Education Gazette 101.6

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23 MAY 2022 | VOL. 101 | NO. 6

Pride of the Pacific Affirming and celebrating diverse Pacific languages and cultures

Overseas teachers add a richness to learning

The journey to a more inclusive system

Early learning STEM through a Samoan lens

ISSU E 1 01 .6


Spotlight on Pacific communities


Meaningful partnership with Mana Whenua and Pacific communities


Sustaining Pacific languages and cultures


Cultural pride broadcast beyond the stage


The journey to a more inclusive education system



Rangatahi bound for success with new course to employment


STEM learning through a Samoan lens inspires early learners





Navigating Covid-19: school leaders reflect


Overseas teachers add a richness to learning


Unpacking Te Whāriki for early learning kaiako


Balancing classroom ventilation


and heating in winter

On the cover

23 MAY 2022 | VOL. 101 | NO. 6

Page 8. Language, knowledge and pride shared through generations.

Pride of the Pacific

This image was captured as part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o te Wā.

Affirming and celebrating diverse Pacific languages and cultures

Overseas teachers add a richness to learning

The journey to a more inclusive system

Early learning STEM through a Samoan lens


23 May 2022

Tukutuku Kōrero



Small ripples create big waves This year’s Bullying-Free New Zealand Week was all about focusing on the positive mahi already happening in school communities across Aotearoa – including a new integrity app, and a new BFNZ Week waiata.

Education’s contribution to a climate resilient future The Government is committed to Aotearoa New Zealand becoming a world leader in climate change action – and education has an important role to play. This story is the starting point of a series spotlighting ways that education is contributing to a sustainable future.

Ākonga voice central to wellbeing project Ākonga at Napier Girls’ High School are the first to contribute to the Student Wellbeing Measures project – the development of a wellbeing measures and measuring tool.

To view the PLD, general notice listings and vacancies at




Scan the QR codes with the camera on your device.


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DEADLINES The deadline for display advertising to be printed in the 13 June 2022 edition of Education Gazette is 4pm on Friday 27 May 2022. This publication is produced using FSC® Certified paper from Responsible Sources.


Warm Pacific greetings


ia orana, Noa’ia, Talofa lava, Mauri, Mālō e lelei, Tālofa, Ni Sa Bula Vinaka, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Mālō ni and warm Pacific greetings.

The Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 sets out five key shifts needed to support diverse Pacific learners and families to achieve their education aspirations, and to do so with full pride in, and understanding of, their unique languages, cultures, and identities – all of which enrichen the tapa of Aotearoa New Zealand and shape our histories and our future. Pacific Language Weeks are one tool in the kete to affirm and celebrate Pacific Peoples, with each dedicated ‘week’ a chance to inspire and extend learning opportunities throughout the year. In this issue, we learn how Ulingaholo – Moving Forward Pasifika Association is contributing to the sustainability of Pacific languages and cultures, we celebrate the pride and passion of ākonga at ASB Polyfest 2022, and we discover how STEM learning through a Samoan lens is affirming cultural connections for young tamaiti in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. You can also read about meaningful partnerships with iwi Māori and Pacific communities to support authentic teaching and learning, explore perspectives on how to make our education system more inclusive and accessible, what principals learned from leading during a pandemic, and how new resources are helping early learning kaiako to better understand our bicultural context and culturally responsive teaching. At the very least, flip through the pages to marvel at the stunning imagery throughout this issue – they tell the same story; Aotearoa New Zealand is so beautifully diverse. Fa’afetai lava Sarah, chief editor


keystonetrustNZ @keystonetrustnz

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Sharing culture and understand is part of Wānanga Wednesday.

Meaningful partnership with Mana Whenua and Pacific communities Horowhenua Kāhui Ako is an excellent example of how to develop and maintain meaningful partnerships with iwi, hapū, and Pacific communities to support authentic teaching and learning for ākonga.

Wānanga Wednesday allows students to teach what they know.


Education Gazette


orowhenua Kāhui Ako has every reason to be proud of the partnership it has developed over a number of years with local iwi and the community. “Relationships don’t happen by accident,” explains Gerard Joyce, an across school leader. “They are strategic, for the long term. You have to really work at it and put in the groundwork. We are starting to see the fruit of it now, but it’s been a multi-year thing to get here. It’s not been one week or one month.” There have been a number of ways in which the kāhui ako has worked to create these strategic alliances, including meetings, training days, and research which is shared amongst the kāhui ako members. These combined efforts have allowed for great partnership building for each school. The development of iwi relationships has been aided by the iwi affiliations that Chris Wilton (teacher of te reo at Horowhenua College) has to the Muaūpoko and with Ngāti Raukawa. Chris maintains that it is very important for kāhui ako to have at least one of its members who is an active member of the local iwi as this can help to open dialogue. “It’s like this,” Chris says. “If I was a teacher at school and I wanted to use the facilities, like a gym, then it’s pretty easy for the school to say yes. But if I came off the street and said ‘I want to do this or do that’, then it will be harder, there will be a lot more processes to go through.” He also emphasises that it is not just affiliation to iwi that is the key – it is participation that is crucial. Participation means kāhui ako need to be willing to contribute, it is not just about asking what iwi can do for them or dictating to iwi what you want to do. This understanding has helped Horowhenua Kāhui Ako build a meaningful relationship. Sally Rollinson, an across school teacher, explains, “I love the authenticity of everything. When we go to them, it’s not a case of ‘we will just check with iwi’. There’s always a genuine desire to ensure that we’re working together and that we are not just trying to tick a box, or saying ‘well,

we’ve consulted and that is it’ – it’s really genuine. It’s hard to describe, but you can really feel that. We know when we talk about doing things, there’s always that desire to do the best that we can do to work together rather than one party kind of saying, ‘well, you have to do it this way’.”

Iwi support

Iwi help to support active participation and understanding through teacher only days on marae that are held at the start of the year. Both Muaūpoko and Ngāti Raukawa conduct days and teachers are welcome to attend either or both days. Teachers can converse with each other while they learn the stories, histories and customs of the iwi. Hamish Stuart is the co-lead principal of Horowhenua Kāhui Ako along with Moira Campbell, who has been a co-lead for five years. Hamish says, “It’s all about getting together, breaking down those barriers where teachers are not fearful of pōwhiri or things like that. Because it’s done in such an encouraging way it just allows teachers to be more culturally aware – it’s not something for them to fear, its being welcomed and sharing kai with people.” Across school teacher Livingstone Samuelu explains the impact that this can have for someone who is new to the area, as he went to his first marae visit just two weeks after moving to Horowhenua. “It was like no experience before. There was the history of the area, plus, the welcome and the ceremony ... I knew absolutely no one and to come to experience this a fortnight after moving to this area was really great. I felt the wairua of the area before I started my job.” Iwi have also been valuable in helping during Covid times. Hamish says, “We provided iwi with names and addresses of families who may have needed extra kai, and Muaūpoko has their vaxi taxi, which is a bus that goes around and does vaccinations. They also provided us with packs before the holidays, with RATs and masks, so families did not have to wait for them.”

“Relationships don’t happen by accident. They are strategic, for the long term. You have to really work at it and put in the groundwork.” Gerard Joyce

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The magic of being Māori

Top: Livingstone Samuelu with one of his pupils. Bottom: Gerard and Sally love working within the kāhui ako.

One of the activities that demonstrates dedication to relationship building is Rangatahi Ora, a programme which achieved recognition in 2017 in the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards. Chris has been responsible for developing and running Rangatahi Ora for the last 12 years. He started the course after completing his masters as he wanted to have a programme that encouraged success as Māori for his ākonga. The concept and aim is to provide Māori spaces in a mainstream environment. Rangatahi Ora incorporates tuakana teina methods. The ākonga taking part first engage as learners but then use their knowledge to benefit other tamariki Māori in primary schools around Levin by helping them learn pepeha, waiata, tikanga and kapa haka during ‘Wānanga Wednesday’ sessions. Chris says that the sessions benefit the primary students through teaching them the ‘magic of being Māori’ and embracing their identity. “For our tuakana it’s about realising how much they have learnt and going and sharing it. With a lot of them they know what it is like, so they are very good with the children. Some of our pupils did not know their iwi or how to say their pepeha, but by the time they graduate they have this knowledge and are good at working with children,” explains Chris. The programme is ongoing for students during their years at Horowhenua College and both ākonga and kaiako utilise time outside class to develop their understanding and proficiency. These activities are supported by whānau, who Chris sees as being the most important element for education. “You need to keep reinforcing the idea that whānau are our greatest resources,” he says. “Make sure you keep reinforcing how important they [whānau] are. If they have had bad experiences you need to keeping telling them they are important, they know their children better than us.”

Whānau are important

Parent input has also been important for research into community views. The research is ongoing, but one of the results is a case study that was published in 2020, intended to investigate the views of parents but also to assist teachers in understanding the nature of the kāhui ako and how collective knowledge can help all of the schools. The survey looked at what parents view as being success for their children, what aids success and what barriers there are to success. One of the strong findings was the importance of mindset. This information is welcomed by Gerard, who says, “Your own mindset is the one thing you can change, so for parents to recognise that is, I think, really powerful.” The case study provided some good material but also provoked as many questions as answers. One of these questions was whether the case study was truly representative of Māori and Pacific views. To address this concern, Talanoa was held with the Pacific community to find out their perspective, led by Livingstone.


