Education Gazette 100.13

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18 OCTOBER 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 13

Special centenary edition

100 years of community, learning and growth Area schools: their role in rural New Zealand communities

Understand, Know, Do: the development of our national curriculum

Te Kura: the rich history of our Correspondence School

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ISSU E 1 00.1 3


Spotlight on the centenary of the Education Gazette

4 12 16 24 4

30 34 12


40 46 52


Ka mua, ka muri in Nelson Kohimarama School: 100 years of community, learning and growth Inner city schools have rich cultural heritage Ngata Memorial College: fulfilling a legacy Understand, Know, Do: a framework to inspire deep and meaningful learning Murchison school at heart of its community Cutting-edge digitech education in South Taranaki Warm, rich memories from long history of Te Kura Promising future for Buller students

34 On the cover Page 16: Huyen and Nhung are former students of Wellington’s Mount Cook School, which has a proud history of cultural diversity.

18 OCTOBER 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 13

Special centenary edition


18 October 2021

100 years of community, learning and growth Area schools: their role in rural New Zealand communities

Understand, Know, Do: the development of our national curriculum

Te Kura: the rich history of our Correspondence School

On the back cover Page 52:School children during a nature lesson, Denniston Incline, West Coast. (Pascoe, John Dobree, 1908-1972: Photographic albums, prints and negatives. Ref: 1/4001332-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.)

Tukutuku Kōrero



Watch: Education Gazette centenary videos Enjoy a brief journey through the last 100 years of New Zealand education at

Listen: Latest podcast on Understand, Know, Do Sylvia Park School principal Barbara Ala’alatoa talks about how the Understand, Know, Do framework helps to create meaningful learning opportunities at

Explore: First issue of the Education Gazette We have digitised the very first issue of Education Gazette, published in 1921. You can access it at

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Stories of change and progress


This year turns 100. Explore the past and future of Aotearoa New Zealand education with two special interactive AR (augmented reality) video experiences.


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Special centenary edition Ka mua, ka muri – walking backwards into the future Schools and iwi working FLIP MAGAZINE TO LOOK BACK

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Rich learning in remote and rural schools

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

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Inside the covers of the School Journal

18 October 2021

18 OCTOBER 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 13

26 JULY 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 9

Special centenary edition

100 years of community, learning and growth Area schools: their role in rural New Zealand communities

Understand, Know, Do: the development of our national curriculum

Te Kura: the rich history of our Correspondence School

his is the final issue in our series celebrating Education Gazette’s centenary. Over the past year we’ve travelled to communities all over Aotearoa New Zealand visiting schools, kura and early learning centres, learning about their pasts and hearing about their visions for the future. From the Far North to Rakiura | Stewart Island, we’ve had some wonderful discussions with teachers and principals, support staff, parents and whānau, hapū and iwi, boards of trustees, people from the community, and of course, learners. We’ve heard about how New Zealand education has changed over the years, about how this change has been at times exciting and stimulating, and at other times difficult and painful. System and policy updates, curriculum and technology shifts, and changing demographics over the past 100 years have all played a part in getting us to where we are today. Guided by the whakataukī ka mua, ka muri – walking backwards into the future, our centenary series has attempted to tell some of these stories of change and provide a glimpse into the direction our schools are taking. In this issue we feature schools in Nelson and the South Island’s West Coast, Ruatoria on the North Island’s East Coast, inner city Wellington and Te Kura Pounamu (Correspondence School). These articles join the many stories we’ve shared over the course of this year. It is by no means a complete collection; it is a glimpse into the opportunities, challenges and aspirations of our communities. We’ve enjoyed sharing this series with you; we hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. Noho ora mai rā, nā Jude Barback

Tukutuku Kōrero



Ka mua, ka muri in Nelson As one of the earliest European settlements in Aotearoa, Nelson was also at the forefront of developing a model for a free secular education system that was adopted for the whole colony in 1877.

The historic frontage of Nelson Central School is listed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga as a Category 2 historic place.


Education Gazette


he first school in the Nelson colony, a rush-woven cottage on the banks of the Maitai, was opened in March 1842. At the end of October 1842, it expanded into a day school and a 27-year-old foundry worker, Matthew Campbell, took on the management of the enterprise. Nelson was the first province to initiate free public education, with the Nelson Education Act of 1856 modelled on Matthew Campbell’s school system. According to The Jubilee History of Nelson: 1842 to 1892, the education system was to be based on a tax in which ‘every settler was to be called upon to pay for its support, whatever his religious opinions might be, the basis on which the scheme ought to rest must in equity be a secular one’. The Nelson system merged into the colonial system when the Education Act 1877 was passed. The Act marked the beginning of a free, secular, compulsory state education system for all New Zealand children aged between seven and 13. Not surprisingly, Nelson has its share of historic schools that today are ‘walking backwards into the future’ – ‘ka mua, ka muri’.

The school is in the process of a review of the site and developing a complete educational plan that reflects different philosophies of teaching, the school community’s cultural narrative, and how that informs the school’s pedagogy and use of space. With Nelson City Council’s strategic plan for growth in the inner city, the Ministry of Education has decided the 450-pupil school needs capacity for 600-700 ākonga over the next 30 years.

Building for the future

Pip says teachers at the Decile 7 school work deliberately to build student agency and create environments that allow tamariki to work at different stages and different speeds in the course of the day. But she will quite often find small groups of children using the school corridor as breakout zones. “It’s a bit tricky, when you’re looking at a pedagogy that involves collaboration in an environment that’s been designed for silence!” she says.

Historic inner city school

Nelson Central School is New Zealand’s oldest school still functioning on its original unitary site. The site of the present school was purchased by the Nelson Education Board in 1893 for £1,600. The school building is listed by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga as a Category 2 historic place. “Historic schools have a real responsibility to the past, but we have to prepare our students for the future,” says tumuaki Pip Wells, reflecting on ‘ka mua, ka muri’. Behind the school’s historic frontage, which dates back to 1930, there’s a miscellany of buildings from different eras and a path that meanders up a rise to Renwick House, which was built as a home in the 1860s. It’s now the home of the new entrant and junior classes and a Nurture Room. Outside there’s a twisty bougainvillea vine that inspired the drawings in The Crinkum Crankum Tree written by Margaret Mahy and illustrated by Robyn Belton, who was a parent at the school. Providing a 21st century education in historic buildings can be challenging, says Pip. “The buildings were designed to have everybody do the same thing at the same time in silence and with the teacher up the front. The design of the classrooms allows minimal space between students, with what was a blackboard and then repurposed as a whiteboard at the front of the class. It was designed for a transmissive form of education. “Our expectation now is that students can learn at anytime, anywhere, from anyone. In other words, there is differentiated learning which requires different children to be doing different things at the same time, and to be able to utilise each other, as well as adults to support that learning,” she explains.

18 October 2021

Nelson Central School’s youngest tamariki outside the school’s oldest building, 160-year-old Renwick House.

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Working with Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and Nelson City Council experts, Liz says the historic frontage of the school will be preserved, but they’ll be working hard to make the internal spaces more effective for modern teaching and learning. “We want spaces that are going to reflect our community and meet the needs of the learners, rather than the actual building. We want spaces that are going to allow kids to manipulate, collaborate, problem-solve, share and present. “We recognise that the learning children require now needs to equip them for an uncertain future. So being able to operate with other people, both digitally and face to face, will be one of the critical skills for them. “If kids aren’t happy and don’t get that sense of real connection and love, then nothing else is going to happen – that’s where wellbeing becomes so critical to success,” says Pip.

Equity for all

Nelson Central School has had a strong commitment to bilingual education since 1985, when a bilingual unit was established. In 2018 the school celebrated two milestones: the 30th anniversary of Te Pouahi, the school’s (Level 2) Māori-medium classes; and the enrolment of Te Pouahi’s 100th pupil.

The drawings in The Crinkum Crankum Tree by Margaret Mahy were inspired by this vine.

“We recognise that the learning children require now needs to equip them for an uncertain future. So being able to operate with other people, both digitally and face to face, will be one of the critical skills for them.” Pip Wells

Pip Wells is passionate about equity for all children at her school.


Education Gazette

“Our community is really supportive of trying to genuinely create a partnership between those Treaty partners and we really think that every child deserves to walk confidently in both te ao Māori and the English world. And we have a duty of care to provide an education for our Māori students that meets their needs. “It’s all about equity – this school has a really strong kaupapa around equity, excellence and belonging. So, if we are wanting our children to belong in this school, then we need to be celebrating what they bring in the gates. And we also have a responsibility to right the wrongs of the past, which are well documented throughout the history of our land,” says Pip.

Continuing the pathway Erina Tuhakaraina (Ngāti Hauā, Ngāti Kahungunu) was a foundation pupil of Nelson Central School’s whānau class – Te Pouahi – where she later taught for 16 years. Now she’s carrying on the mahi as a kaiako at Nelson Intermediate and is an across-school teacher for Te Kāhui Ako ki Whakatū, helping schools build their capabilities around mauri ora (where children are flourishing in their learning). “I was a foundation pupil in 1986. At the time, there was a strong group of parents and kaumātua who were working at the kōhanga reo. There was a group of us who were coming into primary school, so they were asking how our language was going to be nurtured. “It was initially a bilingual unit for us babies back then, as well as our parents who were learning the language alongside us,” remembers Erina. At different times during its 33-year history, the whānau class has been full immersion, bilingual and Māori medium, but it’s always been about keeping te reo Māori alive in a community where just over 10 percent of the population are Māori.

Erina Tuhakaraina.

“The whānau class gave me a sense of belonging. Right from kōhanga reo, we children all grew up together and, for the majority of the time, we could travel the school pathways together. It was different at college – we got separated in classes – although we might come together in something like kapa haka, but to this day, we call ourselves cousins.”

AGENT OF CHANGE Erina trained to be a teacher in English medium through the University of Canterbury in Nelson. She was a young mum living up the road from her old primary school and heard about an opportunity through the kumara vine and began working part-time at Te Pouahi. “I came in as a beginning teacher in a full immersion class – there were a couple of strong teachers: good role models and fluent speakers. I was at Te Pouahi for 16 years – we became bilingual and grew and grew. At one stage we hit the 100-ākonga mark,” she says proudly. At the end of 2019, wanting to continue the pathway for Māori children in Nelson schools, Erina reluctantly left Te Pouahi, and became a kaiako in Nelson Intermediate’s Māori medium class, along with fellow ākonga and teacher from Te Pouahi, Tom Alesana. “We wanted to do our part to support the pathway of Māori medium for our children and we felt we had something to give,” she explains. Erina is one of four teachers in the 52-ākonga, Level 2 Māori-medium class, Te Pītau Whakarei. “We work in a collaborative way – three of us hold leadership responsibilities and we have one beginning teacher, so there are two or three of us on any one day. Continued on page 8.

18 October 2021

The 160-year-old Renwick House provides a homely start to school for new entrant and junior students.

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Kaiako Erina Tuhakaraina returned to her old school to tell some ākonga from Te Pouahi about life at Nelson Intermediate.



“It’s awesome working in a collaborative way nurturing these children, who have mostly come from Te Pouahi and Ngā Mana Kākāno – Māori medium at Victory Primary School,” explains Erina.

Erina is excited about a recent hui held about extending the Māori-medium pathway into Nelson city’s two secondary schools.

Two days a week, Erina is an across-school teacher for Te Kāhui Ako ki Whakatū.

“I have yearned for it to head into secondary and the time has come where the conversations have started,” she says.

“I work with a team of six – we work with, and alongside, many stakeholders like iwi, tumuaki, kaiako, whānau and ākonga around our Nelson kura and kōhungahunga as ‘change agents’ to help build capabilities of others in the mahi we’re doing around Mauri ora, critical theory and cultural responsiveness.”

“I always like to think about who’s gone before, right back to kōhanga reo and some of the kaumātua who created these nests to ensure the language keeps alive amongst this community. Many of them still work in education – my mum works as an initial teacher educator at Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood. A lot of my generation are now collaborating in education settings.”

Education Gazette

Village school looks to the future At 178 years old, Wakefield Primary School, 20 kilometres south of Nelson, is regarded as the oldest continuous school in New Zealand. It was founded in mid-1843 in the home of Mary Ann Baigent – descendants attend the 270-pupil school to this day. “One of the things that appealed to me when I came to the school eight years ago, was that we are the village school and have been for a long time and there is a strong sense of identity and ownership,” says principal Peter Verstappen. “You notice that at school events when the kids can hear Mum and Dad, or their grandparents talking about ‘when we came to the school...’. For many of the children there’s a strong sense that this is a place that’s been part of their family’s narrative for quite a long time,” he says. “At another level, there’s the school’s relationship with the village and the district. For example, a local farmer left money to the school to build a building over our swimming pool built by the Ministry about 25 years ago. Out of that they formed an incorporated society. The committee consists of representatives from the school, the community and Tasman District Council and we all are responsible for managing this facility.”

Peter Verstappen shows a photograph of Wakefield Primary School in 1943.

