Education Gazette 100.5

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3 MAY 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 5

Special centenary edition Ka mua, ka muri – walking backwards into the future Schools and iwi working in partnership

Rich learning in remote and rural schools

Origins and development of Te Whāriki

Outdoor Classroom Day 20 May 2021

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Spotlight on the centenary of the Education Gazette 6



Country school at heart of community


Historic Dunedin school welcomes diversity


Voices of Ngāti Hauā


A mat for all to stand on


Providing a language pathway


A shared history of collaboration, culture and community


Rich learning environment on Rakiura/Stewart Island


Learning from a Māori worldview


An increasingly inclusive education system


Whanganui Collegiate: Turning children of promise into adults of character



Hopes, dreams and high expectations at kura


Through the decades

3 MAY 2021 | VOL. 100 | NO. 5

Editor’s note Special centenary edition Ka mua, ka muri – walking backwards into the future Schools and iwi working in partnership

Rich learning in remote and rural schools

Origins and development of Te Whāriki

On the cover Kapa haka is an important part of kura life for Tau 8 student Te Enua Māhina o Kapuārangi Kokaua from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima.

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

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Welcome to our second special centenary edition, in which we continue to reflect on the history of education in New Zealand and the direction it is taking into the future. In this issue, we travel the length and breadth of the country, from Auckland to Stewart Island, visiting schools, kura and early learning centres and hearing about their rich and diverse histories. It’s the people we meet on the way who help to bring these legacies to life and drive progress and development. Ka mua, ka muri – walking backwards into the future. Make sure you’re subscribed to the Education Gazette’s e-newsletter, which brings you all the latest content online. Click on ‘Email alerts’ at to sign up.

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Country school at heart of community A small country school in south Wairarapa is riding high on the shoulders of its committed community.


hen Gene Moore saw the principal’s job at Pirinoa School advertised, he hopped on his motorbike to go and check out the school and rode past, missing it completely.  A one-time barber, policeman and teacher, Gene attended a small rural school and remembers his school days at Mangaroa School, just outside Upper Hutt, as the best time of his life. “I’ve always had a calling to country schools because it was just such a formative time in my life. I was in a class with my brother and sister; my little brother was in the next class. “The funny thing about that school is it was just out in the middle of the paddocks – there was no community around it. The culture of the school was family – this is very much part of my vision for this school,” says Gene, who became principal of Pirinoa School in 2020. The south Wairarapa school is just 15 minutes from the North Island’s southern coast and is surrounded by heartland farming country. The first school opened its doors to 23 pupils in 1887 and since then has educated generations of children from Ngāti Kahungunu and Rangitane whānau and European settlers’ families.

Country kids

There are four Year 8 tamariki and three Year 7 tamariki in Room 3: the Year 5-8 class. Romy (Year 7) and Aria (Year 8) say this means everybody gets a turn to be a leader. Romy is as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as they come. He’s come to Pirinoa School from Pinehaven School over the hill in Upper Hutt. “Pinehaven is a big school – about 10 classrooms. This school obviously has three classrooms which is a BIG difference! It’s very nice because everyone knows everyone. It was very different at first.  “I like how it’s very community-like and we get so many opportunities to do things. We had those opportunities, but not so much at some schools because there are so many kids. Sometimes we would audition for something like kapa haka and not get in. In the production me and Aria had the biggest roles,” he says.


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The whole school turned out for this photo at the entrance of Pirinoa School.

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"I tell them, ‘You don’t have to be anything here other than yourself; you be who you are and the kids will like you for who you are’.” Gene Moore

Left: Principal Gene Moore is optimistic about the future of his school. Right: Romy and Aria are two senior pupils who welcome the leadership opportunities provided at a small school.

Aria has been at Pirinoa School since she was five. (By the time Gazette went to print, Aria had started at Kuranui College in Greytown.) “It’s a good school because everyone is friendly with everyone and everyone knows everyone and we are quite close to each other.   “This school has not many kids in a class. You get more one on one with a teacher. You don’t have to work on the exact same things as the other students. If you’re at a higher level, you can work at that level. That’s what’s good about being in different age groups,” she says. Gene says that children who come from other schools quickly become country kids. “They relax. I tell them, ‘You don’t have to be anything here other than yourself; you be who you are and the kids will like you for who you are’,” he says.

Community support

When the fish factory at the nearby coastal fishing village of Ngawi closed, the school’s roll dropped from about 90 pupils. The challenge for a school like Pirinoa,


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with a roll of 44 in December 2020, is sustainability.  But this little school has two things in its favour:  incredible community support and a principal with a plan. Angela Aburn married into a long-time farming family – her two sons, husband and mother-in-law all attended Pirinoa School. She began working at the school in 2004 as a teacher aide and since then has supported individual children with learning support needs, as well as working alongside classroom teachers to support children. “There’s a strong sense of community – without our community, there would be no school,” she says. As well as working bees, this support has included Reading Grannies, a 90-year-old who helped students with maths and a parent who was a member of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and helped out with music at the school, she says. A large local farm business, Palliser Ridge, is a great supporter of the school, providing money for prizes, funding wetland planting and encouraging its many workers to send their children to the school.

Optimistic about future

Gene is optimistic about the future of the area and thinks the school’s potential is untapped. “I think the Wairarapa is going to grow hugely and it’s going to reach out to places like here. We could do nothing and the roll would still grow. It’s that migration away from the cities and people are discovering the lifestyle and how much you can get for your money. “We have a couple of families who have moved from Wellington, they’re involved in businesses around here and they just love it,” he says. Gene has a plan to further grow numbers and the school has bought a van. This will be helpful for school trips, but he’s also exploring offering a school bus route for tamariki in the neighbourhood who are not on a designated bus route.

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“Because we do have such a nice environment and because we have the smaller classes, we might be able to attract more children. All it takes is for one or two families to come out this way and then people just vote with their feet. Distance is an issue but we can certainly make it a more attractive option by putting on some sort of transport,” he says.

For an extended interview about Pirinoa School and its history, read this story at Education Gazette online, or scan this QR code.

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Historic Dunedin school welcomes diversity Dunedin’s Arthur Street School has welcomed newcomers to Aotearoa since 1848, with about 28 different nationalities currently represented at the school.

Arush has found a warm welcome at Arthur Street School.


unedin’s inner-city Arthur Street School is the city’s oldest school, established before the first group of immigrants on board the second immigrant ship to arrive in Dunedin, the Phillip Laing, set foot on shore. On arrival, the school was transferred to a waterfront site where it was known as Beach School. In 1864 the school was shifted to another central city site before it was opened on its present site in 1877 and renamed Arthur Street School. A gold rush in the Otago province during the 1860s caused Dunedin’s population,


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and wealth, to increase dramatically, and demand for schooling increased. In February 1880, the Otago Daily Times reported that many of the city’s schools had seen an increase in attendance, with Arthur Street School reportedly jampacked with an average of 520 pupils. On 19 February 1883, the newspaper published a letter from a parent whose son was turned away, and wrote that the headmaster had ‘turned away at least 20 children already that day’.

There are reminders of the school’s long history in plaques at the school and in downtown Dunedin. The school and the Hocken Library also hold minutes, books and memorabilia from throughout the school’s history.

Supporting newcomers

Today, Arthur Street School’s roll sits at a comfortable 200+ pupils, an increase of about 90 tamariki in five years. A school zone was put in place at the end of term 3, 2020. Principal Kim Blackwood says one of the features of Arthur Street School’s community is its multi-cultural nature. “We have done a fantastic job to be able to support our different ethnic families and they feel comfortable and supported. They then talk to others within their communities and before we know it, they’re knocking on our door. “Parents choose this school because of what we can offer and what our children are exposed to, such as the different cultures and nationalities: people want their children to be involved in that,” she says. About a quarter of the roll are ESOL students, which includes eight former refugees. ESOL teacher Janine Cotton is passionate about her job. “The former refugee students, in particular, may have had a very unsettled education and it hasn’t always been in their first language. Some can put it together, but for others, it’s just very confusing. I hope our means of teaching makes some sense and that it’s fun along the way. I don’t want children to not try in case they get it wrong,” says Janine. “Oral language is picked up quite fast. That for me is the priority, that they’re able to ask questions, make friends, express what they need or want. Then the reading comes and eventually the writing. Some learn very quickly and for others it’s difficult – depending on how much education they’ve had where they came from,” she says.

New horizons

Janine is supported by Rasha Ali, a bilingual interpreter, who supports Arabic-speaking children in seven Dunedin schools. Her role includes interpreting for the children and liaising between the school and the families. While they believe that most former refugee children seem reasonably well settled, Rasha knows what their families are going through. “I have been here for four and a half years. I am Palestinian; I was born in Iraq, and after the war there, I lived in Syria, then spent seven years in Cyprus and then lived in Thailand before coming to Dunedin. “I enjoy the work here because I’m translating all the time in Arabic. I feel that I’m helping them,” she explains. Mahmoud (13) and Mirna (11) are both originally from Syria, although they have little memory of their homeland, having done their schooling in Lebanon before arriving

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Top: The former infant school building is a Category 2 listed heritage building. Bottom: Arthur Street School with Dunedin and the harbour in the background.

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Kim Blackwood with some of the children who represent the diverse nationalities at Arthur Street School.

Fiona, Jan and Sandra look at some books featuring the history of the school.

in Dunedin. With the help of Rasha, they tell Education Gazette that while everything was different when they arrived in Dunedin, they find it easier to learn. Both believe they can have good futures in New Zealand. “Here it will be a better future for me; I will learn a lot. The teachers’ way of teaching helps me learn. I want to be a builder,” says Mahmoud. “I want to be a doctor. It’s not easy to be a doctor as a woman in Syria – I didn’t expect that I could do that,” says Mirna.

School camp anxiety

Experiences like school camps, which most Kiwi children take for granted, can be challenging for newcomers to Aotearoa – particularly former refugees. “It’s been a steep learning curve. I guess depending on what they’ve been exposed to, families being divided, can mean awful things. “We put together photobooks from previous school camps and we try and answer a lot of their questions way before the kids go to camp. While at camp, teachers will send some text messages and pictures of their kids to reassure the parents,” says Kim. “Rasha and I have done a lot of work preparing the families for camp, explaining what camp is about,

providing photo charts of what they need to pack for camp. There’s some anxiety around the activities, but for most families, their primary concern is the separation,” says Janine.

Local curriculum

Arthur Street School is on the doorstep of Dunedin’s Town Belt – 202 hectares of regenerating native forest, with panoramic views across the city and harbour. The school uses this rich resource in a variety of ways, such as involvement with other schools located along the Town Belt in a kaitiaki pest eradication programme. “It’s not for everybody, but for those young people who are passionate about conservation and the environment, it’s a fabulous opportunity,” says Kim. Esme, aged 12, has been at the school since she was five and was one of the founding members of a group called Town Belt Kaitiaki (TBK) which is dedicated to preserving the Town Belt. “I love the Town Belt and how natural it is here and there are so many native plants,” she says. The Town Belt has also inspired a science perspective, which is now embedded through the whole curriculum. “It was initially a way of engaging boys, but now we do it across the whole school. About three or four years ago,

“Every school has its own flavour – we don’t want to lose that because we’re not all cut from the same cloth. Every individual brings something different.” Kim Blackwood

This plaque in Dowling Street, central Dunedin shows the early history of the school. There is a time capsule burried under it.

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Mirna, Janine, Rasha and Mahmoud in the school’s ESOL room.

we were writing charter goals and looking at our data. Writing is one of those goals, especially boys’ writing. We decided to make a bit of a change. How were we going to get these boys involved? We worked out it needed to be more hands on. “It’s very easy to teach in isolation, particularly when there’s so much to cover and so we had to get smart about what that looked at, and that’s where the science framing came from. It’s a very wide curriculum that we have to get across. It’s about pulling it back in locally to what’s important to us,” explains Kim.