Education Gazette

The consultation with the local Pacific community aimed to find out what they have been doing, and in what ways they would like to be involved with the schools. This led to finding suitable speakers for the talanoa event and an understanding of the local Pacific community. An invitation was then sent out to families and other teachers. But this alone was not enough to ensure success. “We tried to remove as many barriers as we could. The barriers such as parents working late or needing childcare. We made it a bit later in the evening and we provided childcare so the whole family could come. We thought if we can feed the whole family, that’ll be good. So, food was also supplied. We tried to make it easy. We tried hard to remove as many barriers as we could, so that parents could engage with us,” says Livingstone. The event demonstrated the collaborative nature of the kāhui ako. Students who were part of Rangatahi Ora provided food and supervised the childcare. Teachers from

throughout the kāhui ako attended and sat side by side with parents and students. “It created a space afterwards where some of those families and the teachers could actually talk about what had come up in the big evening,” says Sally. “It opened up some lines of communication that may not have been there before. There was quite a lot of informal conversations between the teachers and the families. So that was a real bonus for our school.” The efforts of Horowhenua Kāhui Ako have helped to establish meaningful relationships with their communities. This success has largely been achieved through collaboration and the combined strength that having a kāhui ako can bring. “The kāhui ako has provided a vehicle to have the time to build relationships and enhance relationships a lot more than if we did not have a kāhui ako,” says Chris.

Rebecca Lock is another across school teacher contributing to the success.

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Dual language resources make language learning accessible to all ākonga, including those whose first language is not a Pacific language.

Education Gazette


Sustaining Pacific languages and cultures With the first Pacific Language Weeks of 2022 kicking off this month, Education Gazette catches up with Katherine Matamua, leader of Ulingaholo – Moving Forward Pasifika Association, to talk about the importance of celebrating Pacific language and culture within our education environments.


anguage weeks are an opportunity to build inclusive practice and support Pacific learners to be proud of their cultural identities, but they are only a beginning. “A person’s culture and language represent who they are and aspire to be. It is more than one language week a year. However, language weeks give Pasifika and many cultures a platform of celebration and acknowledgement,” says Katherine, who is also an RTLB within Cluster 12, Te Huinga Raukura ki Manurewa. A Network of Expertise (NEX) and part of Teacher Development Aotearoa (TDA), Ulingaholo – Moving Forward Pasifika Association is working to support Pacific faiaoga/teachers and tamaiti/children to grow and develop leadership abilities, and to further their educational opportunities. Ulingaholo has a hardworking board of educators working above and beyond their day-to-day roles, and all from a relentless passion for the preservation of Pacific languages and cultures, and the wellbeing and achievement of tamaiti. Katherine highlights some of the work underway to grow and develop a suite of translated resources and stories, professional development, and workshops for parents. Some of the work currently underway includes: » Pasifika Reciprocal Reading at an intermediate level » Manurewa High Secondary Drama Tamaiti Talanoa where students tell their own journey, supported by expertise from Pacific people » Utilising current Pacific resources to bring home into school » PLD resources through historic Pacific talanoa

» Publishing of translated and dual-language resources for all faiaoga to utilise within their schools and kura across Aotearoa » PLD across Aotearoa with teams of teachers, schools and senior management as Ulingaholo Hubs. » Early Reading Together » A Ulingaholo website to be complete this year where all educators are able to trial, purchase and offer feedback on their resources. “Ulingaholo has established relationships with publishers, graphic designers, artists, website designers and Pasifika translators on their exciting malaga,” says Katherine. “Galulue faatasi – We are working together to achieve our goals.” Katherine says there is a focus on translating their resources so they can be used across bilingual units within Aotearoa, and also by teachers who can use them as dual language tools, making them accessible to children whose first language is not a Pacific language. She also talks to the importance of not translating information in a literal sense. “We are trying to get the meaning and the concepts behind the words. We're finding that a lot of things that are translated from Samoan or Tongan to the English language are more wordy, because you have to give quite a few more words to get the right meaning.” Relating the work of Ulingaholo to the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020–2030, Katherine says the biggest thing that she got out of the action plan was the wellbeing model.

“A person’s culture and language represent who they are and aspire to be. It is more than one language week a year. However, language weeks give Pasifika and many cultures a platform of celebration and acknowledgement.” Katherine Matamua 23 May 2022

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Top and bottom: From early learning through to secondary school, recognising and celebrating Pacific language and culture is important for tamaiti and aiga.

“It’s about support holistically through home, family, community, education journeys, health, wellbeing and language right through to employment. It’s about giving Pacific students spaces to speak and to acknowledge who they are. “We're providing a platform for resources and PLD for people who would like to receive some of our support, and we want to demonstrate awareness of the diversity of 17 different Pacific ethnicities.” Katherine says she is excited by the shifts happening around language and culture, and that it’s not “only ourselves that are passionate about our cultures, it's everybody”. Because of the diversity of Pacific peoples, Katherine says statistics do need breaking down, but overall, six out of 10 Pacific people are born in Aotearoa. “Pacific language speakers are declining (in number) so having Pacific languages spoken and taught in our schools and kura supports the retainment of our language taonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a Pacific island, surrounded by other Pacific islands. Pacific peoples are an integral part of Aotearoa histories and society. Hence, it is vital to retain and strengthen our shared culture and languages and when we travel, to be using the language of that island.” Katherine adds that the ability to speak more than one language is an achievement. “We want our kids to be able to shine, to have leadership roles, to choose their employment, to work towards their dreams – whatever they are, whatever success looks like for them.”

Pacific Language Weeks 2022 The overarching theme for the 2022 Pacific Language Weeks is sustainability, which feeds into the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages to sustain and revitalise heritage languages. » Rotuman Language Week: Sunday 8 May – Saturday 14 May 2022 » Samoa Language Week: Sunday 29 May – Saturday 4 June 2022 » Kiribati Language Week: Sunday 10 July – Saturday 16 July 2022 » Cook Islands Language Week: Sunday 31 July – Saturday 6 August 2022 » Tonga Language Week: Sunday 4 September – Saturday 10 September 2022 » Tuvalu Language Week: Sunday 25 September – Saturday 1 October 2022 » Fijian Language Week: Sunday 2 October – Saturday 8 October 2022 » Niue Language Week: Sunday 16 October – Saturday 22 October 2022 » Tokelau Language Week: Sunday 23 October – Saturday 29 October 2022.

Find more information at


Education Gazette

Broaden your knowledge Educators and leaders can take coordinated action to value and understand Pacific learners’ unique identities, languages and cultures and support them to thrive. Visit the online version of this article to explore more stories and resources to inspire your teaching practice, including: » Delivering a vision for Pacific education » Embracing the identity of Pacific learners » Pacific communities rise to challenge of Covid-19 » Pacific principals delivering Talanoa Ako » Celebrating language and diversity » Effective teaching for Pacific students – Te Kete Ipurangi » Video outlining the Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030 » Tapasā – Cultural competencies framework for teachers of Pacific learners » Distance Learning Support - using Tapasā

An amazing new STEM resource from Genesis School-gen & Nanogirl Labs •

STEMSTARS brings STEM to life through the power of storytelling and fun activities.

Eight exciting ‘STEM Labs’ with activities suited up to Year 6.

Everything teachers need to deliver STEM lessons with confidence.

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This resource provides some examples in the Instructional Series of Pacific histories and a link to the ‘Know’ element in the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum.

Epsom Girls’ Grammar Tongan Dancers. Photo by Ben Campbell from BC Photography.



Cultural pride broadcast beyond the stage Covid-19 settings meant ASB Polyfest 2022 operated in a different way this year, with no crowds and no stalls, but that didn’t stop families and supporters tuning in to witness the passion and resilience of ākonga taking the stage.


he world’s largest Māori and Pacific Islands cultural festival, the ASB Polyfest, took place at the Manukau Sports Bowl in a different format than usual. However, while the students took to the large stages without a ‘visible’ audience – performing instead in front of a panel of judges – families and friends across Aotearoa and beyond were able to support through their screens via livestream. ASB Polyfest event director Seiuli Terri Leo Mau’u says, “Despite the challenges, we have had overwhelming support from students, schools and parents to go ahead with this year’s event in the livestream format. While it was different without the crowds, it’s about providing a safe place for our kids to perform this year. “Our students have demonstrated that Covid can’t beat commitment, and they have stepped up on stage with

pride and passion after navigating their way through the disruptions.” Over four days, 68 performing groups from 28 schools competed in speech, song and dance on the following stages: Cook Islands, Māori, Niue, Samoan, Tongan, and a Diversity stage with groups from Fiji, India, Kiribati, Tahiti, Tibet and Tuvalu. Avondale College principal Lyndy Watkinson was very pleased to see the festival go ahead as it means a great deal to those performing. “ASB Polyfest is a significant part of the life of our school. The celebration and learning is not just from performing at the festival, but from the journey to get there,” says Lyndy. The journey to get on stage has been a challenging one. Lyndy explains that students didn’t know who might

Māngere College Samoan Group.

