Early Learning Regional News - August 2019

Regional News / General News / Other News updates for August 2019 from the Directors of Education for each Ministry of Education region.

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Tēnā koutou katoa

Revival for Pacific Playgroup in Whangārei

Four adults in a playgroud.

Reading area at playgroup.

Play area at playgroup.

The Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga has committed to keeping the playgroup for the community of Raumanga and Whangārei. The playgroup venue has had an upgrade and the new Pastor and his wife are excited about having the service still available for the Pacific community and the wider community.

The Pan Pacific Lights Playgroup has been running from the Raumanga church for the last 8 years. It has undergone many changes through that time and almost closed last year. When the new Pastor Fono Ahio and his wife Siulolo took over the work of the Church, they also committed to the ongoing work to maintain the playgroup for the Tongan and surrounding Pacific community.

New and old fanau have come in to assist with the running of the playgroup. Siulolo Ahio, who also works part time for the Ministry of Education as an Early Intervention Teacher, and Chris Lambert, Education Adviser are working to make sure the playgroup continues to assist the community to start their education journey with playgroups and learning about ECE choices.

This is a great asset to the community of Whangarei and to the Pacific Community in Te Tai Tokerau.

Incredible Years Parent Program dates July - December 2019

During July and August we ran a number of Incredible Years Parent programmes throughout the region. If you are interested in participating in future sessions between now and the end of the year, please use the below contacts to find out available dates or contact Eileen Turner, PB4L Adviser/IY Co-ordinator at eileen.turner@education.govt.nz, phone (09) 436 8909.

OrganisationLocationStart dateGroup

Ngati Hine Health Trust,

  1. Ngati Hine Health Trust Walton Street, Whangarei
  2. The Pulse
    Raumanga Valley Road, Whangarei
  1. Wed Night 24/7/19 (6pm-8.30pm)
  2. Friday Mornings 26/7/19 (10am-12.30pm)
Shelley Stringfellow/
Nadina Jones
(09) 430 1230
(027) 255 5323

New Era Tangata Solutions,

  1. Whangarei
    (Venue to be confirmed)
  2. Whangarei
    (Venue to be confirmed)
  1. Mon Night 5/8/19 (6pm-8.30pm)
  2. Fri Mornings 9/8/19 (10am-12.30pm)
Gil and Dianna Paki
(021) 041 0867

Family Works Northern,

  1. Family Works Northern
    16 Mair Street
  1. Mon Mornings
Joanne Honey and
Leila Amos
(09) 437 6729

The Hub and Hippy Trust,

  1. The Hub
  1. Thurs Mornings

@The Hub
(09) 439 7861
Kim Hill

Ngapuhi Iwi Social Services,

  1. Kaikohe Baptist Church
    Main Street
  2. To be confirmed
  1. July/August to be confirmed
  2. July/August to be confirmed
Jo Hona
(022) 004 7627
Rob and Ruby Korewha
(022) 325 9895

Te Rarawa Anga Mua,

  1. Kaitaia
  2. Kaitaia
  1. Tues Morning
  2. Fri Morning
Jane Wagener
(09) 929 6555

Ministry of Education delivery (MOE)

  1. Bream Bay Community      Support Trust, Ruakaka
  1. Wednesday
Angie Moselen/Vallari Chavan
MOE Contact:
Eileen Turner
(09) 436 8909
(027) 5311 561

New Ministry staff

I would like to introduce you to new staff members who have joined our Ministry teams recently:

  • Anthony Hanlon, Performance and Quality Lead, based in our Whangarei office
  • Beth Freeman, Psychologist, based in our Whangarei office
  • Mikhail Jansen, Psychologist based in our Kaitaia office
  • Vallari Chavan, Speech Language Therapist based in our Whangarei office
  • Jody Barrell, Service Manager based at our Whangarei office.

Hira Gage
Director of Education Tai Tokerau
Phone: 09 436 8914
Email: hira.gage@education.govt.nz

Auckland Regional News

Tenā koutou,

Welcome back to our first newsletter for term three.

