Education Gazette 100.9

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26 JULY 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 9

Special centenary edition

History, whakapapa, community, whānau Giving voice to local history in Otago

Embracing kaitiakitanga in the Far North

Inside the covers of the School Journal

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ISSU E 1 00.9


Spotlight on the centenary of the Education Gazette


Connection and resilience in close-knit Kaikōura community


Deep, rich history at Otago Peninsula school


Collecting back our knowledge


Girls can do anything


Inside the covers of the School Journal


Nurturing young Māori in the Deep South


Over a century in education sector for Sisters


Rena – how a shipwreck inspired learning



Providing the right support



On the cover One of the magnificent korowai handcrafted by parent Jacqueline Wadsworth for the head students of Kaikōura High School. The korowai are worn for special occasions, with pride. More on page 4. 26 JULY 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 9

Special centenary edition

History, whakapapa, community, whānau Giving voice to local history in Otago

Embracing kaitiakitanga in the Far North

Inside the covers of the School Journal


26 July 2021

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My Turangawaewae

exploring identity through the arts A Creatives in Schools project took students and staff at Sylvia Park School on a learning journey encompassing the arts, mathematics, tikanga and identity.

Rural students learning better with internet connections Internet connections provided to rural households during and after the Covid-19 lockdowns are making it easier for children to learn away from the classroom.

Looking to the past to understand the present The new Ngarimu VC and 28th (Māori) Battalion learning resource was launched on Friday 2 July in Ruatoria.

Latest podcast online: Curriculum

in action at Te Ao Mārama School

View the PLD, general notice listings and vacancies at Scan the QR codes with the camera on your device. PLD

PUBLISHED BY Education Gazette is published for the Ministry of Education by NZME. Educational Media Ltd. PO Box 200, Wellington. ISSN 0111 1582 All advertising is subject to advertisers agreeing to NZME. Educational Media’s terms and conditions terms-conditions-credit-criteria


Education Gazette

STORY IDEAS We welcome your story ideas. Please email a brief (50-100 words) outline to: SUBSCRIPTIONS VIEW US ONLINE Web: Instagram: @edgazettenz Youtube: edgazettenewzealand

KEY CONTACTS Reporter Joy Stephens Display & paid advertising Jill Parker 027 212 9277 Vacancies & notices listings Eleni Hilder 04 915 9796



DEADLINES The deadline for display advertising to be printed in the 16 August 2021 edition of Education Gazette is 4pm on Monday 2 August 2021. This publication is produced using FSC® Certified paper from Responsible Sources.


A special cover for a special issue


his year, the first issue of every term is dedicated to marking the Education Gazette’s centenary and sharing some of the fascinating stories to emerge in New Zealand education over the past 100 years. Our third special centenary edition takes readers to schools and kura in the Far North and in the Deep South, with stops in Bay of Plenty, Whanganui and Kaikōura along the way, each adding to our treasury of centenary articles. You’ll notice we’ve selected a very different sort of image for the cover of this special issue. It is a close-up photograph of one of the beautiful korowai worn by the head students at Kaikōura High School for special occasions, such as pōwhiri, prizegivings, Anzac Day commemorations and meeting visiting dignitaries to the school.

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The korowai were handcrafted by Jacqueline Wadsworth, a member of the school community, and donated to the school before its prizegiving in December 2014. The korowai is a fitting image for

this issue – it speaks to the sense of community and the mana that are so important not only to Kaikōura High School but also to the many schools and kura we have visited in the course of this centenary series to date.

A lighter moment during the student leaders’ photo shoot at Kaikōura High School, their korowai being worn with pride.

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Connection and resilience in close-knit Kaikōura community Located between sea and mountains, Kaikōura is susceptible to the vagaries of nature, most recently with the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake, and in 1993 a flood that caused catastrophic damage. But adversity has built resilience and connection between mana whenua and long-time locals in this close-knit community.


Education Gazette

“Things Māori are interwoven in the school and I think that when you have nearly half of the students with Māori whakapapa, they don’t see themselves as a minority – and neither do the other kids.” John Tait


wo minutes after midnight on 14 November 2016, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked Kaikōura – the devastation was massive. John Tait, principal of Kaikōura High School, was unable to get into town for several days, by which time Ministry of Education engineers were on site to assess the damage. “We got an emergency management team together and made a plan for what the reopening of the school would look like. The earthquake happened just as seniors were about to go into examinations,” he remembers.

The school’s fields were used by military helicopters to land supplies from naval ships, which also flew tourists and some locals, whose homes had been destroyed, out of town. Fortunately, the school wasn’t badly damaged. While it was able to be occupied within a short time, repair work continued into 2021. “Importantly, what the earthquake did for us as a school was to make it absolutely clear that the important goal was people’s wellbeing. I think it’s changed an aspect of our thinking about young people

Above: Head boy Ruslan and Māori head boy Rex were two of the first ākonga for kaiako and former head girl Casey Davis at Kaikōura High School. Left: Senior student leaders at Kaikōura High School wear a korowai handcrafted by parent Jaqueline Wadsworth.

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and education. It’s made us very clear that wellbeing is essential to successful learning,” he says. With a diverse background in educational leadership, John (Ngāti Apa) took up the principal’s role at the end of 2015 with a goal of maintaining and fostering ties with the community. The Ministry of Education had appointed a limited statutory manager to support the Board of Trustees earlier that year. By 2017, the Education Review Office report highlighted the school’s strong leadership and its efforts in engaging Māori students, whānau and iwi.

Restoring mana

Kaikōura High School currently has a 50/50 split of Māori and Pākehā students. Up at the Takahanga Marae, sisters Riria Allen and Hariata Kahu (Ngāi Tahu, Te Ati Awa, Tūwharetoa) recall that when John became principal he went out to meet the school’s Māori whānau. “There had always been a gap between whānau and

education at Kaikōura High School,” says Hariata, who is chair of Te Rūnanga o Kaikōura. “We had a series of whānau hui and all this mamae (pain and hurt) came out because it needed to. No one pulled any punches and it was the best thing in the world that we did hear it. Out of that came some changes which have turned out to be really good,” says John, who is a fluent speaker of te reo Māori. “I think our Māori students are finding the school a bit more comfortable than they did before. The whānau class has been awesome, because it means that at the start of the day, our Māori students can come and feel their own identity; non-Māori students as well. They learn karakia, waiata and talk about their education goals and aspirations. “Things Māori are interwoven in the school and I think that when you have nearly half of the students with Māori whakapapa, they don’t see themselves as a minority – and neither do the other kids,” he adds.

Sisters Riria Allen and Hariata Kahu are passionate supporters of Kaikōura’s young people.


Education Gazette

Embracing change

Hariata and Riria both attended Kaikōura High School in the 1990s and early 2000s and say there was a culture of institutionalised racism at the time. The two sisters are passionate advocates for tamariki and rangatahi in the town. They say there’s been a huge shift for Māori nationwide and now is the time to embrace it. Riria remembers that when she was at school, many Māori students dropped out. This year, five out of six of the school’s student leaders are Māori. “Māori achievement isn’t just about NCEA levels. A huge achievement for Māori is the fact that we never had our young people go to Year 13. Now we’ve got huge numbers who go to Year 13 – it’s nearly 50/50. To have Māori in Year 12 who are engaged and wanting to be at school is a massive achievement for us,” says Riria.

Giving back

Casey Davis (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) was head girl at Kaikōura High School in 2012 and is now Year 10-

12 dean. She teaches te reo Māori at the school. “The school went through a big change when I got into senior school and really started to connect and engage with the rūnanga and started to build more relationships,” she says. After graduating from the University of Canterbury, Casey found herself back at her old school. “I came back as a teacher of te reo Māori. I was fresh out of uni, full of beans and really excited. “It’s been really cool seeing the journey of my first group of Year 9 students that I started with. They’re like an extension of my family. Three of those students ended up in leadership roles in the school this year,” she says proudly. As a dean, Casey believes she has an advantage dealing with the five per cent of students who are struggling at school. “I had taught a lot of them and already had that good relationship with them. If they don’t trust you, they’re not going to sit down and have an open conversation with

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Long-time science teacher David Mallinder enjoys a laugh with some of his senior students.

you, whereas if they know I’ve already got their back, it makes it a lot easier to do my job,” she says.

Then and now

When science teacher David Mallinder arrived in Kaikōura with his family from the industrial north of England, they decided “we would go for two years no matter what”. Forty years later, David is still a teacher at Kaikōura High School where he continues to teach physics, chemistry and science part-time “for as long as they’ll have me”. The school, which now has 220 students, was larger when David joined the staff, with a roll of 350 students. At the time major employers in the town were the New Zealand Railways, Fisheries and the Ministry of Works and about 70 per cent of students were Pākehā. “When I started teaching, students were like empty vessels and your job was to fill them up. It’s not the same as it used to be – and quite rightly,” he says. While David says science has always offered more hands-on learning opportunities, he welcomes the


Education Gazette

more culturally responsive two-way learning methods in practice today. “There’s far more emphasis on students working together to solve problems rather than just being told what the answer is. “The big difference now is more about teaching what is relevant to the students and lifting them from where they are to where they need to be in a particular subject. Now it’s more about how engaged and interested the student is,” he says. After 40 years teaching in the school, David says he’s forever bumping into former students and he’s always pleased to feel he played a small part in moulding them, no matter what they do with their lives.

Small town advantage

Deputy principal Jo Fissenden married into a longtime Kaikōura family. She says she can’t make it around the supermarket without at least one conversation about the school. “This community certainly appreciates face to face

“When I started teaching, students were like empty vessels and your job was to fill them up. It’s not the same as it used to be- and quite rightly.” David Mallinder

stuff and that’s a very Māori-centred way of doing things – let’s talk to each other rather than mass emails. But it works for everyone! “Our community is pretty good at letting you know how they feel about things, but often in a way that is low key. I like that because it often brings things up before they are a big problem – it’s a heads-up that allows you to get to SLT (senior leadership team) level and flag that this is a potential issue,” she says. “One of the advantages of a small community is we know our students and their families pretty well. And we’re able to see our students in different contexts,” adds John. “A lot of our students are related to each other, to teachers as well. The pastoral side of our work is probably more informed in a small rural community than it would presumably be in a large city.”

Deputy principal Jo Fissenden.

Professional connections

When Education Gazette was in town, John, Casey and a group of rangatahi Māori visited the bilingual Hāpuku School north of Kaikōura to share some Matariki activities. There’s been a long history of collaboration and co-operation between the six schools in the area and the Kaikōura kāhui ako has added to this with a strong programme of professional learning and development for teachers across the primary and secondary continuum. “It’s been good to look at things that increase our understanding of the learning pathway of the child from Year 1 right through to Year 13,” explains John. A smaller school can provide a wide range of opportunities, but professional isolation can be a challenge, says Jo. “Isolation is a big issue for us because to go anywhere is a day trip. It’s not just an afternoon PLD, but a whole day away. It’s a day out of class for the teacher, finding a reliever, the cost of them being away. That can be a battle at times,” she says.

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Connected and nurturing

John says the close-knit community grows multi-faceted young people. “That inter-connectedness allows our kids to take a whole lot of skills into the outside world that they don’t even realise they’ve got. It’s all about EQ – and that’s what makes a difference between people who are employable and people who just have a qualification,” he says. “For a little school, our kids really punch above their weight. They go away and they achieve really really well – in sport, academically. And they’re really well rounded: whatever they’re doing academically, most will have a sport and they will be working part-time, so they’ve got that understanding of time and self-management and what the real world is like,” adds Jo.

For extended interviews about Kaikōura High School and its community, see this story at Education Gazette online.

A bit of history The Year 7-13 secondary school began life in 1866 with the single room Ludstone School, situated a block away from the present school. In 1903 the school was converted to a district high school, which was destroyed by fire in 1905. A revived secondary department reopened in May 1908 with 22 students. In September 1926, the Christchurch Star reported a meeting with the Minister of Education and the Kaikōura School Committee who asked for extra accommodation saying ‘...the school at present being overcrowded, while the high school pupils had to be housed in the condemned building known as the old public library’. By 1927, more than 300 residents signed a petition ‘praying for the erection of a building for secondary classes’. Over the decades, the high school kept outgrowing itself, with the current purpose-built school opened in 1979.

