Saturday, 13 May 2017

Pukeko Update

Pukeko now has 30 children! We were joined by Riley, Arabella, Harshika and Connor this term. They have all transitioned into our space very easily.

The first two weeks of Term 2 in Pukeko were amazing. The children were calm, focused and we noticed a lot of the strategies we had shared with the children in Term 1 were now being used independently and shared between the children. This was very rewarding to see as the children were demonstrating how self-managing they had become and were also able to share their expertise with others. We could see and hear the strategies the children were using. Many times we heard children using the exact words we would use during social coaching in the play space. Things like 'maybe you should wait until they are finished talking' and 'I will wait until you are finished, could you let me know when you are?'

At the end of the week Mr Kingston shared some interesting data with us. Historically Year 1 classes have the highest absence rates in primary school because we encourage parents to monitor their children’s levels of well being-tiredness and coping with a new environment.  We recognise that it is a big step and the children need a lot of support to transition.

While this is still true, the modifications we have made to bridge the transition and minimize the changes for the children with our play based approach has led to a very significant drop in absences in Term 1. In 2016, in the first half year 50% of the children in our class had less that 90% attendance. This year in the first term 0% of children have attendance less than 90%. We can only assume that the children are not as tired and in need of a break as they were when a more formal approach was used.

The sunny weather meant we were able to enjoy play outside again this week. As well as the leaf fight we also used the PE equipment and took the construction trolley outside, using it in a number of imaginative ways. The trolley was more popular than the blocks. Transportation seems to be a strong play urge at the moment  

Several children helped weed our big coloured pots and plant some spring bulbs- an exercise in delayed gratification! On Thursdays we have tried to get out in the afternoons with the whole of the junior school for some target games but unfortunately the weather has meant we haven't been able to. This week we will use the hall if that happens again.

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