Pride in school

Sandra Darracott (reading recovery teacher), Jan Skilling (retired librarian) and Fiona Neill (teaching assistant) have clocked up over 50 years between them at Arthur Street School. When Sandra arrived in 1993, the school was welcoming Cambodian students – mostly refugees. “It’s very diverse – it’s a very accepting culture. When you go out in the big wide world, that’s how the world is: you want children to have empathy. I’m still in contact with some Cambodians who live in Australia – they have lovely memories of Arthur Street,” she says. Fiona is in her 10th year as a teaching assistant. She began working with ESOL students, but now largely focuses on helping students at, or below, curriculum expectations for literacy and numeracy. “It’s a good school because I think we’re very well managed. It’s an interesting school because you have quite a cross section of children and it gives the others an understanding of different cultures,” she says. A former teacher, Jan was school librarian for 20 years and retired at the age of 80 in 2019. “I just loved it because I still had my professional colleagues, which was really important and I still had contact with the children, but I didn’t have the responsibility for them. “If you meet children outside the school, they are very proud that they went/go there. There’s a deeprooted loyalty,” she says.


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New build offers opportunities With the Town Belt at its back, an historic reserve to one side and Otago Boys’ High School just down the road, there’s not a lot of room to expand. But the school is in the preliminary design stages of a complete rebuild. Most of the buildings date back to the 1960s and principal Kim Blackwood and her team have the challenge of developing a fit-for-purpose school to last 50-100 years. Kim says the school community has a preference for single-cell classrooms over open plan learning environments. “I think single cell classrooms help us cater for that diversity of needs, because it’s very easy to get lost in a crowd. If you’re already somebody who is struggling and there’s so much going on – how can you be sure that you’re giving the best to those children.” The new build also gives the school an opportunity to build a solid foundation for its digital technology curriculum. She says while the school is unlikely to become a one-to-one device school, the children of tomorrow need digital skills. “We’re right at the start of going back to basics and underlining what our digital curriculum will look like. With a school of this age, everything has been an add-on and an afterthought. “It’s all very well having the devices but you’ve got to have the infrastructure to be able to support that. At the moment, every device that you put on this current system just puts more pressure on it. Classes find they keep dropping off, whereas I know with the new build, that’s not going to be an issue.”

Arthur Street School has a tuakana-teina buddy system: Esme (centre) with Angus (left) and Tema.

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Voices of Ngāti Hauā Drawing on the perspectives of three iwi members, this is the story of how one iwi is building a strong presence within its community for the benefit of its people. It’s a story of mahi, collaboration and a vision for the future.


Te Ao Marama vividly remembers her first day of school nearly seven decades ago.

Te Ao Marama Maaka: Nurturing tikanga

Te Ao Marama Maaka is one of the Ngāti Hauā kuia. She has dedicated decades to building and nurturing partnerships between iwi and the education community.


lthough it was nearly 70 years ago, Te Ao Marama vividly recalls the day she started school as a five-yearold at Morrinsville Primary School. Upon introducing her, the principal said to her father, “We can’t call her that; you’ve got to find another name for her.” “The first name to cross my father’s mind was Maureen – after Maureen O’Hara, the actress. So that was my name right up until I realised that wasn’t my name, and that wasn’t until after I’d had children,” says Te Ao Marama. Her father was adamant she should “learn the Pākehā way”. Not only were there no opportunities to learn te reo Māori back then, but the general feeling among many Māori parents was that it would not help them forge a successful career.

Language advocate

Those memories stayed with her and Te Ao Marama made it her goal to be involved with her children’s education and to be an advocate for their language, culture and identity. So when her eldest daughter turned five and started at Morrinsville Primary School, Te Ao Marama joined the PTA. “Those days were very mokemoke, very lonely for Māori parents, because the school didn’t know Māori parents wanted to be involved.” When her daughter got to Morrinsville College, Te Ao Marama was asked to join the Board of Governors to continue the mahi of Brian Thompson and Wayne Hotene, two governors who had served before her, advocating for Māori. Serving on the Board of Governors was not a nice experience, says Te Ao Marama. “I didn’t have that support. The chairperson knew what he was doing in terms of education but wasn’t really prepared to listen. “I wanted to be sure my children, my mokopuna, my whānau, were going to be safe and looked after and listened to. It took some time.” In 1989, Tomorrow’s Schools came into force and Te Ao Marama joined the Board of Trustees at Morrinsville College. She represented Ngāti Hauā on the board there for 14 years, while also serving on the board at Morrinsville Primary. During that time, she was appointed to the Council of Schools’ Trustees Association representing Waikato Tainui, a position she held for 12 years. “It was a great experience because we were able to share and meet different people across the education sector with similar aspirations. I felt really empowered.”

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“I wanted to be sure my children, my mokopuna, my whānau, were going to be safe and looked after and listened to. It took some time.” Te Ao Marama Maaka

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Whānau embrace kapa haka practice at Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha.

Giving parents a voice

But her real passion lay at the local level and the mahi they were doing at Morrinsville schools. “It was 1998 when we were able to build Te Ao Whanui and establish our first whānau support at Morrinsville College. Whānau support gave parents a voice at the school. A lot of parents are whakamā, they don’t involve themselves in school curriculum or school events because it’s unknown to them – unless you have a sports event.” This support extended beyond Ngāti Hauā to other iwi, to ensure that all whānau felt included. “Te Ao Whanui was the start of a lot of initiatives. The Ministry and school supported it. That was the first physical thing that we could say, yes, change is going to happen at our college.”

Kura kaupapa movement

At the same time, the kura kaupapa movement was really coming into its own, says Te Ao Marama. “It was a great initiative. They came to us and said they wanted their own voice, their own body. However, we realised that the majority of Māori children were still in mainstream education. Many Māori parents didn’t have the reo, so they kept their children back in mainstream.” As cultural advisor for the Morrinsville Kāhui Ako, Te Ao Marama says most schools in the community have embraced their local Ngāti Hauā tikanga. “The parents were whakamā to go to school, so we thought, we’ll bring the school to the marae. What they wanted for their children just came alive.”


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Some initiatives have been going for a long time – for example, the college has held pōwhiri for new students for nearly 30 years. But it’s the last five years in which Te Ao Marama has seen a real willingness for change. “One of the things we do at the college is we celebrate our Māori students. Acknowledging their achievements, whether it is making it to Level 1, passing Level 2, getting to Level 3. The parents all turn up, and they’re excited. We encourage them to sing and perform.”

Willingness for change

And at the other end of the sector, there’s a willingness for change as well. “We blessed a new early childhood education centre just a few weeks ago – and they said, ‘We want your history, we want to learn your reo, your tikanga’.” For the last three or four years, they’ve taken their Kāhui Ako onto significant sites of Ngāti Hauā. “I think we need to document our history so we can go into the schools and tell our history.” Ngāti Hauā hosts an annual cultural festival involving the schools and early learning centres from the community. “Our Pākehā community look forward to it – they love seeing their littlies up there, performing.” Te Ao Marama says she is going to retire soon. She jokes that she and the principal of Morrinsville College, John Inger, have made a pact to retire at the same time. Both can retire safe in the knowledge that the strong relationship between schools and iwi will endure, and that the mahi will continue.

Lisa Gardiner: Pursuing success

Lisa Gardiner is General Manager at Ngāti Hauā Iwi Trust. She is instrumental in getting initiatives off the ground with a vision for rangatahi to succeed.


isa says it’s because of all the groundwork put in by people like Te Ao Marama that she has been able to move the established relationships beyond providing cultural advisory support to forging clear pathways for their rangatahi. “It’s about working in partnership with the schools and saying, ‘What are our aspirations for our kids in your schools and what do we expect from you?’ And actually telling them what our strategic plans are and our goals and how we can work together to achieve these,” says Lisa. Currently only about 30 percent of their young people are achieving NCEA Level 2, says Lisa, a statistic that clearly appalls her. They have set quite specific targets around improving that, and are working with principals, boards of trustees and tauira to achieve these. The trust has turned one of its settlement assets, Mangateparu School, into a learning centre, run in

partnership with Wintec. A van picks rangatahi up from all over the community, providing the opportunity to participate in courses with a clear path to employment. The first course they offered was on landscape construction; the second on general horticulture. They help students find employment upon their completion of the course. Lisa gives the example of one of their students. “Tema left school at 16 and hadn’t done any sort of employment or training for five years. He completed our general horticulture course and he’s now working in our native nursery. It was something he felt comfortable doing. You could say it’s the easy route but it worked for him. He got picked up every morning. He was with whānau.”

Entrepreneurial approach

The native nursery is a Ngāti Hauā enterprise, as is the blueberry orchard. The orchard is flourishing. There are currently over 24 100-metre tunnels over two hectares and the construction team is working on getting another 40 more 120-metre tunnels up and running over another three hectares.

“When we see our involvement and our partnerships having an impact – that’s when we know we’ll have been successful.” Lisa Gardiner

Working on strategic goals of iwi in partnership with schools is important, says Lisa Gardiner.

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The blueberry orchard, run and owned by Ngāti Hauā, provides opportunities for work and upskilling for their people. Pictured here is Nikora Ryder.

Around 12,000 seedlings are growing in the nursery ready to transfer to the tunnels. The orchard grows the Eureka species of blueberries and exports 80 percent of their yield. “We’re continuing the entrepreneurial approach of forebears like Wiremu Tamihana, who exported flax,” says harvest manager, Menzies. He says they aim to employ young people from within the iwi, giving them employment and an opportunity to grow their skill bases and gain certification. Ngāti Hauā is now offering their first short course, Workskills for Jobs, which is very focused on getting rangatahi job-ready. The course is just nine days of intense training in which they can gain many of the skills and tickets needed to work in a range of industries, including their Health & Safety ticket, their forklift licence and others. “We spoke with industry partners like Fonterra, Open Country, Silver Fern Farms and said to them, ‘If you’re looking for someone to employ, what sort of tickets would you want them to have?’ And they said ‘xyz’. So we said, we’re going to invest in 12 of our young people. We’re going to put them through the course and they’ll emerge job-ready.”

Progress towards success

Although there are clear signs that progress is being made, Lisa is not prepared to rest until she sees achievement against their strategic goals. She has a very clear idea of what success looks like. “When we start to see the fruits of the hard work put in by people like Te Ao Marama, when we see our people achieving. I mean just 30 percent of our people are getting NCEA Level 2 – that’s just not good enough. So, when we see our involvement and our partnerships having an impact – that’s when we know we’ll have been successful.”

Mokoro Gillet: Preserving te reo Māori

Mokoro Gillett is tumuaki at Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha and chair of Ngāti Hauā Iwi Trust. He is eager to see tamariki pursue education pathways with their reo and culture at the heart.


isa gifts Mokoro some blueberries from the orchard. They are enormous, ripe and ready for eating, but he’s too busy to indulge at that moment. The kura is a hive of activity, especially with the kapa haka group preparing for a competition in a few days’ time. Their young voices soar, filling every corner of the hall.

High expectations

Mokoro’s expectations for these tamariki go beyond the kapa haka competition. “The way forward is education, no matter what. We need our tamariki to be educated because they are our future as well.” “In schools like this one, which is a kura kaupapa Māori, it’s really important that there’s a balance: the physical, spiritual and the knowledge. We take the whole child. We bring in our history and our culture and add it to


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the knowledge of our history and the modern day. “One of the key factors of kura kaupapa is the reo,” he adds. “You can’t take your reo away from your culture. You can’t divorce from it. “A lot of the schools from 1930s, 1940s actually missed that language proficiency that the older ones had. There was a gap, so when kōhanga reo and kura kaupapa first started, the main focus was on reaffirming the reo.”

