sandpit!

Over time we have been observing our caterpillars eat ALL the leaves on our swan plants, turn into cocoons (although NEVER when we are there-they must be very shy) and finally this week, after a few disasters, we got to release a butterfly into the wide wide world.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Todays Writing

Red, red, red. 

A story by Irene Adcock about Jan, a little girl about to start school. Mum thinks she needs a new coat but it is Jan’s favourite coat. We thought about an item of clothing that we really like and wrote about it.

We were focused on hearing and recording the sounds in the words we wanted to write.

“No! I ripped my pants on the tree.” Mum said I had to put them in the rubbish. I didn’t want to put them in the rubbish because I liked them so much. 
By Soni

I went to my gymnastics and when the gymnastics started my pink shorts ripped. 
By Amelia

I was in the garden digging. My pants ripped when I bent over. 
By Lucy

I like my wardrobe because I have lots of lovely clothes. 
By Jada

My aunty brought me an ice cream. 
By Sophia

My favourite cape is sparkly. 
By Charlotte B

My favourite dress is my barbie dress. 
By Acacia

My new shoes for my friend. 
By Charlotte W

My Elsa dress with a hand bag. 
By Elsie

I am going to the mall in my flash suit. 
By Levi

My glove is warm.
By Pietro

I put my dress on all of the time because I like it. 
By Grace

I like my dress.
By Amber

I like my beautiful dress.
By Kaylee

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Pukeko Update

Well. Week 7 started out quite wet, but the children were surprisingly focused and settled (not usually the case with wet weather at schools). They all found play that interested and engaged them while Mrs Watson worked through the academic groups. What was very interesting to me last week was seeing a different range of urges emerge from the children.

Urges (or Schema) are areas of interest children develop within their play. These encourage neurological pathways to become active and grow those pathways within the child. It was clear through my observation last week that many children had moved on from the play they had previously been engaged in. You may also see this at home. I will give examples of the urges I was seeing last week in the photos below.

Jennie and I are continually impressed at the focus children are showing when it comes to group academic work in our withdrawal space. Everyone is progressing well and are so proud of themselves when they have success. This is important for our children to see them selves as successful in their learning. This helps them to develop self efficacy (their belief in their ability to succeed).

We have been out practicing for our junior sports day (coming up on the 30th) and the children are very much enjoying getting outside and learning some new games. PMP has been going well and everyone is showing some good skills and enjoying themselves. Thank you again to the parents helping out with this.

This week the seniors are away on camp Wednesday, Thursday and Friday se us juniors will have the playground to ourselves. We will be continuing to practice for our junior sports day so we can show you our skills. Sponsorship forms will be coming home on Monday for the Adidas School Fun Run. When you get this please make sure you read through the sponsorship book carefully and create an online profile to help with fundraising.

This urge is Deconstruction - the urge to take things apart or break things up to their component parts (or just break stuff). These guys literally spent hours working out how to use the tools provided to take apart all of the things we had their for them. The Deconstruction urge usually comes before the Construction urge.

Pietro spent the most time in this urge and persevered when things became difficult and there were many difficulties with this particular deconstruction.

Soni and Levi started on the Families urge. They had their house all set up and were stocking the shelves with groceries. After this they made breakfast (pancakes) for themselves and Frankey. Levi said 'we need to make sure we make enough for Frankey'. Frankey was with Mrs Watson at this time in a math group.

There has been plenty of hut making over the past few weeks. Charlotte and Amber last week become engaged with the Enclosure urge. They have been playing hide and seek, hiding under tables, blankets and in little corners as well as looking at books and using other equipment while enclosed in a small space. 

These girls became engaged in the Construction urge when Jada brought in a box. The mission was on to turn the box into a boat for 2 people to sit in, oars and all. 

Posting is an urge that Lily and Tyson had last week. There were these bags filled with all sorts of 'birthday presents' and our hand puppets were filled with coloured teddies. 

Lily was happy to post all of the things in her bag back into their original homes once she had finished.

Here is some video of Tyson and Lily posting.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

An article from

The word of the success children are getting within play is spreading and the observations the teachers make in this article are exactly what we are seeing in Pukeko.

Pukeko Update

What a week! The first two days were wet and/or cold so our recently introduced and very popular outside play had to be curtailed and transferred inside.The children quickly adapted and a range of various types of play was sustained throughout the week.

In particular Jada’s imminent visit to her new baby cousin Lachlan was the catalyst for co-operative present making culminating in some socio dramatic play once the weather cleared. The present was delivered and Jada’s return sparked more dramatic play involving a trip to the beach for some mum’s to be!