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suddenly need to isolate and so key people who would normally drive momentum might not be able to do so – through no fault of their own. “Each group needed every member to see themselves as leaders so that as students came back from isolation, they could work with them during morning tea, lunch breaks and before practices started, to get them up to speed with the rest of the group,” says Lyndy. Manurewa High School deputy principal Reverend Pennie Otto says the best thing he sees is the opportunity for ākonga. “The best thing I see is the opportunity for ākonga to showcase and strengthen themselves in their own identity, their language and their culture. And also, big praise to the amazing staff members and community for sharing their knowledge and guidance with the students.” Head of languages Linda Sime agrees, and adds, “It’s been an amazing journey, our students have been really resilient … there’s been so much going on in our country with Covid, but our ākonga have made us so proud and shown so much resilience.” Paratene Ngata-Aerengamate from Rutherford College also spoke about how proud they are of the students. “Couldn’t be prouder considering the circumstances that we’ve all been through. Despite lockdowns and isolations, it’s just a great feeling knowing we all, students and staff, worked hard in the build-up to this [Polyfest], went on stage and gave it what we had. “Our language and our culture is something really important to us, especially coming to this event to represent our Māoritanga, our Tuakiritanga, our identity. We love to represent our culture, our language and our people.”

Niue Speech Competition. Photo by Ben Campbell from BC Photography.

Manurewa High School Samoan Group.

Avondale College Tongan Group. Photo by Ben Campbell from BC Photography.



The journey to a more inclusive education system What does an inclusive education system look like and how do we get there? Education Gazette talks to a number of people about their vision to make our education system more inclusive and accessible for ākonga with disabilities or learning needs.

Tahatai Coast School has had to set up a roster to manage the number of children wanting to spend time with Isaac, pictured centre.


Education Gazette

haun Markham orders an iced chocolate from the café across the road from the Reserve Bank, where he works as an analyst. Shaun has cerebral palsy. He attended King’s High School in Dunedin, where he was named Dux in his final year. The Ministry of Education’s transition team then helped him get set up with the support he needed to make the step to University of Otago, where he went on to complete a Master of Economics. Shaun, now 27, credits the inclusive approach taken by his school for setting him up for success. “I think sometimes people are afraid to criticise my work. But I had an economics teacher who realised my potential and pushed me quite hard. If people don’t challenge me, I won’t improve,” he says. Shaun also speaks highly of his former principal who encouraged him to speak in school assemblies, sharing his perspectives and raising awareness among the student body that everyone is different. “I don’t expect people to understand what it’s like to live with a disability, but the main thing is that we have to be open about the fact that we all have challenges – you can see mine, but I can’t see yours.” However, for all he speaks positively about his experience, Shaun says that there is still more to be done to achieve a truly inclusive system. “Everything is divided into boxes – we have boxes for disability, mental health, and so on. Even within disability there’s boxes and we have many agencies providing support. But nobody really fits into a ‘box’. To me, it’d be much more efficient to pool resources together, focusing on getting the right support to people.”


made you do things their way, and only their way. You do it this way... say it like this... think like this... Nothing else was acceptable. “I want to see each child being able to learn in a way that comes naturally to them. Don’t change the children to fit the system, change the system to fit the children,” he says. “People look down on me because I have a learning difficulty. I sometimes feel like I am not helped,” noted another YAG member. Other YAG members felt there needs to be more proactivity in thinking about student needs rather than catering to them as an afterthought, particularly in relation to accessing the full curriculum and accessibility in general. These reflections mirror those voiced at an I.Lead forum attended by 50 young people with disabilities from across Aotearoa. Youth facilitator Lavinia spoke of her experience and how she had to have her NCEA classes on the first floor with students two years above her year level, because there was no access for her wheelchair to get to her original classes and friends on the second floor of her school. Tamara spoke of how she wasn’t receiving any support due to staff and teachers not knowing how to cater to autistic people, usually labelling her as ‘normal’ because she doesn’t outwardly look as if she has a disability at all. Even from gauging a small number of perspectives, it is clear there is a wide range of experiences, from those learners who have had a positive time at school or kura, to those who have not.

Mixed experiences

One parent’s perspective

Shaun’s view that ‘nobody really fits into a box’ resonates with members of the Youth Advisory Group (YAG), a group of young people who bring their insights to the Ministry of Education to help inform its work. YAG member Tanin did not have such a positive experience of school. “I went into school excited, creative, curious and after three years I felt broken. The school

One learner who is having a positive experience of school, is 12-year-old Isaac, according to mum, Shelley Merrie. Isaac, who has cerebral palsy and Sotos Syndrome, is a high-needs ORS (Ongoing Resourcing Scheme)-funded student at Tahatai Coast School in Pāpāmoa, Bay of Plenty. He loves school, and by all accounts, the school loves Isaac.

“I don’t expect people to understand what it’s like to live with a disability, but the main thing is that we have to be open about the fact that we all have challenges – you can see mine, but I can’t see yours.” Shaun Markham

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Isaac loves learning alongside his peers at school.

“They had to set up a timetable at school because so many children want to spend time with him! They are so empathetic and interested,” says Shelley. “It means a lot that he is able to attend a regular school. When I went to school, children like Isaac were shut away, out of sight. Now children are being taught that it’s OK to be different. And they’re going to be better adults, kinder people. “As a parent of a child with complex needs, it has already been a tough road; you don’t want or need sympathy, you want acceptance and community for your child, and that’s why it’s so important to keep children like Isaac attending regular schools, to have them a part of a community, to teach children about life and love. I think every school would benefit from an ‘Isaac’.” While she’s aware that not everyone has had such a positive experience of navigating the right support, she describes the support she’s received from the Ministry and the school as “amazing”. “The minute we walked into Tahatai Coast School as a family, we were welcomed. That’s the big difference, it starts from who is leading the school. The team approach at the school is incredible – it’s not just one person’s job to meet Isaac’s needs. They have some amazing, long-term teacher aides working as part of Isaac’s team.” Shelley’s experience hasn’t always been so positive. Isaac’s previous school had been unable to meet his needs. There were inaccessibility issues and he was left in some unsafe situations, she says. “Not all schools are equipped and ready and willing to take children like Isaac. And some schools are just not open to it.” Shelley would love to see that change, so that every school in New Zealand is ready and able to welcome all learners and put reasonable accommodations in place that meet their needs.

Improving the system

A team approach is taken at Tahatai Coast School to meet Isaac’s needs.


Education Gazette

It’s a vision shared by both Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti and Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero. Both have witnessed many great examples of inclusion in action. And they agree that the challenge is to make those great experiences universal, so inclusive practices permeate every school, kura and early learning centre. “There are some schools and early childhood centres doing some wonderful things, but I guess if you compare what our education system looks like with what it could look like under the CRPD, there are certainly gaps,” says Paula. The CRPD is the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which New Zealand signed in 2007. It outlines – among other things – what constitutes inclusive education. The plain-language version defines it as ‘where students of all abilities learn together in the same classroom environment. This means students with and without disabilities.’ Paula says New Zealand’s obligations under the CRPD are “non-negotiable”. The CRPD benchmark aligns with Minister Tinetti’s view. She says that to be truly inclusive, our education system

needs to be more flexible, and adapt to the learner, not the other way around. “I like to use the ‘square peg, round hole’ analogy,” Jan explains, over a Zoom call. “We’re always trying to change the shape of the peg, when in fact we should be trying to change the shape of the hole. My vision is that within an inclusive system, a young person enrols at a school, any school, and then we consider what is needed to enable that young person to have success in their life.” Paula agrees. “For me, the vision is that every disabled child is included in their local school, and that they’re included in every aspect of education, and that the system adapts to them, not the other way around.” “What will success look like?” asks Jan. “I think it will be when young people turn up to a school to be enrolled and they are welcomed with open arms. Every single school. That’s a big goal, but I think that when that happens we will know that we’ve got a truly inclusive system, because the school will know what it is that they need to do to help that young person thrive in their journey.”

Ongoing journey

The Minister is quick to add that when it comes to inclusion, there is never really an endpoint. “We’re never going to get ‘there’ because there’s always going to be something else that we need to be looking at,” she says. “It’s like we’ve got a leaky roof and we put a bucket under the area where it’s leaking, but then another leak springs and we put a bucket there and we end up with all these buckets, but what we really need is to take a look at the entire roof. And so that’s what I want to see happening with where we’re heading at the moment: let’s look at all those leaks and look at where we’ve tried to patch, and then ask ourselves, ‘what is it that we can do to affect the system as a whole?’” Jan points to the high needs review as an example of this gap analysis in action. “We’ll be looking to find out what it is that’s working really well and also to determine whether we do need anything new or not, or whether we just need a reorganisation. I strongly believe that a lot of the answers lie within what we’ve already got.” Paula adds, “Everyone’s trying to do the right thing around inclusive education. But let’s fast-forward 10 years. Are we doing all the right things? We almost need to stop and say ‘what is the vision we’re trying to achieve and how do we get there?’ And lots of the things that are underway will help us get there. But there are some things missing. And I suspect that there are some things that probably could be dropped.” Paula says it’s about looking at every domain of the education system and asking whether each meets the needs of all our learners. Policy settings, the accessibility of our curriculum, workforce development, the funding model – including the ORS system – the teacher aide model, and governance of schools are all part of the picture.