We recently completed celebrations for ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ’Āirani: Cook Islands Language Week. The next Pacific language week to be celebrated will be ‘Uike Kātoanga'i 'o e Lea Faka-Tonga’: Tongan Language Week, held from Sunday 1 September – Saturday 7 September 2019.

You can find some great resources for Uike Kātoanga'i 'o e Lea Faka-Tonga on the Te Kete Ipurangi website. New Zealand’s 2019 Chinese Language Week is also coming up in September. There are a number of resources available on the Chinese Language Week website.

Tongan Language Week / Uike Kātoanga'i 'o e Lea Faka-Tonga – TKI website(external link)

Chinese Language Week website(external link)

We would love to share your photos and stories showing how your service celebrated Cook Island Language Week and/or Tongan Language Week. Please send them in to kat.ashmead@education.govt.nz.

Measles: Information for Auckland early learning services

The number of measles cases in Auckland has now risen to over 500 and cases continue to spread. All early learning services should now have received direct communication from Auckland Regional Public Health Service including flyers to include in your newsletter or send home with children. If you have not received this email, please contact Kat.Ashmead@education.govt.nz and we will ensure it gets to you.

Please take this information seriously and share it with your staff and with your community – it is absolutely imperative that we take all possible steps to prevent further spread of this unpleasant and dangerous disease.

On 12 June, Auckland Region Public Health Service announced that the first measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination has been brought forward to 12 months from 15 months in Auckland because of the region’s measles outbreak. Please ensure that you share this information with your families to give children the best chance of staying safe.

Children to be vaccinated for measles at 12 months – Auckland Regional Public Health Service website(external link)

The latest updates from Auckland Regional Public Health Service regarding measles in Auckland can always be found on their website. Copies of the Measles Fact Sheet are available in Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Cook Island Māori, Niuean, Chinese, Korean, Hindi, and NZ Sign Language.

Disease and Illness - Auckland Regional Public Health Service website(external link)

Alternatively, you can phone Healthline on 0800 611 116 for immediate health advice.

Feel free to contact me through my contact details below.

Mā te wā

Isabel Evans
Director of Education Auckland
Phone: 09 632 9333
Email: isabel.evans@education.govt.nz

Waikato Regional News

E rau rangatira mā tēnā koutou katoa

Local Curriculum - using community as a place of learning

A feature of the revised Te Whāriki that is not always well understood is the concept of ‘local curriculum’. Along with a stronger emphasis on bicultural practice, the importance of identity, language and culture and the inclusion of all children, Te Whāriki asks that each early learning service and Kōhanga Reo develop their own localised curriculum of valued learning, considering the aspirations and learning priorities of whānau, hapū, iwi, and community. So what does this look like in practice you might ask?

Learning Links, Hector Drive in Hamilton, are taking an approach that highlights their commitment towards celebrating being part of a unique community, giving children the opportunity to develop a sense of tūrangawaewae, or connectedness, and belonging to a unique place.

“Here at Hector Drive, we continue our quest to learn about the rich cultural history of our local area. We recently went to visit the pou that have been established at our local high school. We learnt who our local hapū are, Ngāti Wairere. The pou that now stand there symbolise their priorities, which need to be acknowledged and considered when we look at how we shape our local curriculum.We also explored a little more closely the roundabout at the end of Resolution Drive. Each pou depicts a waka, signifying the Kīngitanga and formation of the Matariki stars. As we had been learning a lot about Matariki, this connection was instantly made with our tamariki. The tuna represent our ancestral interaction with the land here in Rototuna, when there used to be an abundance of eels. Developing a true sense of belonging comes from knowing where we are, and appreciating what makes our local area special”.

Pou in the middle of a roundabout.

Children looking at mural

Pou in the middle of a roundabout.

Children reading information board
Children and their teacher from Learning
Links Hector Drive exploring the local
Rototuna community.

If this is an aspect of Te Whāriki you feel that your service would like to explore further, have a look on the Te Kete Ipurangi website to begin deciding ‘what matters here’.