It was a military exercise relocating all the equipment outside for this play but a wide range of girls were co-operative, persistent and engaged in the story line for the entire morning with short breaks to engage in literacy learning.

While most of the girls were outside the boys continued to build on and play with their TRAP!
The provocation of large spools of yarn inspired Levi and Frankey to design and build a forcefield which they called the TRAP!  There was a lot of knot tying and problem solving  as the TRAP needed to be fixed and re fixed many many times in a variety of ways. Alongside the TRAP was their kingdom.  Pietro and Soni  joined them and socio dramatic play continued for days. Then weapons had to be made from Mobilo and the engineering set to defend their kingdom -it’s a boy thing ! Every day the boys rushed in to continue on from the day before but understood that Friday was the day for the scissors!!!! No more TRAP! There was a lot of discussion and compromise and it was good to see the boys widening their circle of friends and including the ideas of more boys.

Please note that the junior sports day date has changed.

An Interesting Article

I read though this article and found that I am guilty of some of these crutches with my own children. We feel that play incorporates 'practice' of many of these and will help children to become successful members of society.

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Pukeko Update

Pukeko had another great week in week 5. We introduced the large loose pieces for the children to play with outside and they were a hit. There was much self directed learning as they explored the new equipment and what they were able to achieve with it. The large loose pieces include tyres, saw horses, PVC tubing, planks of wood and pellets. There have been many different uses for them over the week. There have been obstacle courses and rolling competitions. Some of the children have been experimenting with sound as it travels through the PVC pipes. Some of our girls created a stage with boats and a cave for a version of 'Moana'. The equipment has also been used to help solve a problem with our frisbee (you'll see).

Thank you to all of the parents that came in to help out in Pukeko last week. The children very much enjoyed having you working with them. Having parents helping out adds to children's interactions with adults that they are not familiar with. This means that they get practice building relationships and communicating with a wider range of adults. We had parents helping with PMP, alphabet knowledge, reading mileage and the Early Words program got up and running. We look forward to seeing you again this week. If you are interested in coming in to help out just get in touch and we can arrange it. The more the merrier.

We had goal setting interviews last week and it was fantastic to see so many of you. It was a nice process to go through and gave Jennie and I some good insights into the Pukeko children. The goals that were set in our meetings will be coming home this week. If you would like to catch up about your child's learning at any time please feel free to make a time and either Jennie or I will make ourselves available.

This week we will be starting to get ready for our Junior Sports Day later in the month. We will have the PALS teaching us games from the schools Sport Start resource. The children will learn a range of skills in skill based games that relate to many of the events in the athletic sports and sports in general. The games teach the children different ways to move, run, jump and throw. These games are designed to give children the skills they need to compete in traditional athletic sports when they become senior students. The Sport Start games have a high level of participation so the children are getting a great amount of practice at the skills being taught.

We look forward to seeing you all on Monday morning for another great week. Check out some of the learning that went on last week.

Pietro and Soni exploring the new loose parts equipment making an obstacle course. It quickly turned into a pirate ship and Pietro was made to walk the plank.

Tyson and Levi playing in the time machine Levi and Frankey made. They travelled to the olden days when cowboys rode around on horses.

More outside play. Some of the girls (and Pietro) have been very interested in creating a show. 'Moana' was the story they wanted to tell. As the girls were taking part in learning groups those that were free sat with me and created the script for the play. Each day the stage, cave and boats were set up in anticipation. Once the story was completed and the stage was set they performed for the class. There was some great feedback for the group like speaking louder and not moving too far away from the audience. The singing was a favourite. 

Playing at having pets. Off for a walk.

The problem of the frisbee. It got thrown into the carpark and I watched as these guys tried to figure out how to get it back. Desmond suggested I go out the gate and get it for them but what is the fun in that? :-)

The ideas flowed. The PVC piping was used to try and bring the frisbee closer, a hoola hoop with a rope was tried.

They got it a little closer with the PVC and Grace thought she would attach put some sellotape on the end of a pencil. Tyson thought he'd give a racket a try. 

Then Desmond got all the way down on his tummy, reached out and...


Brooklyn experimenting with with sound, shouting down the pipe.

She extended the pipe with help and spoke to Grace around the corner.

Elsie discovered one of the pipes fit into the wooden circles we have.

Lucy comes along and says "It's a weight" and then the girls became weight lifters.