Tumuaki John Tait with head boy Ruslan visited Hāpuku School to take part in Matariki activities. Ihaia-James is the centre of attention, while his mum and school tumuaki (with pepe), Ripeka Tamepo, proudly looks on.


Education Gazette

Senior student leaders at Kaikōura High School: Māori head boy Rex Allen (Ngāi Tahu), head boy Ruslan Ataria-Ivannikov (Ngāti Rongomaiwahine) , deputy head boy Blake Timms (Ngāi Tahu), head girl Summer Fissenden, deputy head girl Samantha Irvine.

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26 July 2021

18/06/2021 12:31:50 pm

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Education Gazette


Deep, rich history at Otago Peninsula school Otago Harbour and the surrounding countryside has been the classroom and playground for generations of children at one Dunedin school, which plans to capture some of the rich history of the area thanks to a grant they received in 2020.


road Bay School will use a Canon Oceania Community Grant for a project to construct a 3D model of Broad Bay and Otago Harbour which will connect people to the recorded oral histories of local people through QR codes. “We’re really trying to give the children a sense of who they are, a sense of identity and of knowing deeply where they’re from. So, it’s about understanding the past, the present and the future. “We’re basically at the epicentre of an ancient shield volcano which eventually eroded and created this harbour, which brought in marine and bird life,” says principal Greg Macleod. “Māori came and looked after the land, then there was the interaction with the whalers and sealers and then the early Scottish settlers. That changed the landscape of this area. Then Dunedin hit the goldrush and there was a lot of money in Dunedin and a lot of wealthy people built holiday homes out here,” he adds.

Early days

Ruby, Vera and Ezra ‘take five’ with principal Greg Macleod in Broad Bay School's community garden.

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The school was established in 1877 and when the 60th anniversary was held in February 1938, the Evening Star described Broad Bay in the 1870s as a thriving little settlement with increasing numbers of children and no school.

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“Eventually, however, the persistence of the Broad Bay residents was rewarded, but not before they had agreed to find a portion of the expense, the Education Board contributing £203 towards the cost of the erection of the school, £75 towards the teacher’s residence, and £60 for fencing,” reported the Star. Anita Wates (née Wilson) was a pupil at the school in the 1930s and was recently interviewed by an oral historian and children from Broad Bay School as part of the oral history project. She described Broad Bay as the ‘Riveria of Dunedin’ with families such as the Speights having holiday cribs in the bay. She told them about an outrigger canoe her father built from corrugated iron which they used in the harbour ,and crazes for different games such as marbles, hop scotch and wooden spinning tops. The outdoor environment was a significant part of her childhood and she still remembers being allowed to touch an albatross chick. “Nature studies was very important. We went for nature walks and studied certain things, then had to go and write about it. The head teacher, Miss Sutherland, was a conservationist and taught us to be conservationists,” she recalled.

Three generations of Broad Bay School pupils: left to right, Mike, Bob and Jethro Stanley.

Time spent in nature has always been a feature of the school.


Education Gazette

Four generations

Several decades later, Bob Stanley and his nine siblings attended the school. He remembers roaming up to Larnach’s Castle which was derelict in those days, stealing apples and a kindly school neighbour who made vegetable soup in the winter for the school’s 90 or so pupils. She used produce from the large school vegetable garden which was tended by the children, who also mowed the lawns. Children were always in, or on, the sea at their doorstep and a favourite memory was of playing cricket on the sandbank in the middle of the harbour, says Bob. “One thing we used to love doing, was we would swim from the Broad Bay Boating Club out onto the sandbanks at low tide and the parents would come in their rowboats and we’d have a game of cricket out there. If you hit the ball on the full and the kids had to swim after it, that was a six! It’s in the middle of the harbour – at low tide, it’s almost like a paddock,” remembers Bob. Bob’s son Mike attended the school in the 1970s and reckons school was pretty similar to his dad’s day. “I think my boyhood was probably the same as Dad’s – we’d get home from school and get straight into the harbour – year-round, rain, hail or shine. Sailing and canoes. Playing up in the paddocks – we’d go up to Larnach’s Castle – it would have been open then. We’d spend 99 per cent of our time outside – we’d go and camp down at The Pyramids when we were about 10, 11 – we thought we were on our own but the farmer there was keeping an eye on us!” “We sat at desks, we did what we were told. I don’t really remember any schooling – I just remember playing. We played games like bullrush that you’re not allowed to play anymore,” says Mike. (Tamariki listening to the interview said: ‘I want to play that so badly!’)

“When Mike was a boy, a woman in her 80s used to swim every day and she always asked one of the kids to go swimming with her – Mike used to often swim with Mrs Ritchie,” adds Bob. Mike’s son Blake attended Broad Bay School in the 2000s and grandson, Jethro (5) is now at the school. “I think school nowadays is brilliant. When I was at school, you went to your classroom – there were about 35 of us in it – all the desks were in line and you didn’t say a word until you were spoken to,” says Bob.

“I think educators need to find out what they have on offer in close proximity to get kids outside of classrooms as much as possible.” Greg Macleod

Outdoors learning environment

While Broad Bay is more suburban than rural today, Greg is determined that tamariki at the 33-student school have opportunities to experience the natural environment that surrounds them. In Bob and Mike’s day, this generally happened outside school hours, but nowadays it’s integrated into the curriculum. There are two composite classes, with teachers making the most of the opportunities afforded a school in the heart of the Otago Peninsula. “I think educators need to find out what they have on offer in close proximity to get kids outside of classrooms as much as possible. In this day and age there’s so much reliance on kids being indoors on devices. I see that we’ve got an obligation to teach children about getting themselves out in the environment, you’ve got to teach them how to be safe and make good judgements. That’s a big part of our programme here. “We had the push about creating modern learning environments and I feel quite comfortable in a traditional classroom setting. We’ve flipped that idea on its head and our innovative learning environment is the outdoors environment,” he says. Mike Stanley helps out with the water safety programme which, once a week during summer, sees the entire school learning to be safe in the water. Greg is a volunteer life guard and believes these skills are important, but it goes beyond that. “I always use water safety as an analogy to learning – when we feel uncomfortable in the water, that’s good because it means we’re pushing beyond our comfort zone. We’re challenging their fears physically so that when they have emotional fears that come in the form of abstract fears, they can meet them.”

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Empowering children

Combining the rich natural environment enjoyed by the children through the decades with the modern curriculum empowers children and helps their mental health, says Greg. “In 2019, we were involved in the Climate Strike protests – we were in town that day protesting, because that’s about the future. It’s about giving students a voice and teaching them that what they do does matter. “It’s empowering them to understand that the little things they do here, do make a difference and that if we all looked after our patch and treated it with respect, that’s doing something. Anxiety is becoming more prevalent and getting in touch with the environment, being in the water, around trees, in the open air is helpful. There’s that wellbeing aspect, but it also empowers them to feel like they’re doing something,” says Greg.

The school is also involved with STOP (Save The Otago Peninsula) and as kaitiaki of a nearby stream, has been doing riparian planting since 2013. “The creek runs into the harbour and I want the children to understand that we swim in this harbour, we want it to be healthy. We’ve learnt about the ecology of streams, we’ve measured water quality, water flow, invertebrate life to understand if we have a healthy environment. “My vision for the school is about utilising the environment and the people in the community to allow our children to be confident citizens in a local and globalised world. We’re really trying to get them to be comfortable with who they are, be able to communicate effectively and with confidence so that they can have a voice,” he says.

“My vision for the school is about utilising the environment and the people in the community to allow our children to be confident citizens in a local and globalised world.” Greg Macleod

Broad Bay School with Otago Harbour at its doorstep.


Education Gazette

Giving voice to local history In 2020, when tamariki from Broad Bay School heard they had been awarded $5,000 in Canon equipment and an equal amount in cash, they “went berserk”, says principal Greg Macleod. The school has also secured funding from the Dunedin City Council to employ Kāi Tahu artists Ricky Ngāmoki and Alex Whitaker from Puketeraki Marae to work with the students to conceptually design a 3D sculpture. “We’ll create a 3D physical map or representation, which may be a metaphorical representation of the harbour and Dunedin. The digital archives will be stored and located geographically in a virtual 3D repository for everyone to access. That will be the gateway that will connect to the recorded audio-visual histories of the local community. “Dunedin local Ian Taylor, from Taylormade Productions, has expressed an interest in working with the school. Otago Polytech is also interested in working with us. We’re trying to work with our community and ask the question: what does it mean when schools work with their various communities?” Greg says the project will combine learning about modern technologies, which could include virtual and augmented reality, with local history.

Bob Stanley reminisces about his school days with Noah, Asher and Mila, who are involved in the oral history project.

“We want to be on our feet and running ahead of the AAotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum coming up. “We’ve always had in our charter ‘Engaging the Community’, but it asks who is our community and what do we know about them? Already we’ve had a 94-year-old ex-pupil come back and the kids get a sense that there is a rich history in this area that they should learn about and celebrate,” says Greg.

TAMARIKI KŌRERO Tamariki at the school today want the project to be finished before they leave school, but they are also excited and proud about the role they are playing in this project. “I’m excited about the art side of it – visualising. I’m quite excited to find my place in this area. I’m Pākehā – and will feel more connected,” says Mila (12). “I’m very interested in the technology side of things. I had an idea that when the QR code is scanned, a virtual person would start talking and we could use an AR input: the person would be talking in the location where you are,” says Noah (12). “I’m interested in the stories and the geology. We’re looking at the Dunedin volcano at the moment. I’m hoping that we will be able to do drawings, a movie. I see the fact we’re on an old volcano as being a big part of the project,” says Oli (12). “I’m not from Dunedin or New Zealand, I’m from Japan. I don’t know much history about it, so I’m very excited to do this project because I think I’ll learn a lot. I’m also very excited in the technology things as well – the recording and editing,” says Keisuke (12). “I’m trying to empower them and make them understand that they can be storytellers – that they can achieve what they need and want. That there are no barriers except for their own hurdles,” adds Greg.

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Collecting back our knowledge Education Gazette profiles celebrated Māori leader Mina Pomare-Peita, with a focus on her mahi with rangatahi and the environment.

Students and whānau enjoying their Noho Taiao experience.


n a breathless summer’s day, up a remote river valley north of Mitimiti in the Far North, the buzzing of bees and the song of tūī are interrupted by the sounds of quad bikes and human voices. A group of rangatahi, perhaps 30 young Māori boys and girls, come into view around the river bend, laughing and teasing, excited to discover the large swimming hole opening out before them. Adults are with them, all in shorts and singlets. There’s a holiday feeling, and yet a serious element surrounds the group as they gather around to inspect one of the noxious weeds that grows rampant in the area.


Education Gazette

“It’s important that we know how to look after our land, especially our Māori land,” one of the rangatahi says. This is music to the ears of Mina Pomare-Peita, the tireless principal of Te Kura Taumata o Panguru – a composite school that teaches Years 1-13, comprising around 100 students – and tumuaki of the award-winning Noho Taiao, a series of camps for the environment that she’s been running for more than a decade. It was this initiative that brought this group of college-age students together for six days in their January holidays to stay on local marae and learn about the land of which they are kaitiaki.

Initially a once-a-year event for students not just from Panguru but from schools throughout the Te Rarawa rohe, the noho now comprise three events per year, with two shorter ones in the winter months including pupils from all five of the Te Hiku o te Ika (Northland) iwi. Up to 50 tamariki attend the summer camps, and up to 60 come to the winter events where they learn species identification, water quality monitoring, planting, pest control and rongoā (Māori health) practices.

Longstanding dedication

Mina’s work has been recognised with awards from the Northland Regional Council. In 2019, the Noho Taiao won the Kaitiakitanga award at the Northland Regional Council’s inaugural Environmental Awards, runner-up to the supreme winner. In 2020, Mina herself was nominated by her fellow teachers at Panguru School, and was highly commended in the Kaitiakitanga category, the commendation stating: “Whaea Mina Pomare-Peita – For her longstanding dedication to education and developing our future leaders through the use of Mātauranga Māori.” More recently, Mina has been appointed to Te Hiku o Te Ika Conservation Board. And she is delighted that Te Kura Taumata o Panguru has been named a finalist in this year’s Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards.