Te Whāriki Online - TKI website(external link)

Does your early learning service, Kōhanga Reo or playgroup have a story of weaving a whāriki to prioritise ‘what matters here’? If so feel free to share this with us so that we can encourage others to better understand this concept of local curriculum.

Police Vetting for early learning services, Kōhanga Reo and playgroups

We are frequently asked if it is ok to share police vets from other services.

A police vet is an important part of the recruitment process, it will help inform your decision making, together with other information gathered, regarding a person’s suitability to work at your service.

It is stated on the Education webpage that police vets must not be shared. The legislation under which police vetting is required, the NZ Police’s Approved Agency Agreement and Vetting Service Request and Consent form do not permit this. Strict confidentiality must be observed for police vets, so it is important to ensure that all police vets are kept secure. Sharing information increases the risk of information becoming insecure.

With this in mind, now might be a good time to review your safety checking and police vetting procedures. More information can be found on the Education website.

Police vetting for early learning services

Early Childhood Network Update

Very soon we will be contacting all early learning services in the Waikato region, to ask that you consider what professional learning opportunities each network would like to be involved with through our SELO (Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities) programme. You may wish to continue with the topic your network has recently undertaken or maybe your network has a new priority. Give some thought to this and we look forward to hearing your ideas.

Noho ora mai

Paula Rawiri
Director of Education Waikato
Phone: 07 850 8924
Email: paula.rawiri@education.govt.nz

Bay of Plenty / Waiariki Regional News

Kia Ora and Talofa lava

On Friday 12 July the Bay of Plenty – Waiariki region held a Te Reo Māori symposium for all immersion Māori services including Te Kōhanga Reo, Puna Reo and Kura. ‘Āpāia te reo Māori’ was held at Tui Ridge in Rotorua with a focus on education pathways for Te Reo Māori as well as celebrating the success of Māori who are products of total immersion education systems. It was a fairly cold morning but the energy and the enthusiasm in the room was far from cold and with a warm welcome from Ngāti Rangiwewehi the day got underway.

The first key note speaker, Turuhira Hare from Te Wharekura o Ruatoki titled her korero – “Mā te aha e hiakai ai te tamaiti ki te reo Māori” (how will the children thirst for the language). This set the scene for an inspiring day with workshops and time for networking.

Crowd being addressed by speaker

Group stands at front of meeting

Providing Transport for Children

Some early learning services provide transport to and from their service. This is not part of the regulated service and is not funded by the Ministry of Education. Rather, it is a private arrangement between services and the child’s family.

As transport is not part of the regulated service, funding from the Ministry cannot be claimed for the time a child is being transported. This means enrolment forms should not cover the period of time in which children are being transported for attendance.

We have recently received calls from parents about their concerns about van services. Due to this being a private arrangement, it is up to individual services to be explicit with families about the conditions and requirements of the service being offered.

For more information please visit the Education website.

Transporting children to and from early learning services

Qualification Requirements

In teacher-led centre-based and hospital-based services, the person responsible must have a recognised early childhood education (ECE) teaching qualification and a current practising certificate.

At least 50% of required staff must also have a recognised ECE teaching qualification. Where 50% does not equate to a whole number, services must round up.

Teachers need not be employed full-time to count towards the 50% requirement. A part-time teacher with a recognised ECE teaching qualification can be counted at a maximum of two different licensed services.

A service can count one person who is in their final year of study towards the 50% requirement, provided they are enrolled in an approved programme that will result in a recognised ECE teaching qualification.

We have recently updated the qualification requirements section on our website. Please visit the website to keep up to date with any changes or information regarding qualifications for different types of services.

Qualification Requirements

Professional Learning Development Opportunity

Ministry of Health – Toi Te Ora will be offering Professional Learning Development for ECE teachers in the Tauranga area on 27 August 2019.

Sports Bay of Plenty and Bay of Plenty District Health Board Oral Health Promoters will be part of the presentations.