Worrying trend

Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha was established around 1999 with just 14 students. Its roll grew to 27, then to 56, and now sits at around 140. “Our numbers have plateaued at the moment.” Mokoro says this echoes a worrying trend across the country in which fewer children from kōhanga reo are entering kura kaupapa Māori. “I’d like to see a lot more growth,” says Mokoro.

Key role of iwi

He believes the iwi has a key role to play in fuelling this growth, and also in helping connect rangatahi with pathways into further education and work. Ngāti Hauā plays a connecting role with Mangateparu and the kura. “Those days of being able to go from one job to another easily are gone. So we need to be more selfdeterminant, make our way in life because not all will be captured in that working space.” “Our main focus is on university, on higher education and to bring those skills back. The education pathway they’re establishing will see tauira continue on to Wānanga Reo. “We actually start them on the wānanga pathway here at kura. We’re just starting on this journey.”

“The way forward is education, no matter what. We need our tamariki to be educated because they are our future as well.” Mokoro Gillett

Mokoro Gillett has high expectations for his students.

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Miss Dolly Edwards with her Primer 2 class children and their new educational toys at Karori School in Wellington in 1916. Miss Edwards was known for introducing 'modern methods' into the infant classroom. (Ref: ATL 159173 1/2).


A mat for all to stand on In the second of a two-part series on the history of early childcare and education in Aotearoa, Emeritus Professor Helen May shares with Education Gazette the origins and development of Te Whāriki and how its principles align with ideas voiced by policy makers and educationalists over a century ago.


fter decades of advocacy, early childhood emerged in the 1980s as a key policy area for government. A flurry of reports, including Education to be More (1988) (referred to as the Meade Report) and Before Five (1988), provided a philosophical rationale for increased government support and a blueprint for a more equitable playing field across the early childhood sector. The Government’s strategic plan Pathways to the Future 2002-2012 continued later progress. “Most significant was the recognition of the early childhood diploma/degree as the benchmark qualification for the sector and the plan to deliver 100 percent qualified teachers in teacher-led services. “In 2007, 20 hours’ free early childhood education was also introduced for all three- and four-year-olds; both initiatives were accompanied by significant funding increases,” says Helen.

Te Whāriki

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the introduction of Curriculum Framework (1990), the Government initiated the idea of an early childhood curriculum. The idea was not welcomed initially by early childhood organisations such as Playcentre, kindergarten and kōhanga reo; they were concerned that their distinctive pedagogies might be undermined and that the school curriculum might be pushed into the early years. This prompted Helen and her colleague Margaret Carr at the University of Waikato to bid for the contract to develop an early childhood curriculum. “We gathered an amazing team of expertise from across the sector, to the extent we were the only bidder. This was a political lesson in unity,” says Helen. “We had been doing interesting things at Waikato when we established our integrated diploma/degree in 1990. Instead of adapting the old kindergarten programme and adding in some childcare, we reimagined what early childhood teacher education could be. “We shifted the focus on ‘ages and stages’; treating the play activities as subjects alongside ‘easy’ versions of the school subjects, to more complex understandings

3 May 2021

of learning with children’s interests and strengths at the centre. These ideas we took into the curriculum project.” Working with Margaret Carr, Dr Tamati and Mrs Tilly Reedy, Helen was the co-director of the Early Childhood Curriculum Project (1991-2) that became Te Whāriki and was released as a draft to centres in 1993. Helen and Margaret formed a partnership with Te Kōhanga Reo Trust and their proposal to the Ministry of Education was to construct a bicultural framework.

Bicultural framework

“This was new territory for the Ministry in terms of curriculum development and it took considerable negotiation that there would be one document that could be ‘read’ from different perspectives,” says Helen. The curriculum project’s working group included representatives from the newly formed Pacific Islands Early Childhood Association and people with expertise in homebased early childhood, children with specials needs, infants and toddlers, as well as mainstream preschool services. Together, the group agreed on four overall principles and were gifted the five domains of mana along with the Te Whāriki name from the Māori working group. This became the Te Whāriki framework as a ‘mat for all to stand on’ with many woven patterns. “There was wide consultation with teachers and across early childhood sector groups, who soon saw how they could ‘weave’ their distinctive pedagogy and philosophy within principles, strands and goals of Te Whāriki.” Helen says this built a degree of trust that the new curriculum would not undermine the different services. “However, there was no naming of pre-school activities, areas of play and equipment lists, which had been the focus of kindergarten and Playcentre in particular. Rather, the curriculum whāriki, underpinned by the principle of empowerment, was about ‘responsive reciprocal relationships with people, places and things’. “Over time, teachers have risen to the challenge of a curriculum that does not tell you what to do, but rather challenges you to engage with children and their whānau weaving a curriculum together.

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From the Department of Education’s new ‘discovery approach’ to arithmetic in ‘Number work in the Infant Room’ (1943).

“Te Whāriki has become the heartbeat of early childhood in New Zealand and been a catalyst in creating a genuine early childhood movement in New Zealand,” says Helen.

Connecting curriculum

The 1993 draft of Te Whāriki detailed the connections with the NZ Curriculum Framework (1990) and elaborated how each principle, strand and goal might be realised in a junior school setting. “Unfortunately,” says Helen, “schools never received copies of Te Whāriki and so the connections languished until the 2007 redrafting of the NZ Curriculum Framework, which defined five key learning competencies parallel to the five domains of mana in Te Whāriki.” There was research undertaken demonstrating how the framework’s key competencies and the learning dispositions of Te Whāriki could be made visible across both settings. “However, the introduction of National Standards in 2010 and their focus on the assessment of the 3R’s undermined these links, causing many centres to focus on preparing children for their school assessments rather than schools preparing for the children as they arrived,” says Helen. The links between early childhood and school curriculums were made more explicit in the 2017 refresh of Te Whāriki. And in 2018, after the removal of National


Education Gazette

Standards, NZEI Te Riu Roa and the Ministry of Education co-hosted a series of conferences celebrating curriculum and the respective curriculum documents, encouraging teachers in schools and early childhood to reimagine their classrooms and centres in these new times. Helen’s presentation was titled ‘Taking Te Whāriki to school – Let’s do this now’. “I fielded a number of enquiries from junior class teachers wanting articles and research to convince their colleagues that more playful learning in the juniors would not undermine the teaching of the 3R’s. Quite the reverse. “It does, however, sadden me when I hear of schools purchasing ‘discovery’ packages from elsewhere when we already have Te Whariki.” As a judge for the Prime Minister’s Education Excellence Awards in 2019, Helen visited Waimairi School in Christchurch to view a junior school programme embedded in Te Whāriki. The school was an award finalist. “Not only was their ‘permission to play’ freely and purposefully expressed in the juniors, the senior classes also had blocks, dressing-ups and junk construction areas. This was the kind of classroom I had experienced in the 1960s-70s which I thought had been lost – but was now being rediscovered in new ways and for new times.” Prior to her academic studies, Helen worked as a junior class teacher of mainly five-year-olds for nine years in the 1960s and 1970s, leading an all-day play-based programme.

Permission to play – the historical context

During the early 20th century, waves of so called ‘new education’ ideas promoting playful and activity-based approaches to learning swept through the education system. When George Hogben was appointed Inspector General in 1889, he set about reforming the primary school curriculum, urging inspectors and teachers that: “The important thing ... is not the amount of things that are taught, but the spirit, character, and method of teaching in relation to its purpose of developing the child’s powers… We must believe with Froebel and others of the most enlightened of the world’s educators, that the child will learn best, not so much by reading about things in books as by doing: that is exercising his natural activities by making things, by observing and testing things for himself; and then afterwards by reasoning about them and expressing thoughts about them.” “This statement resonates 120 years later, but some teachers still find such approaches a challenge,” says Helen. There were many who did experiment, such as teachers at Kelburn Normal School in Wellington, Wellesley St Normal School in Auckland and the Wanganui Central Infant School, where Montessori activities were introduced and formal desks abandoned. This was encouraged by the Department of Education. “Kindergartens were less interested in Montessori but they did use the apparatus, and were still at the forefront of some of the progressive ideas.” says Helen. She gives the example of Phillipstown Kindergarten, with the first open-air kindergarten in 1923 before the more famous 1924 open-air classrooms at Fendalton School in Christchurch.

Revolution in infant room

The appointment of CE Beeby as the Director General of Education in 1939 hastened the adoption of play-based learning. Political approval was made clear by the Minister of Education, Rt. Hon. HGR Mason, at the 1944 wartime education conference: “Nothing short of a revolution has taken place in the infant room over the past 20 years. It has my full support. We must agree that for all in the infant room, the learning of formal intellectual skills is of secondary importance. What is of supreme importance is that the young child should be healthy and happy. That he should learn to work and play with other children and his mind should be kept lively and eager and full of wonder.” “This is my favourite statement from a Minister of Education,” says Helen. Infant classrooms were expected to have at least an hour of developmental play every morning. In 1949, as the new era in playful schooling got underway, the Department of Education set about convincing parents with the film The first years of school produced by the National Film Unit, with music composed by Douglas Lilburn and played by the new National Orchestra. “While there was an element of propaganda in the film, it did represent a ’revolution’ in thinking about education pedagogy showing how the traditional 3R’s could be taught within a programme of free play, discovery and conversation,” says Helen.

3 May 2021

The launch of Te Whāriki in 1996 at the Beehive. Mrs Iole Tagoilolagi, who co-ordinated the Pacifica strands, is speaking. Standing by is now-Dame Iritane Tawhiwhirangi, Professor Helen May and Professor Margaret Carr. Originally published in Education Gazette.

“Over time, teachers have risen to the challenge of a curriculum that does not tell you what to do, but rather challenges you to engage with children and their whānau weaving a curriculum together.” Professor Helen May

Writers of the original Te Whāriki. Professor Helen May, Lady Tilly Reedy, Professor Sir Tamati Reedy and Professor Margaret Carr. Photo taken in 2016 when they were advisors to the refresh of Te Whāriki.

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A long morning at play for children in the J1 classroom of Helen May (then Helen Cook) at Brooklyn School, Wellington, 1974.

“Sadly, not all teachers felt able to follow script and the recorded memories of children from this era do not always tally with the official view that a ‘revolution’ had occurred.” There was a similar ‘revolution’ underway across the kindergarten movement. Periods of free play had long been included, but were tightly timetabled.

Helen says there is still more work needed to achieve real equity for children and teachers across the sectors and early childhood services. “He Taonga te tamaiti – Early learning action plan 2019-2029 agreed between government and the early childhood sector, if fully implemented, would address much of this.”

Full circle

References: Helen May, ‘I am five and I go to School’, Early years schooling in NZ 1900-2010, I (Otago University Press, 2011); Discovery of Early Childhood (2nd edition) (NZCER Press, 2013); Politics in the Playground: The world of early childhood education in Aotearoa New Zealand (3rd edition), (Otago University Press, 2019)

In 1948, Beeby appointed Infant Advisor Miss Moira Gallagher as the first Preschool Officer in the Department of Education. She visited every kindergarten, encouraging them to let go of their structured routines. Joyce Barns, a teacher at the Kelsey Yarella Kindergarten in Dunedin recalled the visit: “She said, ‘Let the children be free’. I talked it over with the girls I was working with and we let the children free because it was more natural. We didn’t have a timetable anymore, we let them do what they wanted to. We let the big boys go outside. You could see them sitting on the mat bored to tears, bored, absolutely bored. They played outside nearly all morning – and the difference in them! We even let them go to the toilet when they wanted to!” (Interview with Helen May, 1994) “So, we have come full circle as these were the influences on me as a young teacher in the 1960s-70s,” reflects Helen. “A school inspector once wondered whether my university studies would be wasted if I intended working in junior classes. Fortunately, attitudes have mainly changed!”