Mātauranga Māori

It all began back in 2008 when Mina had a conversation with her friend Paul White, a member of the Te Rarawa negotiating team who for many years had been working towards the iwi’s Treaty of Waitangi settlement. The settlement was nearing its final form. The return of some of the iwi historic land, including the transfer of two farms, was imminent. “When we get our land back, what happens?” Mina asked. “We become co-managers,” Paul replied. “But our people don’t have the skills or the education, the mātauranga,” she said. It was, for this lifelong educator, a moment of powerful realisation. Much traditional knowledge about how to care for the land had been lost. Māori learned to farm in the colonisers’ way, as if they were somehow separate from the taiao, from the environment around them. They no longer knew the stories that intimately connected them to the land, the forest and ocean. They did not have ingrained within themselves the whakataukī: Tiakina te taiao, tiakina te iwi e – If you look after the environment, the environment will look after you.

“How do you sustain what you’re doing in the environment? Well, you teach your children to become kaitiaki. You make them believe that they are kaitiaki of their land.” Mina Pomare-Peita

Embracing kaitiakitanga

Mina knew this at first hand. She grew up on a farm just a few kilometres west of Panguru, and from her earliest years, encouraged by her parents and nannies to think critically about the world around her, had observed and challenged the practices that are the hallmark of modern agriculture – the pouring of chemicals onto the land, the stocking of cattle that damage the texture of the land and the quality of the waterways, the milk tankers that arrive and take the milk away to unknown destinations.

26 July 2021

Mina Pomare-Peita demonstrating her passion for teaching and the environment.

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As a teenager, Mina left Panguru for St Dominic’s Catholic College in Auckland, followed by university and then several years establishing the rumaki at what was to become Western Springs College – a total immersion unit within a mainstream context, still successful today. She returned home to Panguru in 1996 and set about strengthening the school’s commitment to te reo Māori and building strong connections between kura and community. Now she wondered how she could prepare her students, the young people of Te Rarawa,to live by, and for, the taiao. “Kaitiakitanga means sustainability,” she says. “How do you sustain what you’re doing in the environment? Well, you teach your children to become kaitiaki. You make them believe that they are kaitiaki of their land.” She realised it was about getting the young people actually out into the whenua so that they could grow a love for the taiao. Mina has such a passion for the environment that in 2020, after a heavy storm ripped open a disused landfill at Fox Glacier, spreading rubbish across a huge area of river bed and coast, she took eight of her students on the twoday journey south to help with the clean-up. The students saw for themselves the degradation of the taiao, says Mina.

Applying real-world science

To begin with, it was all done on the smell of an oily rag. Funding was not available, and so Mina and her team did it all themselves. “I live on a farm so I’ve got three freezers of food. We had my good friend Ray Henwood who was a physicist and a science teacher at Northland College, and I can deliver biology up to Level 3.” Now, the University of Auckland contributes $5000 a year, and expert input has come through Mina’s developing relationships with significant Crown Research Institutes, so that scientists from GNS, Niwa, and other CRIs all come to teach the young students. For some students there’s no doubt this has translated into careerthinking. But the Noho Taiao aren’t just about bringing specialised Western science to the rangatahi. They are a radical reclaiming of Māori knowledge – a powerful partnership of Mātauranga Māori, based on a sustainable relationship with the natural world, and Western science. Mina says the food, the trees, all the life of Aotearoa, was categorised within the Western system of knowledge. “Our job, what we live for today, is about recovering. We are reframing, we are collecting back our knowledge.” She wants her students to learn to work within the land. “Learn to touch it, feel it, smell it, sound it out. It’s all about applying science in the real world.”

At her request, the Catholic agency Caritas developed a curriculum guide to Te Warawara Ngāhere – the forest that grows over the steep hills of the North Hokianga, dramatically framing Panguru in majestic green, described by Dame Whina Cooper as “the living spiritual being of Te Rarawa”. Te Warawara is home to many threatened native species including North Island kiwi and kaka, bats and karearea, the New Zealand falcon. The curriculum includes activities, worksheets and lesson plans and is aimed at both inspiring and educating primary and secondary school students. In tandem with the curriculum, Mina’s school has held extended debates on the 1080 question, and has also developed a virtual reality programme, as well as a graphic novel and a play. “We’re telling our story so that our children know,” Mina says. And, of course, her students have fun. Back in that remote river valley, hot sun pouring down, the students of the Noho Taiao have finished learning about noxious weeds. It’s time for a break, and they do what any other teenagers would do, plunging joyfully into the cool, drifting river.

Te Kura Taumata o Panguru is backdropped by Te Warawara Ngāhere, described by Dame Whina Cooper as “a living spiritual being”. Her mahi is remembered with this statue at Panguru. Photo courtesy of Willow-Jean Prime.

Inspiring curriculum

Mina’s environmental work doesn’t begin and end with the Noho Taiao. Far from it. The taiao is fully integrated into the life of her school.


Education Gazette


Pause Breathe Smile has a profound impact on boys IHI Research’s study on the Pause Breathe Smile mindfulness programme has been found to have profound and unanticipated benefits for boys aged five to 12. Seventy five per cent of pupils and teachers reported Pause Breathe Smile enabled boys to better describe their feelings and understand the feelings of others. The study also noted the programme “assisted boys to calm their minds to make better choices. Changes in boys’ behaviour could be dramatic and rewarding not just for the individual child but for those who interact with him”. The mind health programme is fully funded for all primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand by Southern Cross. Southern Cross, New Zealand’s leading independent health and wellness provider, has joined forces with the Pause Breathe Smile Trust and The Mental Health Foundation. Together they share a vision of equipping every child in New Zealand with the tools to achieve positive mind health. The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, Shaun

Robinson, said the importance of the findings about Pause Breathe Smile’s impact on boys could not be overstated. “It’s vital for their mental health, and for the health of our society as a whole, that males feel able to share their feelings and empathise with others. The good news is that these skills can be learned, and that’s exactly what’s happening through this programme.” The study evaluated Pause Breathe Smile’s impact on students, teachers and school communities, found the programme has a ripple effect, with benefits flowing from pupils and teachers to parents and whānau, from classrooms to playgrounds to staff rooms, positively impacting school culture and beyond that into homes, as children and teachers apply what they have learned. It also highlighted the programme’s physical, spiritual, social, emotional and cognitive benefits for both Māori and non-Māori learners. Read more about this and other findings on the Research page at

Help students cope when everything gets shaken up

Teach your class how to find calm in an emotional storm. Pause Breathe Smile is a mind health programme designed for New Zealand primary and intermediate school children, proudly funded by Southern Cross. Research shows it increases wellbeing, reduces stress and boosts conflict resolution skills. Enquire online to book your school’s PLD

Grace, Taina and Te Manawa say a girls’ school has given them confidence to follow their dreams and aspirations.


Education Gazette


Girls can do anything Education Gazette visits Whanganui Girls’ College, one of the oldest single sex schools in New Zealand, finding a rich history and a bright future for today’s students.


ounded in 1891, Whanganui Girls’ College has had some strong women at the helm. Headmistress Miss Isabel Fraser introduced the first kiwifruit seeds to New Zealand from China in 1904, making her responsible for generating an industry that forms a key platform in the New Zealand economy. Some impressive names feature on the school’s alumni list, including the more recent additions of entrepreneur Victoria Ransom and cricketer Emily Travers. Fast forward to today, and principal Sharon Steer, who took the role at the beginning of 2020, encourages her students to follow in the footsteps of great Kiwi women role models and become wāhine toa themselves. She says that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a respected role model for the school’s students, as she is not only strong, but also shows compassion: awhi (support) is one of the school’s key values. “At girls’ schools the tall poppy syndrome doesn’t seem to be as prevalent. The students celebrate each other’s success and provide each other with support when needed. For example, last year when the Year 13s were finishing their art portfolios, the ones who had finished, stayed behind with the others to encourage them to achieve. A younger girl, who was the sister of one of the girls, was busy cleaning up. They were there with, and for, each other,” says Sharon. Sharon has taught at both co-ed and single sex schools. “My feeling is that the single sex environment creates a kind of cocoon for them to flourish as young people. They can just get on with it. “I think it can take longer for girls to find their place in a co-ed school, whereas in a single sex school, they often find their niche a lot faster,” explains Sharon.

Strong voices

Te Manawa Pinnock (Ngāti Porou) is head girl this year and has spear-headed a group called Te Korimako (the bellbird) which has helped grow tikanga and the voice of Māori students in the school.

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“My mum had a hard life raising me and my brother on her own, so I think I always wanted to make her proud, show her she did do a good job and raised good kids; and that all the hard work and things she had to put aside meant something. “Being Māori growing up, society puts a mentality that they’re not going to do well. That’s always been in the back of my mind to not let that be a barrier; to push past that and prove them wrong – just to show you can do it,” says Te Manawa. She hopes to join the Police or be a doctor or nurse when she leaves school. “In the past couple of years, I have wanted more to join the Police, just seeing the difference that police officers do in the community. It’s important for me as a young Māori woman.

“My feeling is that the single sex environment creates a kind of cocoon for them to flourish as young people. They can just get on with it.” Sharon Steer “I would rather be in a job that didn’t make much [money], but I was happy. I think I just want to get voices out and let young people, old people, anyone – let their voices be heard and just be a beacon. The voice is to get rid of those stereotypes that Māori are living off a benefit, don’t look after their kids, aren’t going anywhere. I think they just need support to help them,” she says.

Diverse career opportunities

Whanganui Girls’ College works hard to create pathways for students so that, no matter what happens, they can plot their future and know they have options. Nina Barbezat is the teacher in charge of pathways/ careers and says that as a small school (roll 360), oneto-one support and guidance can be provided to each student, whether they follow an academic or vocational pathway. “When our students are in Year 11, we have lots of options to start sending them out on little tasters with Whanganui UCOL (Universal College of Learning). They have tasters in the traditional female roles such as hair and beauty but also around things like forklift safety, electronics and automotive engineering.

Top left: Principal, Sharon Steer. Bottom left: Nina Barbezat thinks girls from a girls’ school feel empowered to try different career pathways.


Education Gazette

Whanganui Girls' College proudly displays its history in the school's foyer, with displays like these old school uniforms.

“Then when our students are in Year 12 and 13, we can start sending them out on one or two day a week courses. Last year I had two students out on mechanical engineering and one student out on automotive engineering and while that is normally a male dominated industry, now our girls are doing it. They probably feel quite empowered to do the boy things because there are no boys here to tell them they can’t,” says Nina.

High goals

Nina is involved with Whanganui’s careers advisory network 100% Sweet Whanganui, which aspires to have all of Whanganui’s school leavers meaningfully engaged in education, training or employment. “I’ve got some students who are employed in fastfood outlets. That is awesome for now, but they know that we are going to contact them again in a year’s time to make sure they have their next plan in place. “Working in fast-food is 100 per cent better than doing nothing. But in my conversations with students, I will say: ‘I know you might have a goal to get into tourism or further training – so can I contact you in a year and see if you’ve still got that goal to go further and if you have done something about achieving that goal? I remind them that unless you plan to climb the ladder at your fast-food job, you will sit at that level for a long time,” says Nina. “Whether a girl is going to go straight into work, or whether she is going to go into a tertiary course, we have given them the tools to be successful wherever they are going,” concludes Sharon.

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Students past and present After setting up an alternative education programme in Whanganui for the YMCA, she taught at schools in Dunedin and Whanganui before getting her dream job at her old school.

Better, but same

While Debra loved her school days and thinks that today’s school students have more weight on their shoulders, she believes that things are better for today’s girls and young women. “It does feel better because, to be honest, when I was at school, the academic girls all went off to university and the rest were the hoi polloi. Nowadays you are valued for whatever pathway you choose. I have had students at other schools leaving because they are having babies. In the past people would say ‘you’ve ruined your life’ but those girls have gone on to run beautiful families, run businesses etc. “Family dynamics are still there – even though we think they have changed – and the girls are still navigating that at the same age we did. They are still finding a valid place for themselves in the world and we were doing the same thing,” she says.