RICH LEARNING ENVIRONMENT The semi-rural Years 1-6 contributing school is located in the heart of Wakefield, with Faulkner’s Bush – a piece of remnant forest – on one boundary. Peter says, even though the school is quite close to Richmond and Nelson, the tamariki are country kids and spend a lot of time outdoors. “They’re reflective of the people who live here, they are people who want to interact with the land and the environment around them. We have a lot of kids who will spend the weekend pig hunting with Dad, or pulling in snapper with grandparents, or riding the mountain bike trails that are just around the village. They have a rich environment in which to explore life,” he says. Wakefield Primary School represents “a pretty good timeline of New Zealand school architecture from about the 1930s through to 2011”, laughs Peter. He says there have been minimal challenges in adapting teaching and learning styles in buildings from a range of eras. “In fact, we stripped the inside out of our oldest building and the footprint of the building lent itself beautifully to becoming a modern learning environment. We’ve been able to modify the other buildings and change around quite a number of our spaces in the years I have been here. They are well fit for purpose – as good as anything that you’ll find anywhere, I think,” he says. Continued on page 10.

18 October 2021

A striking mural reflects the bushy fringe of the school grounds.

Tukutuku Kōrero




Peter acknowledges that one of the downsides of a village school is that children are sheltered from some of the realities of modern life.

Kyro Baigent is a descendant of Mary Ann Baigent. Other tamariki Education Gazette spoke to also had parents, grandparents or siblings who attend or work at the school.

“In terms of preparing our kids for the world they’re going to live in, we have to try a little harder because some things don’t come as readily to hand as elsewhere.

“My ancestors built this school and my dad came here,” says Kyro (Year 5).

“Biculturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi is one of those areas that has not been terrifically visible in the lives of the children, or the school itself. One of the things we have put a lot of focus on in recent times is making it visible so that if you’re a Māori student coming into the school, how do you see yourself in this place? “At the moment we’re building a waharoa/entranceway that captures our bicultural narrative and shows very clearly that this is something we value,” says Peter.

FOCUS ON WELLBEING In recent years, Wakefield Primary School has responded to the changing nature of students’ needs and shifted its focus to wellbeing. “This year, we’re redeveloping our local curriculum very strongly around wellbeing and trying to interpret everything we do through the lens of wellbeing. It’s a huge challenge – and it’s fascinating. For example, teachers are saying, ‘When I run this reading group, how can I do it in a way that enhances wellbeing?’” says Peter. While digital technology is now embedded and cross-curricular, Peter and his team have applied a wellbeing lens to it as well. “We started to feel uneasy about some of the digital behaviours that our kids were modelling, or being exposed to. That has modified our approach to how we use and teach digital technologies in our school. And we’re shielding our younger children from it a little bit more than we were previously. “In terms of the future for our kids, they need to be able to be calm, regulate their behaviour, and have good social skills so they don’t get into conflict with people. And then from that place of calm and self-confidence they can become the learners they are capable of being,” explains Peter.

“My nana came here in the 1950s and my dad did. I can imagine my dad here – he has told me about the teachers he had,” says Hunter (Year 6). “My mum came to this school. My grandmother was a teacher aide at this school,” says Elliot (Year 6). “My mum is a teacher aide here, she’s training to be a teacher,” says Isla (Year 6). Elliot can’t wait to leave school, and Wakefield, and become an animator. Hunter would like to become a Paralympian – maybe in wheelchair sprints. “You can get there, Hunter,” says his friend Elliot. The children all remember a large forest fire in 2019, which saw them relocated to Hope Community Church for a week. For Lochy (Year 6), whose dad attended the school, the fire has inspired him to become a firefighter as his grandparents were on a farm that was potentially in the path of the fire. The tamariki enjoy swimming in the solar-heated pool, which is open about five months a year, and playing in Faulkner’s Bush during the summer terms. “The good thing is having lots of freedom – you can go wherever you like to go within the school boundaries,” says Lochy. And Hunter loves kapa haka and te reo Māori. “I absolutely love te reo because we get to learn more about our country’s culture and I think, overall, it’s a really great for us to kids to learn because they can help us grow and get some jobs,” he says.

Hunter and Isla enjoyed telling Education Gazette about their school.


Education Gazette

Wakefield Primary School was founded in 1843.

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18 October 2021

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Kohimarama School: 100 years of community, learning and growth As Kohimarama School marks its centennial this year, the community is living with a global pandemic – just as their founders did. The difference in how today’s community is affected is a striking illustration of how times have changed.


hen the doors of Kohimarama School opened in 1921, it was a time of hope and optimism for New Zealand following the devastating loss of life from Spanish Flu (9,000) and the Great War (18,000). Virtually every New Zealand family had been affected by the death or serious wounding of someone close.  Exactly when the Kohimarama School community had planned to be celebrating its 100-year anniversary, it was instead hunkered down under Level 4 Covid-19 restrictions as the nation grappled to contain the Delta outbreak of Covid-19.

Learning in lockdown

Like schools across Aotearoa and particularly those in Tāmaki Makaurau, the teachers and students of Kohimarama School are accustomed to distance learning and connect daily. Almost all learners have their own devices for remote schooling and connect using the learning management system, SchoolTalk. This allows staff to share their learning design and students to engage in the lessons, share their work and enable them to see their progress.

100 years ago: Kohimarama School opened in 1921.


Education Gazette

“We use it on site and we continue using it during lockdown so for us going into Level 4, the learning continued the next day,” says principal Paul Engles.  “The other thing we do is have Google Meets every day, sometimes about work but essentially to connect and have fun. We want to maintain that relationship with the children and support them to stay connected with each other.” That sense of connection and community is a prevalent theme in Kohimarama School’s history. Indeed, the school, originally a branch of nearby St Helier’s School, was founded at the urging of parents who believed the area needed its own school. The one-room schoolhouse opened in 1921 with 54 founding students. Within a year there were three classes with separate groups for junior boys and junior girls, ‘primers’, and a third class for children in Standards 1 and 2. Today the roll is exactly tenfold at 545 students and the school remains on the same two-acre site in the picturesque beachfront suburb. Classes are divided by year, except for three composites in years 0/1, 4/5 and 7/8, and rooms are a mix of single-cell and modern learning environments (MLE). With the roll predicted to increase to 950 by 2030, Paul expects to see the number of classrooms increase to meet growing demand.

The Kohimarama Way

Of course, the style of teaching and learning has changed dramatically from the rote style of yesteryear. Today the school’s culture is centred on ‘The Kohimarama Way’, the school vision supported by a set of values and dispositions

considered most important for tamariki to be learners and citizens.  “Our children are growing up in a constantly changing world where they will encounter different types of jobs, technologies and world challenges. ‘The Kohimarama Way’ underpins how we’re preparing them to succeed in this world by teaching them new ways of learning and working together to solve problems. It supports our desire to develop positive habits and character in our children,” says Paul. “’The Kohimarama Way’ is also incorporated in teacher planning, which means the concepts are actively practiced as part of everyday learning. Each class learns for example: What is honesty? What does it look like? How do we practice it? What are the signs of success that show we have understood the concept?” he adds. Additionally, during break times, teachers are looking for pupils who are showing ‘The Kohimarama Way’ in practical situations and awarded ‘Caught being good’ certificates.

Embracing te reo Māori

Perhaps the biggest difference evident since Kohimarama School’s founding days is its commitment to biculturalism. Teacher in charge of Māori, Kate Cadzow has developed a website, ‘Te Reo at Kohimarama Kura’, devoted entirely to te ao Māori for the school community.  Ākonga can click to find texts, images, and videos in small, digestible chunks to learn te reo, waiata, Māori meditation/whakatau Tinana me Hinengaro, fitness through kanikani/dance, and traditional pastimes including poi and rākau.

Kohimarama School entrance, 1948. Caption.

18 October 2021

Tukutuku Kōrero



Education Gazette

“‘The Kohimarama Way’ underpins how we’re preparing them to succeed in this world by teaching them new ways of learning and working together to solve problems.” Paul Engles Paul says Kate’s work embodies the Kohimarama vision – We dream/moemoeā, we inspire/whakaohooho, we create/waihanga, we empower/whakamana. “She dreams, ‘this is what we could do’, she is inspired by the people around her and the different courses she goes on, she creates – she created the site and the plan for how it would work for our school, and she’s empowering other teachers. All the teachers do the same in their own way, we have a very strong school culture amongst our staff.”

Enduring community support

This team spirit has boosted morale during lockdown when teachers meet online not just for planning but for fun catch ups. Staff also take part in daily quizzes and share new recipes on a cooking blog. In turn, the staff are supported by the school’s PTA, which organises appreciation morning teas and has arranged gift bags for teachers during lockdown.  “Back in 1921 the school had a strong parent community, and we still have that today. Parents want to be actively involved in their child’s education, to support them in any way they can, and they want to support the school,” explains Paul.

Kohimarama School today: learning in action for Room 1 (top) and Room 13 (bottom).

In 2021, support means rolling with snap lockdowns and all the attached challenges. Big-ticket centennial festivities have been bumped forward to the 101-year mark, early-2022, but the school is still celebrating its milestone this year through a variety of activities. These include a whole-school photograph, a quiz-a-thon with a history theme, and the history of the school interwoven into day-to-day learning is planned. The school is also publishing its own cookbook using recipes supplied by children and families. Next March, the school will stage an art exhibition, host an open day, and throw a 1920s-themed gala dinner.

Anticipated return

In the meantime, learners, whānau and teachers stay connected digitally with an impressive engagement rate of more than 98 percent and look forward to getting back together at Level 2. “We’ll spend much of the first week back settling into school and having fun and playing games, getting to know each other again and getting back into routine,” says Paul. “Students’ wellbeing is our biggest priority and we’re already planning how to help them feel safe when we return.”

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18 October 2021

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Former and current Mount Cook School principals, Sandra McCallum and Lliam Carran with the school’s foundation stone.


Education Gazette


Inner city schools have rich cultural heritage Two Wellington schools in suburbs named after Queen Victoria and James Cook have been cultural melting pots for many decades.


ount Victoria and Mount Cook hug the city on its south and eastern flanks. Clyde Quay School (Mt Victoria/Matairangi) and Mt Cook School were amongst Wellington’s earliest schools, alongside Te Aro School, Karori Normal School and Newtown School. From at least the 1960s, both inner-city schools were culturally diverse, with Greek and Chinese families settling in the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Early history of diversity

Chinese settlement in Haining and Frederick Streets near Mt Cook School began in the latter half of the 19th century and it’s not hard to imagine that there was cultural diversity at the school from its earliest years. Sandra McCallum was principal from 2004 to 2018 and says she felt privileged to be part of a culture of inclusion and celebration of diversity. “This culture had been developing over the previous 10 years and over time had come to be the school’s kaupapa. “The school has always been really diverse. The school had had former refugees for over 40 years – Vietnamese and Cambodian to begin with, followed by families from Africa and the Middle East, and over time other countries,” she says.

Celebrating identity

Sandra says people used to say “Mt Cook School does such a great job of integration” and she would disagree. “I would say, ‘The words are inclusion and celebration, not assimilation and integration. Identity is what we talked about – who are we, what is important to us, what do we have in common and what are our differences?’” The school’s values and culture continuously evolved and Sandra says there was a key focus on relationships. “We wanted to make everybody feel welcome and valued from the timethey walked into the school,” she says. Sandra met with each community with interpreters to ensure she understood what parents wanted for their tamariki. The school also made a big effort to have school reports translated into the first language of their children. “They wanted their kids to be happy, to be really nice human beings, to be respectful and tolerant, to have friends across communities and they wanted their kids to be loved,” says Sandra.

Collaboration and commitment

When a new curriculum was introduced in the early 2000s, there was a lot of consultation with the school’s various communities.

“All of our teaching is done through the lens of understanding that there is a continuum of English language learning at our school.” Lliam Carran

18 October 2021

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The school’s vision, values and professional development was a collaboration, with decisions made as a collective, which led to a strong sense of community and commitment to the school as a whole, explains Sandra. “Teachers did not feel as though they had to manage alone in their classes. Each week at staff meeting, there was an opportunity for teachers to discuss how things were going and access the collective wisdom of their colleagues,” she says. Diana Woods recently retired as ESOL teacher at the school after 27 years and was a strong advocate for her ākonga. Along with their colleagues, she and Sandra shared the belief that every child has the right to a quality education and brings richness and potential that can be celebrated and nurtured from the day they are enrolled. “We learned to take time and observe each tamariki as she/he started school. We had ongoing conversations at every staff meeting about what we were noticing. It was deliberate: watch, see and decide. Sometimes it was over quite a long period of time before we got to know what was appropriate for the individual. “Every culture has a lens through which it views the world. We listened to the kōrero of our communities and through this, worked tirelessly to nurture an environment in which everyone had a voice, felt valued and able to contribute,” explains Sandra.

Continuum of language learning

Today, about 50 percent of Mt Cook School’s tamariki, from 40 different ethnic groups, speak a different language at home, says principal Lliam Carran. “All of our teaching is done through the lens of understanding that there is a continuum of English language learning at our school. “We do a lot of play at school up until Year 3 and that’s to do with promoting oral language, so it’s about children talking with children, and teachers and adults sitting down and listening and talking. It definitely makes a difference for our ESOL children, having that time to talk and listen to a group.”

Celebrating difference

There’s a strong bond between Huyen and Nhung, former ESOL students at Mt Cook School.


Education Gazette

Lliam says that with so many different ethnic and cultural groups, many children and their families don’t have any connections with each other and the school works hard to build connections and community. “We spend a lot of time talking about our Mt Cook community and we work really hard to connect our families with events because they often don’t have an understanding of each other. We talk about how our differences are to be

celebrated and they make it a nice, exciting, interesting place to be.” Lliam believes this approach creates empathetic young people. “We have students come through the school who are incredibly empathetic because they’ve spent their whole time working with others who are different from them, and understanding that other child’s context. So you can see how empathetic they are around other children, and how they have a real sense of the normalcy of people being different from them, and of that being interesting. “I’ve been at Mt Cook for 14 years – I began teaching here. For me, it’s about the meaningful connections with children and seeing them come back to school from

college, or years later and being amazed where they’ve got to. It’s quite incredible, we have children come into school quite regularly to reconnect. We know how difficult, or hard it was at one point for them,” he says.