Education Gazette

The first part of this article was published in Volume 100 Issue 1 of the Education Gazette, The many threads of early learning in Aotearoa. See also: Nurturing lifelong learning through play – Volume 99, Issue 18, of the Education Gazette.

As a nation, we’re doing a much better job of valuing language and culture in a child’s learning than we were 40 years ago, says Jan Taouma.


Providing a language pathway A Samoan language pathway in Auckland starting at early childhood has helped affirm the importance of language and culture from the very beginning of a child’s education.


t was the early 1980s and Jan Taouma and her husband had recently returned to New Zealand from Samoa. They were inspired by the burgeoning kōhanga reo movement that was rapidly growing momentum. What if they could set up a similar concept for children of Samoan heritage? “There had been a big push when the first wave of immigrants came over to New Zealand to make sure they were good Kiwis and everyone spoke English. But they realised this could be of detriment to the language in the future,” says Jan.

From humble beginnings to rapid growth

Jan and her husband, who had been involved in early childhood education in Samoa, joined a group that aimed to set up a Samoan early learning centre in Auckland. They formed an incorporated society and established A’oga Fa’a Samoa Incorporated in 1984. The centre was initially run out of what was then the Pacific Island Resource Centre in Herne Bay. “I used to drive a van around Grey Lynn and Ponsonby and pick the children up,” recalls Jan. Then in around 1987 they relocated to Richmond Road Primary School in Ponsonby. “The school had this innovative principal and he could see the importance of Pacific and Māori children learning in their own languages. He started up language units – a Māori one and then a Samoan one in 1986.” Jan’s children attended the school, and she approached

the principal with the suggestion of moving their centre onto the school site so that children could transition into the language unit when they started school. The school agreed it was a good idea and A’oga Fa’aSamoa has operated from the school site ever since. It has grown a lot in that time. Initially they ran from 9am to 12pm, but as women started working more, they extended their operating hours to meet demand. There was a push for babies and toddlers to be looked after so they extended the centre and built an infants and toddlers area. “And all that time we ran transitional programmes to help children progress into the language unit at school.”

Smooth transitions

Based on what she’s witnessed at their centre, Jan is a strong advocate for providing clear and easy transitions between early learning and school. She says the Aoga Amata system, which began in the 1980s, with early childhood centres established as part of churches, was a really good initiative but lacked the continuation into primary school. “I think having the centre on the school site is key to getting communities involved in education. For children, it makes the transition process so easy. Their brothers and sisters and cousins all go, and families get involved from the beginning, right through. Parents start on a management committee at the centre, then they go on to be on the board of trustees in the primary school.”

“We’ve got children coming to us now whose parents attended here. A lot of New Zealand-born children have missed out on learning the language and they realise how important it is and they want it for their children.” Jan Taouma 3 May 2021

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There is now a language pathway right through to intermediate with Kōwhai Intermediate starting its own Samoan language unit as well. Jan says the parents are the backbone of this pathway. “We’ve got children coming to us now whose parents attended here. A lot of New Zealand-born children have missed out on learning the language and they realise how important it is and they want it for their children.”

“There was also a big push for all early childhood teachers to be trained and registered. But then when they went back to their centres to work, the centres couldn’t afford to employ them in the same way. So, centres lost a lot of teachers because they went to teach in mainstream so they were able to support their families. That’s been a big struggle to get that recognised and worked through.”

Barriers and challenges

In Jan’s view, it was worth all the hard work to get where they are today. As a nation we’re doing a much better job of valuing language and culture in a child’s learning than we were 40 years ago, she says. Jan is pleased to see that the Ministry of Education’s Pacific Education Action Plan, released last year, reaffirms the importance of language and culture in a child’s learning. And she only has to look at the academic, sporting and musical successes of former students to know that they must be doing something right. “The centre’s been around as long as me, so it’s pretty wonderful to see the successes that have come from it.”

It hasn’t been easy to get where they are though, she says. “It’s been quite a hard, tough road to get to where we are now in terms of Government support and funding. “Parents don’t realise that early childhood centres operate as a business and you’ve got to pay GST and IRD and have all of your employment things in place, and there’s a whole lot of regulation. That’s been very difficult for a lot of centres and many have floundered because of that. So support systems to help and guide centres are really important. It’s slowly happening now but it’s been quite a hard journey for a lot of centres.

Heading in the right direction

“The centre’s been around as long as me, so it’s pretty wonderful to see the successes that have come from it.” Jan Taouma

Play and learning in session at A’oga Fa’a Samoa.


Education Gazette

Long Bay Primary students spark up the Human Energy Generator

The kids have been mesmerised - and it’s led to some really robust discussions about how energy works. Jan Taouma.

Titirangi Primary

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These women share proud family connections with Hastings Girls’ High School: Shannon Edwards, Valencia Wainohu, Brenda Wainohu, Acacia Edwards, Kahlia Awa, Shontelle Awa.


A shared history of collaboration, culture and community Education Gazette visits two schools in Hawke’s Bay with a rich history of collaboration, culture and community engagement.


astings Girls’ High School and Hastings Boys’ High School were originally one school, founded in 1904 as a District High School. It then became known as Hastings High School before becoming Hastings Technical School, under the leadership of William Penlington, in 1922. In the mid-1950s, the decision was made to split into two single-sex schools: Hastings Girls’ High School and Hastings Boys’ High School. Current principal of Hastings Boys’ High School Rob Sturch says that although there was no reason for it, the boys’ school remained on the original site, while the girls’ school took up residence on the other side of town. “If you look around the country, a lot of schools split at the same time; that happened in a number of provinces,” he says.

Shared symbols

While split by location, the two schools retained many commonalities. The symbols of the huia and the ākina both remain stalwarts for the two schools. The huia is a special bird for both Hastings Girls’ High and Hastings Boys’ High, and continues to underpin the relationship between the schools. It remains a familiar, fond memory for students both past and present. Hastings Girls’ High School principal Catherine Bentley refers to the rich history of the symbols, which is still referenced when decisions are made about the future of the school. “The ākina and the huia came via Ngāti Kahungunu. It was the grandfather of Ngahiwi Tomoana (current chair of Ngāti Kahungunu). It’s the symbol of rarified knowledge,” she says. Adding to this, Rob describes the relationship between two huia bird as pertaining directly to that of the two high schools. “The birds mated for life,” he says. “The chiefs only ever wore the huia feather – so of all the birds the huia was regarded as the chief of the forest.”

3 May 2021

The schools also share the same song entitled ‘Ākina’, though Catherine says the song “sounds really different” when sung at the different schools. One line in the song is particularly memorable for previous students, including Fred Morley who proudly recited the line, “In later years when far away, remember the song you sing today”.

Collaboration brings opportunities

The two principals also share a special bond and understand the importance of connection between the two schools in a small town where whānau and community is paramount. “Catherine and I chat about a lot of things education – there are common themes; it’s about catering for the unique group of students we have. It doesn’t matter if it’s girls or boys really, we all have to adjust to what suits. There is a real opportunity to share… to make sustainable classrooms,” says Rob. After an almost 10-year hiatus, the principals have collaborated to ensure both schools can perform at a national level for cultural celebrations such as kapa haka. “You can’t really do a national level kapa haka performance (as a single sex school) so that is a really good platform. The girls who are performing, their brothers are also performing – that’s the whānau connection,” says Catherine. Collectively, the schools have also participated in Kī-o-rahi at a national level, as well as joining forces for school productions, including the most recent iteration of Hairspray in 2019, while the student leaders meet regularly throughout the year. The schools both pride themselves on celebrating diversity and ensuring they acknowledge and support the vast and varied rangatahi who walk through the gates each day. “Our Pasifika community, for both of our schools, has really flourished – so we have kind of become the schools of choice for our Pasifika community. What happens is

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that there is a new level of responsiveness,” says Catherine. “Rob surged ahead first, offering Samoan as a subject, and we have followed suit and been highly successful. We can bounce off each other. Although we are different, we are talking about the same community.”

Generational change

Past and present students agree. Former student Brenda Wainohu, whose daughters and granddaughters have all attended (or still attend) Hastings Girls’ High School, praises the fact that the school is responsive to the different needs of the young women. “Hastings Girls’ High School caters to all socioeconomic groups, all cultures and their needs,” she says. She adds that the school has provided her granddaughters with the opportunity to compete and be celebrated at a national level through both sporting and cultural tournaments.

“There are common themes; it’s about catering for the unique group of students we have. It doesn’t matter if it’s girls or boys really, we all have to adjust to what suits.” Rob Sturch

Brenda’s great-grandfather, Fredrick William Morley, attended the original Hastings High School. Her brothers Fred and Anthony Morley attended Hastings Boys’ High School. Fred’s sons, Reuben and Asher, also attended the school. But things at Hastings Boys’ High School are very different from how they were in the early 1900s. “Any school, looking back 50-plus years, was always based around the traditional education system – that’s very much changed now,” says Rob. “What has really improved also is what constitutes learning and knowledge. Before, it was a three-hour exam and now there are a multitude of ways. Kapa haka and performing arts would never have been considered knowledge 50 years ago – we have really come a long way,” he adds.

Looking to the future

Former Hastings Boys’ High School student Fred Morley, wearing his Ākina tie and 1st XV cap.


Education Gazette

Moving forward, both schools want to build on their inclusivity, and continue to be responsive to the needs of their students, their whānau and the wider community. “We can’t build a local place-based curriculum on what is a colonial system. What we will aim to do first is break down the systemic racism that has come from a colonial system,” says Catherine.

“Then add the layers alongside the local iwi. We start there and we start with ‘our girl’ and build on her identity and that place of belonging, then we can start creating a really rich and vibrant curriculum around her. “How do we build a curriculum to give all girls the same opportunities, regardless of background, culture, beliefs? It’s about equity.” Rob agrees that the schools share this sentiment of equity. Ensuring the ever-changing needs of the students at Hastings Boys’ High School are met remains at the heart of any future-focussed decisions. “The whole education landscape is really changing. With the new changes to NCEA, there are a huge number of things we need to get our head around,” he says. “That’s going to be a real challenge for us – to keep pace and make sure we provide something really meaningful for our boys. “We have a significant trades programme running at school and the new NCEA structure recognises that vocational pathway so that’s really positive. It’s supplying something that the students will need – be it a plumber, a doctor or a lawyer – it’s about being responsive for your needs.”

Son and father, Reuben and Fred Morley, share a strong tie to Hastings Boys’ High School.

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3 May 2021

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Rich learning environment on Rakiura Stewart Island | Rakiura provides a natural playground and classroom for the children who attend New Zealand’s southernmost school.

Halfmoon Bay School's teachers enjoy the opportunities of teaching at the remote school. From left: Alison, Kath and Emily.


Education Gazette


he flight from Invercargill to Stewart Island is short, noisy and thankfully smooth. But Rakiura is a world apart. When we arrive, Halfmoon Bay School principal Kath Johnson says: “Sure you can borrow my truck – it’s parked outside, the keys are in it.” Education Gazette arrived on a Friday morning in time for the weekly kapa haka practice with Whaea Pip Hakopa, who comes across from Bluff to take te reo Māori lessons for the community on Thursday nights, and she’s at the Year 1-8 school on Friday mornings. Kath tells us the Army Band had been due to visit but was delayed because of Covid restrictions (they eventually visited for the first time ever in mid-April). There was also a regular fortnightly visit from KiwiCan leaders, who have been visiting the island and running their life values and skills programme for at least 17 years. “We really try to make sure the kids aren’t impacted by their physical isolation. It’s probably more like a childhood from the 1980s, but it’s going forward too.”