Reaching for the stars Whanganui Girls’ College Old Girl Debra Tunbridge is happy to be back at her old school as HOD of the school’s Learning Centre.


ebra Tunbridge sometimes pinches herself and touches the walls at Whanganui Girls’ College, as she remembers her school days there in the 1970s. Debra returned to her old school in 2017 and is SENCO and HOD of the school’s Learning Centre. “I came from Kawerau College in the Bay of Plenty in the 1970s. It was a complete culture shock, because some of our teachers still wore black capes in class. You’d sit at an old wooden desk that someone had scratched their name on in 1942. Just the sense of history here was quite overwhelming to start with. “But I just relaxed into this school because we didn’t have boys here and it was so much easier. We used to go swimming and if you didn’t have your togs, you had to go swimming in your gym rompers! I formed really lovely relationships with girls that I’ve had all my life,” she says. Debra graduated as a teacher when she was 40 as, while she had been in an academic stream, she initially didn’t want to follow in a sister’s footsteps. “Really when I left school there were only three options: teaching, nursing or the commercial/secretarial sector. When I was at school you didn’t have big dreams. I spent 10 years working in the finance/banking sector and then had a family,” she says.


Education Gazette

Taina Bauleka comes from a high-achieving family in Fiji and while she wants to make her parents proud, she also wants to be successful on her own terms. A Year 13 Whanganui Girls’ College student in 2020, she is studying health science at university and ultimately would like to return to Fiji and establish a company. “My hope is to make a name for myself – to always carry my parents’ surname but to also make a name for myself. If I was in Fiji, it would be a little difficult because I would be working under their name; they are quite successful – especially in the (medical) field I want to work in. “I have never allowed limitations to stop me. I have always tried to reach for the stars as much as I can. I don’t feel there’s a glass ceiling that will stop me,” she says. While Taina is confident and assertive, her classmate Grace Souness is more softly spoken and says she wasn’t very confident when she started at the school in Year 9. The 2020 Head of Academia plans to study veterinary science and ultimately wants to work in rehabilitation centres in Africa to help save animal species. “When I came in Year 9, I didn’t think I was going to become a vet. This school has made me more confident. Being with only girls and having such small classes means I can have my own individuality and that made me realise who I am. The small classes mean you can bond with all the other girls and get one-to-ones with the teachers and that really boosts your confidence,” she says.

‘Why should they have girls’ high schools?’


hen it opened its doors in February 1871, Otago Girls’ High School was the first secondary school for girls to open in New Zealand – in fact in all of ‘the Australasian colonies’. Christchurch Girls’ High School was opened in 1877. In the early 1870s, the women of the extended Richmond Atkinson family in Nelson felt strongly about higher education for girls and pressured Nelson College’s governors, who said they had “long and ardently entertained a wish…to erect a high school for girls in the province”, but in the end they found the project was “neither prudent nor legal”. Nelson College for Girls finally opened in February 1883, 27 years after Nelson College for Boys. There was no formal opening and when the first contingent of girls arrived, they found a large unfinished building set in a rough paddock surrounded by piles of timber and bricks. While there was a desire for young women to be able to achieve and gain some power over their lives, secondary education for girls was still very much ahead of its time. Miss Beatrice Gibson, principal of Nelson College for Girls from 1890–1900, wrote: ‘The time had come when educationalists realised that it was not enough to give girls an education quite identical to that given to boys. It was the life of the woman for which it must prepare; and this

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was just the stage in the College history when we were trying to bring this ideal into effect; mindful that all sides, the physical, the mental, the spiritual, and all womanly qualities needed guiding.” In 1884, an article in the Otago Daily Times asked the question: Why should they have girls’ high schools? It was suggested that “the richer classes wished to save the expense of governesses” and educate their daughters at the expense of the State. “A good deal was nowadays heard of what was termed women’s rights and if society was to be established on a firm basis, they would have to look to higher education of women as well as men.” (ODT, 19 April 1884). A search of the Papers Past website shows there was little fanfare when Wanganui Girls’ College opened in February 1891. Principal, Miss E C M Harrison (MA) was announced along with an assistant principal, art master and a staff of visiting teachers. “The College is a fine and commodious building, containing a Boarding Establishment under the immediate supervision of the Lady Principal and her Assistants, and is situated in a salubrious part of the Suburbs of Wanganui,” reported the Wanganui Chronicle, 3 December 1890.

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Inside the covers of the School Journal World of imagination and ideas For more than 100 years, New Zealand’s School Journal has been an introduction, not only to literacy and reading, but also to a world of imagination and ideas. The Journal continues to foster a love of reading and to inspire, enlighten and inform the children of New Zealand.

John Bonallack, Margaret Nieuwland and Clare Bowes reminisce about the many School Journals they worked on as editor and art editors.


Education Gazette


irst published in 1907, the early School Journals resembled a traditional English reader of the era. They had few illustrations and were largely rooted in distant shores, with writing by William Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Jonathan Swift. It wasn’t until the 1940s and World War II that the Journals began to reflect what it meant to be a New Zealander and have an influence on shaping a sense of national identity. Educationalist Dr Clarence Beeby played a key part in this with the establishment of the School Publications branch.

Roll call of artists and writers

New Zealand school children were blessed with a treasure trove of imaginative writing and artistic endeavour, which was later described as an ‘unauthorised history of New Zealand art’ and as Margaret Mahy described it: ‘One of New Zealand’s leading literary magazines’. By the 1950s, writers and artists who were to become household names either contributed to, or worked for, School Publications. The list of colourful and talented creatives who were given opportunities by School Publications is long and includes writers James K. Baxter, Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame, Margaret Mahy, Joy Cowley and Witi Ihimaera. Sir Edmund Hillary even contributed an account of his ascent of Mount Everest in 1955. Artists of that era included Russell Clark, Juliet Peter and E. Mervyn Taylor. By the late 1950s, photographs became more prominent in the publication and work by Ans Westra, John Pascoe, Robin Morrison and Marti Friedlander was featured. In the 1970s, work by artists Dick Frizzell, Christine Ross, Robin White and Gordon Walters appeared in the Journals.

Look of the book

By the mid-1960s, specialist illustrators were emerging. These included Graham Percy, who went on to have an illustrious career in the UK as an artist and illustrator. Art graduate Clare Bowes was encouraged by Graham Percy to check out the opportunities at School Publications and there met and was mentored by artist,

and art editor Jill McDonald, who she credits with changing the look of the Journals in the mid-1960s. Jill subsequently moved to England and influenced the visual style of Penguin’s children’s brand, Puffin. In A Nest of Singing Birds, McDonald is quoted: “The only overall credo I’ve ever had regarding books for children, is that if they look entertaining, or exciting, or amusing enough to be worth the effort of reading them, children will make the effort.”

Māori and Pacific artists

The School Journal featured Māori material from the earliest days, but it tended towards mythological or historical tales. By the mid-1940s, key positions were held by Māori, including art editor Roy Cowan (Ngāpuhi) and editor Alistair Campbell (Cook Islands Māori). During the 1960s and 1970s, Māori writers such as Witi Ihimaera and Patricia Grace contributed first-hand accounts of Māori experiences in the contemporary world. In the 1970s and 80s, Māori artists who contributed to the Journal included Para Matchitt, Ralph Hotere, Cliff Whiting and Robin Kahukiwa; and more recently Philip Paea, Mat Tait, Isobel Joy TeAho-White, Josh Morgan and Reweti Arapere. As the 20th century progressed, the Journal increasingly engaged with Pacific contributions to cultural life in New Zealand, with art editor Vaitoa Baker and artist Fraser Williamson contributing to this body of work.


The School Publications branch of the Ministry of Education became a Crown company, Learning Media, in 1993, and subsequently a state-owned enterprise in 2005. It published all Ministry of Education school curriculum resources until 2013. Lift Education now provides publishing services to the Ministry for the Junior Journal, School Journal, and School Journal Story Library. This article was researched using A nest of singing birds: 100 years of the New Zealand School Journal by Gregory O’Brien, published by Learning Media for the centenary of the School Journal in 2007.

“When they talked about changing the Journal in the 1940s, they wanted it to be responsive and progressive and I think that’s still part of the DNA of the Journal.” Susan Paris

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Making the magic happen Education Gazette sat down with former illustrators and art editors Clare Bowes and Margaret Nieuwland, former editor John Bonallack and current editor Susan Paris to talk about what it’s like to work on the iconic School Journal.

As a young student at Elam School of Art, Clare Bowes scored a holiday job at School Publications in the summer of 1964-65. She went on to work as a freelance illustrator and then full-time art editor on the School Journal, Ready to Read books and other school publications until 2003. Margaret Nieuwland began working for the publication Education in the early 1980s and then got a foot in the door at School Publications at a time when art editors also had skills as illustrators. John Bonallack, who had been a primary school teacher, thought being a School Journal editor was the best job in the world.

Student-focused and progressive

Susan Paris, who joined Learning Media in 1998 and continues to work for Lift Education, says that from the 1940s, the Journals became much more student focused. “When they talked about changing the Journal in the 1940s, they wanted it to be responsive and progressive and I think that’s still part of the DNA of the Journal. After the War, there was an opportunity to have something that was singularly our own,” she says. “It felt like a privilege to be working on something that was based in New Zealand, that we were creating content for New Zealand schools and children and that it should somehow reflect something of their lives,” says Margaret.

Putting it all together Little did Clare Bowes know, when she was photographed reading the Journal for Education magazine in the late 1940s, that she would end up working as an art editor there.


hey all agreed that ‘content is king’ and that the key purpose of the Journal is to spark a connection with children and create lifelong learners and readers. Margaret, John and Clare reminisced about the ‘golden years’ when ‘School Pubs’ was a hotbed of creativity, as well as being a secure Government job. School Publications handled print media: there was also an Audio Production Unit and Visual Production Unit, which produced school resources. Staff were located in an old wooden annex behind the Old Government Buildings in Lambton Quay for many years, before moving to new offices in Molesworth Street.


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Through the second half of the 20th century, School Publications was inundated with material for publication – most of which had to be rejected because of the sheer volume of submissions. “Along with National Radio, the Journals were almost the only outlet for writers of stories for children at the time. I had written for the School Journal as a freelancer – I was a teacher at Rawene in the Hokianga and I knew what it was like putting your heart in that envelope and waiting, often weeks, for a reply,” remembers John. John edited the Part 3 and 4 Journals, alongside editor Brent Southgate, who edited the Part 1 and 2 Journals at the time. He says there was a kind of productive tension between editors and art editors. “The art editors would resist, and rightly, any attempts for the editors to railroad how the Journal was going to look,” he says.

The art editors’ job is to make the Journals as attractive and accessible as possible, with the illustrations closely relating to a story, while enhancing and adding excitement to it, explains Clare. “We read through the story and got a feel for the total thing and as you read them, people came to mind who you thought would be good to commission for that story. Some had a particular humour, some had fine delicate lines, others had sweeping bold colours and lots of action,” she says.

Pre- and post-digital

Before computerisation, artwork was mailed in and there was a constant paper war in the cramped offices. “Pre-digital, all the artwork would come in and you had to protect it and make sure it didn’t get damaged. We didn’t really have the capacity, room-wise, to store these big A3 illustrations,” says Margaret. “When I first started at the Journals, you would get the text from the editor and then you would mark it up and you chose the font and all that sort of stuff and that would go away to get typeset. Then you would get it back from the typesetter in great big long sheets and you would have to physically cut it up and paste it down,” she says. Clare remembers the 1990s as being a watershed decade, with the art editors sent to Whanganui for a crash course in PageMaker. She says that overall, computer design made the Journals more attractive and dynamic.

“So much more was possible but occasionally the type was subsumed by the wildness, and headings became hard to read. Designers had to be reminded that children were still learning to read and the type should be clear and not confusing,” explains Claire.

Social change

The School Journal was an opportunity to encourage students to think about social issues of the day, says John. “I believed that particularly Part 4 readers, and to a lesser extent Part 3, were capable of understanding social and other issues, so I tried to include articles and stories that would stretch them, and would give teachers material they could expand on and use to extend their more capable students,” he says. In the early 1980s, a new Ready to Read series was developed to replace the series created in the 1960s. A survey was undertaken to determine gender frequency so that the new series would better reflect the society of the day. “They noted every male and every female character – whether they were dominant, sub-dominant characters and they discovered that the stories were very stereotypical. Men were out doing jobs and the women’s appearances were nearly all domestic. I hadn’t really perceived it until that came through,” remembers Clare. By the 1980s, there was a strong Māori publishing department at Learning Media, producing Journal series such as ‘Te Wharekura’ in te reo Māori.