You may have already received a flyer in your emails with registration details, if not, please contact Shari Brell at shari.brell@education.govt.nz.

Availability of ECE advisors

If you are thinking of opening a new service, buying an existing service or making changes to a current license, be sure to let your local ECE advisors know.

ECE advisors are generally booked well in advance for licensing appointments and there can often be a wait of up to one month for availability.

If you have any further queries about any licensing requirements please contact our Education Advisors:

Ia manuia

Ezra Schuster
Director of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki
Phone: 07 349 8309
Mobile: 027 296 8196
Email: ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz

Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti Regional News

Tēnā koutou

Welcome to the August bulletin. I hope you are all avoiding the winter bugs going round.

ERO Publications

We have received a number of questions from the sector about the implementation of Te Whāriki. We want to remind you to regularly check ERO’s website for the latest reports about practice in early childhood education.

The 2019 ERO report, titled Preparedness to implement Te Whāriki, follows two evaluations ERO published in 2018: Awareness and confidence to work with Te Whāriki and Engaging with Te Whāriki (2017).

New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, was updated in April 2017. The 2019 report states that over half of the services were not prepared to implement Te Whāriki and only a small percentage were well prepared. It also says that better use could be made of professional learning and development and appraisal to support leaders and teachers to implement Te Whāriki.

You can access the reports on the ERO website.

Preparedness to implement Te Whāriki - ERO website(external link)

Awareness and confidence to work with Te Whāriki - ERO website(external link)

Engaging with Te Whāriki – ERO website(external link)

Let us know if you need support with implementing Te Whāriki by contacting Hayley Whitaker. Hayley.whitaker@education.govt.nz

Medication Categories and the Administration of Medication in Services

How well do you understand the licensing criteria requirement about administering medicine?

Do your practices consistently reflect the licensing requirement?

Do you reflect upon Appendix 3 of the licensing criteria?

We have recently received a number of complaints and incident notifications relating to the incorrect administration of medicine. We want to remind all services to check all documentation and processes to ensure you are correctly implementing the regulatory requirements.

Note: Services MUST NOT hold service/centre/communal category ii or iii medicines such as paracetamol or lanolin cream on site. Only medication provided by a parent and prescribed for an individual child should be administered.

Detailed information on the requirements of medicine administration can be found in the licensing criteria on the Education website.

HS28 Medicine administration - Centre-based services

HS25 Medicine administration – Home-based services

HS28 Medicine administration – Kōhanga reo

HS12 Medicine administration – Hospital-based services

Save the Date - Whānau Fun Day

Safer Napier invites you to take part in our Whānau Fun Fest. A range of family friendly activities, cultural performances and the Safety Whare from Safekids Aotearoa will be on display.

When: Saturday 21 September 2019
Time: 11am – 2pm
Where: King’s House Church, 190 Riverbend Road, Napier

ECE Team Update

Please see below our updated Hawke’s Bay | Tairāwhiti ECE team.

Name and positionContact

Cherreen Exeter
Manager Education


Email: cherreen.exeter@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-833 6733
Mobile: +64 274 970 202

Christine Single
Education Adviser

Email: christine.single@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-833 6746
Mobile: +64 274 067 296

Cindy Willis
Education Adviser

Email: cindy.wills@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-863 1047
Mobile:+64 274 630 266

Hana Ruth (Workdays are Tuesday and Wednesday)
Education Adviser

Email: hana.ruth@education.govt.nz
Work:+64 6-833 6732
Hayley Whitaker
Lead Adviser Kāhui Ako

Email: hayley.whitaker@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-831 0642
Mobile: +64 27 206 0629

Nui Beamsley
Education Adviser

Email: nui.beamsley@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-833 6722
Mobile: +64 274 038 997

Helen Keats
Education Adviser
Email: helen.keats@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-831 0660
Mobile: +64 27 241 7000 

Yvonne Aranui
Education Adviser

Email: yvonne.aranui@education.govt.nz
Work: +64 6-833 6892
Mobile: +64 27 207 8796

Roy Sye
Director of Education Hawke's Bay
Phone: 07 349 8309
Email: roy.sye@education.govt.nz 

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū Regional News

Kia ora

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa

I hope that this month finds you well. The daffodils are starting to appear so spring must be just around the corner.

