Steaming Into School (SIS) is a unique Wairakei Primary School programme for children aged 4.5 - 5 years old. SIS provides an opportunity for children to meet and socialise at Wairakei Primary School with their New Entrant teacher and other children who are starting school about the same time they are.
Mrs. Griffin said: Our SIS programme has many benefits and positive aspects to it. It is all about welcoming and connecting our new students with their teacher, their classroom and their school. I feel we do this extremely well.
An additional feature to the SIS programme are visits to the Pre-school Centres, Early Childhood Centres and Kindergartens by our New Entrant teacher, Fiona Griffin. Fiona visits each child on the current SIS programme each term. These visits are intended to provide children with a supportive and smooth transition to Wairakei Primary School. Seeing and spending time with Mrs. Griffin at their Pre-school Centre, Early Childhood Centre or Kindergarten gives children time to build a relationship with Mrs. Griffin, as well as forming a link between their pre-school and primary school environments.
Midway through each SIS programme, once children and families have met Mrs. Griffin a few times, Fiona will start visiting the children at their Pre-school Centres, Early Childhood Centres or Kindergartens. These visits are usually met with excited and sometimes puzzled faces as the children try to remember who Fiona is. Once they realise, there is usually lots of talking and sharing. Favourite places, special games and toys are often presented to Mrs. Griffin as she is taken on a whirl-wind tour. This excitement continues through to the children’s next SIS session when they arrive wanting to tell Mrs. Griffin that they saw her at their kindy.
Mrs. Griffin said: Each child’s face, when they recognise me and connect me to Steaming Into School at Wairakei Primary School, is priceless. Their eyes light up, they smile and giggle. Then a little voice says, “Come with me! I want to show you…”. Usually by then a crowd has formed and I’m off on a tour of their favourite places with six or more children.
When it comes to children starting school, they have usually had four SIS sessions, at least one kindy visit, and two or more school/class visits. This provides our New Entrant students with a positive and smooth start to school.
On a visit to My Treehut, Mrs. Griffin was included in some fun dress up play and taken on a tour to the monkey bars.