For the future

While teaching pedagogy may change in the future, Lliam believes that children will always need the same things. “I think an element of it will always be the same and being a part of community and children spending time and working together, always needs to be there. If that ever changed, I think that we would lose something essential to the development of our children.”

Former students share fond memories Nhung and Huyen, former students at Mt Cook School, are both from Vietnam. Now at Wellington High School and Wellington East Girls’ College, respectively, the connection through their shared ESOL journey means their bond is still strong. What do you remember from your first weeks at Mt Cook School? “People were very inclusive. The kids would always try to communicate and hang out with each other, and the teachers were very nice and supportive,” says Huyen. Nhung agrees. “It was really inclusive and nice. It was an easy environment to get used to because everyone’s different and it’s just really welcoming because no one judges you.” What were the best parts of being at Mt Cook School? “Definitely spending a lot of time with friends – no one judged you or told you what to do. The teachers really supported you,” says Huyen. Nhung explains further, saying teachers never put too much pressure on them to learn things. “They didn’t push you but really let you take your time in learning and now, at high school, you don’t get so stressed. Not that you shouldn’t do your work, but yeah, there’s not so much pressure.” Speaking about Diana Woods, Nhung says she was a great ESOL teacher. “Like, I’ve only been with her for one year, but she taught me a lot of stuff and the lessons were always fun. You always have this excitement every time you walk into her class.” Huyen adds that Diana could always understand them. “It was very calm, and when I first came, she was so nice.

18 October 2021

She is hard to understand sometimes, and sometimes I don’t even understand myself, but when I talked she would understand me and know what I am taking about.” How has Mt Cook School helped you become the person you are today? Nhung says one of the best things about learning with Diana is how she helped them express themselves. “So when you go on to, like, high school, the lessons she gave you help you communicate with people and, get to know them and so you feel more comfortable around all of them.” They both talk about how good it was to be part of such a culturally diverse school. “You know more about people around you, the culture, what they do and stuff,” says Huyen. Nhung agrees. “At a multicultural school, one person can teach you something, and you can teach them something back. It’s a learning experience. And it’s easier to learn things through communication.” Many of the former ESOL students are still good friends, even at different high schools. “[ESOL] is how we met our group. It’s really cool and we still talk and hang out,” says Nhung. Principal Lliam adds to the kōrero around lifelong friendship. “You see those groups that were working with Diane in the ESOL room and how tight they become. It’s really lovely how close that bond is. They don’t all speak the same language but it’s such a connection through that learning.”

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Difference is the norm at Clyde Quay School Eleni Hilder (nee Giannoulis) attended Clyde Quay School in the early 1970s, when many Greek families moved from Newtown to Mount Victoria to live near the Greek Orthodox Church in Hania Street (Lloyd Street). She remembers a strong sense of community and says that many of her friends were Greek as they lived in the same neighbourhood and spent a lot of time with each other after school, at weekends and in the holidays. “I didn’t feel any pressure to fit in as a Kiwi kid, there was no bullying. I felt supported knowing there were other Greek children speaking my language and knowing my culture. “To me, some of the other Greek kids were like family. Older kids would walk us home, and when I was older, I would walk younger kids home. Mums would rely on the older Greek girls in the neighbourhood to take the younger ones home after school,” she explains. Eleni and her friends attended Greek School after school in a classroom at Clyde Quay School, and parents attended classes there at night. “The school was a bit of a hub – they would meet other Greek mothers who were relying on one another to get the kids from A to B because they were all working. During school holidays, the mothers that were at home would look after the kids – there was that sense of community,” she says.

Te ao Māori part and parcel of school

The Education Gazette’s Eleni Hilder is a former pupil of Clyde Quay School.


Education Gazette

Pākehā children are now in the minority at Clyde Quay School, with at least one third of children being rich in their own language, culture and identity, says principal, Liz Patara (Te Arawa, Ngāti Ueunukukopako, Ngāti Whakaue). The school has become more culturally and ethnically diverse since Liz arrived as principal in 1999 and she says it’s the reason she has stayed at the school. From the start, she was also very impressed that every teacher was comfortable with teaching basic te reo Māori me ōna tikanga (language and customs).   “At that time, that wasn’t common in Wellington schools where Māori children were the minority. Here, there was little resistance to tangata whenua aspirations; in fact, the community expected it. “Their language, identity, culture was foregrounded in school and every teacher was willing to have basic knowledge and proficiency in te reo Māori. It was a given

that te ao Māori was going to be part of the culture of the school,” she explains.   Liz says that te ao Māori is very much part and parcel of the school fabric.   “For migrant children who might have a second or third language, I don’t think they see learning Māori as strange. In fact, they take it on board very easily, as another language, another culture,” she says.  “It’s important they have some knowledge of Māori because that’s who we are as Aotearoa New Zealanders. We can’t go anywhere else for our culture, reo and identity – this is it. It’s rightfully part of being a citizen of Aotearoa NZ. “The Treaty of Waitangi is about participation, protection and partnership. It’s a right for Māori and tauiwi [non-Māori], so it should be part of who we are and what we do in our schools.”

“I really like learning different languages becausethere are so many ways other people see the world.” Sopho

Diversity a strength

The cumulative effect of offering tamariki a diverse range of experiences normalises difference, argues Liz. “When you add all these components together – hearing different languages, seeing different-looking people, knowing we are different in multiple ways, and you celebrate festivals important to respective whānau, it strengthens the notion of difference as normal.  “One of my tests is, ‘how comfortable are the kids from different cultural groups, speaking to their friends from the same culture in their mother tongue at school?’ That has grown stronger here. So, if a new Polish child arrives, and we have other Polish children in the school – we’ll buddy them up. We’ve done this a lot to help make new children feel comfortable and settle into our kura.”   Liz believes a combination of all those aspects of diversity creates an environment that strengthens the culture of the school.  “Our tamariki don’t think it’s unusual that I get up in assembly and speak Māori or greet them in several different languages. It teaches them that it’s okay to speak a different language and it’s not unusual that you hear this in our school.”

18 October 2021

Yashi says learning different languages means you can understand and help people.

Student kōrero Education Gazette asked tamariki at Clyde Quay School what they enjoyed about learning different languages and being surrounded by cultural diversity. “You can communicate to your friends. Say I speak Spanish and my friend speaks Indonesian. If I learn Indonesian, we can speak to them fluently and they will understand as well. The diversity is just very cool we can celebrate different cultures as well.” Varun, Year 5, Indian-Telegu “I like learning languages, because you can learn different things from them, and if you can understand other people, you can help them.” Yashi, Year 4, Chinese “Learning languages is really good to go to different countries and understand them. I also like celebrating cultures. In my culture, we celebrate Diwali and people always say that it’s fun and it brings me really good vibes.” Saadhana, Year 4, Indian-Tamil “I like learning different languages because they’re so diverse and we can communicate more effectively with others. I have learned Greek and te reo Māori. I really enjoyed learning the mythology and stories like that.” Barnaby, Year 6, Pākehā New Zealander “I like learning other languages because you can help people, and you can communicate with more people like in your class.” Alexia, Year 4, Samoan

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“I really like learning different languages because there are so many ways other people see the world. Sometimes in different languages, there’ll be different ways of saying things instead of just different words. Being at this school is cool because you get to know everybody, and you don’t just know about you.” Sopho, Year 8, Greek/Māori “All my friends speak different languages. I have a teacher helping me learn Hindi, and when I turn seven and eight, we learn, like, Mandarin and French. And here we are also learning Māori. Diversity is great because you can learn how others speak, and you can then communicate with them.” Akshara, Year 5, Indian-Tamil “Languages are important, because I come from China and my English is more good from being here. I have learned English, French and Māori.” Chenxi, Year 7, Chinese “What I love about this school and languages is that it’s so diverse. At this school it’s really cool because you get the opportunity to learn about so many different cultures, about so many different people. It’s cool to learn different things, especially if you’re going to live in different countries.” Charlotte, Year 5, Māori

Saadhana likes sharing her culture with her peers, especially for celebrations like Diwali.

“What I like about learning different languages is that it’s all new to you – even just using some simple sentences like ‘hello’ or ‘how are you?’. It’s really cool to learn how to say that to people. If I had to choose one thing about learning cultures, it would definitely be what they eat in a day.” Isabel, Year 6, Indonesian American “It takes us to another world when we learn other languages, and it’s quite comforting what people have here – as if they’re from the family.” Holly, Year 4, Irish

Read this article online to learn more about the histories of Mt Cook and Clyde Quay schools.

“It’s important they have some knowledge of Māori because that’s who we are as Aotearoa New Zealand.” Liz Patara

Barnaby has learned Greek and te reo Māori.


Education Gazette

Tamariki with principal Liz Patara. Construction of the new Clyde Quay School building in Mt Victoria, Wellington (1935). Evening Post (newspaper. 1865-2002): Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: PAColl-7796-86. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22841385

18 October 2021

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Ngata Memorial College: fulfilling a legacy Rural area school Ngata Memorial College was established in 1959, taking its name from Sir Āpirana Ngata, who expressed a vision for providing rich educational opportunities for the rangatahi of Ngāti Porou. Fast forward 62 years, and the school is working with its community to fulfil these ambitions, providing a range of academic and vocational opportunities to meet the needs of ākonga.


ducation Gazette had hoped to visit Ngata Memorial College, but plans went the way of many during Alert Level 4 in August 2021, and a Zoom call with principal Peter Heron had to suffice. Peter has just finished a Zoom meeting with staff. “Oh, it’s all good,” he says of how his school is coping with lockdown so far. “Everyone seems much more relaxed this time around, because they’ve all been through it once. We’re lucky in that we have laptops all the way through from Year 1 onwards – and we’ve got all sorts of software packages up. We’ve got families putting pictures on Facebook, students out in fields, their feet up.”

Area school life

Peter paints a good picture of life at Ngata Memorial College. It’s an area school, with just under 100 students in Years 1 to 13 from around the greater Ruatoria region. Unlike most area schools, it’s secondary-heavy with

approximately 20 primary students and 80 secondary ākonga. All learners, with the exception of some staff children, are Ngāti Porou. Peter says the school has a strong family feeling, echoing the whānau connection within their community. “When I first came here, I think I was the only one who wasn’t related,” he jokes, reflecting on his arrival at the school in July last year. The connectedness is definitely a strength of the community. “It’s good because you’ve got that whole East Coast support network, where everyone helps each other and there’s a lot of whānau care. But it’s also a challenge for our children because when they go out of the area, they can get a little bit nervous.” Peter’s keen to give his students the chance to explore opportunities beyond the East Coast, should they want to. He wants to see rangatahi given choices to pursue a range of pathways, both vocational and academic.

Principal, Peter Heron. Left page: Ngata Memorial College is named after leader and visionary Sir Āpirana Ngata.

18 October 2021

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Giving students options

The school has had real success with its students pursuing vocational pathways. However, the school community voiced a desire to see this balanced with more academic options for students. It has been seven years since the school last had a University Entrance (UE) student. “Our students can get employment in vocational industries if they want to work, which is a great thing. But there will be some students who could have gone a UE route but didn’t. It’s not about getting the students to university, it’s been giving them the choice,” says Peter. “For a lot of our families, they come back into education when they’re slightly older. And if they’ve got UE already, it just takes away some of those hurdles.” The drive for a more balanced approach to curriculum and learning came from the community itself, says Peter. The school has held well-attended community hui. With an old-fashioned sand timer and school bell, they took a speed-dating approach in which a board member and teacher would spend three minutes with each of six tables of 10 whānau. “We got a lot of feedback from the community. They told us they wanted local curriculum, and they also wanted academic aspiration. They wanted the children to have the ability to be whatever they want to be. And they want the route to get there.”

Sir Āpirana’s vision

It’s not a new aspiration for this community. Current Board of Trustees chair Timoti Maru attended Ngata Memorial College in the 1960s. He reflects that most of his cohort have achieved really well in their chosen pathways since school and puts it down to the strong academic base and range of options the college provided when it was formed. “Taking on the name and vision of Sir Āpirana Ngata created a new pathway for our community,” says Timoti of the school’s origins. Ngata Memorial College’s history – detailed on the school’s website – outlines how the people of Ngāti Porou

met in Uepohatu Hall in August 1958 and expressed to the Department of Education their wish for a college in Ruatoria offering full opportunities for the advancement of Ngāti Porou. “For many years Sir Āpirana Ngata, his tribal elders, and the parents, had sought full post-primary education for their children, offering full professional courses leading to the highest realms of scholarship, agricultural, industrial, commercial and home science courses leading to the highest positions in all spheres of vocation and in all walks of life,” states the school’s website.

Bright future

Sir Āpirana Ngata was a Ngāti Porou leader and devoted to the education and progress of Māori youth. The school’s motto, ‘E tipu, e rea, mo nga ra o tou ao!’, which means ‘Grow up in the days destined to you!’, is embedded in the identity of Ngāti Porou and consequently Ngata Memorial College. Timoti says the school had lost sight of this pathway and academic options were not visible in the school’s curriculum or valued in the school community. “Like any school, we’ve had our ups and downs and we went through a particularly difficult patch.” Following a lengthy period of statutory management, the new board has now been at the helm for two years. They’ve taken innovative measures and redirected resourcing into areas of teaching and learning that will provide both academic and vocational pathways for students. Timoti is excited about the future of the college. “The future’s getting brighter by the day,” he says. “There are a whole lot of good things happening, not just in the school, but in our wider community.”

