Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter 2010

Why Celebrate Easter at Kindergarten and how should we celebrate?

We celebrate Easter at Hunter Park because the “...happenings around the home....should be a feature of all Early childhood learning contexts.” “Links between home and Early Childhood Education programmes are important.” (page 18 NZ Early childhood Curriculum)

But how do we celebrate?

Every home is different some secular some not, do we ignore the religious aspects of Easter and just have an Easter Bunny turn up, do an Easter egg hunt, eat some HCB’s and lots of chocolate or do we include religious aspects?

The curriculum goes on to say “that programmes and resources are sensitive and responsive to the different cultures and heritages among the families of the children attending” the service and further requires that we actively contribute to countering prejudice, (Page 18 NZ Early Childhood Curriculum,) which the human rights act would indicate includes religious intolerance.
Also goal 3 of Strand four of the curriculum specifically states “Children experience and environment where they experience the stories and symbols of their own and other cultures.”

To us this means that as well as more secular traditions and symbols, the religious symbols and stories of families attending the kindergarten (including Christian ones) are encountered, in ways the families owning those traditions feel are appropriate, and that they do have a place within the experience we provide. So yes we do include some religious aspects of celebrations like Easter and Christmas as well as things like our regular grace/karakia before meals in our programme. (See also goals 1 and 2 of strand 2, all the goals of strand 3, and goal 4 of strand 5, along with the Principles, relationships, family and community and empowerment.)

Easter also has great relevance to our virtues programme.
The key messages of the Christian Easter tradition tie in very well with our virtues programme.

One of the key messages of the Christian Easter tradition is recognising our own failings. We all fall short of the mark at times (literally sin), knowingly and unknowingly. Easter is a traditional time to remember and reflect on our failings and then to move on and do better, both forgiving others and ourselves as we strive to be the best person our conscience tells us we can be.

Easter is also a time to remember the message that service and sacrifice for others leads to a better world for all, just as hurting others hurts ourselves.

Finally Easter is a time of renewal and rebirth reminding us that even when all seems lost the light of hope remains and it is our turn to pass on and receive the spiritual flame, the fire within us to overcome barriers and build communities, of love, hope, caring and kindness.

Easter Happenings
This Easter we made baskets, decorated eggs, made bunny masks and held an egg hunt where the object was to work together and children were taught, not to grab as many eggs for themselves as they could but to share with everyone. If a child did try to grab all the eggs for themselves, we forgave them and gently helped them to be a little less fearful of missing out, a little less egocentric and learn instead that it was our expectation that they think of and help others as well as themselves. Some of the children also shared with us about their choices of what they gave up for lent.

We also were lucky enough to be able to welcome two of our parents from the St Andrew's Mainly Music team. So a big thank you to Sarah-Jane and Miriam for their courage as they shared songs with us, and a puppet show that presented some of the Christian meanings they saw behind the various Easter Symbols old and new, such as the shiny paper, the hollow egg, the chick, the bunny, the Hot Cross Buns and of course CHOCOLATE!

1 comment:

Adrianne said...

A very good account of how we celebrated Easter at Hunter Park David.