A flexible system

The Minister adds that the work to support neurodivergent learners includes a focus on better understanding and meeting the needs of gifted and talented ākonga.

23 May 2022

Isaac (centre) with his buddies Rylan (left) and Kaden (right) and teacher aide, Cassandra.




Give your students the best advantage to excel at maths. They use our textbooks, while you have all our free online teacher support.


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“As a parent of a child with complex needs, it has already been a tough road; you don’t want or need sympathy, you want acceptance and community for your child...I think every school would benefit from an ‘Isaac’.” Shelley Merrie (Isaac’s mum)

However, while broad groupings may help categorise support at the system level, every learner is different and any one learner may fall into multiple groups. Creating a flexible system that meets each learner’s specific needs remains the overarching priority. One of the challenges of creating inclusive experiences for all students is that there are many interdependent parts within the system and everyone has a role to play. The Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand is promoting and regulating professional standards in teaching, including approving Initial Teacher Education programmes that meet their requirements. The Education Review Office is evaluating and reporting publicly on the quality and effectiveness of education provided in schools and early learning services. At the same time, teacher education providers are working to equip teachers with the skills and understanding that support inclusive practice; school leaders are focusing on prioritising and demonstrating inclusion; and teachers and kaiako are developing their practice. The Ministry of Education is progressing the Government’s Education Work Programme using five objectives: Learners at the centre; Barrier-free access; Quality teaching and leadership; Future of learning and work; and World-class inclusive public education. These objectives and feedback from New Zealanders through the Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation are reflected in the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP) which identify seven priorities to help places of learning create education environments that are learner-centred.


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Established in 2021, Te Mahau plays a key role in progressing this work for the Ministry. The frontline groups and services of Te Mahau work alongside schools, kura and early learning services to help support the individual needs of ākonga and their families.

Historic drivers of change

This work builds on decades of progress towards a more inclusive education system, learning from the key milestones along the way. Education Act 1989 signalled a turning point for inclusive learning in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Act stipulated that children with special educational needs have the same rights to enrol and receive education as those who do not. However, the law change wasn’t accompanied with the necessary resourcing schools needed to deliver inclusive education. “Schools had to compete for a small pot of funding and the division of resources became unequal between high and lower decile schools,” says Sally Jackson, former chief advisor for learning support at the Ministry of Education, who was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to special education last year. It wasn’t until the introduction of Special Education 2000 that funding was allocated to enable a more inclusive education system. Among the Special Education 2000 funding initiatives was the Special Education Grant to help schools cater to students with mild to moderate needs, the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS)

for children with the very highest learning needs, and the introduction of Resource Teachers: Learning & Behaviour (RTLB). Sally says the funding measures were accompanied by a gradual attitudinal shift, with language and mindset slowly reflecting a more inclusive approach to learning. Twenty years ago, she says, there was a tendency to refer to anything relating to a child or young person with a disability as ‘special education’ and curriculum design would sometimes not include children with learning support needs. Over time, the emphasis has shifted to gathering the right expertise and involving the parents and whānau, with the child or young person at the centre. The introduction of Te Kahu Tōī, the Intensive Wrap-Around Service, a collaborative support programme for a small number of learners with high needs, is an example of this shift. Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) have played a key role for many years in leading this collaboration, and more recently, Learning Support Coordinators, with the introduction of the Learning Support Action Plan 2019-2025. The Learning Support Action Plan articulates the Government’s vision for inclusive education and is closely aligned to the CRPD. The plan talks about a “system where every child feels a sense of belonging, is present, makes progress, where their wellbeing is safeguarded and promoted, where learning is a lifelong journey, and where all children and young people get the right support at the right time for their specific needs.” Recent education legislation and policy provide a solid foundation for this vision. Within the Education and Training Act 2020, school boards are now required to take all reasonable steps to eliminate racism, stigma, bullying, and other forms of discrimination within the school. This expectation is also reflected in the NELP, which applies to early learning services as well as schools.

the quality and inclusiveness of education for disabled learners in New Zealand, which will include the voice of disabled learners and their whānau.

Listening and learning

Indeed, understanding what learners and their families need is critical, says Jan. “I want to make certain that we’re being responsive to the needs of all our learners. We need to step outside of our lens and look at it through the lens of the learner. And sometimes it’s not easy for us to do because we think we know it all! “In everything that we’re doing to build a really inclusive system, we have to listen to the young person at the centre – they have the biggest story to tell because they’re the one that this impacts upon greatly. “When I was a decile 1 principal there wouldn’t be a week that went by when I didn’t have someone walk in my door with the very next best programme that can save your kids. Our kids didn’t need saving, we needed saving, because we needed to look at our young people and understand and listen and hear them and be the best that we could be to support them in their journey. And when we got to that point, our kids thrived. And that’s what I want to see for the system.”

Ka mua, ka muri

Minister Tinetti emphasises the importance of continuously reflecting, learning and improving. “I was around in education when we did the Wiley Review resulting in Special Education 2000 which was really far-reaching and forward-thinking. This is what I want to see happening now. We need to look at: what worked from that? What didn’t work? What didn’t we implement that we should have implemented?” She points to the evaluation of Learning Support Coordinators as an example. “I’m OK with the fact that the implementation of learning support coordinators has been a bit slower because, let’s get it right. The evaluation is making certain that we’re getting it right so that when we’re getting to that point of being able to roll it out to everybody, it’s going to be successful.” In addition to other tools used to monitor progress in this area, the Education Review Office is developing a multi-phase research and evaluation project to explore

23 May 2022

©2022 Disney/Pixar

©2022 Disney


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What inclusion is and what it isn’t In education, inclusion means: » Schools welcome and teach their local children and young people, and education providers in a locality work together to address needs and challenges collectively.

» A matter of leaving teachers and schools to manage alone. » A one size fits all approach. » Rules that determine children and young people must learn in certain ways ie, all in one classroom, in one group, in one way, inside the school dates, with one teacher or teacher’s aide, all of the time » Being enrolled in a mainstream class but being withdrawn to learn 1:1 with an adult most of the time

» Parents make enrolment decisions in the knowledge that the local school is a positive choice, because it is associated with positive outcomes in the short and longer term, and a choice of a local school means going to school with siblings, family, neighbours and friends.

» About re-establishing special needs units or withdrawal rooms.

» Teachers engage with and know all the learners in their class and plan the curriculum to respond to their needs. Teachers build on strengths, abilities and interests in their teaching and learning. All types of progress and achievement are valued, regardless of pace.

There is some excellent mahi happening in our schools, kura and early learning services to make learning inclusive. This growing series of articles explores what inclusion looks like in different education settings and considers the next steps for achieving our shared vision for make learning inclusive and accessible for every child and young person.

» Teachers and schools respect and value differences, and reflect critically on beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and practices to identify and address ableism. » Teachers are not alone in this task, they are well supported. They are supported by other teachers, school leadership, the Learning Support Coordinator and Te Mahau curriculum support. They work together and have common values that are evident in the school culture. They know and trust those who provide additional support, which is provided in a timely way. » For students the focus is on being at school, and having lots of opportunities to connect and belong, build friendships, to participate and experience wellbeing, to learn, progress and achieve. » Social connection matters, connection within a class community, a school community, and in the wider community. There are lots of people who can help and lots of different ways and places to support learning. » Learning support is not just one place in a school. Learning is supported in lots of different locations in the school and community and the whole school is accessible. Examples include small group learning spaces, student support spaces, medical and personal care, rest, quiet or nurturing spaces, storage for specialist equipment, safe social spaces, movement spaces and routes, or calm down tasks and spaces, or the community pool, library or gym. » High quality learning support services and funding is available in any school and in a timely way.

Inclusion in action

We would love to hear about what you’re doing in your school, kura or early learning centre to make learning inclusive. Please get in touch with

Making NCEA more accessible

Learning Support Delivery Model in action

Creating inclusive environments

Growing inclusive practice to benefit all learners

Inclusion is not: » Defined by place. People can be included or excluded (marginalised, segregated, separated) in any place. People work to identify and address attitudes and practices that marginalise or segregate students. » One end of a continuum with special education being available for those with high needs and inclusion being available for students who can learn in the mainstream. » Just about disability, it’s about all children and young people and all forms of diversity. » Dependent on level or type of disability or learning support need.


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Nurturing the confidence, capabilities, and wellbeing of tamariki

Read this article online to see more articles in the series, and to understand more ākonga and parent perspectives.

Soldiering on is a classic teacher trait that has become the norm for many teachers throughout Aotearoa. Let’s flip the script and make sure we are also supporting teachers to invest in wellbeing and flourish in life and work. Pause Breathe Smile PLD includes Te Hauora o te Kaiako Educator Wellbeing. Learn about wellbeing and practice mindfulness through the Breathe online course and additional teacher-focused resources. Find out how to train for FREE by emailing Lindy

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Team work is a big part of the activities.