Local curriculum

The school is working closely with its community to implement a strong local curriculum, one that supports Māori students to achieve as Māori in their chosen pathways.

Ngata Memorial College senior students were pleased to return to school after lockdown.


Education Gazette

In recent years, in response to a shrinking roll, the school had placed an emphasis on external providers, including sending half its secondary students to Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) – a four-hour round trip to Gisborne and back. While this was a good option for some students, the school recognised that many would benefit from remaining at school to pursue a variety of relevant, highquality courses. So they reduced the number of students attending courses at EIT to around 10, and in the process freed up more resource to be spent on staffing and offering more subjects at school.

Current Board of Trustees chair, Timoti Maru.

Diverse staff

This has allowed them to recruit additional staff, including teachers who have returned from overseas and international staff, complementing local Ngāti Porou staff. Timoti speaks highly of the staff they have in place. “When I went to school, teachers had to complete two years of rural service. We had a constant stream of new blood and new ideas. In more recent years the school has lost some of that diversity I think.” Therefore, the focus has been on employing staff who share in the vision for the school and add to the diverse range of skills. Just 15 percent of the original staff remain, with the new staff including Ngāti Porou teachers, Kiwi teachers returning from overseas, and international teachers. “We currently have teachers with doctorates in sciences and maths from the Philippines,” says Timoti. He says some students who were not engaged in their learning previously, are flourishing. “I’m thrilled to bits with what’s happening in those departments,” he says. Teachers who aren’t Ngāti Porou have been supported with learning about the area’s local history and kaupapa. “This has seen our Filipino science teacher running a Matariki project and our maths teacher from London joining in the kapa haka group. “The East Coast has an historical richness, from Sir Āpirana Ngata to Victoria Cross recipients, to members of the Māori Battalion. We can engage with that. It is more relevant to teach our students the dynamics of Te Tiriti and Māori land law at Year 9 than history they can’t connect to,” says Peter. Similarly, in hard technology, Year 9 students are benefitting from the sculpting expertise of their teacher and renovating gates of local marae and urapā. In food tech, a qualified marae caterer is helping students prepare kai for hangi. It’s about making lessons engaging and relevant, says Peter. As most staff are bilingual, te reo Māori is embedded in day-to-day lessons and school life.

“Education is the answer and getting our community on board is key.” Timoti Maru

SPARX is an online game to help young people cope with feeling down, worried or stressed. SPARX is FREE - all you need is a computer, tablet or mobile with an internet connection.

Boosting attendance and engagement

And it’s having a positive impact on roll growth, with student numbers increasing in the past year from 80 to 97. “Even though these are small numbers in terms of overall, that’s an increase of 25 percent. Attendance has gone up from 64 percent to 84 percent over the year,” says Peter.

18 October 2021

New! SPARX V2 out now!



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Head prefect Anahera Palmer.

The board has released money to upgrade school furniture so the learning environments are flexible and fit-for-purpose. Peter also points to increasing engagement from whānau with the school’s Facebook page as another indicator. “Our community really wants to engage. They need to know that they’re listened to. “A big thing people remark on is that our students are happy. As teachers, we get very much focused on academic achievement, but a parent’s focus is on students being happy. And we find happy students are the ones who are going to succeed anyway. You’re not going to do well at school if you’re not enjoying it.”

Expanding horizons

A student’s enjoyment of school can be enhanced by new experiences, something Ngata Memorial College is working hard to provide for its students. After a long period without competitive sport, the school has invested in sports equipment and is working with local schools to start sports competitions up again. It is also engaging with the Spirit of Adventure Trust and Outward Bound about scholarships for their students. Prior to lockdown, Peter took six boys down to Dunedin for the National Area School Sports Tournament. “Along with the sports, we also visited some of the Māori memorials down there and tourist sites; they got to see university life in action. It’s just an opportunity to see that it’s something they could do.” The school’s NCEA students were also set to visit Wellington as part of an experience provided by Nōna Te Ao Charitable Trust. The week-long visit, which was to include visiting Parliament, universities and Weta Workshop, was initially postponed because of Wellington’s earlier lockdown this year. “It was postponed to this week, but now we’re in lockdown, so they’ve unfortunately missed that opportunity. But the Trust is going to provide mentoring going forward.”


Education Gazette

Recently 19 final-year medical students visited the school as part of the Tairāwhiti Interprofessional Education Programme, which brings senior pre-registration students from different health disciplines together to gain experience in rural New Zealand. Year 10 students Rupuha Maihi and Te Rarua Morrell reported that the visit “really opened a door into the future for us, giving us an idea of the careers we can follow if we work hard”. Waikato University and Rural Health Careers are also supportive of the school and helping to show students from Year 9, and sometimes those in the primary years, what options are available to them. “It’s about lifting aspirations. It’s about normalising the different pathways students can take,” says Peter. “Our children may well choose to stay in local jobs, but it’s about giving them different opportunities.”

Anahera’s pathway

Head prefect Anahera Palmer is relishing the chance to pursue an academic pathway. She is working towards achieving University Entrance and has her sights set on a career in business and finance. She is young for her year and is considering taking a gap year between school and university, using the year to study a finance course at EIT before embarking on a degree. “We’re lucky to have so many opportunities in such a rural setting,” she says. “You’d think that there would be fewer options available because we’re so rural but I’ve had heaps of contact from universities with information and scholarship opportunities.” Anahera is pleased things are changing for the school and community. “I think sometimes it’s hard to break away from what has been the norm for so long, from what has happened before you, but it’s good that there are now opportunities to let us do that.” She’s aware that she and her peers are paving the way for those coming behind her. “It’s a big responsibility to be in an area school, and have

younger students look up to you.” Anahera says she’s been keeping up with her schoolwork during Alert Level 4, making the most of Zoom lessons, but she’s looking forward to getting back to school. “Face to face is so much better.”

Whakawhanaungatanga during lockdown

Realities of lockdown

Peter says it is a challenge keeping children connected with school and learning during lockdown. He says many parts of the student body are engaged, including UE students like Anahera, and particularly the primary students. However, paid work beckons for some of the secondary students. He admires the resilience of the students and their whānau; it’s a value that is particularly evident at a testing time like lockdown. “You see the pictures online and on the news of students working at home. The reality of a rural Decile 1 community is that some of our families live up a valley without reception or power. Some of our families don’t have mains electricity. “That said, we keep putting stuff out there. We’re doing daily Zoom lessons for our students. And we connect through Messenger, email, Facebook. It’s about keeping them connected. So, excluding the NCEA students, if students are doing an hour or two a day of learning, that’s fine. As long as they feel they’re still a part of school and as long as their families can also feel that there’s opportunity for their children to keep on succeeding, then that’s great.” Timoti says the board and wider community are very appreciative of the efforts of the staff and leadership. “I wish there was more we could do to show just how grateful we are, especially at challenging times like Covid.” Timoti and Peter agree the school goes hand in hand with its community. “We need to find people with the skillsets and the drive across the community to better engage students and parents in daily life and education. Most are supportive but there’s an element of needing a lot of care, love and support. Education is the answer and getting our community on board is key,” says Timoti.

Snapshot of the past Before Ngata Memorial College was established in 1959, many students from the Ruatoria area attended Manutahi School. This short film, produced in 1947, gives a glimpse of school life back then. Reference: Ross Calman, ‘Māori education – mātauranga - The native schools system, 1867 to 1969’, Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 11 October 2021).

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As the people of Ngāti Porou demonstrate, the collective strength and resilience of Māori communities gives their schools and kura an advantage that all can learn from. There are many other great examples across Aotearoa, but here are a small handful: At Tāneatua School, principal Marama Stewart says the Ngai Tūhoe community was amazing during the Covid period last year and rallied to make sure all whānau were supported. “We must have been one of the best-fed communities in the country during Covid,” she reflects. In Taranaki, a week prior to lockdown in 2020, the tumuaki of all the Kura Kaupapa Māori, Te Aho Matua ki Taranaki, came together to discuss and share ideas of how they could help and support each other, their tamariki and their whānau whānui. Ngapera Moeahu, tumuaki of Te Kura ō Ngaruahinerangi, shares how they surveyed their whānau to gauge their needs, including devices and connectivity. They organised wellness packs, and set up daily karakia sessions and learning opportunities. Ngapera says they are totally committed to ensuring the wellbeing of the kura whānau. “Manaakitanga is what we as Māori do well. This was our main priority before anything else. If it is anything we know, we know our whānau well.” Parents agree. One said: “Our kura is at the top of the ball game as we are delivering kai and looking after the whānau. Our kaiako go over and above their professional duties. I want to say ‘thank you’ to our kura for our parcels that arrived this morning. We really needed it. We were so thankful.” Meanwhile in Tāmaki Makaurau, whānau benefitted from the support of Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei, who reached out to their 5,500 hapū members across Aotearoa, and around the world, during lockdown last year. They provided devices and support as needed. Rangimarie Hunia, chief executive of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Māia, explains: “Our response was a hapū effort. We all figured out how we were going to support our families during one of the most unprecedented times of our generation.”

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Understand, Know, Do:

a framework to inspire deep and meaningful learning The New Zealand Curriculum refresh is underway, signalling a major next step in the development of our national curriculum. In this article, we explore some of the changes, including Understand, Know and Do – the new framing in Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content.

The AOTEAROA installation project is part of Sylvia Park School’s ‘Aotearoa: Our Story: Nau Mai, Haere Mai’ inquiry.


Education Gazette


he purpose of The New Zealand Curriculum refresh, including the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content, is to inspire and guide the kind of learning that will enable young people to be confident, connected, and actively involved members of society; the kind of learning that will support them and their communities to thrive. A key consideration in refreshing our national curriculum is the need to enable schools and teachers to understand and give effect to national aspirations, while at the same time providing enough flexibility to be responsive to what ākonga, whānau, iwi and community see as important.

Journey to today’s curriculum refresh

There has long been a focus on delivering a broad and balanced national curriculum, although its content and structure has varied over the years to reflect society’s changing views about what is important for young people’s learning. From 1961 to 1986, content-focused syllabuses, guidelines and textbooks prescribed what teachers should teach, with a focus on subject mastery measured by tests and exams. The 1980s saw the development of a draft of New Zealand’s first national curriculum but it was sidelined by the reform of the administration of education in 1989 and by a change of government in 1990.  Curriculum development resumed in 1991 and New Zealand shifted to an outcomes-focused curriculum design. It was thought that a focus on outcomes would lead to more equitable patterns of achievement because it would give schools the flexibility to try different approaches to teaching, while keeping a focus on the outcomes that mattered.

Dual curricula were developed to reflect Māorimedium and English-medium pathways.

Overarching vision

In 2007, The New Zealand Curriculum as we know it today was born, with its overarching vision, and description of the essential nature of each learning area. Learning areas remained divided into eight levels with each level made up of achievement objectives that outlined what was to be achieved. The levels were only loosely associated with years at school as it was expected that, within any classroom, students would be working at a range of levels and progressing at their own pace. The Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation in 2018 captured 43,000 New Zealanders’ hopes and aspirations for ākonga. Equipped with this information, a Ministerial Advisory Group investigated Curriculum, Progress and Achievement in 2018-2019. Their fundamental question was: how do we strengthen the use of the national curriculum in understanding and supporting all ākonga to progress and achieve, and enriching their opportunities to learn? The group identified that significant changes to the national curriculum were needed to make it equitable and fit for purpose and the future, with a clear commitment to upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi. “We are focussed on improving equity and excellence in an education system that serves and grows diverse learners,” says Pauline Cleaver, Ministry of Education’s Associate Deputy Secretary, Curriculum, Pathways & Progress. “It’s best captured by the idea that ‘the curriculum fits the child’. We want to help make sure that every learner leaves school with the skills, capabilities, and knowledge they need for success in work and life.”

“When we deliver equally on these [Understand, Know and Do], our students will be informed. They will be active and passionate learners who will go on to make a difference in the world.” Barbara Ala’alatoa

18 October 2021

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Framing learning

The draft Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content signals a move from an outcomes-focused curriculum to a progression-focused curriculum, one that recognises ways in which learners’ knowledge, understanding, and capabilities grow and deepen over time. The ‘Understand, Know, Do’ structure encompasses: » Understand: the big ideas » Know: rich contexts for exploring the big ideas » Do: practices that bring rigour to learning Each of these elements has a separate focus. They don’t need to be used in a certain sequence, instead they enhance each other. Students deepen their understanding of the big ideas as they explore the context (know) using the critical inquiry practices (do). When the three threads are woven together, they create the learning all ākonga should get the opportunity to experience, learning that cannot be left to chance. The Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content is structured this way to help teachers design learning experiences that weave these elements together so that student learning is deep and meaningful. The ‘Understand, Know, Do’ framing will be applied to all learning areas as they are refreshed, making it easier for teachers to explore opportunities to integrate across curriculum areas.

‘Understand, Know, Do’ in action

Barbara Ala’alatoa, principal of Sylvia Park School in Auckland, says ‘Understand, Know and Do’ has always been a fundamental part of their inquiry process.





