|ECE in our Kāhui Ako area|
The first meeting for our ACCoS ECE-NE/Year 1 teachers recently took place on Tuesday the 10th of March at 6:30pm. This first event was hosted by Newmarket School. My name is Sarah Morrison and I am the In School Leader coordinating connections between the schools in our Auckland Central Community of Schools and our local Early Childhood Centres and Kindergartens. In order to ensure all the ECEs from within our Kāhui Ako area were invited, I sent out eighty invitations to centre managers and leaders of junior school teams in our schools. There were fifty respondents from twenty schools and Early Childhood Centres. I received some excited responses from centres that had not attended any of our events before. I decided to start the meeting earlier than last year so people had time to look around the junior classrooms, have a drink and something to eat before the meeting began. Many people came early to look around the classrooms and luckily the fabulous Te Ako Kowhai (Junior team) teachers from Newmarket School were available to show them around and answer questions.
The session started at 7pm. Lynne Keesing, a Resource Teacher of Literacy, was our guest speaker. At our school we have found that many children are starting school without the phonological awareness skills expected of a 5 year old and I thought that this was an area that would be of interest to all the schools and centres in our cluster. Lynne has worked with our junior team previously and we have found her ideas and activities to be helpful and to have a big impact on the children’s learning. Lynne discussed the different stages of Phonological awareness and the expectations of children when they start school. She provided resources for each school or centre to use and showed several examples of activities that could be carried out with many different age groups. Every time Lynne runs a session, she provides different ideas and resources so even though she has worked with our team at Newmarket before it was great to get some more ideas and activities to add to what we do in class already.
After the meeting I was able to speak to some of the teachers from our local Early Childhood Centers. I found it valuable to continue building these connections and I hope to visit some of the centres in our area in the next little while. There were people that I was looking forward to meeting. However, we had little time to chat and there were so many people there that I didn’t get to connect with everyone. People wore name tags saying where they were from and this was important for making connections over shared children and colleagues. Several people who had not RSVPed came and that there were a few name tags that did not get picked up. Next time I will organise a sign in list so that I am clear on who attended.
Overall this first session for 2020 was well received. I think people took away lots of learning ideas. I look forward to continuing meeting more people in our cluster and developing relationships especially with our local ECE centres.
I will continue to advertise events in order to ensure strong attendance for the rest of the year. Our next meeting will take place in term 2, week 6, on Tuesday 2nd of June. Maungawhau School will be hosting the event and the focus for the session will be Transition to School. Different schools and centres have been asked to share what they do around transitioning children and what they find to work well. Discussion time will be scheduled so that people have a chance to share what they do. There will be an opportunity to discuss in groups and connect with staff from the different centres and schools.