Education Gazette 101.7

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13 JUNE 2022 | VOL. 101 | NO. 7

Mānawatia a Matariki E mātai nei i ngā whetu – I gaze up at the stars

Education’s contribution to a climate-resilient future

Digital storytelling engages ākonga in STEM

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

Final curriculum content now available Te Takanga o Te Wā te-takanga-o-te-wa

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories

Our stories

Ours to tell

ISSU E 1 01 .7


Spotlight on mātauranga Matariki


E Mātai Nei I Ngā Whetū – I Gaze Up at the Stars


Puanga and Matariki – what is the difference?


Matariki strengthens connections with communities



The time is now: education’s contribution to a climate-resilient future


Replenishing Tāne and connecting with te taiao


Digital storytelling engaging and inspiring ākonga in STEM




Reimagining lunchtime at Porirua College


Capturing emotions and imagination through live theatre




Enhancing staff capability at Newtown School On the cover

13 JUNE 2022 | VOL. 101 | NO. 7

The Mānawatia a Matariki tohu is the official Matariki public holiday logo and celebrates the cluster itself. It symbolizes how Matariki weaves us all together as a people, interconnected through our past, present and future.


13 June 2022

Mānawatia a Matariki E mātai nei i ngā whetu - I gaze up at the stars

Education’s contribution to a climate resilient future

Digital storytelling engages ākonga in STEM

It is a copyrighted work commissioned by Te Arawhiti and created by Tāmaki Mākaurau design company Extended Whānau. You can access the imagery and guidelines at

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A gateway into mātauranga Māori


cross Aotearoa New Zealand, communities are getting excited about the first ever celebration of Matariki as a public holiday on 24 June. Learning about Matariki gives us an opportunity to explore and strengthen our local identities, as Matariki holds many meanings throughout Aotearoa, and indeed, across the world. It is important to protect the deep history and integrity of mātauranga Matariki and as such, this issue has been a partnership with Te Poutāhū – Te Uepu Reo Māori team, and has been informed by the work of the Matariki Advisory Group to the Government. It is the chair of this advisory group, Dr Rangiānehu Matamua, who sets the scene for us in our first article and shares his hopes for the education space. Matariki is a time to honour the past, present, and future, with emphasis on observing how we fit into

Te Ao Turoa, the natural world, and our responsibility to Te Taiao, the environment. You can read how some schools and kura have observed this time to share kai and connect with whānau and their wider community, to plant native bush and tend to their māra, and honour those who have passed. It is also fitting that this issue raises how education can contribute to a climate-resilient future. I hope this issue offers a starting point for kaiako to navigate mātauranga Matariki, to seek out and celebrate the kōrero of iwi and hapū, and to offer authentic and rich learning experiences for ākonga and whānau. Mānawatia a Matariki Sarah, chief editor (Written in partnership with Te Poutāhū, the curriculum arm of Te Mahau)


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E Mātai Nei I Ngā Whetū I Gaze Up at the Stars To help us more intricately understand the mātauranga that underpins Matariki, and the hopes of leaders within this realm for the education space, Education Gazette was lucky enough to have a kōrero with Dr Rangiānehu (Rangi) Matamua (Tūhoe). Ana, i te atapō tonu ka rewa ake a Matariki ka kitea mai, ā koirā te tohu o te tau hau. Therefore, in the early morning when Matariki is seen rising, this is the sign of the new year.


atariki is a time of year that marks changes in our taiao/environment – a sign to hunt or harvest, a signal of shifting relationships between the elements and weather, an indication of whether the year will bring hope, death, or perhaps both. Matariki is a time to reflect, to remember, to set intentions. Matariki is a celebration of all of these things, and of many more. Matariki traditions are derived from differing perspectives and relationships with te taiao, and the meaning of Matariki can differ from iwi to iwi. The optimum time to observe the rising of Matariki is in the phase of the moon known as Tangaroa, the moon of plenty. The Tangaroa moon phase occurs in the three or four days leading to a new moon and will fall on different dates each year. In 2022, this occurs 21 June to 24 June. Matariki is one of many manifestations of traditional Indigenous knowledge in Aotearoa, and 2022 marks the


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first year that Matariki will be recognised with a national public holiday. Dr Rangi Matamua hails from Tūhoe and has undertaken remarkable research into Māori astronomy and star lore, te reo Māori revitalisation and development, among other topics. He is a professor in Te Pūtahi-a-Toi: School of Māori Knowledge at Massey University, as well as the chief advisor Matariki Mātauranga Māori to the Government. At the heart of all this is a man who loves Western science and has been an avid fan of science fiction since he was a boy. “What really got me interested in stars and the night sky was science fiction – sci-fi. I loved Star Trek, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, all of these early sci-fi programmes when I was a young kid. “I loved the narratives, the kōrero, and how these stories were all underpinned by science, like light-speed, lasers, and teleportation.” Rangi also loves string theory, astrophysics and quantum mechanics. “I think it’s amazing, but at the same time, one of the key missing elements within the Western Academy is the relationship to the natural world, to the person or the general population.” In te ao Māori, the world is cyclic, holistic, and based on the relationships between the social, spiritual and natural environments. While enjoying and being fascinated by theories and practices in Western science, Rangi believes “Western knowledge has a lot to learn from Indigenous people, and vice versa.”

Mātauranga passed down

“Mātauranga Māori is knowledge Māori have which has been passed down from our tīpuna, our ancestors, in numerous ways,” he says. Rangi was the recipient of such mātauranga in a manuscript from his grandfather, a manuscript penned by his tīpuna that explored Māori astronomy – a detailed, fundamentally scientific, inherently cyclic, and relationship-based set of observations. “[We’re] talking about longhand-written script from the late 1800s, and that took me ages just to learn how to read the words. But he would explain things to me. I’d ask questions. He knew a lot more than he ever let on, and I was able to have a relationship with him and ask questions openly.” Rangi goes on to describe this dynamic as “pretty special,” and cites he was “lucky to have the book as a resource.” “The book was written by my ancestor, Te Kōkau, and on his death bed, he entrusted that manuscript to my grandfather. And my grandfather gave it to me.” A lesson Rangi learned from his grandfather is, “if you don’t share knowledge, it’s not knowledge. The only way knowledge lives is with practice. Practice keeps knowledge alive.” This handing down of mātauranga was a turning point for Rangi.

Regionalised knowledge

As a self-described ‘career academic’ with his foundations in te ao Māori, Rangi candidly expresses his belief that “one of the major flaws of our modern education system [is that it] tries to universalise knowledge as if there is only one way to approach or to understand something, and that’s never been the Indigenous way of approaching or understanding anything.” He describes the context of te ao Māori knowledge base as being “built around our environment and vice versa. There’s more than one way to know and we need to support people to tell their kōrero and to tell their regionalised knowledge base because it has an even deeper connection.” He encourages us to celebrate everyone telling their own kōrero from their own people, from their own regional identity and whakairo, and that is what makes us stronger. He hopes to establish a wānanga where he can support in educating a new generation of astronomers who can go back to their rohe to share their mātauranga. “I hope that it impacts upon practice, whether it’s astronomy, navigation, planting, house building, childbirth, mental health… I hope we will understand

13 June 2022

where we are in the lunar calendar just as much as we understand where we are in our Western time contexts.” Rangi goes on to say, “That’s what I hope, but I can tell you this won’t happen if we continue to follow the universal education approach we do today.”

Transformative knowledge sharing

Rangi is excited and full of hope and says he “loves seeing regional variations of understandings and traditions, loves watching people get into Maramataka and in turn seeing people reconnect to the environment, understanding the value of our environmentally driven calendar systems, and ultimately seeing people start to decolonise time.” He adds that, “We’re on the cusp of some really transformative knowledge-sharing approaches, ideas, and beliefs – I’m really thrilled with what’s happened.” When asked how he is feeling ahead of the first Matariki public holiday, he tells us again that he is excited, but also that “on the other hand, to be honest, I’m feeling exhausted. There’s so much interest, and that’s wonderful, but I hope we can grow lots of other people who can talk about Matariki and share the knowledge in their communities. Then I can take this time off and go back home and sit in front of the fire.” All of these hopes are ones we should all dare to dream and achieve – for mātauranga in education, for recognition of Matariki and te ao Māori, to develop more educators in this space, and for Rangi to be able to really and truly enjoy Matariki with his whānau. In the final words of this kōrero from Rangi, he says, “We’ve got a long way to go, but maybe getting a holiday is a good start.”

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“If you don’t share knowledge, it’s not knowledge. The only way knowledge lives is with practice. Practice keeps knowledge alive.” Dr Rangi Matamua (Tūhoe)

Matariki and te taiao Dr Pauline Harris (Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Rakaipaaka and Ngāti Kahungunu) was part of the Matariki Advisory Group to the Government chaired by Dr Rangiānehu Matamua, as well as a senior lecturer at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington and chair of the Society for Māori Astronomy Research and Traditions (SMART). Dedicated to the collation and revitalisation of Māori astronomical star lore and Maramataka, Pauline explains some key considerations that impact how we observe and celebrate Matariki. “There’s a lot of environmental knowledge associated with Matariki. Many of the stars in Matariki are related to different realms in the environment. We developed a set of values that underpin Matariki – one of these values is mana taiao – environmental awareness.” Pauline says during Matariki, it’s important to reconnect to the environment and think about how we can give back to it.