Education Gazette

The big ideas

“’Understand’, ‘know’ and ‘do’ are of equal importance; they need each other,” says Barbara. “Any understanding, any inquiry that is absent of knowledge – the ‘know’ – runs the risk of being fluff, and any inquiry that is absent of the big and enduring and connecting ideas – the ‘understand’ – runs the risk of being irrelevant to our learners in the here and now. “Any inquiry that is absent of the practices that bring rigour to learning – the ‘do’ part – runs the risk of not motivating, challenging and engaging our learners, let alone inspiring them to act on what they’ve learned. When we deliver equally on these, our students will be informed. They will be active and passionate learners who will go on to make a difference in the world,” she explains. Barbara describes how the ‘Understand, Know, Do’ framing was incorporated into an inquiry Sylvia Park School did in 2018 called ‘Keep calm and carry on: how do we deal with conflict?’. The knowledge component drew on the 100-year commemoration of World War I and they developed an inquiry question that aimed to make World War I relevant to learners: how do we deal with and respond to conflict? “Now that’s something everybody can connect to. Learners could make comparisons to stories about reaching agreements to end conflicts, or ways in which people supported each other through conflict. Suddenly, World War I meant something to them. It also gave the learners a sense of connection, identity and belonging by learning about and relating to a really important event, in our place, Aotearoa. “However, it’s one thing to know what students will learn in terms of knowledge and big understandings


Rich contexts for exploring the big ideas

Practices that bring rigour to learning

that cannot be left to chance

that might be developed. It’s quite another thing to develop ways in which learners will develop strategies to process and truly engage in their learning in a way that will bring about deep understanding and active participation. “And that is why I’m really excited to see the ‘do’ part of the ‘understand, know, do’ framing, and the discussion relating to the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum.” Barbara says the ‘do’ part is an essential part of learning. “These are processes by which we ensure that students develop multiple perspectives on a controversial perspective; that they’ve sourced valid and reliable information from a whole range of sources, not just the ones they like. “They’ve sorted and synthesised ideas, actions or events that they’ve had to compare and contrast; knowledge and ideas that they’ve actively constructed or reconstructed; and events or scenarios. And [these processes ensure] that they’ve taken action as a result of this rigorous learning they’ve undertaken. “The thing about the ‘do’ part of the framework is that it helps us to ensure maximum contribution and participation in their learning as well as a consideration of what they will do as a result of their learning,” concludes Barbara.

Sylvia Park School principal Barbara Ala’alatoa says the Understand, Know, Do framework is a fundamental part of their inquiry process.

Listen to the podcast with Sylvia Park School principal Barbara Ala’alatoa talking about the ‘Understand, Know, Do’ framework in action.

National curriculum refresh Over the next five years, Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga, the Ministry of Education, is undertaking a refresh of the national curriculum, which includes The New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa. Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories and Te Takanga o Te Wā mark the first step towards the changes in the respective curriculum documents. Information on the refresh of The New Zealand Curriculum can be found at, and on the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa at

18 October 2021

To help with your implementation journey, regardless of what stage you are at, support guides and resources are available at School leaders can use the poutama with their teachers to identify where they are at and identify their next step: ‘Supporting school leaders to understand and plan for Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories in social sciences’.

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Murchison school at heart of its community In spite of its remote location, Murchison Area School has found many ways to play to its strengths and make the most of opportunities.


ocated between Nelson and the West Coast, Murchison was at the crossroads of the traditional Māori pounamu route but historically had no Māori settlement. The discovery of gold and the search for grazing land were the initial driving forces behind the establishment of the township of Hampden, later renamed Murchison. Developing a settlement in wild, inhospitable, isolated country was slow. In 1882 local legend (gold miner, hotelier and storekeeper) George Fairweather Moonlight offered a “commodious building for a school” and the Nelson Education Board received a request to constitute Hampden as a separate district and build a house for a teacher.

Region and roll growth

Today Murchison is growing, with people relocating from Nelson, 90 minutes away, and beyond to buy cheaper land and new enterprises moving into town and providing even more employment opportunities, says Murchison Area School principal Andy Ashworth. The roll at the Year 1-13 school has grown from 129 to 180 students over the past five years – and it’s not only due to an increased population. “I came here five years ago,” says Andy. “We completely revamped the senior curriculum so our students know they can stay here, go to university if they want. We also have

Senior leaders Brooke and Luke have attended Murchison Area School since they were five years old.


Education Gazette

“That’s one of the beauties of area schools – there’s so much scope – there’s nowhere to hide in an area school. There’s a huge sense of responsibility from Day 1.” Sarah Peacock

very contextualised pathways, so every student will leave to employment or further education and we have a 100 percent record in that.” In the past, a handful of students would typically leave the school after Year 8 to attend boarding school. But that’s changed. Students now opt to complete their secondary years at Murchison Area School, says Andy. Some of the school’s facilities, which include a cooking block recently discovered to have been converted from a relocated old church, are dated. But about $4.5 million has been spent on upgrades in the last three years, including a new science laboratory, and work is about to begin on a new technology block. There will also be more new classrooms to cater for the roll growth – 200 students are expected next year. There are more than 60 under-five-year-olds in the community, who will soon swell junior class numbers.

Strengths of an area school

Andy says while there are challenges in running a school for five- to 18-year-olds, there are many advantages as well. Teachers have the flexibility to teach across the school and when recruiting new staff, he looks for teachers who are multi-skilled. “For example, two years ago, I appointed a science teacher. She’s a primary teacher by trade, but a science specialist. She now teaches science up to NCEA Level 3, but she also teaches science to our younger kids. It’s a huge strength that we can offer our students something like this. “They have access to the facilities and specialist staff that they wouldn’t get elsewhere. It means our primary students can do activities they would not get the chance to do in a straight primary school. The teacher enjoys having that variety as well,” says Andy. The school takes a restorative approach to any behaviour management issues, creating an emotionally safe environment so children can focus on learning. Such issues are rare, confirms Andy. “Having whole families here – and in some cases generations of families – actually chills everything out.”

Andy Ashworth says there are challenges and advantages at an area school.

Individualised pathways

Because of small class sizes in Years 11-13, Andy says individualised specialist pathways can be developed for each student, and many students complete NCEA Level 3 by the end of year 12. Wendy Thomason joined the staff in 1987, and was head of science and of the secondary school. She now looks after distance learning and the Gateway programme two days a week.

18 October 2021

Roll growth will see new classrooms at Murchison Area School.

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“Our courses are geared around what an individual student wants to learn. So, if a child decides they want to do health science, if I can find a course somewhere like the Southern Institute of Technology, I enrol them and they do it online. They can do vocational distance learning, or academic study through Te Kura Pounamu (Correspondence School). “Now, in the senior school there may only be one or two students doing a subject, so it’s not feasible to have a teacher in front of them and they will do it in the distance room,” she explains. Deputy head boy, Luke Allen, who has been at the school since he was five, is now in Year 12, and has completed Level 3 NCEA. He currently travels to Nelson to study trades at the Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) every Friday. Next year he won’t return for Year 13, but will move to Nelson to complete a pre-trade course.

Teacher recruitment

While Murchison Area School has several long-serving staff, the remote location means the school loses about two teachers per year. “We attract really amazing teachers, sometimes straight out of uni – they might stay for a few years and develop well. Sometimes they leave with partners, although some marry locals and stay.” With different union agreements for primary and secondary teachers, Andy and his board have come up with a solution to level the playing field for beginning teachers.

“Primary school beginning teachers get one hour release time a week, secondary teachers get five hours release time as part of their contract. I made the call that we have to make that more equitable, so all of our primary staff get four days off a term, for PLD, planning and mentoring. That costs me about 0.7 of a teacher, but we swallow that because it works. Our teachers are motivated and high quality,” he explains.

Long-serving staff

Long-serving primary school teacher Adrienne Cooper arrived as a second-year primary school teacher in 1968, married a local and took time out to raise a family before moving into town and returning to teaching. She’s now teaching a third generation of tamariki. “I love seeing kids make progress, seeing the lightbulb moments, seeing the kids grow up into successful, achieving happy, well-rounded adults,” she reflects. Wendy Thomason agrees. “As secretary of the golf club, I see the ones I taught and what they’re doing with their lives. “I planned to stay for two years, but I’m still here! I think it’s because of the small, individualised teaching and the fact that you know every child from when they start as fiveyear-olds right through,” she says. “It’s lovely to see the seniors develop that independence and motivation to learn and to further their education, or to move away from town. They seem to get the confidence from being in the one school right through, although some of them come back when they have young families of their own.”

Wendy Thomason and Adrienne Cooper with two of the school’s youngest pupils.


Education Gazette

“It’s weird having been at this school since I was five. You show up at school when you’re five and you’re there for 12 years – it’s pretty cool. You get planted as a tree and you grow up!” Luke Allen

Deputy principal Sarah Peacock has been at the school for 30 years and also enjoys having a yarn and a catch-up with former pupils who have been nurtured at the area school. “That’s one of the beauties of area schools – there’s so much scope – there’s nowhere to hide in an area school. There’s a huge sense of responsibility from Day 1,” she says. Teacher aide Tessa Whitnall has a long history with the school, beginning as a five-year-old in 1954. She knows what it’s like to struggle with learning. “I’ve always learned differently – when I was at school some of the teachers used to ignore me,” she says. Tessa feels blessed to be helping children and doesn’t plan to retire while she’s healthy and able. “I love the kids – it’s so awesome. I work with the little ones mainly up to Year 4. I mainly help them with literacy and numeracy. I love the reading side of things. It’s nice to see the different things you can do.”

Student kōrero

Along with Luke, head girl Brooke Mason has been a student at Murchison Area School for 12 years. “I don’t think I would want to move schools,” she says. “I like having the structure of just staying in one school. You kind of know the school and what goes on. “I suppose it could be limiting – we couldn’t get a teacher in to do a special subject, but we have Te Kura. We get opportunities others don’t – like Spirit of New Zealand – and being a very small high school, you don’t have to compete for positions,” she says.

The best thing about attending a small school is the relationships students have with teachers, explains Brooke. “We have good, supportive teachers and I find the best thing about being in a small school is the relationships you build with teachers – it makes it so much easier having that kind of friendship,” she says. “At a smaller school, you don’t really see them as teachers. You know them as a friend, but not quite. You know a lot about them – their kids might be in your classes,” adds Luke. “It’s weird having been at this school since I was five. You show up at school when you’re five and you’re there for 12 years – it’s pretty cool. You get planted as a tree and you grow up!” he concludes.

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18 October 2021

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Supporting the community It’s a three-hour return trip to Nelson, which means it takes any agency a day to visit a child or family in need. Andy says that it’s a constant struggle and the school often has to develop DIY solutions. “One of our big battles is getting the Ministry and agencies to support our community, so we’ve had to adapt many things to work in context. “We are ultra-supportive, but we find it incredibly difficult to get agencies such as Oranga Tamariki here. I am passionate that our location doesn’t matter. We have our SENCO, plus a part-time school counsellor and a Whanake Youth worker, so we’re basically self-contained. This is not out of choice, but we’ve had to be,” explains Andy.

WORKING WITH ADULTS When Andy accepted the job in Murchison, his wife Les had thought she might retire but keep her hand in with some learning support work. “I thought I would do a day a week – that lasted about four weeks!” she laughs. With a long history in special education, social work, counselling and running an alternative education facility, Les soon found there was a lot of unmet need in the community. As the school’s SENCO, she predominantly works with adults – parents, teachers, teacher aides and other professionals. “It’s really unusual for a SENCO to work with adults, but I do that because they are the people who can make change. One of my roles is coaching parents – not how to parent, but to understand their children – I’m really clear about that. “It’s not my role to change parenting but to enable them to understand the difference for their kids, and how they can awhi themselves, so they can work with their own kids. I haven’t really stopped being a teacher or coach; I just realised that if we can coach the adults, the kids are going to be fine,” explains Les. Parents can drop in to see Les, sometimes just for a coffee and a chat; other times they might need more. “Some of it is when something has gone wrong and they need to unpack it and they can’t figure out what to do – they’re often angry and confused. I’m not a counsellor, but essentially a large part of it is a counselling, social work role.” She also provides coaching and supervision for the school’s teachers and teacher aides. “I do coaching and supervision with the teacher aides for at least two days every term. So when the teachers get PLD days, the teacher aides get them as well,” she explains.


Education Gazette

Les Ashworth enjoys the support of the community to develop solutions that help students and their whānau.

RISK-TAKING Les says she couldn’t do her job so easily without the whole-hearted support of the Board of Trustees and the community. “I’ve had so many different experiences and been so lucky with my career, but I know that when you do stuff that takes slight risks, it doesn’t work unless you have people [board, principal, teachers, students, community] around you who think in the same way. “I have an incredible board who back me and support me trying things and we can do stuff other schools can’t do,” she explains. Les is excited about the potential to use technology to help a boy who is blind and autistic and highly auditory. She has also been working with teachers to put frameworks and scaffolding in place so that children with dyslexia can access learning just like anybody else.

REMOTE INNOVATIONS As outside specialist staff may only visit occasionally, Les says they only see a ‘window’ and it’s hard for them to observe children and work with teachers. She has come up with a solution using technology. “I set up a platform and we’re using narrative assessment and videos – so videos are taken of a child engaging in something and whoever puts it up writes a narrative. But there’s an expectation that whoever else [such as parents, students, RTLBs] is involved with the child looks at it and puts the information through their own lens. I’ve only trialled it with three children so far.

