“Preventing conflicts is the work of politics: establishing peace is the work of education.”
Montessori (1992) in Education and Peace
With the Olympics well under way in Rio, there was plenty of discussion about what the tamariki had been watching on TV. Ada said she watched the “acrobats” and “a girl lost her balance.” Julius loved to share what he had been watching each day and was particularly taken by the Opening Ceremony and the rowing.
As you can imagine, there was great excitement leading up to our own Montessori Mini Olympics. There was still a week to go and I was already being asked “How many sleeps until we go on the bus?”
As we practiced our songs, the New Zealand National Anthem and Tūtira Mai, I could see this only added to the excitement. It was great to hear that your tamariki were also sharing their joy and love for these songs with you at home.
On the day, even the rain did not stop the games from commencing. On our way to the Stadium, the bus stopped to pick up all the tamariki, kaiako and helpers from Kauri Montessori. Stoke Montessori whānau were already waiting for our arrival.
When we arrived, we all gathered together in our continents to march into the stadium behind the Olympic banner.
Our tamariki were brightly dressed according to their continent group.
Brown – Australasia,
Pink – South America,
Orange – North America,
Red – Europe,
Yellow – Asia,
Green – Africa.
Once seated, we sang the New Zealand National Anthem.
It was then time for the torch bearers to run the circuit. When the torch was handed to Jenny, the co-ordinator from Sports Tasman who helped organise the event, the games were declared open.
Tamariki remained in their continent groups to move around the eight event stations. At the station, activities were designed to raise heart rates and improve motor skills in a fun and non-threatening way. The children crawled through tunnels, balanced balloons on rackets and weaved through obstacle courses.
It was now time for the closing ceremony, where we all performed Tūtira Mai with the actions. The games were then declared closed until 2020
Our tamariki were awarded well deserved medals at the medal ceremony. There was no hiding the wonderful smiles.
“What did you enjoy about today?”
Paloma replied….”getting the medal” Victoria replied the “bus”.
This event was a wonderful platform to start to explore geography interests and find out more about places and cultures near to and far from NZ. As we move toward International Peace Day on 21 September 2016 we are reminded of the need to embrace the spirit of togetherness and camaraderie within our communities. To teach the youngest members of our community to be peaceful and to be kind.
We are lucky to have a diverse international community within our Montessori schools. When our tamariki and their whaanau are able to share their cultural knowledge and learn about others, they are gaining an understanding that people from different ways of life also have many things in common. They are learning acceptance of others
I am sure your tamariki will have even more stories to share. Thank you to all the parents who came along and supported this event. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
By Theresa Byrman and Jane Murray