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“It’s important that we become more aware of the impact we are having on the environment and how we can make changes in our lives to help improve the wellbeing of the Papatūānuku.” As New Zealanders, new years have been celebrated with fireworks, with some displays also being held at Matariki. Pauline says, “Fireworks aren’t appropriate during Matariki. If we look at the values associated with Matariki around environmental awareness, we can see these two don’t align.” Observation of the Matariki (Pleiades) constellation is an important aspect of Matariki festivities and can be done around the country in winter during the lunar month of Pipiri (May/June). How well you can see Matariki will depend on where you are. In the cities you may experience some limitations to the viewing experience. Visibility can be poor because of weather conditions, smog and light pollution, says Pauline. “Light pollution is largely pollution from your everyday lighting, street lighting, lighting from your homes or from parks. It’s all sources of light, even cars and car light bulbs. In cities, there’s heaps of light, neon signs and big

Mānawatia a Matariki The phrase Mānawatia a Matariki comes from a traditional karakia that is intoned to open the Māori New Year. The opening lines of the karakia read:

Matariki Ahunga Nui

Mānawa maiea te ariki o te rangi

This phrase speaks of the abundance of Matariki. Food and feasting are central elements in Matariki, and people would share the fruits of the harvest. Other forms of celebration included music, dance, art and spending time together. Matariki can also be seen as an opportunity to promote, celebrate and eat local and seasonal produce.

Celebrate the rising of the lord of the sky

Matariki Manako Nui

Mānawa maiea te Mātahi o te tau

Manako are wishes and desires. Māori would send their hopes and dreams into the stars during Matariki. This was a period for learning, sharing, discussion and decision making. These wishes can be similar to New Year’s resolutions and are focused on the promise of a bountiful year to come, but the wishes and resolutions were not centred on individual wants, but on the community, wellbeing and the environment.

Mānawa maiea te putanga o Matariki Celebrate the rising of Matariki

Celebrate the rising of the new year

The themes of Matariki Matariki Hunga Nui Matariki Hunga Nui means the many people of Matariki. It speaks to how Matariki calls people to gather together to remember and honour those we have lost since the last rising of Matariki. It is hoped that people will take Matariki as an opportunity to return to the places they call home, and to reaffirm bonds they have with their whānau, friends and communities.

billboards. This can be made worse with smog that will disperse light and inhibit your viewing.” Because of this, some stars may not be as visible from a doorstep or front deck in urban areas. She says it is an issue that confronts astronomers daily. “In Wellington if you go on top of the hill, a big hill, you can still see Matariki. It just depends on where you are. If you have big hills in the way then you might not get clear line of sight.” Maramataka is the Māori stellar-lunar calendar and was used to track the time of when to conduct business, harvest and plant crops, hunt, fish and many other activities including rituals such as during Matariki. The lunar dates for Maramataka are not aligned to the Gregorian calendar months. There isn’t a round number of lunar months in one year, which is why Matariki is not fixed and shifts to a different Gregorian date each year. “Traditional calendars are based on celestial indicators. So the stars, the moon, the sun, but also on environmental and ecological indicators, such as plants blooming, animals migrating,” says Pauline. These indicators can be influenced by man-made factors like pollution, climate change, deforestation and human encroachment, which has affected how Maramataka is understood.

13 June 2022

With respect to wishing on behalf of the environment, the different stars of Matariki are associated with different environmental domains and there are many approaches to how people may pay tribute to them, by planting trees, cleaning the beach front, or refusing plastics.

The values that underpin the Matariki holiday are an important guide on how we should be celebrating Matariki. Mana Taiao (environmental awareness) is one of them and is about how we can positively give back to te taiao, our environment. This self-reflection is about how you, your rōpū or community can foster and develop a healthy reciprocal relationship between the people and the land, water and wider environment. Pauline explains there are ceremonies around Matariki. One such ceremony is called ‘Whāngai i te Hautapu’ which has three parts: Te Tirohanga, the viewing; Te Whakamahara i ngā mate, remembering the dead; Te Whāngai i ngā whetū, feeding the stars. Most of the stars in Matariki are connected to the environment. People can honour te taiao by making a change in their lifestyles and making a commitment during Matariki to improving their recycling skills, organising beach and land clean-ups, planting native flora and reducing their waste output. “So, this Matariki, let’s think about ‘what is your commitment to the environment going to be this year?’ or ‘how are you going to make a difference?’”

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Matariki teaching and learning resources Celebrating Matariki together as a nation provides an opportunity for Māori language, culture, and history to be more accessible to all New Zealanders both here and overseas. It supports us to reflect the value we place in our cultural heritage and helps develop a better sense of our national identity. A suite of education resources is now available for schools and kura to help kaiako bring this to life for ākonga. They focus on the themes of honouring the past, present, and future, with emphasis on observing how ākonga fit into the natural world and their environmental responsibilities. The full suite of resources includes waiata, pao, videos, eBooks, ākonga worksheets, activity cards, kaiako guidance and aromatawai that are relevant from early learning to secondary schooling, in both Māori-medium and Englishmedium education. These resources can be relevant at the time of Matariki, and indeed across all months of the year. The Matariki learnings are intended to bring mātauranga Matariki to life in an exciting way through their use of vibrant imagery and narratives. Whānau may also build their understanding of Matariki as these new resources can be used both in the classroom and by learners in the home. In launching the resources, Associate Minister of Education (Māori) Kelvin Davis says, “Matariki is our first uniquely te ao Māori public holiday and is a time for us to remember the past, celebrate the present, and plan for the future. Matariki also provides ākonga with a gateway into mātauranga Māori and tikanga Māori.” The Minister adds that these resources will directly impact the identity, language and culture of ākonga.

Broaden your knowledge To get the most out of these resources, it is important for educators to engage in their own professional learning about Matariki. Below are three different resources you could use to build your personal and professional knowledge. Pānui | Read Matariki: The Star of the Year by Dr Rangi Matamua seeks answers to questions like 'What is Matariki? Why did Māori observe Matariki? How did Māori traditionally celebrate Matariki? When and how should we celebrate Matariki?' It also explores what Matariki was in a traditional sense so it can be understood and celebrated in our modern society.


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“These new teaching and learning resources will ensure kaiako are not left to navigate the teaching of Matariki alone. It is important to give our ākonga, kaiako and whānau a range of opportunities to learn about and personalise their Matariki learning experience.” Resources were developed by Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | The Ministry of Education in collaboration with Dr Rangi Matamua and the Matariki Advisory Group, with other materials developed to align with iwi or hapū mātauranga. Te Tāhuhu acknowledges the fact that many kura and schools have already implemented mātauranga Matariki into their learning. These resources have been designed to support the work already underway while providing a means for more of the education sector to do the same.

To find these resources online, scan the QR code or visit

More Mānawatia a Matariki resources can be found at

For more copies of the resources developed by Te Tāhuhu, order through

Mātakitaki | Watch As part of Matariki celebrations in 2021, Dr Rangi worked alongside CORE Education to present a webinar that explores many aspects of Matariki. Watch Matariki Te Whetū o te Tau on the Living by The Stars YouTube channel. Whakarongo | Listen Over many years, Dr Rangi has presented his work about Matariki all around Aotearoa and the world. In this sound recording, he is presenting on Matariki and Māori astronomy at a Te Papa event in 2017.

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Puanga and Matariki – what is the difference? In Aotearoa New Zealand, Matariki signals the beginning of the Māori New Year. However, iwi Māori in some locations favour the rise of Puanga because Matariki sits low in the eastern horizon and is therefore not always visible from their location. Puanga can be seen in the eastern sky and is celebrated by iwi in Whanganui, Taranaki, parts of the Far North, and parts of the South Island. Ngāti Apa kaumatua Dr Mike Paki explains.

Ākonga from Rangitīkei College and Tangimoana Primary School team up to plant trees at Tangimoana, where Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed by local chiefs. The college celebrates Puanga and Matariki for the first time this year.


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Puanga leads Matariki up into the sky, but here in the Rangitīkei through to Whanganui and parts of Taranaki, we don’t actually see Matariki, it’s hidden because it rises above the horizon on the East Coast. They can see it, but we don’t see it,” says Mike. “It rises below the horizon here or behind the Kaimanawa mountains. And so, for us, Matariki doesn’t hold as much influence, but Puanga does.” “We know that after Puanga has risen to a certain point that the next new moon will be the new year. We’re preparing up to new year and we talk about Puanga, which means dry and shrivelled, as being representative of the earth at that time. It is time to start breaking the soil and to weed because the frosts are coming. And at the same time, it’s about clearing the earth of anything that has gone before. “We talk about Puna Ariki, or Te Waka o Tama Rereti as it is known by others, the waka that collects up those who have passed during the last 12 months or so. Puanga is about remembering those people who have gone, it’s our stage of clearing the earth both physically and spiritually. “Puanga is very important for us because we can tell by the shade or the light of it, how the next season is going to be. Is it going to be a rough one, so we need to build bigger māra/gardens to feed everyone or is it going to be a fruitful one? And as other stars appear, we can tell whether those fruits will be of the sky or the sea. And that’s why, for many of us, they go to the maunga/mountain to see Matariki, and the karakia and the rituals are done on the mountain.”