Digital and real-world opportunities

Kath says the school is “pretty big” on digital technology with its senior students. “They take different classes through the Virtual Learning Network Primary,” she says. “Last year one of my Year 8 girls did five different classes, including sign language, extension maths and French. There are a whole lot of opportunities we can open up to them through the digital world.” Rakiura’s stunning natural environment is the playground and classroom for the students at our southernmost school, and provides plenty of opportunities for them to become involved in real-world projects. Since July last year, the school has teamed up in a pilot scheme with the New Zealand Penguin Initiative and local environmental group SIRCET (Stewart Island / Rakiura Community & Environment Trust) to observe little blue penguins/kororā at Ackers Point, near Oban. Richard Seed from the Penguin Initiative was visiting to check out the project and talk to the children about their contributions to science. “We’ve possibly been lured into a false sense of security here because the kids have just been so good. Their data entry has been flawless – they’re in tune with the environment,” he says.

Long history

There’s been a school at Halfmoon Bay for about 150 years. In a label at the new Rakiura heritage centre, Roy Traill (1892-1989) remembers his school days around the turn of the 20th century. “At lunchtime the boys were off down the beach or up Mill Creek. We’d jump off the rocks and swim about, no such thing as bathing trunks... Now and then we’d have to wade right out and get a ball, or grab a dinghy from the wharf and pull it out.” Six generations of Colin Hopkin’s family have attended the school, from Colin’s maternal greatgrandmother to granddaughter Ellie, who’s in Year 4. Colin was at school from 1958 to 1965; daughter Emma attended from 1989 to 1994. “There were two classrooms. School was a lot more basic than it is now – it was reading, writing and arithmetic. It was a bit of a shock leaving the island, but you had to go to a school (Waitaki Boys’ High School). It was just putting in time until I was allowed to go fishing,” remembers Colin, who has recently retired.

Nowhere better

When Emma was at school, there were 60 or 70 students – enough for some sports teams – and she remembers a netball and rugby tour to Dunedin when she was eight as a ‘pretty major trip’. “We’re obviously still in this environment so we did get to do special camps and special trips. The older kids would always go to Mason Bay on the other side of the island, which is a full tramping trip. Younger kids go out to Māori Beach – there was a school there in Dad’s day,” she says. All children from Rakiura have to go to boarding school on the mainland from Year 9 and for many, like Emma, this leads to tertiary education and working and travelling away. “But then I never found anywhere I liked more than home, so it was always in my head that I would come back. It’s a really lovely place to bring up children. The childhood doesn’t really change much: being able to go to the beach and explore outside and having that community that looks out for all the kids too,” she says.

“We really try to make sure the kids aren’t impacted by their physical isolation. It’s probably more like a childhood from the 1980s, but it’s going forward too.” Kath Johnson

3 May 2021

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Six generations of Colin's family have attended Halfmoon Bay School. From left Ellie, Emma and Colin.

“We get to do a wide range of things like going diving in the sea, we train for athletics and triathlon on the beach and the sea.” Ava, Year 6

Kate and Ava enjoy Rakiura’s gym, which is a wonderful facility for the school and community.


Education Gazette

The children agree with Emma. “I like all the opportunities like we get to go off the island, back on the island. We get to do a wide range of things like going diving in the sea, we train for athletics and triathlon on the beach and the sea,” says Ava, Year 6. “It’s cool because there are a lot of experiences here – like we do snorkelling. Earlier this week we did a wharf jump for our triathlon training and we did a survival swim in our pyjamas. We do rat trapping and stuff and the penguin cams are probably the best things we do,” says Fionn, Year 7.

In 2018, teacher Alison Fitzsimons and her family decided to have an adventure and she accepted a one-year teaching position at Halfmoon Bay School. They relocated from Cambridge and within a few months decided to make the move permanent. The two older children are now at boarding school in Invercargill and Fionn is thriving at the school. “The opportunity came up to stay and because they had so many different opportunities here and I could just see their growth in confidence and self-esteem, we did!” says Alison.

All hands on deck

Teacher workforce

The Board of Trustees tops up the funding for three teachers so the Year 7 and 8 students can have a separate class for the three days a week Kath teaches them. The community pitches in with support and fundraising. “Peter who owns the local garage has a swim squad, so Tuesday/Thursday morning they swim. We always have awesome results at the Southland and Southern Zone swimming sports,” says Kath. Every Friday, Bevan Mudie, a retired secondary school art teacher from Auckland, originally from the Catlins, volunteers to teach art. He’s assisted by another local, Mikayla Joy, who is a Fine Arts graduate. One of the largest buildings on the island is a superb gym and community hub which is used by the school and the community. Funding came from the Ministry of Education, Southland District Council and a group of locals who said ‘we want the best community centre’. Kath happily shows us around the school’s refurbishments which include a new breakout room, wide covered verandahs and double glazing. A solar system with batteries to improve their energy resilience and reduce their dependence on the island’s diesel generator has been approved in Round 2 of the Ministry’s Sustainability Contestable Fund.

Punching above weight

Kath is proud of the achievements of the children at the 36-pupil school. “The big thing for our Board of Trustees and our community is that our kids on Rakiura don’t miss out on things. So we go out of our way to make sure they’re getting the best deal they can. We think they are, ERO thinks they are,” she says. Every year Kath prepares a report for the board showing how well the children have done in a range of regional competitions. The report for 2019 showed that while they are one of the smallest, most remote schools in the Southern Zone, they came 20th out of 44 schools in the Southland Primary Schools Swimming Sports. There were top placings in the Southern Zone cross country, merit awards at the Southland Science Fair, third places in the Southland speech competition and the Otago BandQuest regional final – and more. “They definitely punch above their weight,” laughs Kath.

3 May 2021

Teacher retention is clearly not a difficulty. Education Gazette was unable to meet Bonnie Leask who had taught at Halfmoon Bay School for 32 years. Kath moved to Stewart Island when she was 15, worked away for 17 years and has been principal at Halfmoon Bay School since 2007. She delights in telling the stories of her other two staff: Emily Joy who came for an eight-week stint nine years ago and Alison Fitzsimmons who moved from Cambridge with her family for a year. Emily teaches PE and Years 3-5. “I had never been here before. I came for eight weeks! This is my first job – I knew I didn’t want to teach in a city. In the first week I was already planning on staying and just trying to see if I could get work elsewhere,” says Emily, who has married a local fisherman. Her parents and two sisters have also relocated to Rakiura. “What has kept me here? I think the relationships you can have with the students and the families and the community because the school is such a central part of the community. The opportunities the kids get are awesome. People assume you don’t get many opportunities here, but you clearly do. More so with the lower numbers, you can really get to know the children really well and cater to what they need,” explains Emily.

Nature is playground

Alison, who teaches Years 1-3, says the children are well supported and she enjoys close relationships with them and their families. “Nature is our playground. The first year I was here, they were at bush school and they had a mudslide. Half of them left their backpacks on and they came back to school like monsters. The dad who came with us was a volunteer fireman and said ‘do you want me to hose them down at the fire station?’ I waited for the parent complaints to roll in, but they were all delighted and that will be one of the kids’ favourite experiences! “As a teacher, I’ve just done far more things here and I guess it’s exciting to teach. We went to Māori Beach for a camp and they kayaked from Port William to Māori Beach and then they walked back out. Little kids can do it! The parents are behind their kids, rather than finding excuses; the kids just go. I guess the opportunities just sit really well with our values,” says Alison. “I like going to school here because it’s less people and more one on one time and you can make friends with almost the whole entire school,” says Ava.

Tukutuku Kōrero


Māori revival on Rakiura

From the early 1800s Māori leaders of the south encouraged relationships between Māori women and newly arrived Pākehā men to maintain social control and secure trade connections. By 1840, about 140 Māori women and Pākehā men around Foveaux Strait had formed families. There’s no marae on Rakiura and it wasn’t until the opening of the new heritage centre, Te Puka o te Waka/Whare Taonga, in 2020 that a waiata, Rakiura te whenua, about the special places on the island, was composed by mana whenua and performed by the school and members of the community.

HOW IT BEGAN It all began when Whaea Pip (Waikato Tainui, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Māmoe) , who had lived on the island in 2000, contacted Kath Johnson (Ngāti Kahungunu) at the school and asked if she could give back to the community that had once supported her. “I’ve always been really interested in Māori connections. There are a lot of Māori who have an iwi, or have some Māori whakapapa on Rakiura, but very few of them are connected, know the language, know their pepeha,” says Kath. Pip was working for Ngāi Tahu to affect their education strategy in the schools around the Western Southland district. She says there’s only a small percentage of mana whenua on Rakiura and she wanted to teach te reo, tikanga and kapa haka to whānau on the island – she offered her services for nothing, as aroha. “Last year there were nine in the te reo class, now there are about 20,” says Pip. Kath will be taking a sabbatical in term 4 to focus on exploring the iwi connections of tamariki at the school. “I want to try to help them find out where their marae, maunga, awa are. I want to empower them to make connections with their iwi. I started with my iwi and at the moment I have eight nephews and nieces at the school here!” she says.

EMPOWERING EXPERIENCES Lania Edwards is mana whenua (Ngāti Māmoe ki Rakiura) and has spent most of her life on Rakiura. Fair-skinned and green-eyed, she says she didn’t feel she could identify as Māori because she didn’t look the part.

“We have rights to go muttonbirding and that had been my only link to my Māori heritage for a long time. “But then I realised that’s part of my heritage and also part of being a New Zealander, it’s important that we keep this culture alive, not just for us but for our children and their children, so they learn with us,” she says. The Edwards – Lania, Laurence (Rongawhakata, Te Aitanga a Mahaki) and their son Ngakau, helped Pip to write Rakiura te whenua for the opening of the Whare Taonga. They began learning te reo with Pip in 2019 and their command of the language, tikanga and Te Ao Māori is impressive. “We have learned kapa haka, pōwhiri, tikanga from Whaea Pip. We hosted and ran the pōwhiri for the opening of the museum. We’d never done that before. Our long-term vision is, if not a marae, a cultural centre – somewhere where we can have weekend wānanga and open it up to visitors and share. “Almost the whole school and members of the community – about 50 people in total – took part in the pōwhiri for the opening of the museum. We had four full-day wānanga just practising – it was tiring, but amazing,” says Lania.

CONNECTING TO CULTURE Lania and Laurence are making sure their son Ngakau (Year 8) is fully immersed in te ao Māori. They couldn’t be prouder when he leads the haka. “We’ve been singing waiata from the North Island and Ngāi Tahu for years. All the boys were on stage and the women were in front of us – that was quite cool supporting our wahine and being so tight as a group,” says Laurence. “I was nervous and excited. Because it was the first time I had done pōwhiri – we’d done lots of practising beforehand. Learning the proper way of doing it felt special,” adds Ngakau. Kath says about 45 per cent of children at Halfmoon Bay School identify with an iwi. She’s keen for them to grow their knowledge of te reo and tikanga Māori and hopes that Whaea Pip will be funded to work with the children and their whānau for about six wānanga days throughout the year.

“Our long-term vision is, if not a marae, a cultural centre – somewhere where we can have weekend wānanga and open it up to visitors and share.” Lania Edwards


Education Gazette

Lania, Laurence and Ngakau are involved in the revival of tikanga Māori on Rakiura.

Whaea Pip travels from Bluff each week to teach te reo and kapa haka.

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3 May 2021

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Tukutuku Kōrero


For tamariki at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima, the Tainui Waka Primary School Kapa Haka Competition was an opportunity to persevere through Covid-19.