Strengthening Early Learning Opportunities (SELO) Survey

Thank you to the services who participated in our SELO programmes.

Overall we received positive feedback, with most services who responded being able to show improved practice and outcomes for children as a result of the professional development.
Survey respondents have identified the following areas for further support:

  • Education Council code and standards / quality practice template
  • Oral language, incredible years, well-being, partnership with local Iwi
  • Assessment, planning and evaluation
  • Leadership, subject knowledge – literacy, numeracy, and language
  • Designing localised curriculum
  • Pasifika
  • Mentoring and leadership, appraisal systems and expectations
  • Studying Tapasā in more detail and what it looks like in practice.

We will consider the best way to meet some of these requests. Please contact Sarah Brindle at sarah.brindle@education.govt.nz if you would like to discuss further.

Health and Safety Accident and Incident Reporting

Over the last few months we have been notified of a variety of accidents/incidents that have occurred at services and playgroups. This is a timely reminder to think about your health and safety obligations in regard to the safety and wellbeing of all children attending your service or playgroup.

The links below to our health and safety guidelines can assist you in reviewing your policies and procedures.

Please remember, as per criteria HS34, where there is a serious injury, illness or incident involving a child whilst at your service, that is required to be notified to a specified agency, the service provider must also notify us.

If you would like any further advice on health and safety regulatory reporting requirements then please get in touch with our ECE team.

Kāhui Ako Update

Ten ECE / Kāhui Ako funding applications were successful in our region for the financial year up to 30 June 2019.

These applications will support 83 early learning services across the 10 Kāhui Ako. These same groups of ECE / Kāhui Ako members will receive a second payment in this new financial year without having to submit a new application.

It’s great to see some of the projects where this resource is being used getting underway. These include transition to school projects, well-being and Hauora projects to support transition and planning for a localised curriculum across schools and early learning. The funding is also helping staff across the Kāhui Ako to gain a better understand of Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum.

If you are a member of a Kāhui Ako that has not applied for this funding, it is not too late. Applications are now open. Information about making an application can be found on our website.

Funding for early learning in Kāhui Ako

If your service is not a member of a Kāhui Ako then you can search for one in your geographical area on Education Counts. Joining an existing Kāhui Ako is very easy. For further information contact Jude Fawcett, Lead Advisor Kāhui Ako: 06 757 6422 or jude.fawcett@education.govt.nz.

Find a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako - Education Counts
(external link)

Please contact me using the details below if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi

Marlene Clarkson
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, and Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6304
Mobile: 027 275 1450
Email: marlene.clarkson@education.govt.nz

Wellington Regional News

No updates this month.

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast Regional News

Welcome to Louise Hamilton - Senior Education Advisor ECE

Hi! I’m Louise. My family and I have recently moved “home” to Nelson, after living in Christchurch for 13 years. In this time I have worked as an early childhood teacher, later completing my postgraduate diploma and moving to an early intervention teacher position at the Ministry.

I worked in the Christchurch Ministry office for 7 years. Although early childhood education (ECE) advising is a side step from my current experience, I am excited to adapt my skill set in another area of ECE. Currently I am working part time, for 3 months. Thank you for making me feel welcome.

Staff profile picture

Welcome to Simon Blatchford – Manager Education

Kia ora, I’m Simon and I’m lucky enough to be seconded to the Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast region for the next 12 months while Helen Robinson is on leave. I have been in the Ministry for 7 years. Most recently, I have been the Principal Advisor to the regional Director of Education in the Christchurch Office. Through previous roles I have worked with the early learning sector in the Canterbury region and I look forward to working with you here. I have moved to Nelson with my wife and three young children, all of whom are enjoying their Nelson early learning experience. I look forward to meeting many of you over the next 12 months.