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Rangatahi bound for success with new course to employment A new initiative with Outward Bound and Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga has been developed for rangatahi who are on a vocational pathway from education to employment.


hakatipu, a new Outward Bound course, is designed to assist students in gaining workplace skills. It was developed after a hui in 2021 with lower North Island work brokers and principal advisors for secondary transitions. Krishan Kumar, the community development partner for Outward Bound, explains, “The consistent theme from the hui was how a lot of students weren’t considered to be work ready, despite the employment prospects that were available to them through the education to employment programmes the Ministry of Education had established. “So, following on from that, we approached the Ministry about designing a course specifically for those young people.” The overall course design was aided by feedback from employers and there were a number of areas identified on how students could to improve workforce skills. “The consistent areas for improvement were time management, how they showed up and how they prepared for work, being independent, or being confident enough to be independent with their roles as well as problem-solving and decision-making abilities,” says Krishan. Krishan adds that the need to improve these skills has increased as labour shortages have led to employers “to go for a younger workforce.” Many of the students who are still in school have not yet learnt the types of responsibilities and mindset that are required for when they enter the workforce, which has proven challenging for employers. “I think a lot of organisations were used to having people come to them in their 20s or 30s or 40s. Having younger students challenged them as to what they thought the student would bring in terms of their ability to hit the ground running,” says Krishan.

23 May 2022

Developing the right skills

To ensure students are obtaining the skills that they need, Outward Bound gathers employer feedback about the student’s areas for growth prior to the course. This is used to tailor the course delivery to their individual needs with targeted outcomes. The course will develop growth areas through several activities. “We’ll be doing activities such as tramping, sailing, kayaking, high ropes and rock climbing. All of those activities are designed to put the students in situations that challenge them mentally, physically and emotionally,” says Krishan. A lot of attributes that are needed in those situations are transferable skills, such as problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and leadership. “Throughout the course, there’s a lot of time for reflection and group discussion and one on one time with their instructors as well. “The workbook that they’ll complete during the course is designed to help them build awareness of the skills they’ve gained from those situations. Then we build their understanding of how those skills might apply directly to situations at work, or training environments when they get back,” explains Krishan. This understanding is helped by employers who support students to transfer those outcomes back into the workplace, further education, or training on their return. The employer input makes the course unique as previously employers had not had such a direct involvement. One of these employers is Steve McHardy, who works at LT McGuinness, a large building contracting company based out of Wellington. Steve works in the People, Performance and Capability team to provide development, recruitment, and grow retention, mentoring, leadership and team culture.

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The environment presents many challenges.

Having been to Outward Bound, Steve says he knows what benefits can come from going on a course and he’s a passionate supporter. “The student we have nominated has impressed us already in the short time he’s been on the Gateway programme and I’m sure the skills he will develop on the Whakatipu course will help him transition from school into the workforce. It will provide him with confidence, self-management, teamwork and leadership skills. The time he will be able to spend on the course reflecting will also be so important,” says Steve. Another key point of difference for this course is that it is a residential programme in which students stay for eight days at the Outward Bound school at Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. The duration allows students time in the Outward Bound environment, which helps them engage with and adapt to the ways of learning, and greater opportunities for reflection. The requirement to travel away from home can also develop skills and independence even before the course starts. For the majority, Krishan says it might be the first time that they’ve left where they’re from. “And for a lot of them it could also be their first time in the South Island, which means that it’s the first time on the ferry or first time on a plane,” he says. “It might be their longest time away from home and their usual support network. That places them in a situation where they have to become more independent.” This year, places on the course have been pre-allocated to regions throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. For future courses, Outward Bound will be working with work brokers and principal advisors for secondary transitions (PASTs) in regions throughout the motu. Together they will identify students who are engaged with an employer before they attend the course and are supported by that same employer when they return home. Students are nominated for the Whakatipu course. PASTs can submit a potential candidate’s short bio to community development partner Krishan Kumar via email at

The course gives time for reflection.


Education Gazette

Students step up to the challenge.

“The consistent theme from the hui was how a lot of students weren’t considered to be work ready, despite the employment prospects that were available to them.” Krishan Kumar


Intel® Core™ Processors



23 May 2022

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Tamaiti extended their umu learning through play.



STEM learning through a Samoan lens inspires early learners Tamaiti in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland early learning centres have been exploring astronomy and cooking within a framework of ancient Samoan wisdom, thereby building STEM knowledge while affirming cultural connections.


t’s a balmy December day and a cluster of early learners are chattering excitedly like chicks in a nest. After months of anticipation, the big day has arrived and they will prepare food for the umu, a traditional Samoan oven, then feast together with aiga/family, faiaoga/teachers and community elders. “One parent told me that her son was too excited to sleep the night before,” laughs Pereise Penn, one of the head teachers at Seugagogo Aoga Amata in Ōtāhuhu. The tamaiti/children had spent months learning about customary food preparation and cooking and could not wait to get involved in the real thing. They watched in awe as the umu was built just as they had practised, with sticks, rocks, and leaves, but this time with fire as well. Fire heats the pile of rocks which, when red hot, are dispersed so food can be laid on top. “It was special for them to experience the way our people cook in Samoa,” says Pereise. “They’ve eaten traditional Samoan food before but only one child (out of 26) had ever seen it cooked in an umu.” In terms of STEM learning, the umu project allowed tamaiti to explore early concepts of science such as matter changing form through boiling, mixing, melting, and to practise numeracy skills through weighing, measuring, and counting, for example, how many bananas or coconuts would be required.

A community event

The event was hosted by elders from the EFKS Ōtāhuhu church which is closely affiliated with the early learning centre. Because of time constraints, some of the food had been prepared in advance but children were able to grate coconut using a mata tuai/ grating stool, peel taro using asi/the base cut from a tin, and braid palm leaves around fish – skills they had practised. Other foods at the feast included green bananas and pig heads. “I liked doing the umu,” says Alofa, aged four. “I saw the fire and it was hot and there was smoke. My uncle peeled the bananas, and one dad scraped the taro, and another dad did the coconut cream. I saw the dads and papas do the umu. Me and my dad do it at home. We have taro, green banana, luau, and pig. I like eating the food from the umu, its YUMMY!” It was a big occasion for parents and elders, too. “My son is half-Samoan and half-Pākehā, and food is a way we socialise and communicate; we have celebrations with food, and this strengthens our bond with everyone around us,” says Tariu Sa’u. “The children got to see the preparation and had front row seats to the umu from start to finish. My son was able to connect to his culture and traditions which was awesome.”

“They are learning that science is not only about Western knowledge but values indigenous knowledge too.” Pereise Penn

23 May 2022

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Education Gazette

Elder Fata Faavaoga says he was impressed by knowledge demonstrated by such young tamaiti. “They are only three and four years old. It was like listening to children born in Samoa because they knew what was needed for the umu and the different foods from what they had learnt at school. I saw how they were able to connect to their culture.” Seugagogo Aoga Amata is a Samoan immersion setting under the umbrella of the Ōtāhuhu church. All tamaiti were born in Aotearoa New Zealand. Centre staff aimed to extend science learning for tamaiti through exploration of the natural and physical world, and to nurture their cultural values and traditions so they could participate fully in their community. “They are learning that science is not only about Western knowledge but values indigenous knowledge too,” says Pereise.

A confidence boost for faiaoga

It was also a valuable opportunity for faiaoga to gain confidence in leading STEM learning. They say that through workshops with project scientist Pauai Afele, who is head of chemistry at Manurewa High School, they became better equipped to support the children’s science, maths and technology learning. The centre obtained $12,000 in funding from SouthSci, an organisation supporting South Auckland educational and community groups to promote science learning for young people. “On behalf of the centre manager Sofaea Penn, head teachers and staff, we would like to acknowledge our Reverend Ata Milo, the EFKS Ōtāhuhu elders, Board of Trustees, SAASIA, scientist Pauai Afele, parents, families and our community for their support which made this project possible,” says Pereise.

“It was like listening to children born in Samoa because they knew what was needed for the umu and the different foods from what they had learnt at school. I saw how they were able to connect to their culture.” Fata Faavaoga

Top left: Tamaiti worked together to create their own umu at preschool. Bottom left: Sharing meaai from the umu. Top right: Community elders shared their traditional skills and knowledge with children. Bottom right: Community elders preparing the umu for tamaiti.

23 May 2022

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Traditional Samoan astronomy

During 2021, SouthSci also supported an astronomy project involving three more Auckland centres, Taeaofou I Puaseisei Aoga Amata (two sites) and Tu Manu Ae Le Tu Logologo Aoga Amata. The $15,000 grant allowed the centres to extend STEM learning, specifically to explore how Samoans traditionally interpret phases of the sun and moon, and cycles of stars and planets. Lila Tekene, project lead and education researcher at SAASIA, the Samoan early childhood association in Aotearoa, explains. “In Samoa, people observe the stars and the moon to predict what is going to happen next. For example, when a certain type of halo appears around the moon, they can tell which fish or shell will be in abundance in the ocean so that is when they go to fish. And they use astronomy to tell when the best time is to harvest crops.”

