What a big weekend for Waikino School! Our school performance at the Sundaise Festival was a huge success, with many hundreds of people in attendance and many of those people stopping to connect with me after our performance to express how blown away and indeed moved by the children's performance they were. I was particularly proud of the children who performed, because our performance was not compulsory, our children had to put themselves forward, step up and step into the role of their bird within a very short timespan.
This weekend our school stood on stage, and the children who represented all of us, did us proud.
A big thank you to Al Sorley who besides being our BOT chair, and a parent of two children in the school is also a passionate advocate of our school. Through Alastair and his wife Rachel Sorley's connections, our school has been able to provide our children with learning opportunities, contexts and experiences that many New Zealand School children will never have. The invitation to perform at Sundaise came from a recognition of Waikino's extraordinary journey last year, and I think it needs to be acknowledged that this invitation was no small thing, but represented a great privilege for our school. By accepting the invitation to perform, we became a main stage, headline act at Sundaise within a long line up of experienced and seasoned famous musicians and performance artists. As such I feel enormously grateful to the 5 organisers of the Sundaise Festival, for recognising our talent, believing in us and inviting us to perform.
A big thank you also to Koro Mike O'Donnell who gives so much of his time and energy which is already so caught up in his workshop as an artist in his Taraariki Studio, and in his various education and school projects now taking place in Paeroa and Putaruru particularly. Our school is privileged to have enjoyed a 7 year learning Journey with Mike, which I hope will continue to benefit our school for many years to come. Mike has already invited our young performers to a day workshop at Taraariki in a few weeks time, to work with clay and see inside an artists workshop and studio.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank once again Melissa Pilkinton-Brodie, who gave so much of her time last year in painting our extraordinary masks which give our performances such power. Thank you for the additional painting you did for this performance also, these masks and the imagery of your work have become such a taonga, a treasure to our school.
Finally I would like to thank my team, the staff and parents of Waikino School for all the unseen actions that help support and get us to Sundaise, to Julia and Lauren especially, who attended the festival with me. Julia, thank you for your support in helping April and Erana shine, they were truly amazing! Lauren, thank you for your support backstage, taking photos to share with our community and for supporting me during our Putangitangi Workshop on Sunday which was attended by well over 50 adults and children.
Our value focus for the next two weeks is Reliability (the seed carrier for this Value is Kokako) which our children last year chose because to them it meant never giving up and being someone others can count on. Encourage your children to explore this value at home with you over the next week, discussing how reliability might be demonstrated in their lives at home for example, it might be keeping their room tidy, remembering to put their lunchbox on the bench when they get home or sharing notices given to them at school that day.
Have a great week everyone
nga mihi nui