“That means that a teacher aide can get ideas and explanations from a speech and language therapist, or from an occupational therapist. You have collaborative comments and then from all that information, a next step is created. It’s a live document. It’s going to benefit those kids significantly,” she says. To provide on-the-ground support, a community of practice was set up involving Les, a counsellor and a school nurse. It was distressing when the nurse left, Les says, but new support came from a Nelson DHB initiative, Whanake Youth, who are now visiting the school one day a week. “They definitely think outside the square. They’ve got access to psychologists, psychiatrists who can do some screening. Suddenly I’ve got access to a group of people who want to work collaboratively and have loads of information and expertise,” she concludes. Education Gazette will feature an article about Murchison Area School’s journey towards biculturalism and developing a localised curriculum later in 2021.

18 October 2021

A cross-curricular project saw students make these pou, which tell the Māori creation story.

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Cutting-edge digitech education in South Taranaki Principal Lorraine Williamson has marched to the beat of a different drum since she began teaching as a 19-year-old in Hawke’s Bay in the 1970s. Now she’s leading a small rural school in South Taranaki that offers cutting-edge digitech opportunities to its 200 Year 1-8 students.

Alex, Ben and Sahan with the laser cutter.


Education Gazette


punake in South Taranaki, population 1,400, is a surf town: a rural service town with State Highway 45 running through the middle. On a clear day, Mt Taranaki looms in the northeast. Small and dynamic with energy and enthusiasm to burn, Lorraine Williamson has been principal at Opunake Primary School for 20 years. “The school started as decile 2 when I began the job. There were some significant mergers – a lot of the rural schools closed down and Opunake Primary School was the hub – we’re a Decile 6 now. “Opunake went through a period where people came for lifestyle, but lots of people own holiday homes here now so there’s a significant housing shortage in the town,” she says. Opunake Primary school was built for 500-600 children and the warren of old-style classrooms could do with modernising. But the school has a cutting-edge digital technology ‘suite’ and boasts two types of laser cutters, 3D printers and a greenscreen room. Lorraine says years of saving and investing in the Taranaki Savings Bank and grants from the bank have enabled the school to have money to spend on the pricey equipment.

Different times

“It was very different when I started teaching,” says Lorraine. “We had chalkboards, no computers, lots of book learning and worksheets.” “There are a lot of students who we can’t look at as ‘one size fits all’. Even when I first started teaching, there were students who would have found it difficult to sit at their desks all day in a straight line, as we used to do. I was always looking for opportunities to motivate those students and really get them hooked into their learning,” she says. Even as a new teacher, Lorraine found different ways to teach, one time dragging an old wardrobe into her classroom. “We were reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe so I bought an old wardrobe and set it up in the corner of the classroom and the kids used to go through the wardrobe and dress up and do acting and drama behind the wardrobe and some of the older teachers used to think it was a bit OTT.” Lorraine moved to Taranaki in 1990, where she was principal 10 kilometres up the road at Te Kiri School for seven years. She says her philosophy of teaching hasn’t really changed over those years. “Te Kiri was a two-teacher school; I taught the Year 3-8s. We’d pack up all our desks and put them in the pool shed and have little cardboard boxes for our stuff and we’d work all over the floor,” she remembers.

Principal Lorraine Williamson.

“We have exposed them to a variety of different learning experiences and a way of thinking that means they can be successful at whatever they want to do.” Andrew Lodge

Digitech road trip

Fast forward to 2014 when Lorraine and colleagues Jarad Chittenden and Heath Chittenden, principals of Auroa and Matapu Schools, found themselves throwing money at old Windows technology that wasn’t performing for them.

18 October 2021

Andrew Lodge and students.

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Phillip and Kitty in the school's workshop.

They decided to go on an Apple road tour of schools in Auckland and Tauranga. They were challenged by tour guide and e-Learning facilitator Stuart Hale to brain dump their ideas into a Google Doc. “We all went, ‘What’s a Google doc?’,” remembers Lorraine. The result was the MOA Kluster, comprising Matapu, Opunake and Auroa schools, with Kaponga School joining and adding the ‘K’ to ‘Kluster” at a later date. Three of the schools went onto an Apple platform to share the expertise and cost. The schools in the cluster are now 1:1 iPad schools. “We looked at teacher pedagogy – what do we have to do to upskill our staff? So, we all shared the expense of bringing Stuart down to work with staff. We had not a single iPad or iMac in the school. Initially we bought about 50 devices and we thought we were Christmas. Nobody could use them! “One of Stuart’s suggestions is the only way you can


Education Gazette

change teacher pedagogy is to give them the tools and get them using them. So our Board bought an iPad for every teacher. We upskilled the teachers and then looked at what we could do that was going to up the ante on teachers and students so that we don’t just become a fly-by-night thing. So we decided to set up the MOA Awards,” explains Lorraine.

Red carpet event

The MOA Awards are held in Opunake’s Events Centre, which has been filled to capacity for three years running, with all 1000 $2 tickets sold. The competition includes movie making, animation, photography and graphic design. Winning entries can be seen on the school’s website “We ran the MOA Awards like the Academy Awards. People were gobsmacked – we had red carpet, kids being picked up in classic cars in their best bib and tucker – it’s very slick.

“We don’t have the capacity for all the people to attend, so we also decided to have the STEM showcase, because then we can spread the parents over a whole day instead of just the evening event,” she explains. In 2019 the STEM showcase, featuring the four MOA Kluster schools, 35 teachers and 616 students, was attended by 1271 whānau and people from the community.

Digital journey

Lorraine and some colleagues attended International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conferences in Denver and Chicago in 2016 and 2018 and were disappointed they couldn’t go to the event in Los Angeles in 2020 because of Covid-19. “This conference is probably the size of three rugby fields. What we saw was a window into the future of what technology looked like: they are very creative in the States, and they are ahead of us with technology,” she says. In the beginning, the digital journey of the South Taranaki cluster of schools was based around digital literacy in an authentic context. Lorraine’s philosophy of allowing children to immerse themselves in exploring learning has always been front and center of her approach and she says digital tools should enable creativity. “We started exploring things like computational thinking because we were looking for the ‘glue’ that sticks everything together – it’s not about the devices but how you use them. “

Authentic learning

American academic James Beane argues that if educators want to give students genuine student agency, they have to ask what their concerns and issues are about themselves and the world both now and in the future, says Lorraine. Senior teacher Andrew Lodge says that, as much as possible, activities are integrated into a real-life context, whether it be looking at local, national or global issues.

Bede gets creative with Lego.



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18 October 2021

Claudia Kelly Future Legends Scholarship Winner 2021

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“The idea is to give them a lot of different skills in their toolbox – both hands-on equipment and the way in which they can think and apply skills to help solve problems. It’s great that we have a lot of equipment but we need to be able to give the students opportunities to develop their computational thinking skills to apply the technology to solve problems. “An example of this was during our ‘Experiencing marine reserves’ work, where students were using a whole lot of different media and technology such as a laser cutter, Google Apps, iMovie, Minecraft, book making, visual art and digital drawing to share what they have learnt with the school and community,” explains Andrew.

Preparing for the future

Walk around Opunake Primary School with Lorraine and you’ll see that small children are drawn to her like to a magnet. After 44 years in the profession, she still loves teaching and is passionate about providing wide-ranging opportunities for children. “I say to the teachers, these kids get one crack at it. There’s very limited employment in Opunake; most of our parents work at factories in Eltham and Hawera. Other employment is local shops, cafes, the local schools. Once they are here, what can we do to give them the best shot at life that they can possibly have. I’m really quite passionate

about that: I think that school needs to be more than just reading, writing and maths,” she says. Andrew agrees that it’s important for children from small rural schools to have the kind of opportunities provided at Opunake Primary School. “We live in an ever-changing world, which has become more extreme with the problems arising around Covid-19. For me, it is about giving them exposure to ideas, experiences and a way of thinking that is going to help them as they leave here for high school and then look to enter the workforce. “Who knows what these kids will be doing as a job when they are 20, 30 or 50? I want our kids to have confidence, so that they won’t be afraid to go to a city for university, or try to get into a skilled trade to do what they want with their life because we have exposed them to a variety of different learning experiences and a way of thinking that means they can be successful at whatever they want to do,” says Andrew.

Read this story online for extended interviews about Opunake Primary School and a video: Building Curious New Zealanders.

“We started exploring things like computational thinking because we were looking for the ‘glue’ that sticks everything together – it’s not about the devices but how you use them.” Lorraine Williamson

Teacher Daniel Barr with tamariki.

Te Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories

Results from the public consultation now available Thank you to the thousands of people who shared your thoughts on Te Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum content. The diverse feedback that we heard from New Zealanders has been invaluable. We can now share with you what we heard, what the key themes were and how we’ve responded to that feedback.

Read the reports and find out more at


Warm, rich memories from long history of Te Kura Over the past 100 years The Correspondence School has undergone some remarkable transformations.


s New Zealand’s largest school and the largest state sector distance education provider in the compulsory education sector, Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) has a unique place in the country’s educational and social history. Te Kura has been an education lifeline for many communities in its 100-year history. In 1922, The Correspondence School was established to provide lessons to approximately 100 isolated primary school children scattered throughout New Zealand. In April 1929, The Christchurch Press reported: “To meet the needs of pupils who live in places too remote to be conveniently able to attend a secondary school, the Education Department has introduced secondary school correspondence classes. Primary correspondence classes

have been in operation for some years and have proved very successful.” Today, just 500 out of a total 23,000 pupils live in remote locations like Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds and the Chatham Islands. Te Kura’s transformation over the past 100 years has taken it from The Correspondence School, largely responsible for the education of students in remote locations, to Te Kura, an online distance educator, where half the roll is ākonga Māori, and many full-time students are considered to be at risk of disengaging from education. A rich collection of taonga, including film, photographs and letters between teachers and pupils, brings Te Kura’s history to life.

Kathryn Stirling showing her mother examples of her work at Braemar Station, Aoraki/Mt Cook.


Education Gazette

Early days

From the beginning, the relationship between teachers and their pupils was integral. Based in an office in Government Buildings in Wellington, the school’s first teacher, Miss Janet MacKenzie, had the task of single-handedly guiding the school through its first year in 1922. At 45, she had a wide and varied teaching background, with experience in country schools. Speaking 30 years later, Janet recalled that in the early days the pupils had very little help compared with what would later become available. “Plenty of difficulties you see, and too much that was dull, both for the pupils and for their mothers. But how they worked, those girls and boys and mothers! By the end of the first year, they had shown that children could learn, and could make satisfactory progress, through lessons by post.” Demand for the service exceeded expectations and by the end of 1922, Janet had enrolled the first 347 students and a second teacher was employed towards the end of the year. In 1923 the first headmaster was appointed.

Relationships important

Through the decades, teachers would pay an annual visit to their pupils. They might hitch a ride with local grocers, row across estuaries, ford streams or drive across remote country roads. A 1957 nostalgia-drenched film A Letter to the Teacher shows The Correspondence School ‘in action’ with footage of the staff in Wellington and the teaching role of the parent – usually the mother – and a visit to a remote family by a teacher. The film was shown in theatres throughout the country and nominated for inclusion in the Berlin Film Festival. Letters were an important lifeline and Janet MacKenzie was no doubt thrilled to receive a tribute from a grateful parent: ‘Thank you very much for your kind interest in my girlie. I was beginning to despair of her ever doing anything with her lessons, as she never seemed to take the slightest interest in them. Then your letter came and did more than I ever could. The tears were very near the surface when she finished reading it… it is really wonderful how the correspondence scheme has taken on, and it certainly fills a long-felt want, as education has been the one great drawback in the backblocks.”

In the 1940s, the Correspondence School provided broadcast te reo Māori lessons. Here ākonga from Te Waipounamu Girls’ College were taking dictation during a Correspondence School te reo lesson.

“Thank you very much for your kind interest in my girlie. I was beginning to despair of her ever doing anything with her lessons ... Then your letter came and did more than I ever could … it certainly fills a long-felt want, as education has been the one great drawback in the back-blocks.” Grateful parent

Wide ranging success

In 1939, the assistant director of education, Dr Clarence Beeby, reported that his department was continually receiving enquiries for information about the running of The Correspondence School from all parts of the world. “Only a few weeks ago the department had an enquiry from Finland. The authorities there were investigating the question of establishing a correspondence school for refugee children from Spain,” he said.

18 October 2021

Kathryn Stirling collecting the mailbag at her remote home near Aoraki Mount Cook.

Tukutuku Kōrero


The familiar upbeat music that prefaced Correspondence School radio programmes played in remote homes and schools up and down the country introduced a 1992 programme about the 1947/8s polio pandemic. Various former students and teachers shared recollections of the school closures during the 1948 polio epidemic and the institution of The Correspondence School curriculum. Several students recalled Correspondence School homework, their isolation from school and friends and the extended school holidays. The school had also played a role during an earlier polio epidemic and two serious outbreaks of influenza. A 1956 film about The Correspondence School featured a range of adult students who studied with the school, including public service employees, residents of Pacific Island nations, new migrants and prisoners. Books and supplies were dispatched from a warehouse in Petone. “There were ‘pickers’ who would scan a book and send it out, also science equipment, art supplies etc,” says Te Kura chief executive, Mike Hollings. “We would send out pigs’ ears and clippers for agriculture courses. Often the clippers wouldn’t be returned, or less expensive ones returned from the farm. Beautiful woodwork sets with hammers, nails and saws were also sent out,” he remembers.

including having its own broadcasting suite up until the 1990s, and now through a digital environment. In 2011, Te Kura stepped into the breach when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck the Canterbury region on 22 February. For the first time, Te Kura made many learning resources available online and sent thousands of booklets to learning hubs in Christchurch, which enabled students to continue their schooling. In September 2020, Cabinet approved funding of up to $2.7 million for the Ministry of Education to expand existing Te Kura services to Auckland NCEA students during Covid-19 Level 4 lockdowns, and during the most recent lockdown in 2021, a new emergency enrolment gateway was created to support students affected by the Covid-19 disruptions. Te Kura has also run its Summer School for the past seven years to help students who require a few NCEA credits to progress to further study, training or employment. To celebrate Te Kura’s centenary, Education Gazette will feature an article in early 2022 about Te Kura today.