“To have piqued the interest in traditional stories is what scientific inquiry is all about.” Niven Brown

The funding contributed to specialist help from scientist Niven Brown at the Auckland Astronomy Society, a trip to the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium, and the purchase of binoculars and telescopes for the centres. Niven led eight workshops, the first with aiga and faiaoga to explain the science of astronomy, a second workshop for faiaoga, and six for tamaiti to introduce them to concepts of astronomy. Each child had the opportunity to look at the sun through Niven’s telescope. “It was wonderful to see the children’s and teachers’ enthusiasm and to hear how introducing this interest has sparked the idea of becoming a scientist or an astronaut,” says Niven. “If getting exposed to science generates an interest in science and education in general, that can only be a good thing for their futures. To have piqued the interest in traditional stories is what scientific inquiry is all about. “Another tangible benefit was the inquiry into the Samoan vocabulary to go with the subject. Not just the names of planets but also the days of the week and the seasons.” Top left: Ezra’s interest in astronomy has grown so much that his NASA suit is now his favourite attire. Bottom left: Scientist Niven Brown led workshops with aiga, faiaoga and tamaiti.


Education Gazette

Aiga joined in

Aiga were closely involved with parents sharing stories and legends that had been passed down through generations and joining one of the excursions to the Stardome planetarium. Many were surprised by the depth of learning. Tamaiti could identify types of cloud in both Samoan and English and explain what each type indicated for weather patterns. One mother recalled how her daughter pointed out a cumulus cloud and said it was going to rain. “This project proved that we could teach anything to our tamaiti, and they are able to adjust, adapt and learn new knowledge, big or small,” said another. Feedback from faiaoga was equally positive. “I have learnt as much about science as the children,” said one teacher. “And I have learnt the difference between religious and scientific views of space.”

Language learning for all

Introduction and use of Samoan terminology promoted learning for teachers and parents as well as tamaiti. “All the teachers involved were New Zealand-born or had migrated here when very young and they gained a lot of confidence in speaking Samoan,” says Lila. “And a parent shared that she had learnt many Samoan words and that had helped her to connect with her son when he talked to her and his dad in Samoan.”

Top left: Cardyff is very confident in handling the telescope. Top right: Kenese supports June as he explores using binoculars.

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Towards better outcomes for Pacific learners

Tamaiti created a solar system.

SouthSci project funding SouthSci funds STEM projects providing young people in South Auckland with opportunities to explore science and technology through hands-on activities and collaborative research. Schools, kura, community groups and STEM organisations can apply for up to $20,000 in funding per project and will be supported to set up links with community partners and experts. Projects must be educational, community-driven, and a collaboration with science professionals. SouthSci is an initiative of COMET and the NZ Government’s Curious Minds – He Whenua Hihiri i te Mahara.


Education Gazette

SouthSci’s work ties in with The Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020–2030 in aiming for Pacific learners and their families to feel safe, valued, and equipped to achieve their education aspirations. The action plan signals how early learning services, schools and tertiary providers can achieve change for Pacific learners and their families, including: » working reciprocally with diverse Pacific communities to respond to unmet needs, with an initial focus on needs arising from the Covid-19 pandemic » confronting systemic racism and discrimination in education » enabling every teacher, leader, and educational professional to take coordinated action to become culturally competent with diverse Pacific learners » partnering with families to design education opportunities together with teachers, leaders, and educational professionals so aspirations for learning and employment can be met » growing, retaining, and valuing highly competent teachers, leaders, and educational professionals with diverse Pacific whakapapa.

I chose to help my students turn their passion into a career, from the hundreds of options to choose from.


Vocational Education and Training leads to an exciting range of different job opportunities. With Vocational Education and Training, your students can follow their passion and unlock great pathways that prepare them for a bright future.


Navigating Covid-19: school leaders reflect In this series of articles, former principals Steve Lindsey and Erika Ross ask a handful of Auckland principals about their experiences of leading their school communities through a pandemic. Scan the QR codes with your device to read the full articles or visit

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Middle School: Connecting with families to lift attendance

Flatbush Primary: Embedding learnings from navigating Covid

Deputy principal Iqbal Hussein and principal Kallie Ngakuri-Syde both approach challenges as opportunities to problem-solve.

Flatbush Primary principal Banapa Avatea says opportunities have emerged from the pandemic.



y week 6 of term 1, 2022, student attendance at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Middle School was at 35 percent as Omicron took hold in the community. In response to this, principal Kallie Ngakuri-Syde and her staff mobilised and embarked on a collaborative strategy that successfully brought students back to school. Within two to three weeks, student attendance was at 91 percent, with any absences being justified. The team at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Middle School are unsure as to which specific activities made the difference to the success of their strategy, however their proactive and collaborative actions have resulted in gaining a very good understanding of their community and have strengthened connections with their students and families.


Education Gazette

eporting to parents, celebrating achievements and school transitions are some of the things Flatbush Primary is approaching differently in response to Covid-19. Term 1 this year has been the school’s hardest yet during the pandemic, and principal Banapa Avatea says it impressed on him just how resilient children are – as they have had to be, especially this term. Flatbush School had its first case of Covid-19 on 21 February and by the 22nd further close contacts had been identified. That night the phones did not stop while all families were contacted and by late February the whole school was affected in some way. Parents were anxious but as a community, stood with and behind staff, firmly committed to keeping everyone safe.

Ormiston Primary: Leading a large school community through change

Western Springs College: Communication the key to navigating Covid

Ormiston Primary principal Heath McNeil says his focus was 100 percent on engaging learners.

Western Springs College principal Ivan Davis kept his updates informative, honest and light during Covid.



s if being one of the biggest primary schools in the country was not enough of a challenge, Ormiston Primary was also one of the first on the pandemic frontline with Covid-19 cases 3 and 5 in the community. Principal Heath McNeil reflects that, in some ways, it was good to be first. “It gave us time to really get into the whole new way of thinking and working.” Heath was quick to work with and draw on the expertise of others. He and the leader of Ormiston Junior College met daily – sometimes frequently each day – to work through a joint response so that the community was given timely and consistent messages. This collegial support and distributed leadership was invaluable. Drawing on the regional principals’ association’s support, and the Ministry of Education’s Bulletin, they crafted accurate and timely messages designed to reduce panic and ensure calm, and keep the school’s community fully informed.

or Auckland’s Western Springs College principal Ivan Davis, direct and daily communication was essential during Covid-19. Ivan wanted his principal’s updates to be informative, to lighten the mood, and take away any anxiety that parents and caregivers may have had, his over-arching message being, “We’ve got this!” With the goal of easing parents’ anxiety about their children’s learning, the updates would address topics such as achievement and assessment, as well as providing reassurance that the school was responding appropriately and had a plan in place. The response from the community to Ivan’s updates was affirming and overwhelmingly positive. They achieved the desired goal to provide positive communication and build effective connections with the Western Springs College community, as well as helping them through the difficult times.

Glen Taylor School: School the hub of the community

P Principal Chris Herlihy and ākonga from Glen Taylor School.

23 May 2022

rincipal of Auckland’s Glen Taylor School Chris Herlihy, says they are keen to retain the innovation, fun and engagement that emerged as the school navigated the pandemic. Within 48 hours of the first Covid lockdown in 2020, staff had set up a digital environment with blogs and various active platforms (including Therapy Dog) that were visible anywhere, anytime. Teachers found and set up Chromebooks for the 25 learners in Years 4–8 who needed them and set up a system to prepare 110 hard packs for all Years 1–3 learners, which support staff delivered to homes. By 23 March, each class was set up with online meetings. The speed with which the school responded was just one measure of its staff’s dedication, that an appreciative community described as “inspirational”.

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Carmel College: Wellbeing and connection first

Tāmaki College: Principals supporting principals

Carmel College principal Chris Allen.

Tāmaki College principal Soana Pamaka.



efore the pandemic had seriously impacted schools in New Zealand, Carmel College principal Chris Allen had already started to look at how the school would cope in a lockdown situation. It was quickly decided that the normal learning-at-school timetable would not work well online and therefore it was redesigned to include half the number of periods per week, with a maximum of four one-hour periods per day punctuated with good breaks between learning sessions. Focusing on wellbeing was a deliberate approach taken by Chris and her leadership team as they wanted to reduce the stress and pressure on staff as much as possible, often citing, “We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be good enough”. The measure of success for the focus on connection, was to gauge virtual attendance, which remained high throughout the times of learning from home. Chris is adamant the high virtual attendance resulted from staff being active in their teaching and connecting with students, adjusting the learning tasks for the online environment to meet student needs, and importantly, the student-led engagement and connection activities.

Share your experiences Steve and Erika would love to hear from other school leaders about their experience of navigating Covid-19. If you’d like to be involved, email or


Education Gazette

midst the constant and overwhelming challenges faced throughout the pandemic, Tāmaki College principal Soana Pamaka says being able to regularly meet and share with a group of like-minded principals who were experiencing the same things as she was, provided encouragement, inspiration and strength to keep going. “Being part of the principal group has been a key support for our mental wellbeing and being able to cope throughout the pandemic,” says Soana. She says it has been tough for leaders as they work through wanting to make the right decision for their community. “There is no script to tell you what to do and at the end of the day you just have to make a decision.” That’s why the tight-knit group of principals that Soana associates with has been so important. It is principals supporting other principals, and often the key message is as simple as, “You’re doing a good job and you’re OK”.

