Kindergarten across the decades.
Richmond Kindergarten was one of our early kindergartens in the Canterbury area, opening of the 28th of June 1921. And like many others, Richmond has seen its fair share of changes over the last 92 years.
The photo above shows Russell Sears, 73, sharing a story with the Richmond Kindergarten children in 2005. Russell had his first story time with the kindergarten in 1932 when he was a kindy kid himself and came back in 2005 as a volunteer in the Story Readers Programme, to share his own experiences of Richmond Kindergarten in the 1930s.
Su Blacklock, Head Teacher at the time of our centenary, had been at Richmond since 1978 and shared some of her most notable memories with us from training.
Su trained in 1970/71 and she remembers her training and early days in kindergarten well, noting that things were done quite differently then to the expectations today.
“When I first started teaching, at 12 o’clock, the morning session finished and we used to send all the children away on their trikes down the street. You’d stand at the corner, and all the mothers, who were stay-at-home mums, would come out of their houses and stand next to their letterboxes and wait for their children to peddle home for lunch.”
One of the greatest changes, Su's noticed has been in the technology available to children and kindergartens.
“When you took photos, you had to wait until the film was used, then take it to the chemist, and sometimes only four would have worked out. Now you can just take heaps and heaps of digital photos, or make movies, and it’s great for the children to visually share what they’ve been doing. The technology changes are a fabulous aspect. I remember in the early days, to do a newsletter for parents, you had the old gestetner, with a stencil and meths, that you turned by hand, and spent all Friday afternoon churning out 80 newsletters.”
With trained teachers, timetable changes and a smaller child to teacher ratio, Su says there's been changes in how the children, teachers and family interact.
But while some of these small things may have changed, Su acknowledges that kindergarten's main focus has been pretty consistent over the years.
“Kindergarten, since its inception, has been focused on children, families and communities, free play and the insistence on trained teachers. But other aspects are just totally, totally different," says Head Teacher Su Blacklock.
Our website uses material from the Canterbury Westland Kindergarten Association's own archives, Kindergarten Chronicles and other CWFKA publications, and those sourced from the kindys themselves. Unless otherwise noted, we believe all photographs are those of the kindergarten association and sincerely apologise if we have used any images inadvertently, without appropriate credits or permissions. If so, please advise us so we can rectify the situation.
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.