Learning from a Māori worldview Education Gazette looks at the importance of kapa haka as a vehicle for many students to engage with te ao Māori.


n a normal year, there would be a series of national kapa haka competitions, allowing tamariki from primary and secondary schools to take to the stage all over the country. But 2020 was not a normal year. When Covid-19 hit New Zealand in March 2020, schools and kura closed and face-to-face learning ceased. For many Māori students and learners in kura Māori, this meant an even larger disruption to their education. “When our tamariki came back from Covid, we found it difficult, like a lot of other schools, because of the anxiety and the apprehension,” says Tony Walker, the principal at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Rima in Hamilton and chair of the Tainui Waka Primary School Kapa Haka organising committee. “But what we found is that in our ancient songs and in our haka, there were sayings and things that really supported people inside. Their spirituality, their sense about themselves, their mental wellbeing, their physical wellbeing, it’s all in haka.” On 14 November 2020, the Tainui Waka School Kapa Haka Competition was held in Tokoroa, thanks to a dedicated organising committee, communities and schools that advocated for it to be held, and funding received through the Ministry of Education’s Urgent Response Fund. It drew a crowd – something which no one would have thought possible just months before – of whānau, kaumatua and ākonga in 15 groups from 12 schools around the region. The power of kapa haka and its importance to Māori education was clear to those in the audience. Brad Totorewa, a kapa haka tutor and composer himself, is a Limited Statutory Manager (LSM) for the Ministry of Education and a parent to one of the student competitors. He sums it up: “This – kapa haka – this is where your curriculum lies.”

He taonga tuku iho | It is a treasure and an inheritance For many students, kapa haka is an access point to engaging with te ao Māori. To engage with Māori

3 May 2021

Performing Arts, students must engage with tikanga, reo, and Māori culture and identity. It’s rooted in, and elevates, Māori culture and language. “Our children are extraordinary,” says Brad. “They’re doing genealogy, mathematics, social studies, performance arts – all on stage. “One young man on stage said: ‘My mana did not come from yesterday. My mana stems from a long line of chiefs from past generations, all the way beyond my understanding, and I’m proud of that.’ The power of kapa haka is important to ensure that the tapestry of our culture is strong and unbreakable.” Tony agrees. “In schools, kapa haka is seen as an extracurricular activity, or it sits under a wider curriculum of arts. It’s a really under-appreciated area,” he says. “But in the process, they learn their language, they learn their identity, they learn protocols, they learn histories, and it really feeds into their sense of self.” “If we can mirror the passion, the understanding, the depth of connectivity, the tapestry that we call kapa haka and embed them into our classes – imagine if you apply that,” says Brad. “Not the solution of one teacher, one subject, one way of delivering. Imagine if you could box this up – kapa haka – and place it into schools.”

Te Ao Haka

This year, more than 30 secondary schools and kura across the country will be piloting Te Ao Haka, the new Māori Performing Arts subject at all NCEA levels. After the 2018 review of NCEA, recommendations were made to ensure that te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, and mātauranga Māori were better supported in the curriculum and in NCEA. Māori Performing Arts embodies several dispositions, giving ākonga the capability to grow proud, confident, disciplined, resilient, accountable, hardworking, committed, humble leaders who are able to work collaboratively. The skills of manaaki, tiaki, aroha, whakapono, aumangea, time-management and commitment provide lifelong learning for ākonga.

Tukutuku Kōrero


Tamariki at Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha rehearse hard for the Tainui Waka Primary School Kapa Haka Competition.


Education Gazette

But kapa haka advocates are quick to draw a distinction between kapa haka being seen as just a method of performing arts. Kapa haka is also a means through which a Māori worldview can be applied to education.

Expanding learning through a Māori lens

In recent years, there has been a shift, albeit a slow one, in expanding curriculum to incorporate learning from a Māori worldview. “We want to contextualise our curriculum,” says Tony, speaking from his experience as a former teacher and current principal. “Our curriculum doesn’t belong in silos.” What sets learning through a Māori worldview apart, Walker says, is the kaupapa. “The kaupapa and the language go together. The kaupapa looks after the holistic child, every single part of the child, every single part of their family. That’s what it provides. I’m not saying that other schools don’t, but they don’t do it like this.” Kapa haka is one visible example. “The way we deliver our curriculum is important,” says Brad. “These kids spend hours and hours practising and practising and reciting. They sleep together, they eat together, they live together for two to three days per week. Some kids go to school and it’s ‘I’m going to learn maths for 45 minutes. Here’s your textbook’.” “But what if we turned that and looked at how we deliver. The methodology of teaching our kids is important. Kapa haka is underrated in terms of its ability to transform the lives of our people.” Tony’s preference is that learning mirrors kapa haka – it becomes a part of who we are and what we do. Eventually, it will take a standard place alongside literacy and numeracy, and eventually, even change the way these subjects are taught. To Tony, incorporating a Māori lens is important to teaching students in a way they can more deeply understand. “When we engage in a traditional practice of eeling, when we measure the eels to gauge their health, that’s our maths,” says Walker. “Rather than sitting in a classroom with mathematical strategies – our kids just can’t hook it on to anything.” Despite decades of strategies designed to engage and integrate a Māori worldview into education, the reality is that before now, learning hasn’t been seen through a Māori lens.

“The methodology of teaching our kids is important. Kapa haka is underrated in terms of its ability to transform the lives of our people.” Brad Totorewa

3 May 2021

Tukutuku Kōrero


With racism and inequity having been embedded in New Zealand education since the 1800s, for generations it was unthinkable to have a Māori worldview present in mainstream education.

“I think this is a great day today. Covid-19 hasn’t stopped us from expressing ourselves as Māori through song and dance.”

‘Covid-19 will not diminish my culture’

The URF helping to fund the Tainui Waka Primary Kapa Haka competition is just one example of where mainstream systems can merge with a Māori lens and improve education outcomes for students. With kapa haka, children are being measured on an indigenous scale, where success depends on how much heart they give, not just the standard scale of assessment found in most schools. “The more they are themselves, the more they learn and the better they become,” says Tony. Kapa haka also enables educators to engage more deeply with children, their whānau and their communities. “If you take that moment in time where that grumpy little child, who may have home problems or be hungry, if we just understand them a bit more and understand their potential, we can grow extraordinary leaders in New Zealand,” says Brad. “In terms of who we are as a people, everything is everything, and we have to look at our education system as the same,” says Tony. “We need to see the child in their entirety and then provide an education system that provides for that.”

In recent decades, there has been a concerted effort to address the inequity present for Māori learners and in Māori medium education. Kura and schools in competition for resources saw opportunities and funding slip past in a system that was designed around non-Māori priorities and education. Covid-19 only further amplified this vast inequality, with Māori learners being disproportionately affected. To combat the effects of Covid-19, the Ministry launched the Urgent Response Fund (URF) to quickly allocate funding where it was needed the most. The Tainui Waka Primary School Kapa Haka organising committee saw their opportunity and applied for nearly $30,000 of funding from the URF to support the annual competition. The funding was approved. Three months later, the competition was held in Tokoroa, bringing together a community, students and educators at a time when it was deeply needed. “One of the groups stood today and said, ‘Covid-19 will not diminish my culture’,” says Brad. “So what does that mean in the educational context? You have seven-year-olds singing about this virus called Covid-19. They understand that it won’t diminish their mana.

Everything is everything

Tamariki from Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha on stage at the Tainui Waka Primary School Kapa Haka Competition.


Education Gazette

Eating healthy for you and the planet! Eating healthy for you and the planet!


What you eat could change the world.

o by Rainera Rewiri, before answering y need to carry out further research to

a humane education resource Eating Healthy for You and the Planet explores food production and how our day-to-day dietary habits contribute to the climate emergency and our environment.

ng and living sustainably?

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personal wellbeing and Te Ao Māori

This resource contains five environmental and nutrition focused topics including plant-based recipes that are good for you and the planet. Included are a series of readings, videos, activities and NCEA Achievement Standard Assessments.

Series topics




⊲ The climate emergenc y ⊲ What you eat could cha nge the world ⊲ Piling up for your plate with plants ⊲ Plant-based meals: mo re familiar than you might realise ⊲ The future of food



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Animal Bites newsletters are available for free to Year 1 to Year 8 teachers and students. Each issue of Animal Bites takes a child-friendly look at a different animal, the environment and the issues affecting them.



Is your classroom filled with curious young animal lovers? Access free resources available through Animal Squad, a group designed specifically for children under 14 years.



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An increasingly inclusive education system An inclusive education system is one in which all schools are supported to have the skills and expertise to deliver the highest level of learning for all students. Specialist schools are one part of this system, playing an important role in learning support provision. Today, more than 99 per cent of learners attend mainstream schools and the Education Review Office reports improved attitudes towards inclusion in most schools. Education Gazette talks to Maureen Allan, principal of Waitaha School, a specialist school in Christchurch, about the shift to a more inclusive learning system.

Waitaha School principal Maureen Allan works with students Marcus, Edward and Patrick on a project.


Education Gazette


ntil 1989, children with disabilities were largely excluded from state education and the responsibility for their learning lay with families, special schools, voluntary organisations and psychiatric institutions. A few words, tucked into section 8 of the Education Act 1989, signalled a seismic shift in approach: … people who have special educational needs (whether because of disability or otherwise) have the same rights to enrol and receive education at state schools as people who do not. In the three decades since, a raft of systemic changes has followed to support and promote inclusive education values and practice for all learners.

Every child matters

Waitaha School principal Maureen Allan says she has seen a shift from segregated to inclusive learning during her 33 years working in learning support. She has also been privy to the hope expressed by many parents that their child will be able to attend the local school with their brother or sister. “As a specialist school, we really support that family vision. Whatever can be done in a special school should be able to happen in a local school, and vice versa. If you listen to the parent voice and to the voices of the learners, they want to be able to learn and have fun alongside their same aged peers in the local school, but there are often barriers to that … I don’t think there should be. “I know schools will say it’s fiscal, that it comes down to resourcing, but what is needed, greater than money, is a shift in mindset. Children need to learn with and alongside their peers. All members of the class benefit from the inclusion of diverse learners. The development of caring and inclusive values is a noted outcome of fully inclusive school communities,” says Maureen. The key is in quality leadership. “This includes the belief of the principal that everyone is worth investing in, and that all children are valued as part of the school community,” she says. “It’s about making sure that every child matters and that the work you’re doing for every child is what they need.” Maureen cites Special Education 2000 as a huge inspiration. The aim of this policy was to develop a fair and equitable system in which all students received appropriate support according to their level of need by earmarking funding for different groups. It included improved specialist interventions at the early childhood stage, funding for schools to provide extra help for learners with mild-to-moderate needs, improved access to specialist help for students with difficulties in speechlanguage or behaviour, and a whole-of-education grant for learners with high needs.

“It’s about making sure that every child matters and that the work you’re doing for every child is what they need.” Maureen Allan

3 May 2021

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Working collaboratively

According to Maureen learning support is not just the role of specialist teachers, it’s for all school staff. As a specialist school, the Waitaha teachers work closely with the local schools across their catchment and Kāhui Ako to share (and gain) expertise in supporting learners with diverse needs, whether or not they are enrolled at the specialist school. “Regardless of whether a learner has a formal diagnosis, there’s always a reason for why a behaviour happens or why the learning isn’t happening. And it’s the job of the teacher and the school leadership team to be the detectives, and to work out what teaching strategies are required. “At Waitaha we are constantly working to understand why a young person is responding the way they are and what we can do to make the environment better for that young person. Everything our young people do centres around learning and it’s our job as teachers to make sure we’ve got the learning in place; particularly with regard to positive behaviour and the development of social skills. “For example, social learning might happen through a small restorative chat or it might be that the restorative practice happens as part of daily practice within circle time in the classroom. We operate a repair and restore model rather than a punitive system.”