Place-based learning

Mike works with kaiako in early learning centres and kōhanga reo through to tertiary institutions to help them to instil iwi and hapū perspectives into their curriculum and to develop place-based learning that is culturally appropriate. One of these is Rangitīkei College in Marton where both Puanga and Matariki will be celebrated for the first time this year. “After consulting our kaumatua [Mike], we will be celebrating Puanga and Matariki together as one concept,” says principal Tony Booker. “He talks about Puanga as being the clearing of the decks to mark the end of the year and setting up for the next, while Matariki has more of an emphasis on the new year. The main thing we want to achieve is for our students to learn that Matariki is not just another holiday, but to understand the significance of it.” Events will include a haka and waiata competition between the school’s four houses, the weaving of Matariki learning into art and science, and a week of Aotearoa-based foods on offer through the school lunch programme. “We are really hoping to put down a hāngī as well, as a lot of our ākonga haven’t experienced a genuine hāngī. And we have started taking a marae trip and

13 June 2022

Ākonga from Rangitīkei College and Tangimoana Primary School at a tree planting day.

“Puanga is about remembering those people who have gone, it’s our stage of clearing the earth both physically and spiritually.” Dr Mike Paki (Ngāti Apa)

Dr Mike Paki (Ngāti Apa) and Sonata Karena-Saavedra (Mōrehu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Aupōuri) at the tree planting day.

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again, it still surprises me that some of our students have never been on a marae, let alone stayed on a marae before. So, we are trying to incorporate as much of this mātauranga Māori into the fabric of the school.”

A long and proud tradition

In Hawera, Puanga has long been both a fixture and a highlight of the Ramanui School calendar. The school of 43 ākonga, most of whom identify as Māori, begins preparations in term 1 which continue through terms 2 and 3 for celebrations that include a shared dinner and sleepover. “We start by looking at what it’s all about, the time of celebrating the harvest from the māra and replenishing the soil for replanting,” says principal Debbie Drake. “We also look at it as whānau time, we look at storytelling, and the crafts of harakeke weaving and manu tukutuku/kite making, and hīnaki/eel traps. Ākonga learn the spiritual rituals that are associated such as karakia before cutting the harakeke, and to

follow the protocols involved with weaving.” At the big event in mid-June, ākonga share kai/ dinner at school, normally a hāngī of pork, mutton and vegetables, before gathering outside to stargaze and then sleepover at school. This year, whānau will join tamariki for a day of traditional Māori games and craft including ki-o-rahi, a ball game new to some ākonga that the Māori battalion played over in Italy during the war. “The students really look forward to it. One of them has just said to me that we need to make sure all the iPads are charged,” says Debbie in reference to the Sky Map app that children use to identify stars. Ākonga take great pride in “owning” Puanga, she says. “You hear so much about Matariki and we tell the tamariki that only certain areas on the west coast can see Puanga and what it means for our harvest, and they think it’s great. “We will be celebrating the new beginning of our school garden which we will share with our community.”

“The main thing we want to achieve is for our students to learn that Matariki is not just another holiday, but to understand the significance of it.” Tony Booker

Ramanui School ākonga fly kites they have made to celebrate Puanga.


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Ākonga learn new waiata with Whaea Tach (Ngāti Ranginui and Ngāi Te Rangi) and Matua Alfred (Ngā Ruahine and Ngāti Ruanui) at Ramanui School in preparation for Puanga celebration whānau day.

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Kaiako and whānau prepared hāngī for 350 people to share for Matariki celebrations at Miramar North Primary School.


Matariki strengthens connections with communities Matariki lends itself to mātauranga Māori and te taiao learning opportunities across the curriculum and it is also a key opportunity to strengthen connections with whānau and the wider community.


atariki festivities at Miramar North School last year culminated in a hāngī and sit-down dinner for 250 people, a huge undertaking for the school of 246 students. It was such a success that it is now a fixture on the school’s calendar. “I can’t describe what it felt like in the hall with all the families sitting together eating,” says kaiako Sarah Macintosh. “We were buzzing. Like all schools, we have a little group of people who go on all the trips and do all the parent help, but this particular event brought in people who cannot make it to many school events.

They came in, they helped and everyone ate together. It was fantastic.” Planning began three months before the event and involved asking for help from whānau, requesting kai donations from local suppliers, a flier drop around the neighbourhood and advertising on local Facebook pages. “It was huge work for our home and school group who did all the organising but when it came to the actual doing of everything, we had a lot of volunteers.”

The school had a lot of support from whānau to put down a hāngī for the wider school community.


“Like all schools, we have a little group of people who go on all the trips and do all the parent help, but this particular event brought in people who cannot make it to many school events. They came in, they helped and everyone ate together. It was fantastic.” Sarah Macintosh

A hāngī to feed 350

Sarah and her husband James Tawhiri (Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa) are seasoned organisers of hāngī so they managed the cooking logistics with help from 25 whānau across two days. “The day before the celebration, we had helpers come in to dig the hāngī pit and to defrost meat and make stuffing, then the next day we had an army of helpers who turned up at 7am with peelers and chopping boards.” For ease of distribution, food was apportioned into separate packs before being cooked. The hāngī fire was lit at 7am, the food put down at midday, and the event kicked off at 2pm with kapa haka and an explanation of what Matariki means. Afterwards, whānau joined their tamariki at wānanga: raranga/flax weaving led by a student’s kuia/grandmother; taonga pūoro/traditional musical instruments led by an outside expert; and pot plant painting and planting for which pots and seeds had been donated. Everyone left with something they had woven, a kōauau instrument, or a painted pot with seeds planted, says Sarah. “When it was time to lift the food, everyone gathered

round the hāngī pit and our boys did a haka. Then we handed out the packs. The school hall had been decorated with the children’s star art and we had tables and chairs laid out for everyone to sit together. There was such an awesome feeling of community and togetherness.”

Everyone welcome

Staff were happily surprised by the attendance of people with no connection to the school, and delighted by the feedback – “A great community event”, “The hāngī was delicious”, “The wānanga were really interesting, I love my star I made”. “Our school is quite hidden, you can’t actually see it from the road so unless your children attend or you use our swimming pool, you wouldn’t know we were here. Because we had advertised, we had a lot of people coming who had not been on school grounds before.” There was huge interest in the hāngī. “Our school is situated very close to Weta Workshop so we have a lot of families from overseas who are unfamiliar with our traditions. This event gave them the opportunity

A time to come togther; people from Miramar North Primary School and their wider community share kai.


Education Gazette

Ways to reflect on Matariki Matariki is a special time for communities in Aotearoa New Zealand. It’s about remembering those who have passed, taking time to reflect, and setting goals for the future. It’s also an important time to do something good for te taiao. Read more about these themes at Engage with your community Host a dawn breakfast or evening meal for your local community to reflect on Matariki together. Encourage your students to get involved in the design and organisation of the event and honour those special people in your communities who have passed. Care for Papatūānuku Tree planting or mahi in the school māra are ways to explore the connection between Matariki and te taiao. You could also organise beach and land clean-ups, or consider how you might improve recycling and reduce your waste output.

Broaden your knowledge of Matariki Explore some of the mātauranga and pūrākau associated with Matariki and describe some of the ways that Matariki is observed and how this varies between the regions and iwi of Aotearoa New Zealand. There are 51 new Matariki resources to support your teaching and learning this year. Visit kauwhatareo.govt. nz to explore which ones you can use in your classrooms. Connect with local iwi and hapū Te Arawhiti – the Office for Māori Crown Relations has issued funding to support Māori-led kaupapa or initiatives celebrating mātauranga or knowledge about te kāhui o Matariki.

Watch out for further details and learn more at

Bachelor of Digital Screen with Honours New at UC in 2023*. We’re excited to welcome students to UC’s planned new Digital Screen Campus, a creative hub where film production, game development and cross-reality technologies come together. Find out more at digital-screen-campus


13 June 2022

This new degree is subject to Te Pōkai Tara | Universities New Zealand CUAP approval, due July 2022

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to be part of, or even just watch the process of, a hāngī, something you don’t get to do very often.” As well as food for the crowds in the hall, a further 100 packs were distributed for takeaway, for example to rugby clubs and businesses.

Passion for te ao Māori

Sarah’s enthusiasm for te ao Māori is such that she has written a book about Waitangi, Journey to Waitangi. “This book came about when my family and I had a camping holiday in Northland. We planned to spend a day at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds but we were so moved by our experience that we ended up staying for two days. “My daughter, Brianna (Ngāi Tahu and Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa), felt so connected to her Māori culture and learnt so much about the events surrounding the signing of the treaty that she wrote to Jacinda Ardern asking her to make it possible for all school students to have the opportunity to visit the Treaty Grounds. “After seeing Brianna’s reaction in Waitangi, I was inspired to write a book from her point of view. It includes the family being on a camping holiday as this is something many New Zealand families do in summer.”

