Next Step Training
One of our students who is profoundly deaf, conducted a signing class for students and staff. She held the groups attention well using interactive activities and games to involve everyone. She had prepared an evaluation and feedback sheet and was very pleased with the positive responses. She is planning to more hold classes. We have a NZSL Taster class booked for 8th June from Deaf Aotearoa as part of New Zealand Sign Language Week.
This term the programme is working with students from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Otepoti on a Monday afternoon and Carisbrook School on a Tuesday afternoon. So far there have been three sessions for each school, 2 held at the museum and 1 at the schools. This term we have begun with a different on-going experiment to the previous groups (the experiment will run for the entirety of the programme), instead of mummifying apples the children are now trying to grow/inhibit algae in some samples of pond water using various different ingredients, for example dishwashing liquid. The children seem to be really engaged with this experiment and are really excited about the possibility of growing ‘slime!’ Another favourite has also been visiting the ‘Tropical Forest’, where the children are encouraged to identify all the senses involved while observing as a scientist, although some children are a little frightened of the butterflies to begin with, for the most part they are really keen to observe and sometimes they are able to get the insects to land on them.
Intensive Literacy & Numeracy (Prison)
Tony had a student who was enrolled in the Step Up programme but initially unwilling to do much work – he would try one exercise and then become frustrated and angry, contentious with officers and seemed very unhappy. Tony chatted with him and found a shared interest in HQ Holdens. Being able to contextualize the work to his interests has given him enthusiasm for working on problems rather than just give up. He heard about a job going in the engineering workshop, so Tony talked to his case manager and now his name has been put forward. He is showing more pride not only in the work he is doing now, but also in his prior accomplishments both within prison and outside – his demeanour and attitude are consistently improving. One of the other students thanked Tony for helping him saying he was one of the only teachers he had worked with who tried altering teaching style to match his understanding – it has been a rewarding couple of weeks.
Client Support Work
Mary (not her real name) walked into the Milton office distressed looking for support to access her IRD online account and print necessary paperwork for her lawyer as she was going through the Family Court regarding marital property. Mary said she could go to the local library to access their computer but didn't feel confident her paperwork or login would be confidential in a public place, so opted to come to the Tokomairiro Hub to see if she could get help. Mary stated she was aware there would be confidentiality clauses that would keep her information confidential at the Tokomairiro Hub. Mary also disclosed she was not computer literate and gets frustrated easily as she doesn't know what she is doing. Mary was supported to do what she needed to do online and was able to print off her information for her lawyer. Talking about her PCOMS scores, Mary said she is ‘usually a box of fluffies’ however due to her ex-husband making things difficult she has been feeling quite stressed. Mary appreciated being able to come into a place where she could get help knowing it would be confidential. Mary was very thankful for the help and time.
The Early Years Hub
The Hub has again been fortunate to have received some beautiful knitted hats, slippers, fish and chip jerseys and jumpers from the Parish Ladies just in time for the cold snap. We have been able to make sure that everyone who comes to the Hub leaves with at least a warm hat and more often than not slippers and a jersey to go with it. The Maui studios came to film “A day in the life of the Hub” for our funding partner Te Pūtahitanga. The Baby Wearing Library, Breast Room, the Music and Movement group and Creators at Home playgroup were filmed and we would like to thank all those who graciously gave of their time. Our thanks to Food Share for the donation of some quinces which are not something we see every day so the Cooking class have been busy learning how to make quince jelly and paste.
The teddy bear hospital visit was a fun and rewarding trip for the tamariki. We took a group of 10 children and their teddies to explore a hospital environment while interacting with friendly doctors and dentists in training. They are designed to show the medical world in a fun way and to reduce any anxiety some tamariki may feel towards these environments. It was a resounding success with a lot of laughs and learning for all involved.
There have been some changes in dynamics in the Kiwi Room, as six children turned two and moved in to the Tui Room. As children approach 20 to 24 months, their language, complexity of play, and concentration increases, so we can share extended, engaged periods of play at the art easels, playdough table, or puzzles. This can often be a lot of fun, because there are more opportunities for conversation, taking responsibilities and social interactions. A large focus for our planning in recent months has been on language development and developing social competency skills for this group of children. Our two-year-old Milestones show that almost all six children are achieving well in social, language, physical and intellectual development. Now we have a group of four babies, so the dynamic has changed with a lot of care routines taking priority, such as preparing and feeding bottles and settling infants to sleep. The infants are developing physical skills such as rolling, sitting and crawling, so preparing the environment for tummy time and time exploring on the floor is now a planning focus.