“It felt like a privilege to be...creating content for New Zealand schools and children and that it should somehow reflect something of their lives.” Margaret Nieuwland

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Changes and realignment

Susan Paris.

Susan became a Journal editor in 2006. She edits Levels 3 and 4 Journals and colleague David Chadwick edits Level 2 Journals. “When I started, we had an unsolicited manuscripts approach. It was the tail end of an era when the School Journal was seen as a proving ground for writers and artists. This didn’t give editors much agency to balance content and ensure it related to The New Zealand Curriculum. “In around 2010, it was decided that the editors would commission everything. I was quite apprehensive about this at first. It meant finding a lot of material, which was a daunting prospect. But it really did work well, especially when it came to the non-fiction. There was suddenly a lot more scope to explore topical issues,” she says. At that time, there was a realignment of the Journal levels to better fit the levels of the curriculum. “The big point of difference with the School Journal is that it’s actually levelled instructional material that provides students with the right level of challenge and support so they are able to keep progressing,” explains Susan.

School Journal in the 21st century Today the School Journal continues to feature authentic and diverse stories and voices from around New Zealand. “We make sure that everything is relevant and of the moment, that the content really reflects the experiences of all ākonga, as well as being closely aligned to the curriculum. Student engagement is everything,” says editor Susan Paris.

DEVELOPING SKILLS There’s a strong emphasis on helping students develop the reading and writing skills they need to access curriculum content across all seven subject areas from Years 1-8. “For example, if you have an article that had links to the science curriculum, you would be aware of certain vocabulary that they needed to be able to cope with to be able to then access the content. This vocabulary would be carefully considered at the editing and leveling stage,” explains Susan.

REFLECTING AUTHENTIC VOICES The Ministry of Education actively seeks to reflect Te Ao Māori and include more te reo Māori within the School Journal series. The objective is to support learners to value, acquire and use te reo Māori, words, phrases and common terms, as well as other forms of language acquisition such as waiata and local stories. Future issues of the Journal will include more student voice, so that ākonga can see themselves and their peers in the publication and feel supported as writers, as well as readers. Susan says that it’s important to find appropriate people to write content, with subject matter experts and academics having input, if not writing an article.


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“We recently published an article about the migration of Māori to our towns and cities in the 1950s and 60s, which was written by Aroha Harris, one of our leading historians. We’ve also just published an article about the history of Chinese New Zealanders, written by Helene Wong.

WELLBEING “Wellbeing is another area of interest at the moment. The latest Level 4 Journal has a memoir by Kyle Mewburn about gender identity and her experience of growing up in what she calls ‘the wrong body’,” says Susan. Children today face some big challenges and Susan says that fiction is powerful for developing empathy and acknowledging some of the difficulties they face, such as anxiety or parents who aren’t getting on. “For example, there’s a humorous story by James Brown about a boy going between his mum’s house and his dad’s house. In the background, there are some of the hassles, like having to co-ordinate your schedule with parents who are living separately. The story is a quiet acknowledgment of the reality of some kids.”

BECOMING MORE ACCESSIBLE The School Journal is becoming increasingly accessible. In addition to the print edition, it is provided as a PDF. “We also have audio files – some stories are recorded to support readers with diverse learning needs,” explains Susan. “There’s a lot of content at the front of the curriculum that talks about creating confident, lifelong learners who are connected and engaged. So it’s also about providing material that makes students feel informed and empowered to make a difference,” concludes Susan.


Preparing rangatahi for the future Poor financial decisions have a significant impact on health and wellbeing, and intergenerational poverty. “In our area 70% of whānau are renting homes. We can improve this, and you are the next generation that can make this change for our community.” A powerful statement one teacher recently made to her students while thanking our SMART$ team for visiting their school. Developing good habits and making informed decisions at a young age will follow rangatahi through life. That’s why Life Education Trust provide the SMART$ programme, empowering young people with financial skills and knowledge to make positive choices as they journey into adulthood.

recognition. SMART$ was created to help give rangatahi the tools they need to make positive choices, introducing important concepts that can be followed up back in class. Lifting earnings is one thing but if we continue to make poor decisions, we’ll never beat intergenerational poverty.” Says John O’Connell, Chief Executive of Life Education Trust. After taking part in SMART$ in 2020, students showed increased understanding across all the key learning points. 84% of teachers thought the key learning points in the performance provided them with a springboard for further discussion. Schools are provided with additional teaching resources, to build on learning in the classroom.

Our environment is rapidly evolving, with online purchases, intangible transactions and deferred payment schemes commonly used by young people, without a lot of understanding.

The theatre-in-education performance style is effective in engaging a wide range of learning styles and providing rangatahi with a safe place to discuss the potential impacts that financial choices can have on people’s lives.

For many young people money concepts aren’t discussed at home and at school financial concepts most often fall into elective subjects, when this education is required by all. There is widespread recognition of its importance, but research amongst schools acknowledges a need to do more. Financial capability is far more deserving than earning credits toward NCEA, it’s a core life skill.

“The performance was polished and quite entertaining. I thought the realistic situations used to explain important money matters was relevant and engaged the students well. Interaction with the audience in between each ‘scene’ reinforced the ideas perfectly.” – Feedback from a session in the Hawke’s Bay.

Life Education provide their free interactive theatre-in-education programme SMART$ to year ten students at schools across the country. The performance brings to life everyday financial concepts, focusing on key topics of saving and the power of compound interest. The team share examples of using deferred payment schemes, credit cards and KiwiSaver. Wellbeing education is the driver for Life Education, as financial security is an essential element to improving wellbeing. “Financial capability is a core life skill that needs better

Life Education Trust are leading health and wellbeing education specialists - best known for the Healthy Harold programme in primary and intermediate schools, which has been an exciting part of the school year for tamariki around the country for over 33 years. Life Education are able to provide SMART$ to schools free of charge thanks to generous supporters Reserve Bank of NZ, Booster and PMG Charitable Trust. To find out more visit: WWW.SMARTS.ORG.NZ To enquire or book email:

Empowering young people to make positive financial choices SMART$ is a theatre-in-education programme designed to provoke thinking and conversation about the everyday financial decisions impacting rangatahi. The interactive performance follows the decisions and behaviour of relatable characters focusing on concepts of; saving vs deferred payment schemes, credit cards and KiwiSaver.

WWW.SMARTS.ORG.NZ Supported by:


Nurturing young Māori in the Deep South An Invercargill wharekura founded 30 years ago is now the largest in the South Island – and is going from strength to strength.


ore than 200 voices rang out in waiata and kapa haka to greet Education Gazette in a mihi whakatau when we visited Te Wharekura o Arowhenua in March. That pride and enthusiasm for te reo Māori and tikanga has been at the core of the wharekura since the earliest days when a group of women from Muihuku started a small kura for children in Invercargill. Ani Wainui (Ngāti Porou / Te Whānau-a-Apanui) was the leader of this pioneering group, and went on to be principal of Te Wharekura o Arowhenua for 28 years until 2017. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for her mahi in revitalising te reo Māori in Southland in 2020.

Reaching potential

Ani will be the first to say it’s a team effort and current principal, Gary Davis (Kāi Tahu, Kati Māmoe, Waitaha) is looking forward to having nine raukura (exstudents) on the teaching staff of the Year 1-15 school by the end of the year. “We have been focusing on strategically growing our own teachers because that was always an issue for us: getting te reo speaking teachers. Our raukura who are interested in becoming teachers will come back and give time as kaiawhina [helpers] in our classes. “It gives them a chance to see – and for us to see – whether they’ve got the skills that we think they need. Then after a year or two we fully support them as they follow the pathway to getting their degrees,” says Gary. “We push them into becoming teachers!” laughs deputy principal, Tiahuia Kawe-Small (Raukawa ki Wharepuuhunga, Rereahu, Maniapoto). Tiahuia has taught for 30 years, with 15 years at Te Wharekura o Arowhenua. “Earlier I was a resource teacher of Māori, but my passion has always been kura kaupapa Māori.” It wasn’t until she studied at the University of Otago, that her eyes were opened to some of the inequities that exist for Māori students. “That’s when I thought, this cannot happen for Māori students. Why should I get to university and find out that the system I’ve come through wasn’t made for me? I had to put my Māori side away.” Tiahuia firmly believes that kura kaupapa is the best system for Māori students. “I personally believe that’s because you can come to kura, be Māori, who you really need to be and reach your full potential. And that’s why I do what I do,” she says.


Education Gazette

Year 10 ākonga Mystery Pohatu at the mihi whakatau that greeted the Gazette.

26 July 2021

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Raukura return

Education Gazette spoke to three raukura, now kaiako at the wharekura, who wouldn’t be anywhere else. Sisters Rivah and Jahna Hura (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāti Hine, Ngāti Raukawa) will be forever grateful to their late father, Paul. “I went to kindergarten – I cried my eyes out every day. I went to a mainstream primary school in Invercargill; I was there for two weeks – cried every day and then my dad took us out. When I was at the pōwhiri here, I felt that I had come home,” recalls Jahna. “He and my mother were not speakers of te reo Māori but my father had a dream that one day his children and grandchildren would be proud, fluent speakers of te reo. So he decided to enrol us into this school, Te Wharekura o Arowhenua. Two of my older siblings were actually enrolled in a mainstream school; he went in at lunchtime one day without my mother’s knowledge and took them out; we’ve never gone back,” adds Rivah. Rivah feels emotional and grateful for the positive impact Te Wharekura o Arowhenua has had on her life. “Now, just like my father I have a dream that one day Māori in the South will use their ancestral tongue and be unapologetically Māori. I know I wouldn’t be as confident

as I am today without my kura. This is my home,” she says, with tears in her eyes.

Right place

Rivah, who teaches Years 1 and 2, completed a teaching degree at the Invercargill campus of the University of Otago in 2014. “Academically I was fine, I could handle the work, but it was like going to a foreign world,” she says. The course involved practicum placements at mainstream schools. While these were a good experience, they confirmed to Rivah that she’s in the right place teaching in kura kaupapa Māori. “But in saying that, I have gained teaching theories and management strategies that I continue to use in my akomanga.” She believes that Te Aho Matua is more than a curriculum. “Te Aho Matua is a way of living. It comes with me when I go home.”

Back to roots

Jahna calls her degree – Te Aho Tātairangi: Bachelor of Teaching and Learning Kura Kaupapa Māori from Massey University – her “third time lucky degree”. She tried a year in

“I think te reo and tikanga Māori are flourishing in Aotearoa because of kohanga reo, kura kaupapa and because Māori have taken it upon themselves to do what Māori should do.” Ani Wainui

Jahna Hura’s main objective as a kaiako is to inspire and uplift her students.

English teacher training, followed by a year at a wānanga and says neither fitted. She taught at a kura kaupapa at Ruatoria for five years before returning home. “This is my third year back in Invercargill – I teach the babies! It was polar opposite to what it was here – we’re a little bubble inside the big dome of this community, which is filled with different people and languages, whereas in Ruatoria, basically everyone speaks Māori,” she says. (2018 Census figures: Ruatoria: 95 per cent Māori; Invercargill: 16.4 per cent Māori.) Jahna who lives at Riverton and loves the outdoors, notices the impact of social media and American culture on the ākonga at the kura. “I say to them, ‘That’s not what we’re about. Try and put your phone down and have an hour of being outside in the taiao [nature], listen to the trees and the birds. Just close your eyes and lie down and feel the whenua – this is where you belong’.” Jahna’s main objective as a kaiako is to inspire and uplift her students. “Being a teacher is definitely a big rewarding job for me. There’s never a dull moment in our akomanga, its draining but I love it,” she says.

Giving back

Shandley Aupouri (Ngāti Porou, Ngāpuhi) says he didn’t know much English until he was 13. “I grew up being told that if you don’t know English, you’ll struggle in the outside world. I’ve managed to go to university and I’m still not English savvy – I’m really immersed in Te Ao Māori,” he explains. He spent two years as a teacher aide at his old kura and was supported by the kura to attend Te Wānanga o Raukawa in Ōtaki. He has just completed his master’s degree in teaching and leadership and is in his first year of teaching Māori performing arts. “I wanted to be a sportsman, but then I realised there aren’t many Māori teachers, so I have dedicated my life to being a Māori teacher. It wasn’t enforced on me but I wanted to do it – speaking Māori 24/7, sharing our myths and legends and being an example – especially for young males. “To be honest I can’t see myself away from this kura. When I’m here, I feel a sense of belonging and purpose and wanting to give back – it’s massive.”