Matariki a village affair in Warrington

Far south, at Warrington School north of Dunedin, reflecting on Matariki is also a community affair. In a tradition now in its 14th year, the school is strung with fairy lights and lanterns, and each child is issued

with a paper lantern before they leave school at 3pm. Around 200 people from the village of 800 join ākonga for the annual lantern parade which culminates on the school grounds.Afterwards, everyone gathers in the classrooms to share kai. “There is soup that the children have made using ingredients from our veggie garden and everyone brings a plate,” says kaiako Jacqueline Burt. Matariki learning at the school revolves around the māra. The children learn to harvest and can help themselves to produce from the garden which was established many years ago by two local women, Lyn Hastie and Lyne Carlisle. Lyn and Lyne spend every Thursday working with ākonga in both the garden and kitchen. Tamariki take turns to plant, harvest and cook, and have a say in what they want to plant and where. “They do the mulching and the weeding, and they choose which vegetables to plant,” says Jacqueline. “For the juniors, time in the garden is mostly fun but as they move through the school, they gain a really good understanding of the cycle from germination to planting seeds, maintenance and harvest. They definitely understand how it all relates to Matariki in terms of what is visible in the sky and new beginnings.” Ākonga also make soup to take away on camp and make fruit and vegetables into chutneys which they sell, ploughing all profit back into the māra.

The annual lantern parade is a highlight for ākonga at Warrington School.


Education Gazette

Each lantern has been handmade by former teacher aide Mireka Van Looy who returns each year to repair them.

1st PPTA Te Wehengarua National Secondary Education

13–15 July 2022 Te Pae Ōtautahi Christchurch

Leadership Summit 2022 The inaugural PPTA Te Wehengarua National Secondary Education Leadership Summit 2022 is for established and emerging Secondary School Leaders.


This conference is free to attend thanks to PPTA PLD funding and includes full conference sessions with an exciting line-up of speakers, welcome function, gala dinner with Canterbury foods and great entertainment and excursions.


Dr. Sarb Johal

Saunoamaali’i Tā Mark Solomon Karanina Sumeo

Neil McDonald

Derek Wenmoth

Kate Thornton

Visit to Register Now SCAN ME to see the Provisional Programme, Keynote & Concurrent Session Speakers Venue: the brand-new Te Pae, Christchurch Convention Centre, Ōtautahi.

13 June 2022

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The time is now: education’s contribution to a climate-resilient future The Government is committed to Aotearoa New Zealand becoming a world leader in climate change action – and education has an important role to play. This story is the starting point of a series spotlighting ways that education is contributing to a sustainable future. We aim to share stories that highlight student-led initiatives, innovative teaching and learning programmes, and pathways to employment and training.

Parents and adults listen, but they don’t take very much action to do anything about it, because they think, ‘it’s your future, not ours’. The work we did made us feel like we had a voice.” These are the words of Zoe, one of the Year 7-8 students who delivered speeches to Christchurch City Council relaying their concerns about the effects of climate change on their local community. The interaction was the result of the council engaging educator Sian

Carvell to work with 13 Ōtautahi schools in low-lying or coastal areas that would be impacted by sea-level rise. Empowering young people like Zoe and her peers to have a voice is an important part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s goal of working towards a low-emissions, climate-resilient future. And it’s a big goal. The Government is aiming for a sustainable and climate-resilient economy; a just and inclusive society; and to provide leadership, both here and abroad.

These Ōtautahi students have all become passionate about the environment in their beautiful backyard.


Education Gazette

Working towards a climate-resilient future

The emissions reduction plan for 2022-25 outlines the actions Aotearoa New Zealand needs to take and how everyone has a part to play. We all have to re-think our daily lives in some way from the way we move about, to how we design and build our homes, to what we consume and how those goods are produced. Mahi continues on the National Adaptation Plan which will enable New Zealand to minimise damage from a changing climate. It focuses on how we can adapt to the impacts of climate change and sets a clear direction for coordinated action that will help all sectors and communities prepare for and thrive in a very different climate with rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events.

The role of education

of relationships with Mana Whenua and school communities. “It’s when schools start to view it as being connected to everything instead of ‘just one more thing’,” says Rachel. “Schools that have gone really deep into thinking about wellbeing, for example, should see that the wellbeing of the environment is integral with people’s wellbeing.” Rachel adds that for schools that have gone deep into thinking about their location and their connections to Mana Whenua and the histories of their place, it’s not a separate thing to think about the future and the environment that they’re in, and their relationships. “Even things like the approach to restorative justice [is part of it], the idea of climate justice weaves into that. Sometimes those things aren’t self-evident, but it doesn’t take much to connect the dots.”

Education has an important part to play in this journey – particularly through equipping tamariki and rangatahi with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities they need for the transition, and through creating an accessible, responsive and flexible tertiary education and training system. A focus on equity and excellence is important to ensure that the transition to a low emissions economy is fair and inclusive. Māori will be uniquely affected by climate change, so an equitable transition for Māori, led by Māori, is needed. Mātauranga Māori will play a role in Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate response, and in forthcoming articles we will look at growing Māori medium and kaupapa Māori education pathways. Ultimately, it’s going to take a collective effort to reduce emissions from the education sector. New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) chief researcher Rachel Bolstad says an all-encompassing approach is needed. “We’ve got to look at every aspect of the system. So, from curriculum to property, use of resources and supply chains, teacher education, school leadership and governance, education for future work, all of those things, we’ve got to look at them and say, how is the climate crisis being addressed here and what might we need to do differently?”

Working in partnership

Reframing climate change

Empowering young people

Rachel says we need to start by reframing the language and narratives around climate change. “The global literature is moving away from talking about ‘climate change education’ and towards ‘action for climate empowerment’ to show that the purpose of learning is to empower action, and through action, learning. “Instead of talking about climate change, I talk about ‘education for the transition to a low-emissions future’ or ‘education for a climate-changing future’ because that points towards what we’re doing to create change.”

Schools as community leaders

Rachel says buy-in from school leadership and Boards is important, as is recognition of the importance

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“Communities recognise that there’s a way for young people to thrive and flourish rather than be anxious and unable to affect change,” says Rachel. “Schools can connect with Mana Whenua, not with demands or expectations, but to understand what they are doing or want to do in terms of environmental projects and climate adaptation, and ask, ‘how can we support the aspirations of Mana Whenua?’” Of course, it’s not just about schools but about the learner pathway through to work and further study, with a coherent and systematic approach needed to support transitions. The Murihiku Regeneration project is a good example of a community working in partnership and rethinking how education can better support people’s needs and aspirations. Operated within the Ngāi Tahu context, with Te Tiriti partnership at its core, the project has a strong focus on supporting community, education and training, and workforce capability development. It is designed to build a regenerative economy that will support future generations. The mahi encompasses a range of workstreams that support the Ngāi Tahu Climate Implementation Plan, released in June 2021.

Supporting and empowering young people is also an important part of the task ahead. In an Education Gazette article, Year 8 student Theo of South New Brighton School expresses his desire to see action and scalability. “We can’t help by sitting around and talking – we need to do something. If our class can plant 100 trees, think what could be achieved if all the classes in the world did it,” he says. Students like Theo, and Zoe in the aforementioned example, and students involved in the Student Strikes 4 Climate movement, are feeling increasingly empowered to speak up. Rachel believes we often underestimate young people. “We don’t dip into the potential of young people as much as we should. A big part of climate action is to

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support and mobilise young people because they actually bring more creativity, more innovation and more holistic thinking than adults do. Giving young people the space and honestly listening to what they have to say, is a really good start. And then co-designing with them, actually setting out with an intention to collaborate with young people to shape these things.”

Curriculum a key anchor

Curriculum plays an important role in shaping lifelong learning around transitioning to a sustainable future. “Curriculum, while not the whole answer, is a really key anchor as it drives and shapes the nature of learning opportunities,” says Rachel. “Schools can be thinking about the different kinds of further learning and vocational pathways that lie ahead for their students – and shaping curriculum that normalises interdisciplinary and systems thinking, and bicultural approaches that allow learners and educators to recognise different worldviews and how those shape our relationships to the environment.” Subject specialist educators Chris Montgomerie and Rebecca McCormack, agree. Together they work for the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE), Chris as executive officer and Rebecca as content curator. Chris says the multidisciplinary nature of climate

change education lends itself to curriculum integration and she is looking forward to seeing this articulated in the refresh of The New Zealand Curriculum (NZC). “It ties in really well with the Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories curriculum, because it all starts with ‘Where are we? What’s this place? What’s its history?’ So that’s a really great place to start in terms of environmental education as well,” says Chris. Rebecca adds that it aligns well with local curriculum design, but “how do we pitch it? How do we use language? How do we provide local resources? Because we’re actually role modelling, connecting with our local place.”