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Will you take up the challenge? Will you… nah but, will you?

Hear more from Taika about his story


Overseas teachers add a richness to learning In July 2021 the Government added teachers to its list of critical workers. A Border Exception Programme was established to allow up to 300 overseas-qualified teachers to enter the country while the border was closed. All 300 spaces have now been allocated and more than 100 international teachers have already moved to Aotearoa and are working in critical teaching roles within eligible early learning centres, schools and kura. Education Gazette caught up with two of them.

Sam Kordan and wife Rachel with their children Felix (4), Robyn (6), and Lotta (3).


Sam Kordan, Central Hawke’s Bay College Sam and his young family flew from their home in Birmingham, England, so he could take up a position as the secondary mathematics teacher at Central Hawke’s Bay College. Sam and his wife had spent time in New Zealand in 2010 on a working holiday visa and made the call last year to return permanently. This was mid-2021 and despite being “tricky, tricky times”, Sam saw the Central Hawke’s Bay College job listing, applied for it and secured it. However, at this time, the border remained closed to most visitors. “It was a mixture of emotions and we just had to be patient,” he says. Fortunately, the Border Exception Programme allowing teachers to fill critical roles in New Zealand schools was announced shortly after and, in October, Sam received the news he was hoping for. A few months later, he and his family arrived in Waipukurau, Hawke’s Bay during the heat of the New Zealand summer.   “We lived on the outskirts of Birmingham, it’s quite an industrial place, and part of the attraction for us coming back to New Zealand is that everything is less clogged up. There’s space between houses!” he says. Driving freely around the region “without spending half your life queuing and waiting in traffic” is also a welcome change for the Kordans. The family is living in a house provided by the Ministry of Education, and his three children aged six, four and three are enjoying the freedom of the outdoors and their new learning environments. Their eldest is having a great time at Waipukurau Primary School, while the younger two are enjoying Lakeview Kindergarten. “They’re outside all the time, whether it’s in the garden, going down to the beach, or finding a walking trail nearby. It’s just lovely.” Sam says principal Lance Christiansen, mathematics head of faculty Catherine Ewen, and the rest of the school community have welcomed them with open arms. “Lance was absolutely brilliant. It was a long process and he was really helpful every step of the way. He came to see us just after we arrived to check how we were settling in. Catherine too was very supportive and really helped with the transition. “We do feel that this is good for us and it fits with us as a family.”

A new curriculum

Sam has completed his first term at Central Hawke’s Bay College, working closely with Catherine to produce teaching and learning materials for Year 9 and 10 students. “I really like how it’s a proper community school. The

23 May 2022

students are lovely and the staff are very supportive. I feel very lucky.” He is enjoying teaching The New Zealand Curriculum and likes how it allows students to develop in a balanced way that supports the whole child. A recent school athletics day is an example. “It was relaxed and people were enjoying themselves. It is that balance of the whole child being able to pursue all aspects of the curriculum that is really nice.” As a mathematics teacher, Sam appreciates being able to tailor the curriculum towards more relevant real-life scenarios and giving more contextually driven assessments. “I like the way that you can be doing maths at up to senior level but not necessarily with a purely academic focus to it; it’s more relatable.”

“We lived on the outskirts of Birmingham, it’s quite an industrial place, and part of the attraction for us coming back to New Zealand is that everything is less clogged up. There’s space between houses!” Sam Kordan

Yohana Acosta, Ōtāhuhu College Yohana and her husband are settling into life in Manukau, South Auckland, after she secured a position as a science and robotics teacher at Ōtāhuhu College through the Border Exception Programme. The couple, who hail from Colombia, had previously visited New Zealand in 2013 studying English and fell in love with the country, the “friendly and very helpful” people, the “organised and structured” education system and the “beautiful” landscape and outdoors. After more than 10 years teaching physics and mathematics across primary and secondary levels in a Colombian state school, Yohana applied for New Zealand teaching jobs in November last year. “The process was super easy actually. Everything was pretty clear and I received two offers,” Yohana says. She chose Ōtāhuhu College because it is a public school with students from more vulnerable backgrounds. “I enjoy working with this type of school because I know that the students really need a teacher who takes care of them to help them achieve the best of their abilities.”

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Yohana Acosta (far right), her husband Alberto Morales (centre left), and Ōtāhuhu College principal Neil Watson (centre right) with some robotics students.

Settling in

Yohana’s husband is also a teacher and landed a role teaching technology at Ōtāhuhu College shortly after the couple arrived earlier this year. “The college is huge so I don’t see my husband much, he’s in another department but we get to travel in and finish the day together.” Yohana says she feels a particular connection to ākonga Māori and Māori culture. She is also impressed by the organised science department and the collaboration between teachers. “They have everything organised by topic with lessons and tests prepared. All the information that you need is there and everyone expects the same thing. I like that.” The school community has also been supportive of the


Education Gazette

couple as they settle. “We’re really happy here. Ōtāhuhu is an amazing school and the staff are very supportive,” she says. She and her husband are looking forward to sharing their knowledge to complement the school’s existing programmes. “My husband has already started a robotics lounge in the technology department too, helping students learn more about the design process, 3D modelling (Tinkercad), and programming (micro bits),” she says. Yohana hopes to continue her studies here and learn more about the New Zealand culture so she can implement different projects within the community. “I want to support my students and hopefully inspire them to consider a career in science,” she says.

“We’re really happy here. Ōtāhuhu is an amazing school and the staff are very supportive.” Yohana Acosta

Ōtāhuhu principal Neil Watson says Yohana was one of three teachers the school has employed through the Border Exception Programme. “The process each time has been straightforward and we’ve now got three excellent teachers making a real difference in the classroom already,” he says. Neil says teachers from overseas add a “real richness to the learning” and benefit the entire school community. As such, he has personally ensured the teachers are supported as they settle into their new community. “It’s a big move, moving countries, so we want to make it as easy as possible, whether that’s helping them with accommodation or picking them up from the airport. It’s not rocket science, essentially you’ve got a guest so how can you best be hospitable?”

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The Border Exception Programme is now closed. As a small number of applications may be withdrawn, a waitlist has been set up for those schools and early learning services who have an urgent need and a credible pathway to get a teacher into New Zealand before July.

More information about the programme is available at

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The new resources support all early learning kaiako to refresh their understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand’s bicultural context.



Unpacking Te Whāriki for early learning kaiako Resources developed by Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand are freely available to support early learning kaiako to better understand Te Whāriki, culturally responsive teaching, tikanga and te reo Māori, and the bicultural context of early learning in Aotearoa New Zealand.


n the year before Covid, in the spring of 2019, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins announced an initiative to ease kaiako supply issues in the early learning sector. The plan was to recruit up to 300 overseas-trained kaiako during 2020. Te Rito Maioha and the Ministry of Education collaborated on a suite of online modules to facilitate this recruitment and to support overseas-trained kaiako understand the Aotearoa New Zealand context and culture, and how to work effectively within it. The resources are also useful for kaiako in Aotearoa who want to refresh their knowledge and skills. While the pandemic caused a rejigging of the overseas kaiako recruitment plan, the initiative is now back in action. Online modules have been developed and tested and are proving highly successful. Nearly 1,400 kaiako have already accessed them for free.

Culturally responsive teaching and learning is a key component of Te Whāriki.

23 May 2022

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Overseas-trained kaiako have much to offer tamariki in Aotearoa, and are often bilingual or multilingual.

“Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, is praised the world over for its depth of recognition of bicultural approaches.” Raewyn Penman Both the Ministry and Teaching Council receive many enquiries from overseas-trained kaiako who want to come and work in Aotearoa and are interested in completing a Teacher Education Refresh (TER) course. Te Rito Maioha modules focus on: » introduction to te reo Māori » introduction to Te Whāriki » introduction to tikanga Māori » introduction to culturally responsive pedagogy. “The feedback from the more than 1,000 kaiako who have used the modules has been very positive,” says Nikki Parsons, Te Rito Maioha’s general manager learner and workforce engagement. One overseas-trained teacher says, “This webinar is really beneficial to any new teachers, as well as a refresher for teachers no matter how far along they are in their teaching journey.” Modules take between 30 minutes and one hour to complete, depending on the module and the learner’s pace.


Education Gazette

In addition, there are two online webinars which expand on what’s been taught in the modules, emphasising practical implementation, and prompting kaiako reflection on applying the learning to an Aotearoa New Zealand context.