Changing the narrative

Shandley’s biggest hope and dream for the ākonga at the kura is that they don’t feel any shame for being Māori. “I hope they leave here feeling proud and knowing that just because we’re predominantly English around here, which is fine, it doesn’t mean that you have to put your head down and just follow the sheep in front of you. “Just be proud of who you are – find out the essence and depth of who you are, and you’ll be fine,” he says. “Kura kaupapa is about strengthening the cultural capital within the tamaiti. If we are able to holistically nurture the tuakiri o te tangata, then we’re doing our job. A child that knows who and where they come from can walk with confidence in any world,” says Rivah.

26 July 2021

Top: Tumuaki Gary Davis wants to encourage students to become teachers and return to the kura. Middle: Kaiako Rivah Hura dreams that one day Māori in the Deep South will be unapologetically Māori. Bottom: Shandley Aupouri was a former pupil at the kura and feels a sense of belonging and purpose as a kaiako.

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Kōrero with Whaea Ani Wainui Rivah Hura interviews her former principal and mentor, Whaea Ani Wainui. Tell me about your upbringing in Te Ao Māori.

I was brought up at Cape Runaway in the Bay of Plenty in the 1940s. My dad died when I was five, so my nannies brought me up. They spoke Māori to us all the time; our whole life was around Te Ao Māori. They sent me to Hukarere Māori Girls’ College in Napier. I cried every time I had to go back to school, but my Mum was quite staunch – I stayed there for five years. I managed to top all the reo classes right through school. I learnt a lot at boarding school – what it is to be Māori and that there are other iwi in the country.

Tell me about the social climate and response when you began teaching and promoting te reo Māori in Invercargill. We had about 100 kids doing kapa haka, because I believed that te reo Māori had to be fun. The parents didn’t care, it was just part of learning and education at that time. That boosted my energies to keep going in te reo Māori in Southland. When we came to setting up kura kaupapa some years later, then the boundaries started to move and the barriers started to come up.

Why did you become interested in kura kaupapa?

awesome, we got to 60 kids – awesome! We got to 160 kids and then we had to shift. Our kura is part of a group of around 60 around the country who come under Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori Te Aho Matua, which is the philosophy under which our kura are run.

What do you think the future holds for kura kaupapa in Aotearoa?

We have got some brilliant strategists in our kura. We’re always scheming ahead – making sure we have enough qualified teachers. We’ve been down this track since the early ’80s and the kura are growing. I’m not saying there are no problems, but as far as we are concerned, we are doing the right things for our tamariki.

What do you think the future holds for te reo and tikanga Māori?

I think te reo and tikanga Māori are flourishing in Aotearoa because of kōhanga reo, kura kaupapa and because Māori have taken it upon themselves to do what Māori should do. Because it’s not just Māori kids who are flourishing through this, other kids are very keen. I think it should just be a way of life that we are trying to promote.

In 1984 my youngest daughter was born. In 1989 I visited Waikato Teachers’ College and that’s where I first heard about kura kaupapa Māori. When I got back to Invercargill, I was teaching at Cargill High School and I tried all sorts of things; I was literally laughed at. But I’d been on that course where we’d talked about the development of our Māori kids. They weren’t getting anywhere and the Pākehā system just did not suit them. We battled on. I talked all over the place – Otago, Murihiku [Southland] and Nelson where Pita Sharples and I spoke to some interested Māori community members promoting kura kaupapa Māori.

What are the most satisfying things for you when you see where Te Wharekura o Arowhenua is today?

There are many satisfying things; but it’s mainly the students, or raukura who have gone through the kura. I look at my own daughter Kate, who was a beginning student and is now giving back by being a registered teacher in our Wharekura. We started at Waimatua down the road and had about 30 kids to start with. It was


Education Gazette

Whaea Ani Wainui.

Have you already applied for Creatives in Schools? Applications close Friday 20 August. The Creatives in Schools programme provides funding of up to $17,000 per project. Creative projects can cover a wide range of artforms such as painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama, film, digital, Pacific arts and ngā toi Māori. If your kura or school wants to run a creative project for your students in 2022, apply now for Creatives in Schools in partnership with an artist or a creative professional. Up to 117 projects will be selected.

Apply now:

For more information, go to

If you have questions, email:

Whānau te reo programme


ach week, more than 90 whānau and their tamariki meet at Te Wharekura o Arowhenua for He Kura Hei Kainga – a te reo Māori language programme. “We noticed a lack of engagement with families so we have started a language programme for whānau on a Wednesday night. They have a kai and then they go away to their different levels of learning. They do an hour of learning; their children are beside them too because they carry that kaupapa back home,” says Gary. The programme, which has been running for about three years, is Tiahuia’s baby. “The ideology around He Kura Hei Kainga is the language that the tamariki learn in the akomanga [classroom], as well as the tools that the teachers use, are simply moved to the home. So what we do in the classroom is what we teach in our lessons. “The other element is that all the students come with their parents so they become the tuakana to help Mum and Dad/whānau at home. It’s also about training the students to be supportive in that role,” says Tiahuia. This year, the element of play has been integrated into the programme. “You always want your families to play together so we’re teaching key te reo phrases when playing group games, card games and board games,” she says.

“You can see our families are proud to be here and have their kids here. There’s probably been a longing for a very long time for them to have a chance to come in and learn. Why else would you send your kids if you didn’t value te reo and te ao Māori?” asks Desmond.

Big commitment

Tiahuia says He Kura Hei Kainga is a big commitment for whānau as they are expected to use te reo at home as well, but there are many benefits for them. “The bulk of our whānau come for the whanaungatanga as well – that’s super important and they

leave with some skill and better understanding of what tamariki are learning in the classroom with te reo Maori and that we are a unit of people that can on-teach. “I feel that He Kura Hei Kainga has had that ripple effect and we can row our waka a lot more effectively going in the same direction,” she says. “We teach the ākonga how to be a family and how to be proud of being Māori. Our biggest goal is to get our whānau involved with the kids – in the learning and also to not be a spectator to their child’s life,” adds Desmond.

Desmond and Tiahuia are teaching Māori whānau to be proud of being Māori.

Many benefits

Desmond Tioke (Ngāti Awa, Ngai Tuhoe) teaches a Year 5-6 class at Te Wharekura o Arowhenua and also takes a class for children at He Kura Hei Kainga. The effectiveness of the programme and literacy and numeracy progress of the tamariki is being tracked and managed through Desmond’s He Kura class. “The main goal of He Kura was so the home could actually be a learning environment where the tamaiti can become the teacher as well. Our kids can also practice te reo at home.


Education Gazette

Education Gazette | Blue Star technology fund

Congratulations to the recipients: » Rāwhiti School, Christchurch » Whangarei Girls’ High School » Bailey Road School, Auckland » Southland Girls’ High School Each school will receive a $2500 award to enhance their digital technologies & hangarau matihiko teaching programmes.

For further information about this award, go to:


Over a century in education sector for Sisters Both now in their eighties, Sister Valerie Lawson QSO (formerly Sister Mary Celine) and Sister Pauline Leonard CNZM each have over 50 years’ experience teaching and leading in the education sector, an apt story for Education Gazette’s centenary.

L-R: Sister Mary St Paulina, Sister Mary St Clarissa (Bernadette Lawson), Brother Alfred, Sister Mary Celine (Valerie Lawson).

Sister Valerie Lawson QSO Pathway into teaching

Valerie decided she wanted to become a teacher during her primary school years in Christchurch. Inspired and encouraged by her teachers to become a Mission Sister as well as a teacher, she attended a Mission Sisters’ small, residential preparatory school in Cashmere, Christchurch, for students considering becoming a sister. “I don’t regret the decision to attend it, but in hindsight it had some drawbacks,” reflects Valerie. “We were a very small and isolated group and very protected, so we didn’t have the opportunity to mix with many other young people of our own age. However, the benefits we received certainly outweighed any negatives.” In 1951, at the age of 19, Valerie entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of the Mission in Christchurch.


Education Gazette

For about two and a half years, Valerie received what she describes as spiritual training, as opposed to teacher training. Then in August 1953, she was ‘professed’ as Sister Mary Celine and took the formal vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. After profession, it was straight into the classroom at St Joseph’s Primary School in Christchurch, where Valerie taught “30 wonderful, clever children in Primer 3 and 4”. Just two years later she was appointed to Sacred Heart College in Christchurch. “Having only a short experience of primary school teaching and my highest qualification being University Entrance, I was suddenly a terrified secondary teacher. We didn’t know what we didn’t know! A lot of preparation went on the night before the next day’s classes, but I was fortunate to have mentors during this time from whom I learnt a lot – and fast!”

‘A jack of all trades’

While teaching full time, Valerie studied after school and attended lectures at the University of Canterbury, eventually graduating with a BA in English. After nine years at Sacred Heart in Christchurch, Valerie moved to the Mission Sisters’ Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt for three years. By now a seasoned teacher, she taught a wide variety of subjects to different class levels as the expectation was for every teacher to be a ‘jack of all trades’. Sister Valerie’s leadership journey began in 1967, as principal of Redwood College in Nelson. The school – a five-storey building – served as both a school and convent, where the sisters lived. “At a class reunion in 2018 of students now in their 60s, the women spoke very highly of their experiences at the school, believing they could do anything. They were rewarding years and I still have connections with many of them.”

State integration

In 1980, Valerie became principal of Lower Hutt’s Sacred Heart College, where she led the school until her retirement in 2000. In her first year there, the college became the first Catholic secondary school to be integrated into the state system. “It was a very difficult year but if Catholic schools hadn’t integrated, they would have folded. That’s how dire it had become because there were fewer Sisters teaching and because we received very little, we couldn’t afford to pay other staff.” There was some state aid before integration, but integration was a real lifeline, albeit requiring a considerable restructure. Positions of responsibility had been few and far between. Valerie explains, “We had principals and deputy principals but as far as possible they were Sisters and didn’t cost more!” Previously, Catholic schools were reliant on fees and often they weren’t paid. “Eleven of the Lawson girls went to Sacred Heart College in Christchurch, but fees weren’t paid for any of us. Many families were in that position – if you couldn’t pay fees, you didn’t.” Fees are still charged for capital works (new buildings), as the Government does not supply these, however the inability to pay them does not exclude students.

Student success

Valerie says they put a lot of emphasis on the achievement of Māori and Polynesian students at Sacred Heart College. “We were also lucky to have excellent full-time te reo Māori teachers and Māori culture was a feature of our school – and that was in the 1980s! “As a teacher, you have to like teenagers and believe they can be better than they realise; you must have high expectations and believe in youth, and that belief will be catching.” For many years, Sacred Heart College has had the greatest number of students taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards Scheme. Most years, Valerie went to Government House supporting students receiving their Gold Awards and in 1995, when she herself received the Companion of the Queen’s Service Order for Public Service to Education, she recalls the Governor General Dame Cath Tizard saying, “It’s good to be giving you one too!”

A rewarding vocation

A framed print sits in Valerie’s lounge with the adage “to teach is to touch a life forever”. For Valerie, it sums up teaching. “Teaching is a rewarding vocation and you need good people in it, but it takes a lot of commitment. As unmarried sisters, we could give 100 per cent of our time, which was easier than for others who had to raise families and still did a wonderful job. “Very satisfying to me was to see disadvantaged kids become confident people, equipped to go out and live and not have to continue with that disadvantage.” The thing that pleases Valerie the most is past students telling her they left Redwood and Sacred Heart Colleges thinking they could do anything. “We lived in a ‘girls can do anything’ age! I’ve never lost the inspiration I received from Mother Dominica, my best secondary school teacher.”

In the blood

Three of Valerie’s 11 sisters also joined the RNDM (Religieuses de Notre Dame Missions/Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions) and had careers in education: Sister Lorraine Lawson, Literacy Learning Specialist/Teacher at St Patrick’s in Auckland; the late Sister Maureen Lawson, principal of St Joseph’s School in Nelson until her retirement in 2000 – the last Mission Sister to teach there; and the late Sister Bernadette Lawson, who taught at Sacred Heart Primary School in Petone before succumbing to leukaemia in 1959 aged 28.