Creating learning opportunities

The curriculum resource Pūtātara models local, crosscurriculum learning opportunities well, and encourages kaiako to create learning opportunities that expand learners’ understanding of complex issues and take action for change, aligning with global citizenship, and environmental education. Fergusson Intermediate in Upper Hutt put Pūtātara effectively into practice with its inquiry focused on the driving question: How can we contribute positively to the regeneration of our collective mauri? In the discovery phase of the inquiry, kaitiakitanga was broken down into four environmental areas (whenua, moana, ngahere and awa) and students selected their

Ākonga at Ōhinetahi Governors Bay.


Education Gazette

“A big part of climate action is to support and mobilise young people because they actually bring more creativity, more innovation and more holistic thinking than adults do.” Rachel Bolstad

group based on which area interested them. Using a wide range of resources and tools, the students identified local issues, then took action on their area of interest. Emails to a biosecurity officer and the local council led to the class exploring options around pest control, a planting day at their local park and scientific testing of the biodiversity of their awa. The student reflections were compelling. “I think we need to connect with more people so that people can actually take physical action with our projects,” wrote one student about what they would like to do next time.

Curriculum refresh

Te Poutāhū (the curriculum arm within Te Mahau) is leading work to evolve curriculum and assessment systems so that all ākonga experience rich and responsive learning from early learning through to secondary school. Part of this is thinking about how kaiako can equip children and young people to be part of an equitable transition and positively contribute to a transition to a low-emissions society regardless of their life and career journeys. The refresh of The New Zealand Curriculum will build on the Pūtātara focus on working with iwi, hapū and communities to connect learning to local knowledge, and on growing young people as kaitiaki with an understanding of the collective nature of our wellbeing. Environment health as personal health is one of the overarching principles of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA) that guide the development of marau ā-kura. The redesign of TMoA will continue to focus on te taiao as a core principle and integral in marau ā-kura, which support ākonga Māori in their own world. In senior secondary schools, changes within the NCEA Change programme include the introduction of a new Environments and Societies subject, as well as themes of environmental sustainability and environmental concepts as part of a number of other subjects.

Lifelong learning

Looking beyond secondary, the tertiary education sector also makes a significant contribution to climate change research, supporting Aotearoa New Zealand’s response to the challenges and opportunities ahead. The Reform of Vocational Education aims to create a strong, unified, sustainable vocational education system

13 June 2022

that is fit for the future. This includes delivering the skills needed by industry and communities for work today and in the future through work-integrated learning, and empowering people to thrive in the transition to a low emissions society. The goal is a system that can deliver lifelong learning. It’s about ensuring graduates have the right programmes or micro credentials available to help them continue to grow their skills and to support their changes in career.

Mātauranga Māori

Pauline Waiti, director of Ahu Whakamua, is pleased to see mātauranga Māori incorporated into learning around climate change and sustainability. As part of her involvement in environmental education, Pauline is working with Te Poutāhū on how education resources can strengthen their approach and response from a kaupapa, tikanga and mātauranga Māori perspective. In one example, she decided the most important aspect to focus on was: could ākonga Māori see themselves in the resource? Pauline says ākonga need to consider that there is a whakapapa relationship that is part of te ao Māori in order to explore the notion of a deep connection to nature as they learn about and respond to climate change. “Understanding and embracing this viewpoint helps learners to draw inspiration and hope about the natural world, emphasising that as living things, we are in this together,” she says. “Ākonga might be thinking to themselves when they are engaging in a Climate Change programme: does this fit in with what I know of how my tūpuna thought about te taiao, te ao tūroa? If it does fit, how does that make me feel? If it does not fit, is it a big difference? Is it a difference that I am OK with? Is it a difference that my tūpuna might be OK with? How would I explain it to my tūpuna if they were here? How do I feel if I adjust my world view?” Pauline also seeks to provide guidance for kaiako/ teachers to include ākonga Māori in the conversation. She says exploring other Indigenous knowledge bases is an opportunity to broaden understanding of interconnectedness of life on earth and help to inform responses. One of the major stepping stones to Pauline’s work around climate change education was her involvement in redefining Pūtaiao, one of ngā wāhanga ako (learning areas) in Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

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Mātauranga Pūtaiao is mātauranga Māoriinformed understanding of te taiao, te ao turoa (the environment, the natural world), recorded in a range of literacies including pūrākau, waiata, haka, whakairo and raranga. Pauline views this as positive for ākonga Māori as it validates mātauranga Māori as a body of knowledge that sits alongside Western science. “Bodies of knowledge grow, change and deepen over time,” says Pauline. “The kōrero based on the knowledge of our tūpuna support a localised curriculum with ākonga learning about the whakapapa of the hapū, iwi where they are living.”

Supporting kaiako

This was certainly the case for Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Orini ki Ngāti Awa. “As a newly relocated kura to Coastlands (Papakangahorohoro) on the coastline of Whakatāne, we literally had a blank canvas to work with in trying to rejuvenate the traditional ecosystems that used to exist there,” explains tumuaki Taiarahia Melbourne. Grasping a professional learning and development opportunity through the BLAKE Inspire for Teachers Programme, Taiarahia was able to pursue a pathway toward understanding how to achieve their goals. “Confidence in moving forward with environmental issues was the biggest outcome for me within my practice, and in providing encouragement and guidance as a tumuaki for my kaiako and whānau. Thankfully, we have many green fingers and other environmental champions within our whānau that continue to make our progress engaging and exciting,” he says. Continuing to provide PLD opportunities is important to help support the development of teachers and school leaders, helping them to effectively integrate environmental education learning across the curriculum, and strengthen the focus on wellbeing in their local curriculum and marau ā-kura. Resources to help kaiako bring Te Whāriki alive for tamariki will be developed by Te Poutāhū to help prompt children’s engagement and enjoyment of climate change learning in the early years. The Contribution | Mana Tangata strand of Te Whāriki recognises the importance of “creating opportunities for children to contribute their own strengths and interests” and that “working together for the common good develops a spirit of sharing, togetherness and reciprocity which is valued by Pasifika and many cultures”.

Sector capability

The NZAEE shares this focus on building capability across the sector and our communities, says Chris Montgomerie. She is pleased that the NZAEE has received Networks of Expertise funding to develop a website to host resources, provide a forum for engagement, and a


Education Gazette

place to share good practice – essentially a one-stop shop. “It’s about celebrating success, raising awareness, strengthening networks, fostering collaboration, and building capability. “We are providing support for the wider sector online and locally so that all schools can feel supported or find hooks for environmental learning. Many of NZAEE’s member organisations, like Enviroschools and Garden to Table then provide a deeper dive with dedicated facilitator support,” says Chris. “For a lot of teachers and individuals who are working in environmental education in different parts of the country, it can feel quite isolating, because this sort of work often sees a lone person waving the green flag at a school,” adds Rebecca. Rachel agrees. “There are pockets of fantastic stuff happening out there at the grassroots and flaxroots level in schools and communities. But it’s very evident that so much of this currently rests on a few really dedicated and concerned people, whether it’s teachers, students or school leaders.” The schools that are doing wonderful things need support and recognition, while others need support and inspiration to find their power to act, she says. “It’s no longer a case of ‘should we?’” says Rachel. “We already have schools that are experiencing crisis because of climate induced flooding, coastal flooding. Communities are impacted by drought and other weather conditions.”

Rethinking school infrastructure

Many New Zealand schools are near the coast, harbours and rivers, which means they could be at risk of increased flooding, erosion and tsunamis associated with climate change. Te Puna Hanganga, Matihiko (the Ministry’s infrastructure and digital arm) has completed preliminary screening of schools at risk of coastal hazards, and is working with local authorities to help schools be prepared as part of a Coastal Flood Risk Programme.    The Ministry is also focused on practical ways to support schools to make changes so they are environmentally sustainable and energy efficient. State schools make up a big part of the government’s property portfolio and will play an important role in the government’s transition to public sector carbon neutrality by 2025. Among the initiatives is the work underway with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to replace coal boilers in state schools with safe, low-carbon heating systems. Additional funding was announced recently to phase out all remaining school coal boilers by 2025. The Sustainability Contestable Fund has supported 94 schools to replace coal boilers, install LED lighting, solar panels, and pursue rainwater storage and recycling projects, composting and recycling

programmes, geothermal projects, and heating upgrades. Over the next three years, Ngā Iti Kahurangi programme, driven by Te Puna Hanganga, Matihiko, will be installing insulation and replacing old, inefficient lights with energy-efficient LEDs in around 600 small or remote schools. The programme will analyse pre- and post-improvement energy consumption to demonstrate the impact of these upgrades. Te Puna Hanganga, Matihiko has also run energy efficiency trials in 56 schools across the country to build its understanding of how schools use energy. It has incorporated its learnings into Te Mahere Taiao – the Ministry’s Environmental Action Plan for School Property, which maps out how it aims to reduce carbon and environmental impacts at each stage of the school property lifecycle. The rollout of Te Mahere Taiao will introduce embodied and operational carbon targets for Ministry-led new builds from around July 2022. By 1 April 2023, all new school buildings with a value greater than $9 million will be required to


carry a minimum Green Star rating of five. Designing Schools Aotearoa New Zealand requirements have been updated to help meet sustainability standards when designing and building schools. Many of these initiatives will position the Ministry to comply with the Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP) targets. The CNGP requires the Ministry to report on carbon emissions across the state school sector from 2022/23 onwards, and take active steps to reduce emissions in schools. The Ministry is working across government to create central emissions reporting systems that remove the burden from school boards. The Ministry is also measuring the emissions performance of the school transport fleet and encouraging transport service providers to demonstrate good sustainability practices in fleet and depot management. The recent school bus tender incentivised transport providers to use younger vehicles to reduce vehicle emissions and rewarded good waste management practices.

