Help­ing chil­dren into school

Hawke's Bay Today - - Indulge - By Chris­tine McKay

Dan­nevirke’s Com­mu­nity of Learn­ing — Kahui Ako — is all about mak­ing con­nec­tions and bet­ter tran­si­tions from early child­hood to school for stu­dents.

Dan­nevirke Kahui Ako has been awarded $102,000 from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion Teacher-Led In­no­va­tion Fund, to go to­wards re­search to dis­cover more about what ef­fect changes in teacher ped­a­gogy will have on the tran­si­tion, well-be­ing and aca­demic en­gage­ment of tamariki in Dan­nevirke.

“This project has been so long in the mak­ing, but we’re ready to go,” Jenna Hutch­ings, Kahui Ako Lead Teacher, said. “For our com­mu­nity this is an amaz­ing op­por­tu­nity.”

Teach­ers from early child­hood cen­tres and schools met re­cently to learn how the con­fi­den­tial re­search pro­cesses will work.

“Be­ing part of the project will have ben­e­fits for the whole com­mu­nity,” Jenna said. “Be­ing part of the project helps all four year olds in Dan­nevirke as they tran­si­tion to school.”

The re­search pro­cesses are all sanc­tioned by the ethics com­mit­tee at Waikato Univer­sity, with all Dan­nevirke early child­hood cen­tres and home­based child­care cen­tres tak­ing part in the project, along with pri­mary schools.

“How lucky are we to have th­ese con­nec­tions?” Jo Brown of Tararua REAP, said. “We can have con­ver­sa­tions about kids, and the in­ter­est and aroha for kids makes my heart sing.

“Learn­ing is a jour­ney and it’s im­por­tant we all work to­gether.”

Shar­ing in­for­ma­tion in a pro­fes­sional way the key, Jenna said.

“The key thing with th­ese tran­si­tions is recog­nis­ing that early child­hood cen­tres and wha¯nau have known chil­dren since birth,” Jenna said. “It’s about break­ing down all the bar­ri­ers and the con­ti­nu­ity of learn­ing. If the tran­si­tion is smooth, chil­dren get on with learn­ing.”

Jo said the project was on the right track.

“It truly is unique be­cause work­ing col­lab­o­ra­tively is re­ally pow­er­ful.”

The project in­volves track­ing tamariki from ev­ery early child­hood ser­vice in Dan­nevirke and fol­low­ing them to school. Se­lected tamariki and wha¯nau will be in­ter­viewed at four key points — two months be­fore school, one week be­fore school, six weeks into school and six months into school.

Teach­ers will learn from each other on how to best sup­port this tran­si­tion process and al­low tamariki the best jour­ney into pri­mary school.

Photo: Chris­tine McKay

Jenna Hutch­ings, Kahui Ako Lead Teacher and Jo­ce­lyn Knight of Norse­wood School at a Com­mu­nity of Learn­ing meet­ing at Tararua REAP.

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