|Community connections run strong at Kidsfirst Burnham kindergarten and they often venture out to see what's happening in their local neighbourhood.|
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Lately, Kidsfirst Burnham kindergarten tamariki have explored their local school, found out more about a water tank and enjoyed a visit to the Burnham Military camp to watch the army band play.
“Our children have a real curiosity for their learning environment and also the wider community,” says Head Teacher, Birgit Bracewell.
Recently, on the way to kindergarten, one child spotted a huge, yellow digger being loaded off a truck nearby. Later, outside in the playground, tamariki could hear its steady rumble, but could not see it – inspiring many questions and some interesting theories about what it might be doing.
“We decided to head on an adventure to find out more,” says Birgit.
The digger was removing tree stumps and (from a safe distance and beyond the fence) the driver was happy to give the kids a bit of a show of the swooping arm in action.
To their dismay though, the group soon discovered a lot of rubbish along the fence line. Back at kindergarten the teachers asked the children...
“What could we do about it? Should we leave it there for others to deal with or should we take responsibility for it?”
“We decided we could be leaders and help to make a small but important difference to our Burnham community,” says Birgit. “This inspired another trip back to the site (with safety gloves and rubbish bags) to help care for our environment.”
“We felt proud that curiosity for a digger had inspired showing a sense of responsibility for our community.”
Community connections run strong at kindergarten too.
“We recently enlisted a group of local soldiers to help remove shrubs to clear space for a new carpentry area, as well as other bits and pieces around the garden," says Birgit. "It’s great for children to see soldiers in a different role, and to join in to lend a hand.”
"We have such brilliant parent community support too - afterwards, a Dad waterblasted the mouldy patch on the fence where the shrubs had been.”
Kidsfirst Burnham Teacher, Pip Gould sums it up well. “Our kindergarten is not just about the children, it’s about all of our whānau and our whole community. There's a really wonderful community feel here."
Here's what one parent had to say in appreciation of the wonderful teaching team at Kidsfirst Burnham:
KIDSFIRST KINDERGARTENS ARE A NOT FOR PROFIT ASSOCIATION THAT HAS DEVELOPED AND MAINTAINED KINDERGARTENS IN CHRISTCHURCH, CANTERBURY AND ON THE WEST COAST FOR OVER 100 YEARS - AS THE PLACE LOCAL KIDS COME TO LEARN, PLAY AND HAVE FUN.