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13 June 2022

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Looking ahead

There is considerable work underway right across the education sector from early learning to tertiary – work that this series will look to explore going forward. There is much to share and discuss. From the initiatives that are already underway, to the workin-progress solutions, to the fledgling ideas, to things that have yet to be considered – it’s going to take a united and wide-ranging effort to achieve a sustainable and climate-resilient Aotearoa. As Rachel says, “We need stories of the change. It’s about what we’re building and the better future and that we actually have the power to do it. We just need the courage and the commitment and the ambition and the mutual support.”

Many New Zealand schools are located in low-lying coastal areas.


Education Gazette

Resource support A range of resources to support education for sustainability through The New Zealand Curriculum are available now on Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI). There are also resources for Kura Taiao on TKI and Kauwhata Reo. The refresh of the NZC and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa will be accompanied by updated and new teaching and learning resources aligned to support kaiako and teachers to connect learning purposefully to climate change contexts and encourage students to engage in positive, solutions focused learning and action. This will include guidance on incorporating emission reduction activities into local curriculum and marau ā-kura. Kauwhata Reo


Running a creative project for ākonga in 2023? Apply for Creatives in Schools funding The Creatives in Schools programme provides funding of up to $17,000 per project. Your project can be any type of artform such as visual, performance, design, digital arts, Pacific arts and ngā toi Māori. If your kura or school is planning to run a creative project for your students and ākonga in 2023, start preparing your project in partnership with an artist or a creative professional.

Round 4 opens in mid-June 2022

For more information visit:

For support with your applications, contact: CiS regional coordinators For questions, email:

Tamatea High School student Ruiha Pomana, shares her Matariki learning with her principal. Photo credit - Emma Neal


Education Gazette


Replenishing Tāne and connecting with te taiao Two schools share how they are connecting with Matariki by planting native forests so that current and future ākonga can learn from and enjoy the benefits. Ka puta Matariki ka rere Whānui Ko te tohu tēnā o te tau e! Matariki reappears, Whānui starts its flight Being the sign of the [new] year!

Tamatea High School, Te Matau a Māui

Tamatea High School in Hawke’s Bay has previously celebrated Matariki with an evening presentation, followed by kai put on by the students. This year they are incorporating a memorable event with the celebrations by planting a native forest. “We have a number of playing fields and one of them wasn’t used very much. So, I thought instead of mowing it and having to pay to mow it all the time, why don’t we plant it as a native forest to celebrate Matariki and also as a school legacy programme?” says principal Robin Fabish (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Māhanga with a whakapono connection to Parihaka). “It’s an opportunity for our alumni to participate and reconnect to the school and be involved in something that’s good for our environment. It is something that in 40 years’ time our students can drive past and say to their children, ‘I planted that’.” The forest, and the planned celebrations, will also include acknowledging those who have passed, as it is being dedicated to the memory of two local educators and national sportspeople, husband and wife Heitia and Marg Hiha. Marg played hockey for New Zealand and Heitia played rugby for the Māori All Blacks. They both taught at schools in the area and passed a few years ago. “Heitia was a real role model of someone making a difference and because he was Mana Whenua it’s also an opportunity for us to recognise our hapū. We’re really pleased to be able to involve the Hiha family in honouring their parents,” says Robin. “Pōhutukawa is one of the stars in the [Matariki] cluster, and she reminds us to honour those who have passed away. She is tied to Hiwa-i-te-rangi who represents future aspirations. So, as well as paying tribute to those who are important to us who have passed away, we’re also acknowledging the importance of goals, aspirations, and going forward.” The planting will take place on 23 June, the day before the public holiday, and will start with a karakia at 7am which is when Matariki should appear in the sky. Leading up to the planting there will be a whānau dinner where arts students will exhibit photos that they have been taking. The dinner will also be an opportunity for students to do presentations as to what they have learnt about Matariki.

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The evening dinner allows whānau, who may not be able to attend the weekday planting, to be part of the celebrations. Matariki also presents many cross-curriculum opportunities, says Robin. “Matariki, the star, represents wellbeing, so it’s an opportunity for us to reflect on our wellbeing through our health curriculum. There’s also our food and nutrition classes who will be involved in preparing the food for the event. They will also be learning about providing manaakitanga, looking after people.”

Mission Heights, Tāmaki Makaurau Ākonga prepare and serve kai to visitors as part of Matariki.

“Pōhutukawa is one of the stars in the cluster, and she reminds us to honour those who have passed away. She is tied to Hiwa-i-te-rangi who represents future aspirations. So, as well as paying tribute to those who are important to us who have passed away, we’re also acknowledging the importance of goals, aspirations, and going forward.” Robin Fabish (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Māhanga with a whakapono connection to Parihaka)


Education Gazette

Wellbeing is also an important theme of Matariki for early learning, primary and secondary ākonga in Mission Heights, Auckland. This year they will mark our Indigenous holiday by planting native plants around their bike track and near the neighbouring forest. The project is a collaboration between D the two schools, who obtained funding from the Auckland Council for 20,000 native plants. Mission Heights Primary School and Mission Heights Junior College (MHJC) had previously received funding to build a bike track that both students and the public can use. The bike track allows students to learn how to use bikes provided by the school and gain confidence in cycling. “It’s a way to get young people into biking. Even the students who don’t have bikes at home and are not really into biking or that type of outdoor activity, they really, really enjoy it. They see it as ‘Oh, this is actually not just a mode of transport’, that they think is boring, it’s a super fun activity that they can do with their mates,” explains Aly Grant, kaiako and communications and publications coordinator of MHJC. The school has ‘bike ambassadors’ who assist other students to gain skills on the bike track. For the Matariki celebrations, the students will be partnering with children from a local early learning centre, KiNZ Mission Heights, to plant a tree together. Aly says connecting the bike track to Matariki has provided many learning opportunities. Earlier in the year, Year 8 students had lessons provided by Bigfoot Adventures to gain confidence in cycling on the track and Primary students have been receiving similar training. In science classes across the school, ākonga have looked at what species of native plants will be planted and historically what they have been used for, for example, as medicines. Furthermore, it has been a strategic goal of the Mission Heights Schools for the past few years to support the growth of teacher capacity and pedagogical understanding to integrate te ao Māori and mātauranga Māori in curriculum design. And it is this Matariki planting that has become an authentic vehicle for teacher learning too.

Science and global studies classes have also been involved in the guardianship of a forest on the school site. The school is also working with Ngāi Tai ki Tāmaki to ensure the correct name is referenced for the forest. This area has trees that are up to 400 years old. The students engage in activities such as cleaning up the forest and doing bird counts. “Part of the learning with Matariki is the importance of the forest and the ecological benefits that native forests provide for our greater community. “The students are learning that if we plant native trees around our bike track, how much bigger that native forest will become and how diversified the insects and birds will become over time,” says Aly. The planting on 11 June demonstrates the concept of looking towards the future. “This has the opportunity to be this year’s graduating class legacy project. They’re assisting with the planting of these trees, helping younger generations do that planting as well, to leave a legacy for future generations, not just for people at our school, but our greater community as well.”

Living by the stars Both Aly and Robin advise schools wanting to celebrate Matariki to look broadly as to what teaching and learning opportunities can be gained and to seek out knowledge as to ways in which Matariki can be acknowledged. Robin suggests exploring website, Living by the Stars for ideas. One of these ideas is how to perform the Te Whāngai i ngā whetū (feeding the stars) part of whāngai i te hautapu. This involves preparing food that represents stars such as Waitā (the star associated with the ocean and its food) and Tupuānuku (the star associated with food from the ground). After the rise of Matariki, the covers of the food are taken off to let the steam rise up to the skies to feed and honour Matariki. Robin explains that schools or individual classes can do this by preparing food such as fish and kumara and then letting the steam out. “People can do little steps, or they can go big – there are just so many possibilities,” says Robin.


7 S E P T E M B E R 2022 Wear a wig, shave your head or style a funky hairdo and fundraise to support tamariki with cancer. Hundreds of schools joined the fun in 2021… Will you get wiggy this year?

REGISTER NOW 13 June 2022 #WigWednesdayNZ

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Digital storytelling engaging and inspiring ākonga in STEM How do you engage young learners? According to those involved in Digital Story Telling Aotearoa, the answer lies in opening up to digital technologies and what they can offer for learning across the curriculum.

Ākonga use games to engage with learning about Aotearoa New Zealand history.

