“What number is next”, Kaiako Rachel asked the children sitting on a mat in front of her. “TWO”, the children all called out eagerly together. Kaiko Rachel placed the number two following the wooden number one on the table in front of her and picked up the next number to repeat the process.
As chair of the board, I often drop into our preschool on matters of business, and Friday 14th May 2021 was one of those visits. I arrived about 9.15 and the teachers invited me to join their morning welcome time. The children were all sitting on a mat in front of Kaiako Rachel who was holding up one at a time, numbers carved out of wood.
“What number is next”, she asked. All of the children called out together “THREE” and Kaiko Rachel placed the number on the table. This process continued until she reached the number seven and then to my surprise Kaiako Rachel stopped.
I was not surprised for long though as Kaiako Rachel asked the children to stand with her and she led them a few meters to the wall behind her, on which was hanging ceiling to floor one below the other seven sheets of A3 sized black paper. They were individually numbered top to bottom one to seven, and they were sellotaped at the top so they could be flipped up.
Kaiako Rachel reached up on tip toes and flipped up the top sheet number one, and began to explain to the children the creation week. She explained that God wanted something that He could love, enjoy and look after, so He created us and the world that we live in (in the correct order of course).
After Kaiako Rachel had finished and the children went off to enjoy their morning snack, I reflected on what I had just witnessed. I marveled at the opportunities that our teachers have to speak Christian truths into the lives of our children through living out their faith in our preschool, and the effect that this might have on our children as they grow while with us and in the years after.
This was surely an amazing example of nurturing foundations of Christian faith and high quality learning in our marvelous mix of the love of God, the passion of Christian teachers and the curiosity of children within our delightful corner of God’s creation. I can only imagine the positive effect that this could have as the children grow in understanding over time, and prayerfully in the future they develop their own saving faith.
Spence Reichardt, Board Chair