Waitaha School: where superheroes thrive

Waitaha School is a specialist school in Rolleston, Christchurch, catering for high needs students ages 5-21 who are funded by the Ongoing Resource Scheme (ORS). The school operates from a co-located base facility at Lemonwood Grove School with three integrated satellites at Rolleston College, Rolleston West School and Knights Stream School. Waitaha students have multiple, complex needs including intellectual and physical disabilities. The school supports their learners to become more self-managing and independent, and is keenly focused on enabling them to be active participants in the school and in the wider community. “We refer to our students as superheroes with superpowers and we know that anything is possible. In 2021 our challenge is to really grow community connections with respect to employment for our young people.”

Waitaha superheroes in action: Seamus, Marcus, Edward, Tak (teacher), Lauren, Patrick, Eric and Brock.


Education Gazette

This year, a Waitaha secondary student has been appointed as a full member of the Selwyn Youth Council, and a second student has taken on an apprentice role on the Council. “In this small but growing area of New Zealand we applaud the inclusive mindset of the Selwyn District Council and celebrate that the voices of young people with disabilities resonates across the district,” says Maureen. The school is also in the process of transitioning some students to their local school using tailored transition plans that are shaped by the aspirations of whānau and developed collaboratively with Waitaha, the local school and the Ministry.

in specialist education, and the school encourages all teachers to continue their professional development. “This year we are focused on strengthening post-secondary transition pathways for our 18- to 21-year-olds and are working closely with our local Ministry of Education office regarding opportunities for this group of students. This has also involved positive engagement with the Selwyn District Council.” The school’s population is diverse with 11 percent identifying as “other” in addition to those who are Māori, Pākehā and Pacific.

“The school is fully committed to supporting the transition of learners back into their local schools after a time at Waitaha. How fantastic it is to have both worlds [specialist and local] working together in such a rich and reciprocal partnership to provide the best opportunities for our young people.” Waitaha School employs 34 teachers and a specialist therapy team. Five teachers have academic qualifications

Me whakaatu atu ngā kōhanga reo, ngā whare kōhungahunga me ngā kura i ngā pānui e whakaū ana i te noho Haurehu Kore me te noho Auahi Kore o ngā whare katoa.

Kōhanga reo, ECEs, schools and kura must now display signs stating that the premises are now No Vaping and Smokefree at all times

I te 11 o Whiringa-ā-nuku 2020, i whakawhānuihia atu te rāhui ki runga i te kaipaipa i roto i ngā kura, i ngā kōhanga reo me ngā whare kōhungahunga ki te momi haurehu hoki.

On 11 November 2020, the existing prohibition on smoking at schools, kura, kōhanga reo and early childhood education facilities (ECEs) was extended to include vaping.

Mai i te 11 o Haratua 2021, ko te kupu a te ture hou me whakaatu atu tētahi pānui e whakakāhore ana i te momi haurehu me te momi paipa ki roto i ngā whare i ngā wā katoa. Me whakaatu atu ngā pānui ki ngā kuhunga katoa me ngā tomokanga katoa o ngā whare katoa. Kua tukuna kētia ētahi whakapiripiri mā te pōhi ki ngā whare kōhungahunga, ki ngā kōhanga reo me ngā kura hei whakairi ake ki reira.

From 11 May 2021, the new legislation requires display of a notice stating that vaping and smoking is forbidden within the premises at all times. Notices must be displayed at every entrance and at every outer entrance to every building. A supply of stickers has been mailed to all ECEs, kōhanga reo, schools and kura for this purpose.

Mēnā e hiahia ana koe ki ētahi atu whakapiripiri, tonoa ki

3 May 2021

If you need more stickers they are available from

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Wayne Brown, with his wife, Alycia, welcomes the opportunity to lead Whanganui Collegiate into the future.


Whanganui Collegiate: Turning children of promise into adults of character Whanganui Collegiate School, established in 1854, is one of New Zealand’s earliest secondary schools and teachers and students alike are proud of its unique traditions and heritage; as well as the fact that 108 international boarders and staff formed one of the country’s largest isolation bubbles during Level 4 Covid-19 in 2020.


hanganui Collegiate School has been on the same site in central Whanganui since 1911 and while there are many architectural styles, including a new awardwinning library and admin block, the buildings create an English village-like atmosphere. Wayne Brown is the school’s 21st headmaster and is unapologetic about the school’s adherence to rules, standards and tradition. “You do not walk on the grass, you do not have your phone. You meet and greet – eye contact and handshake. You have a standard that you have to adhere to – that’s called responsibility,” says Wayne. “Character-based values underpin everything here. Academic excellence is our keystone because knowledge is really important. But I know that it’s the development of knowledge and character that’s going to be of good influence. “We’ve proven already in 2020, with the way New Zealand handled the Covid crisis, that you can have all the knowledge in the world, or the perception that you’ve got all the knowledge, but if you don’t have the right character to execute the knowledge, what good is it?”

Boarding model develops whole child

As a seven-day-a-week boarding school, with 88 percent of the roll of 310 being boarders, Wayne says the school has an opportunity to develop the whole child. “Adversity creates resilience and our students need to be placed in that adversity – challenged and taken out of their comfort zones. “At a student’s first interview, I tell them: ‘There’s more in you than you know. It doesn’t just happen through osmosis. You have to work hard at it and if you don’t understand it, you don’t understand it yet’.

3 May 2021

“I say there’s no place worth going that you can reach with a shortcut. We talk about that journey all the time,” says Wayne.

Long association

When Alec McNab arrived at the school in 1973, 24 years old and newly married, he was tasked with setting up and heading a PE department and establishing an athletics, track and field programme at the sporty school, where rugby, cricket and rowing predominated. “I was at Loughborough University, a very big physical education college in the Midlands (in England) studying sport and Sir Peter Snell was there for a year. He knew Collegiate principal, Tom Wells and Tom said, ‘I want a young teacher who will specialise in athletics and get a PE department going’,” remembers Alec. Known as one of ‘Tom’s Poms’, the proud Scot and his wife came by sea so he would have a chance to read, think and prepare for his new role. Alec developed the physical education programme, and then was Director of Sport for 25 years overseeing a wideranging programme. He continues to coach elite athletes at the school.

Girls change culture

Alec says that while some changes were subtle, the biggest change was the introduction of girls in 1991. “Having girls was a brave step and I think the school did it extraordinarily well. Our first group of girls – 45 senior students – were real pioneer women. They had come to a very established boys’ school and had to make a presence – and they did. The first intake of junior classes at the end of the decade were similar. They were pretty out there, because they felt they had something to prove,” he says.

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“It would be silly to say it hasn’t changed the school – of course it has. We’re reasonably close to 50/50 now. The girls were pretty tough mentally. The range of things those girls went on to do has been quite remarkable.”

Sense of history

The sense of history is palpable at the 166-year-old school, where the Museum and Archives house a collection of artifacts and taonga dating back from the earliest days of the school: these include photographs, documents, uniforms, sporting cups and records and memorabilia. Old boy Richard Bourne and his assistant Frances Gibbons proudly show Education Gazette a living database in which every student has been recorded – and continues to be recorded – since the school was established. The records show their achievements at school and what they went – and go on – to achieve in their lives. Many of today’s students know that they walk proudly in the footsteps of their forebears. “We have a lot of generational families and I say to them I want them to pave their own pathway: ‘you don’t need to pave Dad’s or Mum’s – pave yours,” says Wayne. Head boy in 2020, James says he’s a fifth- or sixthgeneration Collegiate boy. “There’s quite a big family background. There weren’t really expectations for me to come here – I wanted to come to this school. I almost felt I had a need to because there’s such a strong family history here,” says James. Year 10 student Bella is a third generation Collegian.

“You feel more at home, because my dad gets so excited when I tell him something about the school. He says ‘I did that too!’. Alec McNab coached my dad! The school is very traditional and it’s still kept a lot of that tradition,” she says.

From promise to character

For Wayne Brown, the ideal graduate of Whanganui Collegiate School is someone who can walk anywhere and contribute to his or her community. “Our catchphrase is: Turning young children of promise into young adults of character. “My ideal graduate is someone who is honest, takes responsibility, is accountable for their actions, trusts (people, the system, the process), has the ability to get out of their comfort zone; or to follow, challenges the norms of society, but respectfully; is not affected by the tall poppy syndrome and will be a lifelong learner because the lifelong knowledge that they pick up, along with their character will be of great influence,” says Wayne.

For an extended interview about Whanganui Collegiate School, read this story at Education Gazette online, or scan this QR code.

Alec McNab arrived at the school for a year – 48 years ago.


Education Gazette

After retiring, Richard Bourne – a Collegiate old boy – found a new job running the school's archives.

Old uniforms are displayed in the archives.

“We want them to be of great influence and the only way they will be of great influence is if they are of good character.” Wayne Brown

There’s a strong tradition of former students sending their children to Collegiate: L-R, back: Max, Bella, Kimiora, Jack, and (front) Leilani and James all continue their family tradition.

3 May 2021

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Hopes, dreams and high expectations at kura Tessa Moana Kake-Tuffley (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Maruwharanui) knows that she stands on the shoulders of her tūpuna and bears their hopes and dreams for an education system that works for Māori.

A whānau affair: Moana (second from right) with son Tamajames and parents Frances and Rangi Kake.

“We do want them to be scholars in areas of interest, but we also want them to know where the tea towel is when they go to the pā” Tessa Moana Kake-Tuffley 52

Education Gazette


essa Moana (Moana) Kake-Tuffley is the tumuaki of Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Pihipihinga Kākano Mai Rangiātea (TPKMR) in New Plymouth and is also a graduate of the kura, in which her parents have been involved since its establishment in 1992. She is a proud product of a Māori immersion education: “I went through the Māori educational pathway from kōhanga reo to wharekura [school] and then whare wānanga [tertiary]. “For my family as a whole, the natural progression was to go from kōhanga reo to kura kaupapa. We were living in Auckland and I attended a kura kaupapa there. When we moved to Taranaki there wasn’t a kura kaupapa and I went to a local primary school. “Then they started having their kōrero and wānanga around establishing a kura kaupapa Māori. They were just firm believers in success of Māori as Māori and that was behind their aspirations for the kura,” she says.

Small beginnings

Moana’s parents, Rangi and Frances Kake, remember the early days when there was one teacher with whānau support and eight or nine tamariki at the kura. “We had to create everything from scratch and fundraise to pay teachers because we had to go on our own for two years to show the Ministry what we could do. At that time, you could bring your babies into the kura – it was quite a marae in some ways,” remembers Frances. “There’s a lot that’s been achieved, considering we had to make our own resources. For books, we just photocopied pages and did our own kids’ books,” she says. Rangi says initially the dream for TPKMR was to one day be level pegging with other kaupapa Māori around Aotearoa. “It’s not an easy road. You’ve got to be focused, not only as a leader/principal, but as a whānau as well. Even amongst our own people, the commitment has to be huge to climb that mountain to get to that high level; and it’s had its ups and downs, but it’s just perseverance and getting people involved,” he says. Moana remembers going to wānanga with her parents in the 1980s and ’90s. “I remember having so many different wānanga that catered to tamariki, but some were just for parents and we just went along. It was a really whānau environment. If we were doing a march for te reo Māori, the whole school would go and we’d walk around the whole of Taranaki in support of the revitalisation of our reo,” recalls Moana.

Tikanga Māori

At 36, Moana is a young tumuaki and is aware of the expectations placed on her and her Year 1-15 kura, which now has a roll of 115 students. “Going on the Māori pathway was a tikanga that my great grandfather and my grandmother instilled in us at a young age. “You are doing it to make a difference so that your mokopuna can hear of the mahi that their tūpuna or

3 May 2021

kaumātua helped to do, and to try and continue those aspirations. Everything that I do and how I speak to my children is not just as Māori, but to be able to provide better opportunities for ourselves to set our part of the world up for tamariki/mokopuna,” she says.

