Parents experienced a mix of emotions when their children returned to schools and centres at the end of Alert Level 3. There was relief at the resumption of some sort of normality, but there was also anxiety. For the parents of young children in particular, there was concern about how tamariki would re-transition into early childhood education.
Two kindergartens share their stories of transition with AKO.
For Amie Roberts, a New Entrants/Year 1 teacher at Owhiro Bay School in Wellington, community means that teachers, parents and families are all working together to support the child in a holistic way, be it social, emotional, developmental or academic. “We’re a team,” she says.
The importance of whānau and community doesn’t lessen just because a child starts school, but it can be hard for educators to maintain these strong connections once a child leaves early childhood education. Jane Blaikie and Jane Arthur talk to educators across the country about the challenges they face when trying to build bridges between the child and their community.
One of the most important things for children with additional needs to be able to access the curricula and to thrive at school is having huge support behind them. That includes from the school and whānau communities and from school leaders, support staff, teachers and itinerant staff.