“The goal was to just inspire our young people, to inspire them into the idea that this thing called STEM and innovation – it’s in your DNA. It comes down through your tīpuna, who were some of the sharpest and brightest people in the world.” Sir Ian Taylor


igital Story Telling Aotearoa (DSTA) is an association set up to support kaiako to bring local curriculum to life using digital tools in an Aotearoa New Zealand context, and to help develop capability and confidence in delivering local curriculum through game design. Funded as a Network of Expertise by Te Tāhuhu o Te Mātauranga | The Ministry of Education, the executive consists of Arnika Macphail, Kate Manch and David Macphail, and the committee consists of Rachael Williams, Chelsea Bridges and Craig Render. The values of the NEX are whanaungatanga (relationships), māramatanga (enlightenment and understanding) and ako (teaching and learning). “We have noticed that over the past few years with the Digital Technologies curriculum content that kaiako have been overrun with so many other things. There are a number of very confident DT kaiako around Aotearoa, but we still have a lot of support needed for kaiako teaching across the curriculum,” says Arnika. The group has also combined with Sir Ian Taylor’s team at Animation Research Ltd, who have been developing and using digital data to tell stories that people can understand since 1990, investing heavily in a mission to help tamariki learn from the past to navigate the future. Sir Ian’s Mātauranga resources aim to prove that science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is not something to be afraid of, but part of a much bigger world view. Sir Ian was exploring his cultural history when he met with Professor Lisa Matisoo-Smith who was researching human migration. “She concluded that the greatest story of human migration was that it was made by our Polynesian tuhanga across the Pacific Ocean,” says Sir Ian. Passionate about extending STEM opportunities for Pacific and Māori ākonga, Sir Ian saw the value in sharing the story of migration and voyaging to engage them. “When I looked at this story of celestial navigation, of travelling across the greatest expanse of water on the planet, guided only by the stars, sun and ocean currents, you realise that that was impossible without

science, technology, engineering, and maths. Those early voyagers were scientists, they were astronomers, they were astrologers. They were engineers,” says Sir Ian. “The goal was to just inspire our young people, to inspire them into the idea that this thing called STEM and innovation – it’s in your DNA. It comes down through your tīpuna, who were some of the sharpest and brightest people in the world.”

Sparking a sense of identity

Kaiako have engaged in a range of opportunities to support each other, including in-school release to develop materials, schools coming together to plan ways to bring Sir Ian’s Mātauranga into the classroom, working with community libraries to develop confidence in using Minecraft EE for storytelling, and online hui around using digital technologies to bring Matariki and Mātauranga (Sir Ian’s content) to life. Emily Wells, a kaiako at St Mark’s School, says that participating in the online hui has been valuable in providing a wealth of resources and by challenging her to further extend her use of digital technology, in all areas of the curriculum. “At the beginning of the year, another colleague in our junior syndicate and I attended the ‘Mātauranga, Land of Voyagers, digital storytelling’ hui and that was absolutely fantastic. “The first part of Land of Voyagers tells the story of the migration of the master navigators across all the Pacific, including Kupe, and other migrations that came after that.” The lessons reinforce to Māori and Pacific students that they are innovators and experts in STEM. There is a huge sense of pride when they discover their ancestors were some of the best explorers in the world and part of one of the greatest migrations in human history. Emily has used the video to help create a sense of identity and kotahitanga (unity) with her students. “I’ve shown the video to my Year 1 and 2 class

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and also linked it through on Seesaw for parents/ whānau to watch. It fits in beautifully with a schoolwide theme of kotahitanga. Knowing more about themselves motivates ākonga to learn more about others so they become a whole cohesive unit by knowing each other more. They know where they are from, and can explore and share more about their culture,” says Emily. To aid this knowledge Emily uses Google maps to show how far relatives have come and is working on creating an interactive Google map by pinning the places with photos of the children and their relatives and the types of vessels that their family travelled in. The idea to use digital technology in this way came from attendance at the hui. Her journey into using technology is also sparking new ideas, such as using Book Creator to help ākonga tell the stories of how their families arrived in Aotearoa. Emily is thinking of creating QR codes which will allow people to hear those stories being told by the children themselves.

Using Minecraft to aid learning

In Ōtautahi Christchurch, DSTA has worked with staff in Christchurch City Libraries – Ngā Kete Wānanga o Ōtautahi in developing Minecraft EE lessons that align with the Matauranga, Land of Voyagers, content. Ākonga engage in the videos first, and then learn how to tell stories using Minecraft EE. Ākonga can design their own stories, and develop a sense of who they are as they engage in the story of migration to Aotearoa. Danny McNeil, from Te Rōpū Poutama (Programmes, Events & Learning Team) South Learning Centre, Putahi Akoranga, has been part of this journey and is excited by the support that is now happening for digital technologies in the form of platforms such Minecraft EE. “We’ve used Minecraft EE in the past because it’s a really great engagement tool and it offers a lot of highly educational benefits. We note that it really engages students that have not always been engaged in the traditional way of education,” he says.

Danny first started to use Minecraft EE after a visitor to the library, aged eight, told Danny that he would come to the library more often if they had Minecraft. That was 10 years ago. For the DSTA project, the team from ImpactED including Wilj Dekkers, Minecraft global training mentor, worked with Te Waka Unua School to develop which aspects they wanted students to learn about then relayed that to Danny and Minecraft tech guru Robbie Rate so that they could work out the best ways in which to use Minecraft EE to assist. Danny says the students do the learning and then they replicate what they’ve learned in Minecraft EE by reproducing aspects of the story. “So, they use Minecraft as the vehicle to consolidate that knowledge, and because they were so engaged in Minecraft as a medium, as a creative output, it works really well.” Danny explains that there are many benefits and learning opportunities that can come from using Minecraft. “When you are using Minecraft, you are developing 3D spatial awareness without getting technical about it, the students are playing, but they’re becoming aware of 3D space.” Danny relates the story of how, when they first started using Minecraft, a student who was very familiar with it helped them in developing the resources and teaching. That student was later able to obtain a scholarship through his work with the library. Arnika also appreciates the value of platforms such as Minecraft. “A lot of ākonga are familiar with Scratch and Minecraft EE, but what we find is that when we start to look at the platforms as a way to design an experience around local curriculum, that’s when we see real purpose in game design. Examples of this can be how the school values are brought to life in a game, building spaces that represent local places, or having challenges in games that depict something relevant to a kura.”

“We’ve used Minecraft EE in the past because it’s a really great engagement tool and it offers a lot of highly educational benefits. We note that it really engages students that have not always been engaged in the traditional way of education.” Danny McNeil


Education Gazette

Providing the tools to succeed

The ability to use digital tools can require certain resources, but DSTA promotes tools that are free and easy to access. “Our team works very hard to ensure that what we are promoting is either in a lot of schools already (BeeBots, MicroBit, Sphero), or that it is accessible from ChromeBooks, Windows devices, and iPads. We want to try to make sure that anyone attending any hui leaves with something they can try tomorrow in their classroom without having to go away and spend hours planning, or researching,” explains Arnika. Danny also says that facilities such as libraries can help schools that have limited access to resources. “Not all schools have a suite of PCs, and it’s not always appropriate or even possible to do some of this type of work on a Chromebook.” DSTA is busy working on several areas to assist teaching and learning. For example, the team has developed a resource unpacking Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori – Kura Auraki, the te reo Māori resource for English medium schools. The latest Minecraft resources are now also available on the website in te reo Māori and English. The aim is to normalise te reo Māori in everyday life in our education system. “One of the aspirations is to bring to life a range of projects that really show the bicultural heritage of Aotearoa. In projects like these, ākonga have the opportunity to see themselves and others around them reflected, and it can help to strengthen their confidence in who they are and their place.”

Practical ideas for kaiako Matua Craig Render and Whaea Irihāpeti Hopper share ideas to bring Matariki to life using digital technologies.

Te Tirohanga – Observe » Mandala Matariki: Link to Thinglink to create an interactive poster » Learn the nine stars’ names and create a stop motion video of each star » Use Canva to create small posters about the stars » Use Makey Makey to map out stars and their meaning and then use Scratch to create interactive posters » Use Google Sheets or Excel to create tukutuku patterns to represent the stars of Matariki.

Te Whakamahara i ngā mate – Remember » Use Book Creator about someone who has passed » Use video editor software to create a picture montage » Use Canva poster quotes for the person you are honouring » Use Scratch Cartoon to depict your favourite memory of that person.

Celebrate - Intentions for the new year » Use Canva to create a wish list of dreams, hopes, and desires » Students can create a video to themselves that

For further information and support, visit

they can watch in a year’s time, using the Gmail or Outlook schedule sending feature. Use video software through Microsoft Video Editor, Canva or iMovie.

Emily Wells working on an interactive Google map.

13 June 2022

Danny McNeil.

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Taking Matariki learning to a new level with digital technology Education Gazette caught up with Matua Craig Render, a committee member and facilitator for Digital Story Telling Aotearoa (DSTA), about how they are supporting kaiako to explore a range of tools that will help bring mātauranga Matariki to life for ākonga in the classroom.

Matua Craig Render says digital technologies is one of the many ways tamariki survive and thrive today.

bringing static images to dynamic and digital life, or by getting students into coding.