“Very satisfying to me was to see disadvantaged kids become confident people, equipped to go out and live and not have to continue with that disadvantage.” Sister Valerie Lawson QSO

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Valerie’s brother Kevin also became a teacher and taught in Australia. And many of the next generation are also pursuing careers in education.

Sister Pauline Leonard CNZM Called to teaching

One of five girls in a Catholic family, Sister Pauline was raised in Christchurch, participating in many activities associated with the church. Teaching was looked upon as a good career option, and at secondary school Pauline had various Sisters who were role models and influential in her decision to join the congregation of Sisters in Ferry Road in Christchurch. She took her formal vows in 1961 and her first assignment was for three years, teaching Primer 3 and 4 in Nelson. “It was challenging teaching children who were at very different levels, especially with 30-plus children in the class,” she recollects. “One year I had this young boy who had learning difficulties. He loved music but he didn’t speak, and he occasionally did anti-social things like throwing other children’s shoes over the fence. I’d never encountered a situation like this and seeking advice was tricky because we didn’t have a lot of outside contacts. Thankfully, I was able to talk to a lady on the staff about ways to cope. “Throughout my career, there weren’t many children with learning difficulties. In fact, when both Valerie and I were teaching, far fewer children presented with these. “Generally, young people came to school ready to learn. There were still difficult home lives and families with addiction issues, but we expected certain behaviours and we had high expectations of every child.”

High expectations

Top: Sisters Pauline Leonard, Constance Hurley and Bernadette O’Neill, the last three Sisters to lead Sacred Heart College in Hamilton. Middle: Young Sisters at Sacred Heart College, Lower Hutt. Bottom: The Sisters enjoy some downtime overseas during Sister Pauline’s Woolf Fisher Scholarship award in 1996.


Education Gazette

High expectations of learning were certainly role modelled by Sister Pauline. While teaching in Nelson, Sister Pauline did her Level 1, 2 and 3 Teachers Certificate papers, completing five in the first year and subsequently the others. “After completing the papers, you could apply for an inspection, where you were observed teaching. It was then decided if you got your Teachers C or not.” Pauline achieved this at Sacred Heart Addington Convent and Primary School in Christchurch. She also studied at university- her first paper was geography. “Geography wasn’t so much a choice, rather a subject that was available outside of school hours,” she says. In 1964, Pauline went to St Joseph’s in Christchurch where she co-taught with a Sister in the Novitiate, Annemarie Shine, who was a trained teacher. “She used to replace me in the classroom while I did Chemistry at university because Chemistry was only available during school hours. That arrangement held for the next three years and then I had a full year where I studied Zoology with Honours.”

Leadership years

After teaching at St Joseph’s, Sister Pauline spent many years at Sacred Heart College in Christchurch, teaching the sciences. She then taught at Sacred Heart College in Lower Hutt, where she became deputy principal to Sister Valerie in 1980. After nine years in that position, Pauline was appointed principal of Sacred Heart College in Hamilton. “When I got there, all I knew about how to be a principal was what I had learned from Valerie.” Sister Pauline has fond memories of her 14 years leading Sacred Heart College, during which she oversaw major curriculum developments, an increased roll and the growth of a positive, energetic learning environment. As she told seventh formers at one of the leaving functions: ‘You came to Sacred Heart with your youthfulness, inexperience, and childhood dreams – and you have grown through these five years and now leave our college as friends and confident young women’. Sister Pauline remembers sitting for an oil canvas painting by Joan McKenzie to be hung in the Creative Arts Centre. The Centre is named after Sister Pauline, the last RNDM principal at the school.

Woolf Fisher Scholarship

In 1996, Pauline was awarded a Woolf Fisher Scholarship. Valerie took a term off to accompany her, and the Sisters visited schools in Boston, San Francisco and New York, as well as attending a Catholic Education Conference, the size of which blew them away. “We were particularly interested in the implementation of the technology curriculum in English schools, as we had an area that we were going to modify and develop for our own technology curriculum. “On the way home, we went to South Africa and visited a school where they were making clothing by hand. We came home and fundraised and sent the school several sewing machines. “Through education, we’ve have had a range of wonderful experiences,” reflects Sister Pauline.


Upon retiring, both Sisters were involved from 2004 to 2010 in the leadership of the RNDM Congregation in New Zealand, which includes the Samoan congregation. Keen sportswomen, the sisters are now avid watchers and armchair referees of rugby, cricket and netball in particular. They remain involved in many family and congregation activities. Both Sisters have made an immense contribution to education and, though retired for many years, their passion remains for a bright future for young people through building their confidence, contributing to their educational achievement and ensuring they leave school with a good heart.

Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions 1861 – 1893 Euphrasie Barbier founded the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions Religieuses de Notre Dame des Missions in Lyon, France. 1864 Euphrasie Barbier sent her first missionaries to New Zealand.

SISTER VALERIE 1951 Sister Mary Celine enters the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions at age 19. 1953 Professed, taking formal vows in poverty, chastity and obedience. 1955 – 1963 Teacher at SHC Christchurch. 1964 – 1966 Teacher of Form 5 classes at SHC Lower Hutt. 1967 Principal at Redwood College, Nelson. 1968 Rome renewal course. 1969 – 1972 Teacher at SHC Christchurch. 1973 – 1979 Principal at Redwood College, Nelson. 1980 – 2000 Principal SHC Lower Hutt. 1995 Sister Valerie Madeline Lawson honoured as a Companion of the Queens Service Order for Public Service.

SISTER PAULINE 1959 Sister Pauline Leonard enters the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions at age 19. 1961 Professed, taking formal vows in poverty, chastity and obedience. 1961 – 1963 Teacher in Nelson. 1964 – 1966 Teacher at St Joseph’s Primary School in Christchurch. 1967 – 1979 Teacher at SHC Lower Hutt. 1980 – 1989 Deputy Principal at SHC Lower Hutt. 1990 – 2004 Principal SHC Hamilton. 1996 Awarded a Woolf Fisher Scholarship. 2003 Sister Pauline Anne Leonard honoured as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education.

Sister Valerie’s niece Tania Black works for the Ministry of Education and has shared this story with Gazette readers.

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Mount Maunganui Intermediate’s Showquest performance was inspired by the Rena shipwreck and the school’s inquiry into ocean sustainability.


Education Gazette


Rena – how a shipwreck inspired learning The stranding of the MV Rena in 2011, widely acknowledged as New Zealand’s most significant maritime pollution emergency, has provided many teaching and learning opportunities in the years that followed.


iant luminous jellyfish, penguins in bow ties and other sea creatures fell to the floor as dancers dressed in oily black swarmed the stage as part of Mount Maunganui Intermediate’s Showquest performance in June 2021. While the students performing would have been just toddlers when the Rena shipwrecked, it is an event they have grown up hearing about – and their creative message around the impact of the disaster and the ongoing care for their local marine environment resounded deeply with the Bay of Plenty audience.

What happened to the Rena

On 5 October 2011, the cargo vessel Rena struck Otaiti | Astrolabe Reef, approximately 12 nautical miles off the Tauranga coast, and grounded. The ship was carrying 1368 containers of cargo and 1700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 200 tonnes of diesel fuel. Maritime New Zealand declared a tier 3 response, and mobilised the National Response Team for oil spill response. Volunteers, the New Zealand Army and other trained responders spent days cleaning up oil from beaches, supported by local iwi and community. More than 1000 dead birds were found and 300 birds (mainly little blue penguins) were rescued and taken to the wildlife oil spill response facility.

Creating awareness

A decade on, the stranding of the Rena continues to provide teaching and learning opportunities – Mount Maunganui Intermediate’s Showquest entry is a good example. Principal Melissa Nelson says the Showquest team aligned their performance with a school-wide inquiry into

26 July 2021

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‘Human Impact on our Oceans and Ocean Sustainability’ in term 1 this year. “The whole school learned about the ocean; how it provides for us and the issues that plague it. Teams came up with their own unique spin on the topic and the learning that occurred in our kura was amazing.” Teacher Bronwyn Marshall worked with the students on their Showquest performance. “When the team of students and teachers were looking to develop a theme for our Showquest entry this year we looked at our localised curriculum and the stories of our area as well as trying to link with our term 1 inquiry,” says Bronwyn. “The incident of the Rena and how it impacted our local marine area was of great interest to students. We had guest speakers and undertook much research in order to gain a greater understanding of how the crash into the Astrolabe reef occurred and what were the immediate, medium and long-term impacts of this local disaster on our wildlife, our coastline and our community. “We were able to determine that with time and energy nature can regenerate and we linked this with the force of nature through Tangaroa and his godly wife Te Anumatao. “We were so proud of our students and the energy, thought and commitment they demonstrated into telling this important piece of local history through drama, dance and music,” says Bronwyn.

Learning opportunities and resources

The Rena has inspired many opportunities for teaching and learning over the years. Soon after the disaster, School Journal articles appeared, with ‘The Port’ (2012) and ‘What a disaster!’ (2013) sharing children’s perspectives of the Rena grounding, encouraging other students to think about the impact of the event to the marine environment. In 2013, the Rena inspired the winning entry for a group of New Zealand students taking part in a competition run by the Young Enterprise Trust. The competition was part of the 2013 Global Enterprise Challenge to develop a proposal for a sustainable tourism business that uses science and technology to manage environmental issues.  The team developed a business plan for a company called Eco Dive, which would take dive trips on the site of the grounding of the Rena. The three-year anniversary of the grounding was marked for Bay of Plenty schools with the gift of posters and picture books, M is for Mauao by Tommy ‘Kapai’ Wilson and Motiti Blue and the Oil Spill: A Story from the Rena Disaster by Debbie McCauley, as well as an educational poster with easy-to-understand information about the ship’s grounding. Maritime New Zealand worked with the Ministry of Education to produce the resource ‘What now for the Rena?’ for a 2016 issue of the Ministry ‘s Connected series, which promotes the exploration and learning of ideas in science, mathematics, and technology for students in Years 4 to 8. Linking to the 2013 Connected article ‘After the Spill’, the resource focused on the long-term impacts of the grounding.


Education Gazette

“Teams came up with their own unique spin on the topic and the learning that occurred in our kura was amazing.” Melissa Nelson

The students showed the distress of the sea creatures as oil leaked from the shipwrecked Rena, threatening their marine environment.

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Year 8 student Ramari played Te anu-mātou, and expressed sadness for the damage to their environment, while Tangaroa expressed hope for the future.

“The way this and the previous Rena article have been written, and the depth of ideas that are explored in both, provide great modelling on critical thinking for the students,” was one teacher’s feedback, as reported in The Bay of Plenty Times. Science Learning Hub | Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao showcased these articles and provided additional related content and a range of learning activities. It featured the article ‘Restoring mauri after the Rena disaster’, and the episode ‘The Rena Disaster’ that appeared as part of television series Project Mātauranga, both offering insights into how te ao Māori can be incorporated into the Rena disaster recovery operation.

See this article online for teaching and learning resources relating to the Rena disaster, including the Connected and School Journal resources mentioned in this article.

Student kōrero Mount Maunganui Intermediate student Ramari (pictured on facing page) played Te anu-mātou in the school’s Showquest performance. This is what she had to say: “The performance meant a lot to me because of how tragic the Rena disaster was. It’s important that people can learn about our local history and make changes. “Including Tangaroa and Te anu-mātou in our performance showed our culture, from the school, and how it means a lot to us. “The kapa haka moves showed the water going back into the river and showed how sad I was as Te anumātou. The words from the song I sang expressed the sadness I felt, while Tangaroa gave the hope.”

a moment to e k a T

Resources coming soon at #TeachOutsideNZ Te Wiki Tiaki Ao Tūroa 4–12 Mahuru 2021 Conservation Week 4–12 September 2021

Koru. Photo: Sabine Bernert Magnifying glass. Photo: Nick Graham

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Providing the right support Sue Nimmo has been a teacher aide for 40 years. Here she reflects on the highs and lows and changes she has seen in the role in that time.

Q: What led you to become a teacher aide?

Sue: I was a mum in the mid-1970s and I volunteered at Castlecliff School, Whanganui. I actually did many volunteer roles at the school: lunch lady, in the library, gala organisation, school committee treasurer were among them. I also worked as one of the school cleaners. In 1979 I was offered a position of teacher aide in the junior class at Castlecliff. As I could do this and still be at home after school and in the holidays with my own children, I accepted the position.

