Children start at Halswell School, when they turn 5, in the New Entrant Learning Centre, Ahuriri. We aim to make your child’s start to school as fun as possible in a calm and nurturing environment. New Entrant children and parents are supported in the transition to our school community with a programme of three preschool visits. Children spend time in the studio, joining in lessons and getting to know their teachers and classmates. During this time, parents are invited to attend information sessions covering school routines, uniform, lunches, school programmes and ways to support their child’s learning. Parents also get to meet Stuart Cameron our Principal, Cathie Zelas our Associate Principal and Office staff. When the special day arrives, children already feel part of the community and in almost all cases, the children are happy to say goodbye to parents and enjoy the school day. For the first two weeks new children finish at 2pm.
In Ahuriri we aim to provide programmes that build on the Early Childhood Te Whariki Curriculum. We focus on developing foundation skills in literacy and numeracy while encouraging the children to develop the skills they will need to be successful lifelong learners.
In Ahuriri we:
- Run a play based learning programme – promoting creative and critical thinking, resilience, language skills, and self-motivated learners.
- Develop ‘Growth MIndset’ beliefs within our learners.
- Promote the Halswell School Values of Caring, Respect, Honesty and Resilience.
- Complete tests in the first few weeks in reading, writing and numeracy in order to plan appropriate learning programmes.
- Invite you in for an interview after about 6 weeks to discuss your child’s start to school and how you can help at home.
- Have an open door policy and see communication between home and school as an integral part of your child’s learning.
- Encourage parent help in the classroom.
- Offer a daily reading programme with groups based on the children’s current learning needs.
- Run a writing and phonics programme based on children’s learning goals.
- Provide a maths programme based on problem-solving.
- Integrate Information Technology across all subject areas.
- Support children with a wide range of enrichment and extension programmes.
- Acknowledge New Zealand’s bicultural heritage by integrating tikanga and Te Reo into our learning programmes and by providing regular Whanau Afternoons.
- Run a varied Physical Education programme, which include ball skills, swimming, Run, Jump & Throw and PMP (perceptual motor programme).
- Value the arts – we encourage children to explore their creativity through dance, drama and visual arts.
- Participate in a range of learning experiences outside the classroom.
- Children usually stay in Ahuriri Learning Centre for between 1-3 terms before moving onto Huritini.