Staff profile picture

Derek Lucic

Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 03 539 1536
Mobile: 027 605 2015
Email: derek.lucic@education.govt.nz

Canterbury | Chatham Islands Regional News

Kia ora,

With spring just two weeks away and the days becoming warmer I am sure tamariki will be looking at spending more of their day outdoors. It is a good time for you to check the state of your shade cloths and supply of sunblock in preparation for summer’s heat.

As you read this, I am on leave somewhere in the Baltics returning on Wednesday 4 September. During this time Susan Schneideman is Acting Director of Education for Canterbury. Please do not hesitate to contact Susan on 03 378 7577, 021 813 401 or email susan.schneideman@education.govt.nz.

Canterbury ECE mailbox

Should you need to send any documentation or have any queries for the ECE advisors, please use the email ECE.Canterbury@education.govt.nz.

At times our staff can be away from the office for a day or two and are unable to check their emails. The email address above is checked daily and anything requiring action is passed on to an advisor who is in the office.

Learning Support

From Term 3 in 2019 until Term 3 in 2020 there will be some changes to the Service Manager roles and responsibilities.

For the whole of this period Fiona Bartley will be working across agencies, and co-ordinating support for early learning services, schools, kura, children and whānau who have been affected by the events of March 15th. Jane McKinnon will be acting in her Service Manager position.

Other Service Managers will be engaged in a variety of key projects, which directly and indirectly relate to the events of 15 March and mean that they will be released from their roles for 1 term.

Steve Rees will be acting for Patrick McEntyre during Term 3 and for Marion Kazakos during Term 4. Project possibilities for Terms 1 and 2 in 2020 are in development.

Licensing timeframes for probationary licences

If you are interested in setting up a new early learning service, please contact the Ministry of Education and we will send you a licensing pack. The pack contains information about the licensing process including setting a date for the licensing inspection. This is summarised below.

Before a date can be set for Ministry staff to undertake a probationary licensing inspection, a complete application is required to be submitted to the Ministry. A complete application must include all required documentation, as listed on the EC/1 application form. These are the resource consent, the Code of Compliance Certificate and Compliance Schedule (if required), fire service approval for your evacuation scheme and the health report. A date for the visit will then be negotiated with you.

Your complete application should be submitted at least two weeks in advance of your preferred licensing visit date. The full process may take up to 30 working days following the receipt of a complete application. If everything is complete at the licensing visit, it will take approximately a week from the visit date to issue the licence.

Please do not make any commitments to prospective users of the service as to your first day of operation. It is a requirement that a licence is issued and displayed at the service from the first day of operation. If there is any delay, the service will not be able to operate until the licence is received.

If you have any questions about this, please contact either Marilyn Hawkins or Vanessa Goodwin in the Christchurch office of the Ministry of Education.



Safety checking and risk assessment requirements – Children’s Act 2014

The Children’s Amendment Act 2018 changed the name of the Vulnerable Children Act 2014 to the Children’s Act 2014. When you next update your policies you should also update the name of this Act within any references.

Information about the act can be found on the Education website. Our site includes information about who is required to be safety checked with guidance about students on practicum, relievers and existing staff.

Child protection

No change has been made to requirements within the act, only the name has changed. Early learning services are still required to have a Child Protection Policy and complete a safety check and risk assessment before a person commences as a children’s worker.

There is information on our website about the seven aspects of a safety check and risk assessment. All aspects of the check must be completed. Responsibility for safety checking always rests with the employing or contracting organisation, and you should exercise due diligence when relying on checks undertaken by others.

GMA7A Safety Checking

To satisfy the requirements, organisations should maintain accurate records about the safety checking process, including when each aspect of the check was completed. If relying on checks conducted by other individuals or organisations, records will need to provide assurance that the check was adequately conducted, including assessment of the risk the person would pose if employed as a children’s worker.

Futures Network

Next hui

Date: Tuesday 1 October
Time: 9.30am – 11.30am
Venue: Ground Floor Conference Room, Te Urutī, 48 Hereford Street, Christchurch (cnr Hereford St and Cambridge Tce).

