Reflections on Term 1

Term 1 has flown past and it’s been a bit of a roller coaster… many emotional ups and downs and ups. It’s been hard work, but rewarding and we feel so privileged to be creating something we truly believe in. The messages of support we have received from total strangers has moved us to tears at times… hearing the sometimes heartbreaking stories of how some schools are failing our children. But this just reinforces to us, why we need to keep forging ahead and knocking down any obstacles that get in our way.

We have spent Term 1 really getting to know each other and our environment. Our daily rhythms, such as the morning and afternoon korero and our use of collective agreements and democratic discussion and decision making have been established. Our days have been filled with play, and it has been inspiring to see the children find joy in their explorations. Relationships between the children have really begun to grow as well, as children of all ages play together. Outdoors, the children have enjoyed getting to know the bush area, carving, making huts and rope courses, practicing flower sticks and playing ultimate hide and seek. Messy science experiments have been a hit back in the classroom, as well as shared stories from our library and creations made from our art supplies. Kate and Claudia have really enjoyed the challenge of letting go of preconceptions and seeing what emerges in children’s play.

We have  been growing the connections amongst our parent community. Earlier in the term we held a parent helper workshop, which was a great first step in building our community and developing our shared values. Having parents in the classroom regularly has helped them to feel welcome, and teachers regularly check in with parents. We have also been fortunate to have one of our parents (Kylie Johnston of Heart Centred Parenting) run a series of webinars on Conscious Parenting for our parent community.

The Ako management team (Bronwyn, Sabrina, Kate and Claudia) spent the first day of the holidays reflecting on Term 1 and planning ahead for the future, including writing up a draft School Charter and Strategic and Annual Plan. We will be getting our community's feedback on this in Term 2, in preparation for an anticipated review by the Education Review Office (ERO) of the school later this year.

We are always keen to offer workshops by external presenters to the children. For example, in Term 1 we had visitors do workshops on fire-making, circus skills, and waffle making. For term 2 we are keen on exposing the children to more music, art, and robotics. So please do get in touch if you have a skill or interest that you want to share.

We look forward to welcoming 3 new families joining us in Term 2, bringing us to 13 full-time students.

Thank you to all our supporters and parents.

Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei

The Ako Team

Sabrina Nagel