Bicultural approach key

The modules have also been popular among New Zealand-trained kaiako wanting a refresher or who have not been trained in early learning pedagogy. The designer of the modules, Te Rito Maioha’s regional education leader Raewyn Penman, says two aspects of the modules are important to emphasise. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, is praised the world over for its depth of recognition of bicultural approaches. “The modules link to Te Whāriki, explaining it and going into more detail about the local context. The modules also cover how to apply culturally responsive

pedagogy – which Aotearoa New Zealand is a world leader in – to a local context,” she says. Raewyn explains that the early learning sector tends to have a lot more direct contact with whānau, so being able to talk to whānau about tikanga practices while using te reo is really important. The modules also set out some tasks that encourage kaiako to go to their mentor/colleagues to find out what’s specific about tikanga and te reo in the localities where they’ll be teaching. Many overseas-trained teachers already come from multilingual countries, and often already speak two languages or more. “We have to recognise what they’re bringing to this and build on the information and understanding they already have,” says Raewyn. Nikki adds that staff shortages are a huge issue for early learning services, particularly for rural and isolated communities trying to get qualified staff. “With the growth in the early learning sector, we’re significantly short of kaiako. We have quite an aging sector with a number of experienced kaiako getting close to retirement. While application numbers for early learning training appear to be growing, we don’t have the same

23 May 2022

numbers coming in to replace the retired kaiako. “I think it’s a great initiative to support the sector to build those qualified staff. There’s also a massive interest worldwide in living in Aotearoa New Zealand, so I think there’s a great opportunity,” says Nikki. Raewyn explains why these modules and initiatives are important for all early learning kaiako, trained abroad or here in Aotearoa, early childhood or primary trained. “Teachers need to really understand what the foundation of early learning in New Zealand is, and the play-based, bicultural aspects of the programme are so important. “Overseas teachers may have trained in systems that are quite different, but when they come over and learn, they become the best advocates for our curriculum, they see the differences and the benefits.”

For more information on the modules and webinars, visit

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Education Gazette


Balancing classroom ventilation and heating in winter Education Gazette explores how Papanui Primary School in Ōtautahi Christchurch is ensuring students and staff are kept warm during cold, wet, and windy winter days.


resh air flow is always an important part of a classroom environment, but especially as we head into winter when fully opening windows and doors isn’t so practical. Making sure indoor spaces are well-ventilated and have lots of fresh air is recommended for schools at all levels of the Covid-19 Protection Framework. To keep this topof-mind, teachers at Papanui Primary School have made ventilation part of their daily routine and daily set-up.

Striking a balance

A class at Papanui Primary School in Ōtautahi enjoy the fresh air from an open outdoor entrance.

23 May 2022

“In our Covid-19 response planning, we’ve layered different tools together including good ventilation, good hygiene and hand washing, and the use of face masks. Our teaching team are active leaders of teaching and learning in their classrooms, but also of the public health response for our school,” says Papanui School principal Paul Kingston. Paul adds that as it’s getting colder, they’re making sure ventilation and heating are working hand-in-hand. “We’ve found that we don’t have to compromise on having one or the other, we just do our best to balance them throughout the day. It’s one of the key things our teachers think about now when using a space – ventilation is part of our role in managing a classroom environment.” Air flow behaves differently at different temperatures and cooler weather can actually improve air flow compared to when it’s warm outside. The bigger the temperature difference between outside and inside, the more efficiently fresh outside air is drawn in through open windows. This means windows that are just partially open by five centimetres can create good air flow in cooler weather.

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There are different ways to promote air flow in cooler weather, which can be combined depending on what works for a particular room or space. As a rule of thumb, schools can partially open windows (5cm) to allow air flow. They can also take short refresh breaks every hour to flush the air in a room by opening all the windows and doors, pre-heat rooms before the start of the school day to improve the draw of outside air in through smaller window openings, and continue to heat rooms while the windows are partially open.

“We manage any stuffiness or elevated CO2 levels by taking a balanced, pragmatic approach and keeping the rooms warm with our heating going while having windows partially open and then using break times to totally flush out the room with fresh air.”

Monitoring ventilation

Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | The Ministry of Education has published advice about promoting air flow in winter on Te Mahau website, which has been informed by local research and endorsed by its expert ventilation advisory group.

To keep track of how well-ventilated a space is, schools can continue using portable CO2 monitors. Sustained high CO2 levels can indicate a need to improve ventilation, but there are other ways to tell if a room needs some air. “In addition to using our CO2 monitors to assess ventilation, our teachers have developed a good sense for when a room is well-ventilated – basically if a room feels or smells stuffy, it’s time to open the windows or take a refresh break to flush the air in the room. Once you have that awareness of what it feels like to be in a poorly ventilated space versus a well-ventilated one with lots of fresh air, you can usually tell by your gut instinct,” explains Paul.

Principal Paul Kingston checks CO2 levels with ākonga.

Ventilation advice and information

For further ventilation assistance and support schools should contact their Ministry property advisor or

For ventilation advice, including information about CO2 monitors, air cleaners and guidance for cooler weather, visit covid-19

Having partially open windows supports good air flow alongside heating.

“As it’s getting colder, we’re making sure our ventilation and heating are working hand in hand. We’ve found that we don’t have to compromise on having one or the other, we just do our best to balance them throughout the day.” Paul Kingston 52

Education Gazette

Making ventilation part of their daily routine is key at Papanui Primary School, including getting ākonga involved.


Let’s celebrate our future creators, innovators, crafters and tradespeople. There’s a $2,000 cash prize for the top student who demonstrates vocational excellence at each school or wharekura. One Year 12 or Year 13 student per school or wharekura is eligible to receive the Award. Nominations for 2022 open on 25 July and close on 30 September.



For nomination forms and other information, go to: For queries, email:


Kia whakanui tātou i ngā ringa waihanga, ringa auaha, ringa rehe o anamata. He paraihe e $2,000 te nui i whakaritea mō te tino tauira e whakaatu ana i te kairangitanga o te mātauranga ahumahi ki ia kura. Kotahi te tauira Tau 12, Tau 13 rānei o ia kura e māraurau ana kia whakawhiwhia ki te Tohu. Ka tuwhera ngā tautapatanga o 2022 hei te 25 o Hūrae, ka kati hei te 30 o Hepetema.


$2,000 TE NUI

Mō ngā puka tautapa me ērā atu mōhiohio, toro atu ki: Mō ngā pātai, tuku īmēra ki:



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

Outdoor Education New Zealand Is looking to appoint a Business Manager This is a part time position based either in New Zealand or off-shore. For an Application Pack and/or further information, contact: or 027 2011 897

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

23 May 2022



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Al-Madinah School AMS is a state integrated Muslim school. We have the following positions available. HOD/teacher of technology full-time permanent We have an exciting opportunity for a proven, or aspiring leader to lead our technology department from 2 May 2022 (beginning of term 2). Suitable applicants will preferably have experience in teaching hard materials and digital technology. Having knowledge/experience in fabrics/textile/electronic and DVC will be an advantage. Y7–8 teacher full-time fixed-term Due to a teacher going on a special PLD, a vacancy has arisen from the beginning of term 2 till 21 November 2022. We need a teacher who is qualified and experience in teaching Y7 and 8 students. However beginning teachers will be considered. AMS is focused on high levels of student success in an ILE (Innovative Learning Environment) where student leadership and service is central. All teachers and leaders are expected to operate under the special character of the school. Applications close 6 June. Please send your CV, and direct enquiries to:


SHIRLEY INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL Tumuaki/Principal Shirley Intermediate School has a strong legacy in Christchurch as the longest serving Intermediate in the city with deep roots embedded throughout the community. We strive to be a vibrant, culturally rich, diverse and environmentally friendly community, with a wealth of learning opportunities. “Through Collaborative Practice and active engagement in learning we embrace learning as a pathway to living full and satisfying lives” This position offers a tremendous opportunity for a leader who: •

Is aspirational with high expectations for ākonga within a collaborative teaching model

Has a distributive leadership style and draws the best out of others, leading with clarity, competence and care

Lives the school motto by being ‘On FIRE for Learning’, through Fairness, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence

For more information on how to apply, please visit our website:

Actively engages ākonga in their learning, growing their attitude and aptitude to be lifelong learners

Connects with the hapori/community to foster engagement, collaboration and pride in their local school

Supports the bilingual unit (Te Tahu Rua Reo) through strong understanding and awareness of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 13th of June, 2022.

Is strategic and analytical, with operational expertise and strength in planning, systems and processes

Is fresh, dynamic and inclusive, with the passion to harness opportunity


Education Gazette


Publication Deadlines 2022 ISSUE






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Is your school an awesome place for students?

How does your school contribute to the vision to make Aotearoa NZ the ‘best place in the world for children and young people’?

What would your students say?

Student Wellbeing Measures Project

your resources now. est qu Re . on so g sin clo d rio pe nt me ge ga En The Ministry of Education is undertaking a Student Wellbeing Measures project that commences in phase 1 with actively listening to the voice of students and ākonga to understand what ‘student wellbeing’ looks like for students in schools across Aotearoa NZ. This information will help us develop a consistent set of measures of student wellbeing that may be used to support schools to monitor, respond and improve student wellbeing.

Students in Years 7-13 are invited to directly engage in this project to have their say. This period of engagement will be open from November 2021 to the end of Term 1 2022. Schools are invited to support student engagement through Ministry provided in-class and online learning options. Class handbooks and resources are provided.

Please contact the Project Team at or directly indicate your school’s interest and order your resources here: