|Janet & John|
|Betty Roband, known to many whom she taught as Mrs Hunt. remembers her early teaching career.|
|When I came here in 1941 as a sixth former Madeline Pye and I were the first 6th Form pupils of the High School. We cleared a small storage room at the end of the 2 classroom corridor as our area. Bus service north only went as far as Kauri Point. Pupils from Athenree and Tanners Point caught the train at Athenree or Tahawai Station. Ten years later when I came back as a teacher the whole area was serviced by buses.
I returned to 'Janet and John' readers, books with very stilted vocabulary and uninteresting topics. Children were supposed to learn by 'look and say'. Maths was done using counters. Walls were all blackboard lined at child level - and children worked on these with chalk. Fortunately, as years passed another series of readers was introduced. These were small booklet form, well illustrated and the topics were much more relevant. Along with these readers teachers began making activities to keep children occupied - work sheets dealing with readers currently being mastered. Children were grouped and each turn had time at a small blackboard with the teacher. At one stage 'word tins' were a feature of learning. Each child had a tin to take home - it contained basic words the child was having problems with. Later parents were asked to supply book bags and several times a week the child took home a book he had previously studied, or that he was capable of reading. In this way parents became involved.
|Arnold Gladding, a former Deputy Principal of Katikati District High School. with a line of pupils waiting to board a school bus. Up until about 1960 most buses belonged to the Education Department and drivers were recruited from available male teachers at the school.|
|For many years the whole Infant School produced a concert. This involved much co-operation and practise and often gave an opportunity for the less scholastic to shine. It was for a number of years always performed on the stage in the town hall.
The younger juniors were taken on a train trip to Te Aroha. There was a walk from Te Aroha station to a park and play area, eat lunch and walk back to the train for the return journey. All classes had a picnic at the end of the year and parents provided transport and extra supervision. Ongare Point, Bowentown and Queen Elizabeth Park in Tauranga were all popular venues.
Over the years scope of reading increased and many books with repetitive and rhyming elements were made into blow-up books, produced by teachers with help from parents and in later years the 'teacher's aide'. A small area at the front of the classroom was covered by mats and children sat on these when working as a group with the teacher. At other times they sat around six or eight seat tables.
|No. 2 School later became part of Katikati Central and is now part of the present day Katikati Primary School. The room on the right was the original school which opened in 1879. The room on the left was added in 1923. The building was recently refurbished along with the rest of the primary school and is still in use. This photograph was taken in 1979.|
|In later years children were given a standardised test which gave an indication of each child's reading skills. Certainly a far cry from Janet and John days.
For many years maths was aided with cuisinaire rods to assist them with addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Here again, work sheets became an added activity. Along with this went practical maths and water trays with a variety of measures were a feature of each classroom.
Over the years parents were encouraged to take a greater interest in classroom activities and we had 'Parent Days', when parents could come and watch the children at work.
During the 29 years I taught attitudes to 'learning' changed a greatly. In the Janet & John days work was learnt almost by rote but as years passed even the youngest children were encouraged to use a variety of skills to solve a problem whether it be reading or maths. Emphasis was placed on 'making sense' and readers varied greatly to provide interest. Much use was made of the fact that children like rhyme and repetition.