Confident and contributing citizens

When parents enroll their children at TPKMR, they are asked why they have chosen this kura option. “Of all the pathways, I believe, coming to kura kaupapa Māori isn’t just a ‘drop-off at 9, pick-up at 3’ kind of thing. It’s having a whānau hui every month that can take anywhere between one and four hours. It’s a lot of commitment and that’s just to whānau hui, let alone to te reo Māori, and ensuring the revitalisation of our reo,” says Moana. She says the focus is on whānau and the whole child, but she expects NCEA Level 3 passes where possible. “The standard is that NCEA Level 3 is a must and they aren’t leaving school until they get it – if you are Year 15, then ka pai. Having that expectation does get full on and they say they don’t want to let me down. We say, ‘The only thing that is stopping you is yourself’. We work through those maunga/mountains to ensure they have the skills to prepare themselves. “We do want them to be scholars in areas of interest, but we also want them to know where the tea towel is when they go to the pā and that they are confident and contributing citizens of their own whānau, hapū and iwi,” says Moana.

Giving back

Karere Huhu-Paraone was one of those students who had a few maunga to climb during his 12 years at the kura. In 2021, he will be completing his fourth year studying Toi Māori (art) at the Eastern Institute of Technology. “Karere left after Year 13,” says Moana, “and he had always wanted to be an artist of Toi Maori – he’s from Gisborne. We helped him through the pathway as he returned to his people of Te Tairāwhiti. He was the first graduate who had gone from New Entrant to Year 13. “He came back after eight months away and got up at the graduation and said he’s going to complete his degree in Toi Maori and then get his teaching diploma so that he can come back. “I’m so proud of the way the mindset changed with him. I was bawling my eyes out because I never thought I would hear that. His last two years were a long journey but it makes it all worthwhile when they are smashing their goals,” she says.

For an extended interview about Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Pihipihinga Kākano Mai Rangiātea, read this story at Education Gazette online, or scan this QR code.

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Through the decades Education Gazette has been a source of information for educators for the past one hundred years – from vacancies and teaching advice to guidance about the correct way to salute the flag.


n August 1921, Wellington’s Evening Post newspaper announced that the Department of Education was to issue a monthly ‘Education Gazette’ to convey instructions and suggestions to teachers as well as to advertise school staff vacancies nationwide. “The legislation of last year adopted the principle of the appointment and promotion of teachers on a Dominion basis. The publication of an Education Gazette, now authorised by Cabinet, is the corollary to that legislation,” said CJ Parr, Minister of Education. “The news of every vacancy will reach all the teachers, some 4000 in number. The present practice is for boards to advertise vacancies in the local newspapers, but the advertisements do not reach teachers in other districts.” The Gazette was also to be a vehicle for imparting information, advice, and instructions to inspectors and teachers. “The lack of such a channel of communication has been a serious embarrassment to the Department in the past. I am satisfied that in many schools in this country the teaching of elementary subjects lacks accuracy, exactness, and thoroughness. Deficiencies in these respects must be corrected without delay,” said Mr Parr.

Criticism and flag salutes

By May 1922, strong criticism was voiced that the Education Department was “wasting money on a publication which is not worth that much”. Its chief function was to advertise vacancies, but the Education Gazette frequently reached teachers so late that it was “a prehistoric curiosity”, F. Martyn Renner, secretary of


Education Gazette

the Secondary Schools’ Assistants’ Association, told his annual conference. By November of that year, Mr Parr directed the Gazette to publish advice about the correct methods for saluting the flag, the Pahiatua Herald reported. “There are, no doubt, some teachers who have the ceremony performed in a perfunctory and unsatisfactory way, and it appears very necessary... that these teachers should receive some definite guidance. I think such guidance can best be given through the columns of the ‘Education Gazette,’ which reaches every school in New Zealand,” he said.

Nature rambles and detonators

In the summer of 1937-38, the Gazette suggested a ‘warm weather curriculum’ for the first month of the new year. Primary and secondary school teachers were recommended to regard the ordinary timetable as being suspended during February. Among the special activities recommended as adapted to seasonal conditions were swimming, first aid and resuscitation of the apparently drowned, home nursing, road safety practice, nature rambles, games and hobbies. Schools experienced staffing difficulties during the World War II years, with the editor of the Gazette reporting: “Even up to the end of last year, nearly 100 secondary school teachers, or nearly 25 per cent of the total number of male teachers employed, were serving overseas or were on service with one or other of the armed forces in New Zealand itself. “Several boys’ schools have already appointed women

teachers to the staff in war vacancies, and mixed schools are employing a greater proportion of women,” he said. The Evening Post reported in April 1944 that teachers were requested to instruct children regarding detonators. A notice had been placed in the Education Gazette instructing children about the dangers of playing with live detonators. They were also to be instructed about the danger of throwing lengths of wire across electric power lines.

“At the present moment we cannot afford a luxury of this kind, but if individual teachers feel that the publication is indispensable, then it is always open to them to publish it themselves on a commercial basis.”

Pahiatua Herald, 24 November 1922.

Ronald Algie Historical record

In March 1948 the Otago Daily Times reported: “The Education Gazette, which has been appearing regularly for nearly 30 years was being restricted to purely formal notifications. To replace the articles of topical interest to teachers which formerly appeared in the Gazette, a new publication, called Education is being issued.” In May 1950, the Otago Daily Times published an article saying publication of Education was to be discontinued. The Minister of Education, Ronald Algie, said: “At the present moment we cannot afford a luxury of this kind, but if individual teachers feel that the publication is indispensable, then it is always open to them to publish it themselves on a commercial basis, but under the present circumstances I cannot see how I could justify its publication at the expense of the taxpayer.” Feature articles reappeared in the Education Gazette in 1999, when John Gerritsen was employed as editor. You can read John’s article about his 10 years at the helm of the Gazette in Issue 1, 2021. This article was researched using the Papers Past website.

3 May 2021

Feilding Star, 29 August 1921.

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NOTICE BOARD Psychologically informed biographies of 21 Remarkable People. All the individuals covered are Kiwis or people who have had an impact on Aotearoa New Zealand. Historical through to contemporary figures.

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

This generously illustrated eBook is available from Amazon, Apple and other digital book sites.

Place an advertisement in the vacancies

The book includes: » Psychological profiles of 21 diverse, intriguing and inspirational people » A short personality self-assessment (based on the well-validated ‘Big Five’ or ‘OCEAN’ model) » Comprehensive references.

section and reach both the passive and active jobseekers by contacting Jill Parker:

If you are considering this book for your library or for class use: email with subject line Remarkable People for a complimentary copy.

To view the PLD, general notice listings and vacancies at 027 212 9277

Professional learning and development



Scan the QR codes with the camera on your device.


Hutt Valley High School – Lower Hutt | Principal We are a modern co-educational, decile 8, state school of 1750 that encourages and celebrates diversity and inclusiveness. The school’s vision, ‘working together to prepare our students for their future’ is one we aspire to by supporting and guiding our students to achieve their best. Established in 1926, Hutt Valley High School has a proud history and a strong reputation in the Lower Hutt community. We work with whānau to provide the best possible opportunities and outcomes for our students. We are seeking an enthusiastic, motivated and forward thinking Principal who inspires our students and staff to achieve. Our school motto is Whaia te iti kahurangi, ‘To the Highest’. We are looking for a Principal who embodies our motto and our school values: We are kind; We are welcoming; We achieve and We persevere.


Education Gazette

As a restorative practices school, we work with our students and staff to build, maintain and repair positive relationships; this is at the forefront of our teaching and practice as a school. Our programmes are designed to allow students choice and agency where possible. Strong, proactive processes and programmes support our priority learners both academically and pastorally. We honour and value the cultural backgrounds of our students.

Call or email the Principal’s PA (04) 560 1564 to arrange a school visit or request an application pack. Applications close at 4.00 pm on Tuesday 1 June 2021.

This is an exciting opportunity for a new or experienced leader to work in a thriving school, with an enthusiastic staff who genuinely care about their students and community.


PROOF Size : 1/4 pg (140x92) Run Date


PRINCIPAL Samuel Marsden Collegiate School (“Marsden”) is widely regarded as one of New Zealand’s leading independent schools, with a proud history dating back to 1878. In 1920 the school was purchased by the Anglican diocese and it remains an Anglican school. Based at its beautiful Karori campus, Marsden has a co-educational Preschool and girl’s Primary, middle and senior schools. Marsden is a progressive leader in education and has an academic record second to none. It offers a full array of sporting and cultural opportunities for all students to achieve their potential no matter what field they pursue. The Marsden philosophy seeks to lay the foundation for lives of meaning, accomplishment and genuine happiness. Marsden is a community built on Christian values, which fosters independent thinking and aims to equip students with confidence, build resilience and instill the importance of community involvement. In 2019, Marsden became New Zealand’s first ‘Visible Wellbeing’ school in partnership with Professor Lea Waters. The result is a truly special learning environment. The Principal has responsibility for the overall leadership and management of the school, including the development of policy and strategy. They are a key custodian and standard-bearer of the school’s values and culture, and have strong connections to students, parents, alumni and the local community. The Board are seeking an outstanding and experienced leader with excellent education credentials who can position Marsden well in this competitive sector. Marsden has a strong philosophy of future focused teaching and learning and is well positioned to continue to flourish in the increasingly digital education environment. This is an outstanding opportunity to take on the leadership of an organisation shaping the next generation of creative, independent thinkers. For more information or to apply, please contact Courtney Rennie at Hobson Leavy Executive Search: or +64 967 3314. Applications close 10 May 2021.

Rototuna Junior High School Deputy Principal 2021 Full time, Permanent (Years 7–10) 7MUs + 1SMA PLEASE NOTE:


that we have prepared this advertisement proof based on our understanding of RJHS is a school of 1370+ students and over 100 the instructions received. In approving the advertisement, is the client’s staff initnorth Hamilton. The school operates as part of responsibility to check the accuracy of Rototuna the High Schools – with the Senior High School both the advertisement, media and position nominated. and Junior High School operating on a shared campus Cancellation of adverts booked with with some shared facilities. Due to the promotion of media will incur a media cancellation

a foundation DP to her first Principal position, we are seeking to appoint a new DP to our Senior Leadership KARENA team. We are seeking an innovative, collaborative leader who is passionate about both academic and personal success. The successful candidate will join our dynamic senior leadership team of three other DPs and Principal. We aim to provide rich, authentic and challenging opportunities for learning that give learners choice and agency, whilst still gaining important skills and knowledge. We believe in the concept of ako and that we are all learners. Collaborative practice is fundamental to our curriculum and as educators we know we can always learn from each other. All of our senior leadership team members have allocated teaching time and contribute as a teacher to our curriculum. We are a restorative practices school and believe strongly in building and enhancing positive professional relationships with young people. Our school is community-focused and we encourage all staff to contribute to the varied learning and extracurricular opportunities that are offered to students in such an environment.

We encourage applicants who would like to know more about the role to come and see us. Preferred start date is early Term 3 but is negotiable.

The closing date for applications is 21 May 2021 - please contact to arrange a visit.


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BaIvG es


ti, i i h a m inga u t ō K e H -rau ā i a p a he hu BULLYING-FREE NEW ZEALAND WEEK,17-21 MAY 2021

“ If everybody says something, we can change everything. ”

When the whole school community, students, staff and whānau, work together to address bullying, positive, ongoing change happens. Visit Download a student action pack: Produced by students for students, by youth-led bullying prevention organisation Sticks ‘n Stones. Download a teacher’s pack, with ideas for empowering learners to take action to address bullying and promote wellbeing.




Get creative and win! Encourage students to enter the Bullying-Free NZ Week competition based around three actions, and win a share of Prezzy cards.

For more information and resources visit: or email