Winds of change

For almost 80 years the school stood firm; confident in its purpose and boosted by the sure knowledge that exam results showed its students were not disadvantaged. However, the winds of educational change – the Tomorrow’s Schools reforms, along with upheaval in New Zealand’s economic fortunes – brought worrying times for the school, with a dwindling number of children living in isolated areas, and a significant drop in national exam pass rates, largely due to the enrolment of increasing numbers of disaffected students. In 2004, the Government described the school as “an 80-year-old New Zealand icon”, but said it was time to explore repositioning the school, so it more effectively met the needs of students in the 21st century. At that time the school provided distance education at early childhood, primary and secondary level to more than 20,000 students, about half of whom were also enrolled at other institutions. Today, Te Kura is regionalised with learning advisors and teachers grouped into five regional teams and offices throughout Aotearoa. Te Ara Pounamu, Te Kura’s curriculum, provides better individual support, flexible real-world learning based on a student’s interests, passions and potential, and the ability to learn where and when they like.

Remote learning expertise

Mike Hollings says that from the beginning The Correspondence School has been at the forefront of different forms of remote learning from postal to audio,


Education Gazette

Letters to younger students helped to build close relationships with their teachers.

Read this article online to enjoy a selection of video and audio that celebrate the history of Te Kura.

The school in Wellington was a hive of activity, with a large number of support staff in charge of dispatching lessons and resources, such as science equipment and woodwork sets.


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18 October 2021

Tukutuku Kōrero


High country learning Three generations of the Aspinall family from Mt Aspiring Station were educated through The Correspondence School. The Matukituki River and a 50-kilometre-long gravel road to Wanaka imposed some isolation for the Aspinall family. But today, the family home has been relocated and the latest generation of the family attend school in Wanaka due to improved roading and transport.

and the teacher and the inspector had to walk through. They were in their Wellington clothes but they took it in good heart. I gave them lunch and we got on with the day and I remember they spent quite a bit of time with the kids,” remembers Sue.

Amy, who married the first farming Aspinall, Jack, supervised her children’s correspondence education and early examples of their work appeared in the school’s annual magazine, The Postman, in the 1920s.

Sue’s son, Randall Aspinall, was a student from 1986-1993. His experience of distance education differs from that of his father’s generation.

Her daughter-in-law, Phyllis Aspinall, supervised her four children’s education during the 1960s and 70s. Her commitment to The Correspondence School included many years as a member of the Parents’ Association.

“My sisters, Catie and Rachal, and I are the third generation in the family to do correspondence. We had it much easier than my father and his father. When they were school age, the house was on the other side of the river and it was much more difficult to get into town,” recalls Randall.

Phyllis’s daughter-in-law, Sue, who married her oldest son, John, also came to terms with the difficulties of highcountry living. A trained teacher, she supervised her three children’s education for 14 years. She says she knew only a little about The Correspondence School at that time.

“It was very flexible doing correspondence – I remember doing some of the work out on the farm. I think the flexibility of it became ingrained and must have helped towards how I feel today that if you get stuck in and get things done you get rewarded.

“Generally, I thought it was a wonderful institution for distance families – although I had no idea what that ‘distance’ meant before I married John!”

“Mum was a trained teacher and we did our lessons from 8am-12am every day. If you worked really hard and did all your work in three days, you would have time to yourself for the rest of the week – that was the best part.

Sue says it was really special when the school’s teachers were able to visit them at Mt Aspiring, although the visits were not always without incident. “In 1988, the teacher came to visit us with an inspector. We’d had rain nearly every day that October and there had been a slip in the lagoon. John went down to meet them,

“Being part of The Correspondence School – there is a feeling that it’s a bit different – people are usually interested if they know that’s what you did. The Correspondence School is a bit of an icon in the high country and other remote areas – it was part of what we did,” he says.

Randall and Sue Aspinall at Mt Aspiring Station.


Education Gazette

Preparing for end-of-year exams in NCEA English, Maths or Science? Get help and exam advice from other students and facilitators through the StudyIt forums:


Promising future for Buller students When devastating floods struck Westport in July this year, about 80 members of the Student Volunteer Army from Canterbury University headed north to help. They were fed and looked after by hospitality students and student volunteers from Buller High School.

Ashlee and Phoenix taking part in Buller High School's annual beach clean up.


eeding large numbers of hungry people is nothing new to the school’s Breakfast Club volunteers, who have been providing breakfast for up to 90 people daily for the past six years. So proficient is the initiative that it was awarded Breakfast Club of the Year in 2019, winning national recognition and a substantial cash prize. “The programme was initially developed because students were coming to school hungry. But we didn’t want it to be seen as a place only for people who needed food; rather we wanted it to be more a place where people meet, food just brought them together,” explains principal Andrew Basher. “Numbers were low at the beginning; however, over the last five/six years, it’s become THE place to be in the mornings. We have a group of volunteer students who run it; we also offer barista training and the barista is available for our staff and students who can have a barista coffee in the morning. We sell coffee cards to put money back into the Breakfast Club,” he says.


Education Gazette

On the menu

Andrew says that much more than ‘just Weetbix and milk’ is on the menu at the Breakfast Club. “We get a lot of food items donated – one day you could be having lasagna, apple crumble, meat pasties. Every day there’s toasted sandwiches, cereal and fruit. “Of course, this has led to a surge of interest in hospitality and being a volunteer, our hospitality numbers are through the roof. There is lots of work in the cafés in town – which are full of our kids doing parttime work,” he says. On average, the Breakfast Club feeds 50 people per day, including children from the neighbouring schools, some parents and Buller High’s senior leadership team, who meet there for breakfast once a week. Lunch packs are also made for students who want them. The club is led by head of hospitality Jude Eakin, and the school considers the initiative so valuable that a support person is funded to help run the club.

The students’ mahi can be used for assessment, but Andrew says their involvement is about much more. “We want our kids to achieve as much as possible with NCEA, but that’s not the only skill in life that students need. They need to be good adults and have a sound set of core values that they can live by. And if they can walk out the door with those, then I think we’ve done a good job,” he says.

Pathways and opportunities

Buller High School was first established as a district high school in 1899 and moved to its present site in 1922 and celebrates this centenary next year. The school continues to provide quality education by developing and maintaining a wide range of academic, vocational, recreational, sporting, and cultural courses to meet the changing needs of its community. And according to Andrew, who has been at the school for more than 20 years, Westport is on a roll and there are plenty of employment opportunities for his students if they wish to stay in the area. Ongoing work opportunities are the silver lining to the July floods, which rendered more than 100 homes unlivable. “There’s so much work here – especially in the trades. Our students are seeing that there are career opportunities in Westport. “We’ve had a lot of senior students leaving school for apprenticeships, which is great. All of a sudden, our community has a younger demographic,” says Andrew. Buller High School feeds into the West Coast Trades Academy, which is based in Greymouth, with an outpost in Westport. While the Academy’s hospitality course is offered through the high school, other courses are only available in Greymouth and once a week, a group of Year 11-13 students travels south to attend a course of their choice. “Over the years, we’ve had students study everything from childcare, hospitality, and outdoor education, to hairdressing, Māori tourism, and electrical and mechanical engineering,” explains Andrew.

Building futures

Buller High School has a strong careers and pathways department with students supported to find their interests and aspirations.

“Of course, we want them to get a qualification because that does open the most doors; and through Gateway and Trades Academy we’ve got the ability to offer individual pathways. We can design individual courses for these kids and because we know every kid by name, we know their families, it means that we have a strong interest in making sure they achieve,” says Andrew. There’s also a strong academic pathway, with about 25 percent of the school’s students heading to university, and with a strong performing Arts Department, several each year heading to Christchurch to the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts (NASDA), says Andrew. With many multi-generational families throughout the Buller, the community has a vested interest in helping its youth achieve and succeed. “The community is really supportive in everything. Even in terms of scholarships – we have a huge number of local scholarships for our students,” he says.

Values for life

Andrew hopes the school’s values, the ‘Four Rs’: responsibility, relationships, resilience and respect, are well-embedded by the time students leave school. The July floods gave students and staff an opportunity to test them. The school is an early signatory to the Student Volunteer Army and the helpers from Christchurch were joined by 20-30 volunteers from the school. “Our volunteers fed them over in the Breakfast Club and then all of them, including our students, worked together for the two days – they focused on tidying up North Beach.” “Our kids saw that there were others like them that just did things because it was a good thing to do. They learned that you don’t always need to take, you can give back to others as well,” says Andrew. Every year at prizegiving, a former student is invited to share his or her journey to inspire the next generation. “We want to make sure that our students know there is no excuse for them not to do well at our school,” says Andrew. “We have the same high expectations and well-trained teachers and staff as any other school in the country. We don’t want them to think that there are limits; we want them to be whatever they want to be.”

“We want our kids to achieve as much as possible with NCEA, but that’s not the only skill in life that students need. They need to be good adults and have a sound set of core values that they can live by. And if they can walk out the door with those, then I think we’ve done a good job.” Andrew Basher

18 October 2021

Tukutuku Kōrero


West Coast schools affected by boom and bust For more than a century, schools on the West Coast have come and gone as populations have swelled and declined. The region is now home to about 70 ghost towns – remnants of gold, coal or timber booms. There’s a photograph of two bare-footed boys and a girl in front of a corrugated iron building surrounded by mistshrouded bush. You can see the name on the building: Tirinoa School. Tirinoa, population 200-300, was a settlement during the building of the Buller Gorge Railway in the 1930s. There was a hotel, store, workshop, public works store, engine shop – and a school. On 14 June, 1916, the Greymouth Evening Star described a trip by members of the Canterbury Board of Education, which was about to take over the West Coast education districts. “Next morning the whole party drove by motor to Hokitika, having inspected the Otira School and inspecting other schools en route. These schools for the greater part showed signs of past activity only. They consisted for the most part of dilapidated sheds, shacks, and shanties, and schools, which once had boasted large numbers of pupils, could place all now attending in one or two rooms, while the unused portions of the buildings went to rack and ruin.

“This state of things must always more or less prevail upon the Coast, for the mining and sawmilling population are constantly shifting, and what today is a flourishing centre may next year be almost depopulated,” the newspaper reported.

NORTH OF WESTPORT Malcolm Gollan says his late grandmother Lorraine Mosley grew up in Corbyvale on the north side of the Karamea Bluff. In the 1920s, it was a stop on the road between Westport and Karamea (an all-day trip) and about eight families subsisted on small lifestyle blocks. “Their school was apparently the smallest in New Zealand with only eight pupils: their family made up three of those eight. Most families abandoned Corbyvale when it was cut off by the 1928 Murchison earthquake. They all had to walk out and most never returned,” writes Malcolm. The school, which was only open from 1921-1929, reopened for a year in 1945 but closed by the end of the year due to a lack of pupils. Then there was Denniston School in the coalmining township on a plateau more than 2,000 feet above sea level. The principal site of the Westport Coal Company’s extensive operations, established in 1882, was once home to more than 1,500 people. The closure of the Denniston Incline (a precipitous rail system that carried coal down from the mine) in the late 1960s slowly reduced Denniston to a ghost town.

Denniston School closed in the 1960s; it was one of many schools that closed on the West Coast as industries came and went. School children during a nature lesson, Denniston Incline, West Coast. Pascoe, John Dobree, 1908-1972: Photographic albums, prints and negatives. Ref: 1/4-001332-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.


Education Gazette

SCHOOL GARDENS In June 1920, the Greymouth Evening Star reported that a change to the curriculum had caused consternation among some of the schools on the West Coast as they felt they would have to abandon Elementary Agriculture as a school subject, along with wasted expenditure for tools and fencing school garden plots. A protest was made to the Department of Education and the response gave “great encouragement to sole teachers to give the pupils in the upper half of the school some simple instruction in scientific methods through the medium of the ‘School Garden’”. Jack’s Mill School was opened in the small saw-milling settlement of Kotuku in 1909. In 1935, headmaster Edward Darracott was appointed; he was an advocate of a new approach to education in New Zealand, which emphasised experiential learning tailored to the needs of individual children. Considered revolutionary, Darracott gave his students handson projects to teach them practical skills that would equip them for adult life. Making over the school’s garden was the first task. The school’s grounds were laid out in the form of a compass and in the 1930s, the school’s garden won the Best Garden prize for Canterbury and the West Coast. Once the garden was complete, Darracott’s philosophy of experiential learning was realised on a much more ambitious scale when he led a group of 10-12-year-old students to design, build and furnish a small bungalow, built to three-quarter size. When finished, the bungalow was fully functional, complete with electricity and running water and was used as the home economics room until the close of the school in 1955. The Department of Conservation bought Jack’s Mill School in 2004 and it was made a historic reserve. The Kotuku Heritage Society now manages the facility.