Q: Where do you work now?

Sue: At present I am working at Tawhero School in Whanganui and have been there for 10 years. I completed 29 years at Castlecliff previous to that.

Q: What does the job entail?

Sue: My present role is a teacher aide working in the New Entrant class. I work with small groups and assist the


Education Gazette

children to build their numeracy, writing and phonics knowledge. I also have extra hours from Ministry of Education and Resource Teachers: Learning and Behaviour to work one on one with children supporting their learning, enabling them to work in a secure calm environment which is focused on them.

Q: Has the nature of your job changed much over the years?

Sue: Initially employed in 1979, you didn’t actually work closely with specific children, it was more classroom support. I made the paints and paste and worked alongside the teacher to support learning. I then began working in the ‘Special Needs Class’. It was a limited supervisory role that over time has grown significantly and looks very different from its ‘mother help’ origins. Then changes came about in the 1990s when a new approach to education came in with Tomorrow’s Schools. The 1989 Education Act changed its thinking

“The best bits are watching the children we have supported to achieve goals that they would not have been able to” Sue Nimmo around our special needs children. They were mainstreamed into the class environment and began learning alongside their classmates. The role of teacher aide also changed. Many support staff began teacher aide studies through the likes of Massey University. PLD (Professional learning Development) became available. The role of teacher aides developed alongside inclusive education practice. Teacher aides bring knowledge and skills into the learning of each tamariki. The relationships we build with them is the enabler to their future learning.

Q: Do you enjoy working as a teacher aide? What are the best bits?

Sue: The best bits are watching the children we have supported to achieve goals that they would not have been able to; allowing children to reach their potential that they never thought they could. Even if that means supporting them to learn to write their name, simple for some but for others not so, and it is that which makes me love my role.

Q: And the worst bits?

Sue: The worst bits are the insecurity around our role, wondering ‘will I have a position next year?’ The fixedterm issue, when working with children who receive funding; if the child leaves the school our job is no more. There is frustration around this felt by many support staff.

Q: Do you have any particularly vivid, funny or poignant moments from your work as a teacher aide that you would like to share?

have meat tonight’, ‘Gone to buy the children shoes’ and ‘I can now join with my colleagues socially as I can now afford a coffee’. We have always been strongly supportive advocates for the children we work alongside but from now on we will be paid our worth. This equates to being valued and feeling more connected.

Q: What about the related boost to teacher aide professional learning? Sue: The Professional Learning and Development fund can only increase the skills and knowledge for us all. To be able to access this fund will mean a huge difference for teacher aides that have long wanted to upskill and become better informed. The tamariki we work with will benefit as well in having trained teacher aides to help them. What the fund offers in the way of courses is amazing. For me it is good to feel valued and that our role within education is recognised.

Q: What role would you like to see teacher aides playing in schools in the future?

Sue: Building on the base knowledge we have now, let’s aim for the possibility of no glass ceiling and that with knowledge, support staff can continue with their career pathways that will now be developed. Where will it end? Wait and see.

Sue: Over all my years in the role there are many tamariki who have remained in my heart. There are many that have gone on from school to become doctors, dentists, chefs and pursue other amazing careers.But there was one very poignant moment a few weeks ago: I needed medical assistance and had Doctor Katie tend to me. She has always been an amazing person – both as a five-year-old when she first arrived at school with the hugest smile to now, as the most amazing doctor.

Q: How important is the teacher aide pay equity settlement to teacher aides? Sue: The pay equity settlement is historic and it means a huge difference to many teacher aides. It is momentous in education history. I have been able to watch comments coming through like, ‘I can afford a haircut now’, ‘We can

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To view the PLD, general notice listings and vacancies at Scan the QR codes with the camera on your device. PLD


Capital E’s National Theatre for Children presents Story Studio LIVE 2021! This year, the show is based on the themes of climate change and the environment. It features professional actors and promises to showcase the diverse stories of young people in an engaging show that can be performed in your school hall.


Do you have a passion for helping those with specific learning disabilities (SLD) such as dyslexia? SPELD NZ offers a wide variety of training opportunities.

Christchurch Area – 3 to 6 August 2021 Auckland Area – 23 to 26 August 2021 Created for students in Year 5 to 8. Only $1 per student! Learn more at

Maths Teachers Reduce Workload and Stress (Years 11-13) Use our Editable Assessment Masters, Internal, End of Year, and Parallel. SINCOS Mission Statement: Reducing Teacher Workload

26 July 2021

NZ Certificate in Teaching Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities 2022 Mainly online, 600-hour Level 5 NZQA-approved programme. This is the pathway to those interested in becoming a SPELD NZ Teacher. (Training subsidies available in some regions.) Kōwae ako/Learning Capsules Self-driven, online learning capsules on specific topics such as phonological/phonemic awareness, working memory and dyscalculia. Each capsule takes approximately six hours to complete. Introduction to Specific Learning Disabilities Level 3 NZQA-approved two-day course - ideal for families, whanau, teacher aides and educators with little knowledge of SLD. Great insights and strategies to help at home and in the classroom. Held throughout NZ, subject to demand. Assessor Training 2022 Mainly online training in the use of the Woodcock-Johnson test batteries and assessment of those with SLD. (Training subsidies available in some regions.) For more information SPELD NZ training, see the Training page of or call 028 2550 7415 or email For the Introductory course, email

Tukutuku Kōrero



Do you have a vacancy that you would like to advertise to the education sector? Place an advertisement in the vacancies section and reach both the passive and active jobseekers by contacting Jill Parker: 027 212 9277



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MILLDALE SCHOOL (Silverdale, Auckland) To open 2023


To be advertised on-line from 29 July and in the 16 August Education Gazette.

Don’t miss out!

SCHOOL FINANCE MANAGER (Full time or Part time) Leading Edge Services, based in Henderson, are leading providers in financial and administration services and support to schools. Due to our business growth, we are keen to find a suitably experienced person to join our fantastic and experienced team. The suitable applicant would need to have: ● A knowledge of accounting for schools and/or the education sector. ● Proven ability to be able to take responsibility for a portfolio of client schools and to be able to prepare monthly and financial reports. ● To be familiar with Xero Accounting Software or similar. ● To have the ability to work independently and able to meet client deadlines. ● To be willing to work and share with team the office wide administration tasks. The role requires someone who is flexible, keen to develop their knowledge and skills, have great customer service skills and is prepared to work with us to ensure our clients receive the highest level of support and service. Training is provided in our systems and processes and support is ongoing. Please provide a letter of interest along with your CV and two referees to Kerry Dean, Managing Director, A full job description will be provided on application.

Applications close on Friday 6th August 2021.


Education Gazette


PRINCIPAL - TUMUAKI U6 Our Foundation Principal has been promoted, and we are seeking a highly engaging, collaborative and innovative leader to continue to guide us on our incredible journey. Endeavour Primary School (Y1-6), located in North East Hamilton, is about Learning Without Limits, and our Explorer, Thinker, Citizen learner profiles represent our approach to learning for everyone. Seven years ago we started as the first purpose built Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) in the Waikato, and as we continue to evolve, we aim to be valued for our rich and diverse learning programmes and happy and fulfilled students. Our School is exceptional in empowering all children to learn and grow as individuals through experiences and opportunities beyond the standard curriculum. Our new principal will be a strategic thinker with proven experience in leading collaborative learning teams. They will demonstrate leadership that fosters innovation and collaboration, will be passionate and committed to enhancing the leadership capacity and professional growth of our team, and have built successful relationships with iwi and community groups. An excellent understanding and practical application of the New Zealand Curriculum is critical for this role. Our students have said that they are “looking for a principal who will learn with them, will have fun with them, is culturally aware and celebrates diversity”. This is a great opportunity for a proven performer to lead our school to the next stage of our success. For confidential enquiries, and/or to request a school visit please contact external advisor Vicky McLennan on 022 304 0281. To view our application pack, and apply, please visit our online application website at endeavour-principal Applications close 12pm, Friday 10 September, 2021. Position commences Term 1, 2022.

After many years of outstanding service our principal is retiring and we are now searching for his replacement– a passionate, hardworking, inspirational leader. Holy Cross Catholic School is a highly successful state-integrated, decile 2, primary school catering for over 600 culturally diverse students in South Auckland, from Y 0-8 (Girls only Yr. 7-8). Founded by the Mercy Sisters in 1953, our special Catholic Character permeates all we do. Our vision statement, Learning and Growing in Christ, is underpinned by our values of human dignity, service, reconciliation and compassion. Our aims are to nurture a safe Catholic learning environment; develop active student, parent and community engagement; promote inclusive collaborative learning; provide holistic Catholic education with high student achievement; and recognise New Zealand’s cultural diversity. We would like our new principal to be: • Faith filled • Relationship driven, fair, approachable, welcoming, willing to listen, culturally competent, have a sense of humour, and be prepared to make the tough decisions when needed. • An accomplished professional leader of learning who is passionate about student achievement and is committed to helping everyone reach their potential.

Principal (U6) Holy Cross Catholic School, Papatoetoe, Auckland This position commences in Term 1 2022. Please email for more information or an application pack. Applications close 2 August 2021 at 5:00pm

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• A role model of collaborative leadership and foster a culture of team work. • Committed to staff professional development and growing others in their role. • Willing to be actively involved in the wider life of the school through Special Character, sporting and cultural activities. • Committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi valuing the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. Our new principal must have a willingness and ability to participate in religious instruction appropriate to the special Catholic Character of our school, and is a condition of employment.

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Principal Te Kura O Tauhinu, Lincoln Primary School Te Kura O Tauhinu is uniquely positioned in a rapidly growing region, hosting strong connections to Lincoln University and Crown Research institutes that feed into our local curriculum. Over the past few years we have invested heavily in our learning environment to reflect our philosophy for collaborative, flexible and authentic education. Our well resourced curriculum supports a wide range of educational opportunities including music, sport, kapa haka, languages and the arts. As an Enviroschool, sustainability is at the heart of our local curriculum. We are looking for an inspirational, approachable and innovative leader with proven school management skills and experience. You will have strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively with the school and wider community. Your obvious desire to develop every individual within our student centered and future focused school will inspire others. You will need to possess the skills to manage and lead technology provision as well as mainstream learning environments. As a leader you will demonstrate the ability to enhance the current strengths of our school and develop and imbed new initiatives to ensure a strong culture of building teaching and learning success. The ability to enhance and promote our school vision and values as well as engage and work positively alongside staff, students and the community will be essential. This is an exceptional opportunity to join a high performing school that has strong values and an engaged, diverse and multicultural community.

This position is available from the beginning of Term 1, 2022. Applications close 30 August.

Please contact Tom Scollard for further information and/ or an application pack. Email: Ph. (021) 183 6462.

Waimea College Associate Deputy Principal (7 MU & 1 SMA)

Full-Time Permanent from 2022 Waimea College is a large and progressive co-educational secondary school based in Richmond, Nelson. A rare and exciting opportunity exists for an experienced and suitably qualified educator seeking to join our dynamic Senior Leadership Team from Term 1, 2022 to make a positive impact on the lives of our young people. We strive to develop well-rounded, confident young adults who are equipped for our modern and changing world. We are proud of the “strong” rating provided to us recently by the Education Review Office that confirms we are on the right path to achieving this. This Associate Deputy Principal role will offer the opportunity for leadership of the school-wide Curriculum, Student Achievement activities at the College and of the e-Learning and ICT strategy/ direction in the College. The role will also support the wider leadership of Waimea College and contribute to the day-to-day operation of the school. The College combines excellent facilities, a strong school culture, and a modern, progressive curriculum. Our values of Manaakitanga (Caring), Whanaungatanga (Belonging) and Akoranga (Learning) are reflected in the school motto: Semper Contendite (Always Strive). Application pack information can be obtained through or from Diane Chapman, Resource Manager – Please email applications to Diane Chapman, Resource Manager at Applications close at 4.00pm on Sunday 15 August 2021.


Education Gazette

He Tono mō ngā Puka Whakaatu Hiahia Hei te tau 2022, ka whakamātauria ngā paerewa hou o Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, Taumata 1. Mēnā e hiahia ana tō kura ki te whai wāhi mai ki tēnei kaupapa, tuku īmēra ki: i mua i te 22 o Akuhata 2021.

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