Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Heretaunga Conference 2009

Heretaunga Conference 2009

Seminar 1

Why on Earth was Lynda Boyd wearing so many different hats?

Lynda was reminding us of all the many important roles we need have as teachers.

We need to be nuturers creating a place were people want to be and where they feel valued.

We need to be people who see the good in others, treat others as we would like to be treated and articulate that children deserve the best.

We need to be rolemodels and ambassadors for our own culture and provide an open door and a place to grow for the expression our children’s cultures and the two main cultures of New Zealand’s dual heritage.

We need to have and share a sense of wonder, mystery, imagination, drama and make believe.

We need to be able to deal with difficulties that crop up positively and embrace challenges.

We need to be infectious optimists and innovators.

We need to be academic thinkers and researchers.

We need to be safety experts, evaluating risks and helping children minimise them while still being challenged.

We need to be quite workers in the back ground making sure everything keeps ticking, and at times be silent so other voices can be heard.

We need to share the fun and joy in life, laugh and share humour.

We need to display a respect for the past and hope for the future, convey a sense of time.

We need to find roles for technology and balance the use of the new and complex with the old and primitive.

We need to be financiers and recyclers, seeking funding and optimising our use of the public monies put in our trust.

We need to be storytellers telling stories that help children and their families make sense of the world, and become literate in all forms of media and communication.

We need to be listeners valuing children’s own creative expressions.

We need to be advocates for children, family and community.

Lynda had many more hats, and there were hats she couldn’t bring, but she was a great reminder of why we were there.

Seminar 2

Julie Nicholls talked about how communication happens, only 7% of what you receive comes from words, 38% comes from tone and 55% from body language. She also talked about common communication problems like went people are too busy thinking about what they’ll say next to hear what the person they’re talking to is saying.

She went on to explore Gardner’s six intelligences. She reckoned 80% of success at work comes not from intellectual intelligence but from socio emotional intelligence.

Next she introduced Neuro linguistic programming, the idea people can at times be body talkers, visual talkers or auditory talkers and that you can communicate to them more effectively if you can identify their current talker type.

She also talked about leadership.


I then listened to Ben Warren from Pure Health Revolution in Havelock North. He had some amazing things to share about our own health, which he gave me permission to share here. I’ll give them their own post and probably several.

Seminar 3

Ment to be Dr John Langley looking at leadership and direction in education of the next decade, instead due to unforseen circumstance we had Graeme Ballatine presenting ideas and practical exercises on public speaking. Introduction, Body, conclusion or PREP point of view, reason, examples and point of view.

Day 2

Seminar 4

Henare O Keefe presented an inspirational service on how leadership is all about service by the leader, not to the leader and how we need to be ruled in our lives not by fear and aggression but by love and boundaries.

Bad happenings (and Henare was able to share personal examples that would curl your toes) have the potential to inspire equally terrible consequences when you allow fear and aggression to rule you but they also have the potential to inspire truly great acts of community and fellowship when you choose to let love and boundaries rule your life instead. How you choose to let them inspire you is your choice. Bad experiences do not condemn you to bad results, but can be used to give you a greater strength for good, when you choose to, especially when you are surrounded by love.

Basically when everything hits the fan you can wallow in it, complain about the stink, or scrape it off, take it to the garden and compost it to grow beautiful flowers and food for your community.

Seminar 5

Chris Lepper then challenged us to unpack what we meant by all the big words we use in education and ask were we really doing what we say we do.

Two words she focused on, words she thought were often confused were;

Assessment: Noting changes and growth that have taken place in a child’s life.


Evaluation: examining how those changes resulted from the teaching that took place and environment provided and what you could do better.

She also focused on what is learning?

To me learning is :adapting to an ever changing personal environment and needs.

Seminar 6

Camberly Kindergarten presented a brief introduction to the work they’re been doing with the local community development programme and how since joining it they’ve brought an early childhood focus that was previously missing and yet so vital. It’s also made them aware that in times of high seasonal work, kindergartens may need to be open weekends to met parent and children’s needs.

Seminar 7

Peterhead kindergarten shared their journey recognising and celebrating the tuakana teina relationships that occur at kindergarten. One of their greatest innovations has been shifting from the traditional take the oldest child on the waiting list approach to one of bringing in younger siblings off the waiting list.

Another important thought was that sometimes you need to step back and let the children be the tuakana.

I think this is so true, especially in these days of smaller families. It is so important children get a chance to be a big brother or sister and a little brother or sister, if not to their own family then with their friends at kindergarten. It also emphasised the importance of younger ( and older) siblings coming on visits to the kindergarten, especially now many of us no longer have playgroups with our extended sessions.

Seminar 8

Irongate then shared their ICT journey emailing learning stories to families and how this had brought the parents who never get in to kindergarten due to work etc more fully into kindergarten life, as well as avenues this had opened up as stories were forwarded on to relatives around the world.

We’ve used the idea of emailing stories before with great success and have been looking at more fully utilising them, alongside e profiles, so it was great to see it fully implemented and working well.

Seminar 9

Was a presentation by Karen Sewell the secretary for education, and entertaining speaker, she talked about leadership, change and direction for the future in early childhood.

We finished with social networking time.

A great conference with a great venue in the opera house, great food and great company.


I will be putting up some of Ben Warren’s tips on healthy eating.

I will be putting up information on how to blog and actively supporting other Kindergartens interested in blogging.

I will be exploring e profiles with the team at Hunter Park and at Lakeview with my own son.

I will be exploring exporting stories to PDF format for emailing with the Hunter Park team.


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