J has really settled in well at school. Her new teacher is very nice and she is beginning to make good friends amongst her new class mates. I think the transition from Kindergarten to School has been harder on me than it has on J. I have transformed into one of those very pushy Mums who wants to be involved in the school so they can keep an eye on their precious first borns. I have now volunteered to help out in the classroom and come in to do reading with some of the children. I really need to get back to work!
I think, from what I can tell so far, that school in NZ is not all that much different from the UK apart from the fact that they are far more relaxed about access to school grounds and the classroom environment is slightly less formal. I can just wander into the school at any time to help out in the classroom and no one stops me. There is no intercom or high fences as you see in many inner city UK schools. J has been told just to stay behind the red line in the playground, that is all that stands between her and freedom!
It is however a bit disconcerting when you come to pick up time. They are all just released from the classrooms and no one checks whether parents are there or not to collect the little ones. J has been instructed by her teacher to return to the classroom if no one is there at pick up time. At this stage however I am making damn sure I am there on time as I am not sure I trust her entirely to return to the classroom and not panic. I am probably worrying unnecessarily. The fact is that everyone outside the school knows each other. Its such as small place that in two weeks I recognise everyone waiting at the school already, so hopefully if J ever wandered off there are plenty of people who would look after her. The trust, freedom and responsibility that is placed on these children at such a young age can be a bit difficult for someone coming from the UK to get used too.
Spring is apparently here but its not coming soon enough as far as I am concerned. We have had two winters consecutively and now we are desperate for some proper sunshine. We have seen fleeting glimpses of summer but not enough yet for us to try out our new tent. So the last couple of weeks we have made do with some good local walks.
Pauatahanui wildlife reserve is on our doorstep and is a great place to see wading birds and other wildlife. I didn't manage to get any decent pictures of birds this time so here is a picture of A with some sheep we met on the walk.
There are hides dotted all around the reserve which are ideal places to spot birds from - providing you don't shout out every time you see a duck.
Pondering the complexities of life.
Looking towards Whitby.