Youngsters get ready to celebrate 50 years of kindy

Ruby Tattersfield, 3, Jordan Wilson, 4, and Frankie McDonald, 4, make decorations for Newfield Kindergarten 50th Jubilee.
JOANNA GRIFFITHS/FAIRFAX NZ

Ruby Tattersfield, 3, Jordan Wilson, 4, and Frankie McDonald, 4, make decorations for Newfield Kindergarten 50th Jubilee.

Faces might have changed at of Newfield Kindergarten but, head teacher Tessa Purdue says, the heart has always stayed the same. 

Newfield Kindergarten will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on February 11. 

A lot had changed since the kindy had first opened its doors in 1967, Purdue said. 

Frankie McDonald, 4, head teacher Tessa Purdue and Cora Taylor, 3, make decorations for Newfield Kindergarten 50th Jubilee.
JOANNA GRIFFITHS/FAIRFAX NZ

Frankie McDonald, 4, head teacher Tessa Purdue and Cora Taylor, 3, make decorations for Newfield Kindergarten 50th Jubilee.

"It's hard to believe but the whole area was bush back then."

The houses on Rockdale Rd, Regent St, Highfield Terence and Tweed street all came after, she said.

The kindergarten was opened after parents in the community rallied together to get funding.

"So many children and families needed a service like this. The community worked really hard to get it."

Back then there was a waiting list of about 300 children, "Which is incredible."

About 40 toddlers attend Kindergarten in the morning and another 40 came for afternoon sessions.

Today the school had had a waiting list of about 10 youngsters with about 30 toddlers coming to the morning sessions and 20 in the afternoon, with most of those having also attend the morning session. 

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"Back then they only had two teachers now we have three."

It was hard to think how teachers handled it back then.

"We are lucky now we have more resources and can spend more time with individual childern."

Purdue became a teacher at Newfield four years ago but had also done her third year practical posting at the kindergarten in 2005.

Despite being there for a relatively short period of time she felt at home.

"You can feel the openness of this place as soon as you step in the door."

Purdue hoped that not only people who attended the kindergarten as youngsters would come along to celebrate their 50th Jubilee, but also the parents.

"Many of our parents have made life long friendships here ... they work together and help each other on the journey of parenthood."

With an addition of a vegetable garden, native area and joining the Enviroschools programme four years ago, there was a lot of new things for past pupils and parents to checkout.  

She hoped many stories would be shared at the Powhiri and tree planting ceremony at Newfield Kindergarten on Centre St on Saturday, February 11 from 4pm to 6pm. 

 - Stuff

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