Tuesday, April 18, 2017

500 likes! our facebook page continues

Even though Minischool Norfolk Island closed its doors in January 2017, the facebook page is still going strong with 500 LIKES!!

There will still be loads of family friendly information posted onto the facebook page.

You can follow what is going on around the island and find inspirational ideas posted here


Come and visit us there.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The last Minischool Mini-News letter January 2017

LAST MINISCHOOL Mini- news 2017

It is with regret that I announce to the community of Norfolk Island that Minischool Educational Preschool will be closing at the end of next week once all the preschoolers are settled at school and the centre of their choice.
Due to Government changes, high expectations to conform to Australian standards, very little support or assistance offered for essential services such as early educational centres, higher cost of living, commercial land rates, introduction of tax and wage changes etc, etc, the list goes on and on.. It is time for Minischool to finish its run of being a premium early education centre for all 3-5 year old island children.
Here is the story of Minischools beginnings. In 2009, a group of like minded parents banded together to try to increase the options of better quality early education on the island.

Back then, you had to either be a resident or buy an existing business which was 5 years old.... as none was available, we couldn't comply by breaking new ground for a much needed alternative or other option for the parents of Norfolk Island. WE are so fortunate that Adon Butterfield and his wife Rauni Lange could help start just what was needed.
Rauni, a Montessori teacher from Germany helped to open Norfolk Islands own Montessori Kinderhaus with thanks to Tarn and Khan Christian for the first venue.
We opened in January 2010.
After a couple of years, Rauni returned to her Montessori school in Germany and the reins were handed on to Cristina McRitchie in 2012.
Minischool educational preschool was relaunched under the guidance of teachers Cristina and Mandy Ellem. It flourished and doubled its numbers in a short time (now over quadrupled its numbers in its current fantastic venue on Queen Elizabeth avenue).
We included a much needed vacation care programme plus before and after school care for the peace of mind of working parents.
The Minischool minibus made the whole island our classroom and the community of Norfolk Island helped to teach the preschoolers from 2010-2017 all about our island, culture, customs, food and way of life.
We could jump into the bus whenever we got a call that the ship was in, a new lamb, piglet, calf or foal was born, if we wanted to pick guavas to make guava jelly... the list goes on. Life was wonderful and simple, the parents entrusted us with their children without the need to heavy duty risk assessment paperwork.. Risk assessment is what teachers do constantly anyhow!
Thank you everyone within the community who have encouraged, enjoyed the preschoolers and helped them to learn & grow. Thanks also to the community off island also sent us wonderful ideas and educational supplies as well as our own purchases to keep preschool teaching fresh, new and inventive and constantly changing and evolving and to keep young minds active.
The newspaper articles (thanks to Jonno & Jo for the ink space and to Alison for all the extra internet uploads) kept the community informed of all the fabulous things we did at Minischool.
The facebook page and our blog kept families especially grandparents (and aunties, uncles and cousins) off island up to date with a photo gallery of their little loved ones growing and exploring. I got so many thank you's from grandmas and aunties during this time as well as great feedback from this community at large.
 Sadly we could have existed like this for a long time into the future, providing an amazing service with programmed and themed activities in an safe environment with loving staff members. But back in early 2016 life on Norfolk Island changed, it became all about meetings, forms, expectations, excessive and unnecessary paperwork, paperwork, paperwork to conform tho the Australian accreditation system. Expectations from parents that money would be received back through Government schemes, not knowing the real cost to run these accredited centres.
Preschool became financially and emotionally exhausting and more about paperwork & conforming to Australian standards than praising what was already fabulous and working well on Norfolk Island. We provided a service that worked, helped every working parent when they needed it most and was the best on offer to educate little minds in an amazing environment. We made wonderful discoveries island wide as well as in our own imaginative gardens.
I give a huge thanks to Peter and Natalie for providing the most beautiful exploring gardens for Minischool at Shangri la.
My sadness is for the families from 2017 and in the near future who have not had the chance to experience the magical early learning centre that the children and families of Minischool knew and loved.
My hope for the future is for Norfolk Island to find its way forward and place importance back into its people & essential services such as a working hospital and early learning for 0-5 year olds.
This is such a fabulous community, you deserve better.
Thanks everyone for your support for the past 7 years.
Cristina xx
Minischool Educational Preschool


The end... for now. It's not goodbye, It's Thank YOU!

Today in the local newspaper was the hardest column I have had to write all about my beautiful preschool space Minischool closing down at the end of this week.
I will put the last newsletter post onto our blog but I really wanted to say THANK YOU dear faithful followers and supporters of Minischool for all your encouragement, appreciation and support you have given me here on the facebook page.
We almost got to 500 page likes which is amazing for a tiny preschool on a tiny... island filled with incredible tiny little people.
This is not really the end, we have the preschool graduation to go and a family picnic.
I will continue posting family and parental tips here and some memories as well.
Again, Thank you!
Love and friendship from the bottom of my heart xx Cristina


Thursday, September 15, 2016

Kissing shoes

Which shoe on which foot?

Do you have a pre-schoolers that struggles with shoes on the wrong feet.

Sometimes it is not easy to get it right.

You may have heard the trick to cut a large sticker in half and put inside the shoe, but in this subtropical climate, the humidity makes the stickers... well sticky!

So our little method is the kissing shoes.

Draw a little black dot or heart or star on the same place on each shoe where the two shoes meet in their correct position. This will make the dots kiss each other.

Kissing shoes... make a big kissy sound to get the message home, the pre-schoolers think it is hysterical when their shoes make a big MWAH sound.

Now they will be able to see which is the correct way to put the pair of shoes together.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's day 2016

Happy Mothers day to all of our Minischool Mum's.
We hope you enjoyed all of your pressies made with love from your children and ourselves.
These are the children's interviews about their Mothers. They all usually get us in a giggly mood!
Children are so funny.

Our annual shrink necklaces for mum. We change the shape each year for those who stay at Minischool Preschool for more than one year.

The children are always amazed at how they turn out.

WE hope you spent the day feeling like the treasured jewels you are, your job of raising these important little people is a valuable one.

Thanks from the bottom of our hearts for entrusting us with caring, nurturing and guiding your amazing children ♥

Thursday, March 31, 2016