West End Kindergarten has its own treaty, listing positive behaviours that make it a nurturing, fun and safe place to be – and there’s a friendly taniwha to watch over it.
The kindergarten’s treaty has been put together by the children and includes the values of being kind to each other, respecting each other’s creations, sharing feelings and caring for the environment.
Each mat time, children that have displayed one of the behaviours are presented with a Post-it Note with a message about their good deed to place on the ‘Taniwha’. The notes represent a new scale on the glittery blue Taniwha.
Head teacher Jo Ellery says the children work together to come up with a new treaty each year, the same time as the Tiriti O Waitangi is celebrated.
They take ownership of the values and expectations of how they want to be together. The taniwha scales are a powerful incentive to ‘do the right thing’.
If we a see a child engaging in such actions as Pick, Play, Put Away; atawhai/kindness; using kind hands or kind words, for example, a teacher will write a Post-it scale to acknowledge this.
We are labelling the pro-social behaviour that we want to affirm and celebrate.
Whaea Jo says the kindergarten has had the treaty for a few years but has just widened the concept to include the taniwha this year, weaving in the strategies of IY (Incredible Years Programme).
As well as empowering children with positive behaviour, messages are going home too, with some families creating their own family treaties about the kind of home environment they want to create together.