Gold brought more than 2,000 people to Lyell. Built in 1874, the school roll rose from 52, when the school opened, to 86, in Lyell's heyday. Buller River Valley, with Lyell school house. Tyree Studio: Negatives of Nelson and Marlborough districts. Ref: 10x8-0733-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22862808

Memories are long-lasting on the Coast and there are groups of community-minded people working to keep them alive. There were two schools south of Reefton and just a few kilometres apart: Blackwater School (1913-1949) and Waiuta School, which were once at the centre of their thriving communities. The town of Waiuta was built on top of the South Island’s richest gold mine. At its height 600 people lived there, with a post office, police station, hospital, school, sports ground and several churches. But when the mine shaft collapsed in 1951, the mine closed and people moved away. The Friends of Waiuta organised a reunion early in July 2021 to mark 70 years since the closure of the Blackwater mine, when the township was abandoned. Blackwater School opened in 1913 to serve the small mining, sawmilling and farming Blackwater area in the upper Grey Valley. The school still has the original desks and inkwells and a local group is fundraising to save the building before time and weather takes its toll on the 107-year-old building.

18 October 2021

“This state of things must always more or less prevail upon the Coast, for the mining and sawmilling population are constantly shifting, and what today is a flourishing centre may next year be almost depopulated.” Greymouth Evening Star, 1916

Tukutuku Kōrero



Do you have a vacancy that you would like to advertise to the education sector?

Need material to support the Aotearoa New Zealand's histories curriculum when it rolls out?

Place an advertisement in the vacancies section and reach both the passive and active jobseekers by contacting Jill Parker: 027 212 9277

Look at the Prow website ( – cultural and historical stories from Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui.

Attention Early Childhood Teachers

Each story is an engaging short article on a topic, with plenty of references and links to primary material and sources of information to support further study.

Are you rocking music time in your centre or are you stuck with Baby Shark on repeat? Thanks to the NZ Music Commission you can join Judi Cranston, award-winning children’s music educator and composer in this interactive training. For early learning professionals who want to know how to run super fun music classes that keep the kids engaged and having a blast (without spending hours trying to come up with new ideas). Learn to incorporate te Reo, props, games, instruments plus more! Starting 1 November. Pricing from $195 pp. See to register!

If you are a primary teacher, intermediate or college student wanting stories from Te Tau ihu – the Wairau Affray, Kehu, WoW, Springboks Tour and so many more – check out this website managed by the Nelson Public, Tasman and Marlborough District Libraries. We welcome suggestions for new stories. For more information contact:


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English for Academic Purposes Specialist VACANCI E S

Contribute to the development of future generations in this newly created role! » Work in one of NZs only international schools and in doing so gaining international experience without leaving NZ! » Direct Association and collaboration with one of our three university partners in New Zealand » Training opportunities in teaching EAP

School Engagement and Environmental Co-ordinator Yachting New Zealand are looking to make a big difference in both the educational and environmental spheres and need someone to help deliver that. We have created a new role for someone to oversee our new schools’ programme as well as supporting the implementation of our environmental strategy. We’re looking for an enthusiastic educator with experience in project delivery and curriculum development who also has a passion for the water and the environment. Contact

» Potential to become an educational leader in hybrid/online teaching and learning within this College and across our Australasian network of colleges » We could potentially offer a higher salary to the right candidate based on their experience level. ABOUT THE ROLE: Our newly formed Faculty of English for Academic Purposes (EAP) have a team of EAP Specialists who are passionate about English language teaching and committed to providing best learning opportunities to Foundation Studies students, while delivering the College’s vision and values of excellence, partnership, innovation, and care. Our goal is to develop and deliver an engaging, efficient, and effective EAP curriculum that prepares students for undergraduate degree programmes provided by our university partners. In this role, you will » Teach English for Academic Purposes (EAP) in an online/hybrid mode (online and face to face mixed classes), and undertake assessment and administrative responsibilities relating to your course » Collaborate with other subject teachers in design and delivery of curriculum through the medium of English while building your own knowledge of disciplinary differences » Undertake research and inquiry to learn about the latest developments in EAP as an academic area and apply them in your own teaching » Make positive contributions to the development of new innovative faculty resources for teaching and e-materials for student access. ABOUT YOU: Ideally, you will already hold a valid teacher registration or have the ability to apply for a Limited Authority to Teach. You might be relatively new to your career, but you are ambitious and have the desire to learn and be committed to using effective online strategies to get the best out of our international students. You recognise the importance of personal learning and development and apply the standards expected of students to your own practice. You must be able to demonstrate commitment to teamwork and be able to make a positive contribution to the work of the Faculty. As a highly organised individual who likes to plan and work efficiently, managing your schedule and meeting deadlines will be second nature to your passion for teaching which will be demonstrated through the consistent positive student feedback. Your openness to explore disciplinary differences, in particular the distinctive features of language and genres used in those disciplines. You live, or would consider living, in either Wellington or Auckland or close metropolitan areas, and be able and willing to teach students from cities throughout the world who are aiming for undergraduate courses in one of our three partner degrees: The University of Auckland, AUT University, and Victoria University of Wellington. It would be beneficial if you have experience delivering lessons online through a range of Microsoft 365 applications and other platforms and experience in developing high-quality e-learning and assessment materials. WHO WE ARE: At UP Education, we believe learning should be defined by the exceptional! For over two decades, we have built an innovative, studentcentred learning community that provides outstanding education opportunities for students seeking a tertiary study experience in New Zealand or Australia. UP International College New Zealand is our University Pathways division within UP Education. Partnering with globally respected universities, UP Education supports international students from all over the world to successfully transition into English speaking universities in Australia and New Zealand. We partner with three leading Universities in New Zealand delivering a range of specialised Foundation Studies courses and English language programmes. To find out more about us, please visit TO APPLY: To submit your application, please visit

18 October 2021

Applications close on 31 October 2021


PRINCIPAL U4 ST. JOSEPH’S SCHOOL STRATFORD Our school cares and shares like Jesus, through serving others. He Manaaki. He Atawhai. St. Joseph’s School, Stratford is a full primary, State Integrated Catholic school whose Catholic special character and rich traditions underpin every facet of school life. Set in central Taranaki, St. Joseph’s School has a warm and inviting atmosphere, with newly built and renovated spaces reflecting current teaching and learning pedagogy. This is the ultimate learning environment both inside and out. The school is proud of how learners are supported to be the best they can be to ensure they reach their full potential. Are you ready to step in with a fresh perspective, to make a difference and be the next principal of St. Joseph’s School Stratford? Willingness and ability to participate in religious instruction appropriate to the special character of the school is a condition of appointment.

Henderson Valley School (U5) Auckland

Deputy Principal (5MU) Henderson Valley school is situated in the foothills of the Waitākere Ranges Heritage area. We are in a unique semi-rural setting, close to city amenities and at the heart of the community. We are a contributing primary school with a current roll of 370. We have a strong set of values that reflect the community aspirations and support students to be curious, creative, connected successful learners. We are a proud Green-Gold Enviro School with sustainability driving who we are and what we do. To replace our wonderful Deputy Principal who is moving out of Auckland, the Board is seeking a strong, confident, collaborative educational leader who is highly capable, self-driven and demonstrates genuine whanaungatanga. We are looking for an inclusive leader who… » Builds positive relationships with staff, students and whānau » Has the energy and passion to go above and beyond for our students » Takes the initiative, is action-focused and helps drive the strategic direction of the school » Has strong pedagogical and curriculum knowledge, and can lead professional development » Has proven ability to build on and lead culturally sustaining practice and celebrate diversity » Is responsible for SENCO and school wide Positive Behaviour for Learning » Uses coaching to develop professional capability and collective capacity to improve outcomes for all students.

Applications Close Monday 8th November, 5.00pm. To obtain an application pack contact For confidential enquiries call Jacqui Matthews on 027 600 0546. For more information on the school please visit Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you.


Education Gazette

Applicati tio ons close 12:00 noon Friday 12 November 2021. An Application Pack is available at If you have any queries, please contact Tanya Prentice or Nicky Knight at or phone 09 920 2173.

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View the the PLD, general notice listings and vacancies at You can also scan the QR codes with the camera on your device.

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We have an exciting opportunity for a principal at Pāterangi School, a small country school situated 8 minutes from Te Awamutu and 20 minutes from Hamilton, under the gaze of Mount Pirongia. We are a full primary school, from Year 1 through to Year 8. At Pāterangi School we place our children at the heart of everything we do. We have a strong and committed community around us, with support from families who have attended Pāterangi school for generations. We live and breathe our school values of Respect, Integrity, Responsibility and Perseverance and value the special nature of our school.

About you

We are looking for someone who: • Will put our children at the heart of everything they do




• Will lead the execution our strategic plan • Is approachable, friendly and fair • Is a good listener who will collaborate with our school and wider community • Is innovative, shows great leadership skills and will work alongside our current staff and children to help them achieve their best • Has an affinity for country life Closing date for applications: 5:00 pm Monday 8th November 2021. Application packs are available from: For further information, please contact: Rachel Allan, Recruitment Consultant, 0211629311.

Ōtaki College Mā te kimi ka kite, Mā te kite ka mōhio, Mā te mōhio ka mārama Inspiring ākonga to take every opportunity to succeed

Assistant Principal (5MU) We are seeking a highly motivated person to join our collaborative and experienced leadership team. Our strategic focus is curriculum and pedagogical change which is culturally responsive, relational and supports the success of all ākonga. The successful applicant will support these focus areas and lead pastoral care in the College, which is firmly based on Restorative Practices and our values of Respect, ŌC Pride, Active Learning and Responsibility. Applications close at 3.00pm on Friday November 26. For an application pack, please email Vivienne White, Principal’s Secretary on Enquiries can be directed to Principal, Andy Fraser, on, phone (06) 364 8204, mobile 027 432 8829.

18 October 2021

Principal U9 Empower to Excel North Shore, Auckland

Albany Junior High School is a purpose-built Year 7 – 10 “School of Opportunities” This is an exciting and unique opportunity for an experienced, inspirational leader who is focused on building relationships with our students, our staff and the community. We are looking for someone who knows and understands adolescent learners, values and encourages our staff and is collaborative in their approach to leading the school forward. We are: • A Year 7 – 10, decile 10 school with approximately 1200 students • A unique school - created to cater for the needs of the adolescent learner • Focused on actively encouraging and supporting students to navigate the curriculum with confidence and resilience • Set up in whānau which promote belonging and a strong pastoral care network. We would encourage you to visit and find out for yourself. Applications close on Friday 29th October at 1.00 pm. Position commencing at the start of the 2022 school year. Please visit the school website An Application Pack is available online at If you have any queries, please contact Tanya Prentice or Roween Higgie at or 09 920 2173.


Principal/Tumuaki U7, decile 1


Central Regional Health School is seeking a principal with a passion that fosters quality educational outcomes. Demonstrating strong interpersonal skills, s/he will build positive relationships with students, staff and the school’s community. Our new principal will be empathetic, energetic, innovative and a strong advocate for the diverse needs of our students. The school provides education for students in the lower half of the North Island who are unable to attend school for health reasons. We also provide education for students at Te Au Rere a te Tonga, the youth justice residence in Palmerston North, Epuni Care and Protection residence in Lower Hutt, and a cluster of mental health, forensic and intellectual disability units in Porirua. Overall we have 15 sites with students aged five to 20 years. Working with a supportive Board, we are looking for a strong, creative leader who will: • • • • • • • • •

Nurture and maintain the unique character of the school Demonstrate understanding of and commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi Lead and drive the building of staff cultural capabilities and competencies Promote and support inclusive practice for students with diverse needs Be a skilled communicator and advocate of inclusive and accessible education for all ākonga, being committed to student and staff well-being Harness the strengths of our senior leadership and teaching teams across a wide geographical area Lead and promote effective pedagogy across the New Zealand Curriculum Engage widely with communities of interest and government to advocate for the needs of our students Have strong operational leadership and management skills Applications close on 15 November 2021. Position commences at beginning of term 2 2022. Emailed information and application packs are available from John Russell, Evaluation Associates, Phone 027 410 3329

William Colenso College

Principal / Tumuaki

This is an exceptional opportunity to lead a team of dedicated professionals at a school committed to equity and excellence for all students, from Term One, 2022, or negotiable. We are looking for a leader with strong communication skills and a genuine affinity for young people. You should have a community focus and have demonstrated skills in: • problem-solving; • change management; and • building a collegial environment. Our school is committed to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Cultural Relationships for Responsive Pedagogy and Restorative Practice. We were recently recognised with Prime Minister’s Excellence in Education Awards for excellence in teaching and learning, excellence in governance and excellence in inclusive education. The Board of Trustees invites applications from experienced educators with passion and drive to ensure best possible outcomes for our young people and to create a school environment focussed on achievement and well-being. (2018 Winners Prime Minister’s Education Award Education Focus-Takatu) (2017 Winners Prime Minister’s Education Award Excellence in Leading – Atakura) E te Rangatira, our school board are excited to hear from you. We want you to express yourself in your application letter and CV. Paint us a picture of how the identified values, beliefs, skills and ways of being are embedded into your life, your education practice and your leadership. Provide evidence and examples for us to get the best possible picture of who you are and what you will bring to our school learning community. Applications close Thursday 4th November, 12 noon. Please contact Keleigh Atkins-Executive Assistant for an Application Pack: We invite you to visit our website:




NCEA Change Programme FOCUS:

Local Course Design


Schools can choose to hold their Teacher Only Day on any day from 1 November to the end of the school year.

Further information will be provided through the School Bulletin and the NCEA Education website

18 OCTOBER 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 13