  • Welcome
  • Ministry of Education update
  • Community Notices
  • Break – opportunity to network
  • Panel: Wellbeing within diversity - an opportunity to understand different cultural perspectives on children and learning, including parent voice.

Further details including names of speakers will be in next month’s Early Learning Bulletin and on the Futures Network Facebook page.

Futures Network Facebook page(external link)

If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Barbara.madden@education.govt.nz by Friday 27 September.

The date for the final hui for this year has been set for Tuesday 3 December. Please note this in your diaries now.

2019 Annual Graham Nuthall Lecture

Host: College of Education, Health and Human Development | Te Rāngai Ako me te Hauora.

Lecture: The evolving passage of culturally responsive pedagogies: Restlessness, resoluteness, and reason.

Presenter: Professor Angus Macfarlane, University of Canterbury.

When: Wednesday 4 September, 6pm - 7pm.

Where: Ngaio Marsh Theatre, Haere-Roa, University of Canterbury, Ilam campus.

You will find more information on the University of Canterbury website and you can register through Eventbrite.

The Graham Nuthall Classroom Research Trust - University of Canterbury website(external link)

Register through Eventbrite(external link)

Latest Interagency news

Please see the Canterbury Resilience Hub website for the latest newsletter with updates from local agencies working to support people after the 15 March attacks. Feel free to share this information with your networks.

Canterbury Resilience Hub

(external link)

Enjoy this month’s bulletin.

Mā te wā

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury | Chatham Islands
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 0274 200 251
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago/Southland Regional News

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings.

Despite winter finally arriving and having some real snow on the ground I note that early learning services, like the two featured in this bulletin, still manage to ensure their children benefit from outdoor experiences all year round. This practical, “hats and jackets on” approach ensures that “can-do attitudes” and the positive wellbeing effects of the outdoors are modelled and experienced by our tamariki. Well done, keep warm, keep physical and keep it up!

Learning Support Action Plan and Learning Support Coordinators

On 26 July Associate Minister of Education, Hon. Tracy Martin launched the Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025. This plan sets out six priority areas for 2019-25, which have been identified as the ones that will make the biggest improvements to learning support from early learning through to the end of secondary schooling.

The six priorities are:

  • introduce the first tranche of Learning Support Coordinators in schools and kura
  • develop new screening tools to strengthen the early identification of learning support needs
  • strengthen early intervention
  • design and implement a flexible set of services and support for neurodiverse children and young people
  • better meet the learning needs of gifted children and young people
  • improve education for children and young people at risk of disengaging.

Learning Support Action Plan – Education Conversation website(external link)

Additional funding of $29.6M over four years was also announced to respond to population and demand growth for learning support.

The launch of the Learning Support Action Plan was followed by the announcement on 2 August of the allocation of the first tranche of Learning Support Coordinators. These positions are intended to support the Learning Support Delivery Model. This approach brings local early learning services, kōhanga reo, schools and kura together to identify local needs and resources, and work with the Ministry of Education, other agencies and providers to plan support based on what they know works for children, young people, families and whānau.

The Learning Support Coordinators will be an integral part of this approach, and have been allocated to those school and kura most advanced through this implementation of the model. Although these positions are allocated to schools, the roles are intended to support early learning transitions within clusters or communities. Our Otago Southland region has been allocated 51 Learning Support Coordinators across 18 Kāhui Ako or clusters. Many of these groups already have early learning services connected through Kāhui Ako. We are excited to continue the development of this approach with all groups across the region.

We are happy to meet and discuss how we can include early learning services within this and have early learning representation on the Otago Learning Support Governance Group. We are also in the process of forming a Southland Learning Support Governance Group, which will also include early learning representation. These groups support the implementation of this new approach to learning support delivery and also include wider agency, school, RTLB and Ministry representation.

Winton Kindergarten – Finalist in the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards

Winton Kindergarten’s weekly Taiao Tuhura Discovering Nature Programme is a finalist in this year’s Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards – Excellence in Teaching and Learning Category. This award celebrates teaching that transforms the learning of all children and young people, and to achieve improved and sustained outcomes.

Each Tuesday morning the ten oldest children of Winton Kindergarten gather at the red shed in Ivy Russell Reserve to plan and organise for their time in nature. Two tamariki take on the responsibility of leadership and decide where, when and how their day will unfold.

Children exploring Ivy Russell Reserve.

On the day of judging, the two leaders, Rosa and Emily proudly showcased the scope of this Nature-Based Programme, inviting the guests to engage with the special spaces, places, routines and rituals that are embedded throughout the reserve.

Guests were encouraged to discover what lies beyond the pathway by entering the forest to discover a huge circle of cabbage leaves (The Dragon’s Nest!) where the rest of the Taiao Tuhura Group were enjoying their morning tea. This unique place has become home to many fables and tales throughout the six years this Nature Programme has been running. Special signage leads visitors to the Dragon’s Nest and Kindy Castle and describes the learning for the tamariki.

Path in the woods

Heading further down the track to the back of Central Southland College, the group gathered to hear the Māori legend of the Takitimu Waka and Takitimu Mountains as retold by the tamariki. The kaiako spoke about the contributions made by the gifting of land by Central Southland College, and financial support from the Southland District Council. Emily Frew explained the symbolic representation of the whakairo – tracing with her finger as she shared about the three waves that capsized the Takitimu Waka, carrying it on to the shore, and up to its resting place on the Takitimu Mountains.

Child look at carving.

We wish Winton Kindergarten all the best and look forward to the outcome. More information about the finalists can be found on the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards website.

Prime Minister's Education Excellence Awards website(external link)

Proposed Kindergarten for Clinton

South Otago Kindergartens is very excited that they are in the process of establishing a kindergarten in the Clinton area. They have been investigating this option for a while, but this year it becomes a reality with the support of a Ministry of Education Targeted Assistance for Participation (TAP) grant and the purchase of the local Bowling Club building.

The kindergarten will be a mixed-age centre which will promote a real whānau feel. The staff are really looking forward to working alongside the Clinton families and wider community to ensure they can be part of this exciting journey. They hope to open in early 2020.

Kidsfirst Kindergarten Maniototo Matariki celebrations

Matariki is a special time and we enjoy hearing about how early learning services celebrate this with their tamariki and whānau.

Kidsfirst Kindergarten Maniototo Head Teacher Deb McNally, has shared with us their celebrations:

“At our kindergarten it has become a tradition to celebrate matariki with a whānau evening of kai, light and fun. We gather at the kindergarten just on dark and tamariki bring along lanterns they have made at home with whānau. After a matariki waiata, we go on a lantern walk around the neighbourhood, spotting stars and using our lanterns to light the way. When we return to kindergarten, we warm up with milo and mulled wine, homemade vegetable soup and bread then toast marshmallows over a campfire in our huge sandpit. The soup is special because the vegetables have been donated by families and prepared by tamariki and kaiako at kindergarten. It’s a much anticipated event in our kindergarten calendar and well attended despite the often freezing temperatures!”

Children standing in woods at night

Children roasting marshmallows

Staffing Update

Staff profile 

Kurt Chisholm finished with the Ministry as an ECE Adviser on 16 August to take up a management role in a local welding company. His leadership experience in the Ministry and his Acting Manager roles have supported him to step up to this position.  Kurt’s experience in the early learning sector will be missed, as will his presence around our office.

Kurt’s departure, along with the other staffing adjustments has meant we have had to make some changes to the early learning team.  As of Term 3 this year, Nikki Hosking is working fulltime within the School Advisers team. Once we have a new ECE Education Adviser, there will be some change of geographical coverage across our ECE team.

In the interim, early learning services across Western, Central, or Northern Southland can contact either: 

Please contact me if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi mahana

Julie Anderson
Director of Education Otago-Southland
Direct dial: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 484
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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