Craig has been in education for 15 years and is now a primary teacher at Marotiri and Upper Atiamuri schools.

Craig says kaiako should preserve the autonomy of ākonga and implement digital technologies to make the learning experience authentic for them.

He says teachers and educators are encouraged to adopt new technologies and use them to engage with students, and that, “for us to thrive in education, we need to engage in our students’ world.”

“We crave freedom of choice ourselves, and we crave autonomy. How can these students develop into agentic citizens when we do not give them agentic situations?”

Craig explains how he has been implementing digital technologies in his own classes.

Webinar of support

“I was working with a student who had just lost her uncle, who had raised her. She wanted a way to remember him and for her not to lose the messages he had sent to her. We were able to download the voice messages from WhatsApp that her uncle had sent to her. “These were amazing messages of love and encouragement he would share with her on the way to school. Using a video editor, we were able to put these against images of her uncle and it was a moving tribute to his memory and was for ever immortalised,” he says.

A stepping stone to te ao Māori Talking about celebrating Matariki by using digital storytelling, Craig says this could be a vehicle to connect ākonga with te ao Māori. “The appearance of the Matariki cluster of stars signifies the Māori New Year – Te Matahi o Te Tau. This is a chance for people to gather, to honour the dead, celebrate the present and plan for the future. Also, astronomy is interwoven into te ao Māori – with the movements and position of the stars, the sun and moon cycles connected to seasonal agricultural activities.” Digital tools can be used to help facilitate this understanding and celebration. Tools such as Scratch and Thinglink could help kaiako and ākonga in


Education Gazette

DSTA had its first webinar on digital storytelling of Matariki on 3 May, its second on 18 May and the final on 1 June, which was New Zealand Sign Language supported. The webinars were led by Craig and Whaea Irihāpeti Hopper (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri, Ngapuhi). For the first workshop 120 schools from across Aotearoa New Zealand registered, including Te Waka Unua School from Ōtautahi Christchurch who attended the online hui as a staff meeting. One kaiako says, “After hearing about Scratch Junior, I researched it and am looking forward to our tamariki learning it and implementing it as part of our programme. We plan to try and implement Scratch Junior into our technology lessons and then use it as part of our maths and literacy sessions.” Another kaiako from Te Waka Unua School says they were inspired by the application of digital tools to storytelling. “I loved learning about new digital tools and being inspired. I am not going to do exactly what they shared, but I have got ideas spinning. “I think I can do that [implement digital tools] where it fits in, whilst also teaching and maintaining other skills for tamariki. I will not replace guided reading sessions for digital technology sessions but integrate them when it suits.”


Digital Tool Design Competition Innovators of the future

Help us design a tool that will be used to measure the wellbeing of ākonga in New Zealand

Prizes include up to $5000 for your school

the end of term 3! Competition is now open: entries close at The Ministry of Education is committed to understanding and improving the wellbeing of ākonga in NZ schools. We have been actively engaging with students and listening. Now it’s time for ākonga to use their significant digital knowledge and design thinking skills to lead the way in helping us design a tool that we can use as a measure of wellbeing.

This is a conceptual design competition based on design thinking. It is aimed at students in any subject area who wish to think through the issues and develop a solution. Students will work as a team and are not required to build a tool prototype. Entries will be judged by an expert industry panel. Finalists will be invited to a prizegiving ceremony in December. Prizes include up to $5000 for your school as well as individual prizes. We intend to use the winning entries to develop our final tool solution so your team entry may end up being used by students across the country!

More information and registration available: Scan the QR code or use link: Please contact the Project Team at:


Reimagining lunchtime at Porirua College An internal model of Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunches at Porirua College is providing ākonga and three other local schools with a thousand healthy lunches per day – but the benefits go beyond a full belly. Education Gazette visited the college to see the model in action.

Year 13 students Talia, Emilee, Charlise, Analia and Tatiana.


Education Gazette


orirua College has been participating in Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunches programme for two years. Before making the decision to run their own programme, the school had an external supplier providing food. Despite the nutritious kai, principal Ragne Maxwell says ākonga continued to leave school grounds during the day to buy food. Wanting to keep them on site and safe, the school realised they needed a different approach, and one that would also benefit some of the local schools. So, the school employed their own kitchen team and made some changes to not just the food, but how and when it was eaten. “We were already providing a service for a number of local schools, whose students and teachers could order food from us in the morning and get that delivered. That was part of the model we had. They all immediately said ‘we’d like you to do our lunches as well’,” says Ragne. Consultations were held with students about the kind of food they would like, and then different menus were trialled. Ragne says the internal model has provided an opportunity to cook healthier meals and educate ākonga about nutrition, but concedes that integrating this was a more difficult aspect. “If it’s super healthy, but they [the students] don’t want to eat it, they are going to be off site again.” Creating a formal meal situation was also an important consideration and the school decided to encourage a traditional form of eating, where people sit around a table together rather than getting their food and leaving. “We felt this is supposed to be a learning environment. We wanted them to learn about healthy eating and to learn about appropriate behaviour and social situations,” explains Ragne. “Tikanga and the cultural expectations around eating were part of what we needed to address, along with the issue of healthy eating.”

Commis chef Fenika Taupau.

Leadership at lunch

Junior students trialled the programme before it was extended to the whole school. “We invited seniors to take a lead role with doing karakia with the juniors to attain the learning.” The school invited seniors to be lunch leaders, working alongside the prefects. Students who volunteer to be part of Ka Ora, Ka Ako receive a school blazer. Older students assume a tuakana role for their tēina, giving back to the community and taking pride in what they do. “Our mission statement is to grow young people who can use their voices, actions and identities to make a difference in their communities – that is at the heart of who we are. “Being a grown up is about feeding people and looking after them and giving back and caring,” says Ragne.

Improved attendance

The programme even helped to improve attendance. After noticing students streaming into school for lunch at 12.45pm each day, the school decided to re-arrange their timetable. 13 June 2022

Kitchen manager Antoinette Van den Elzen.

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Year 9 student Isaiah enjoying the school kai.

Ragne says they heard of success from some schools that had changed lunch times, and that feeding students earlier improved learning. The school moved to an 11.20am lunch time and changed their whole timetable. Students have period one and two, then ‘lunch-eating’ which is a defined 15-minute period, and then a 25-minute break. “We found we are much less likely to have incidents around on the playground during break times … because they are well fed, and they are happy. “You cannot learn if you have not been fed, your brain does not operate properly. Teachers have noticed students are more engaged – they are learning better!” Ragne says students are enthusiastic about the kai and they even talk about it at home. “We had one student enrol this year who hadn’t attended school for the last two years but started in our Year 9. Every day he went home raving about the lunches and his older sister decided to also return to school, signing up with us. It was a family that came into our community and the first point of engagement was the school lunch.”

Busy kitchen team

Porirua College property manager Jason Hall oversees the process and says his overseas experience as an executive chef comes in handy. At the time of our visit just before midday, Jason told Education Gazette that lunches prepared that morning had just been delivered to other schools in time for lunch. “The development of the food is ongoing all the time,” he says. Kitchen manager Antoinette Van Den Helzen leads a team of nine local chefs, cooking more than a thousand meals per day. When the school decided to move to an internal model, their little canteen-like facility was transformed into a fully functional kitchen with chillers, fridges, gas cooktops and ovens. The kitchen staff cater different meals for special dietary requirements, such as halal, vegetarian, glutenfree, and vegan.


Education Gazette

Ākonga have the opportunity to try international and unusual food and expand their diet. Jason says most of the students were used to sliced bread only and they were surprised and suspicious about having fresh sourdough bread – “but then they started liking it!” Jason says the Government’s nutritional guidelines helped with improving the quality of the food, and students enjoy eating more fruit and vegetables.

Sense of community

The kai is prepared every morning on site and delivered to the separate houses at lunch time. Before getting their fresh meals, senior students will sing a waiata or say karakia. Pastoral leader of Whitireia House, Povalu Kelemete says it is nice to have a common area where students and staff can share their meals. “When we first started, especially with our house, we made a rule that we all sit down together and eat. The staff bring their lunches out and we sit down and break bread with the students,” she says. Ngā ākonga gather in a central place and share their kai together. After consuming their kai, the compostable containers and leftovers are put into a separate compost bin. “We didn’t want to have an impact on the environment. We went out right from the start to work out a good way of not having lots of plastics,” says Jason. Knowing numbers in advance and producing the meals in-house helps to reduce wastage and work out exactly what is needed. If there are spare lunches, students can help themselves to a second lunch in the afternoon break, or they can take the leftovers home.

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Jack, a puppet used in live theatre show, The Boy with Wings.


Capturing emotions and imagination through live theatre Education Gazette explores how live theatre performances support young tamariki to grow and develop their social and emotional learning and reflect on their interpretations of stories and events.


ive theatre shows are encouraging young audiences to step into a world where their imaginations are valued and nurtured, and to form deeper connections with the stories they are engaging with. A well-known storybook helping children understand grief and how to say goodbye to the people and things they love the most is about to become a live theatre show. Aya and the Butterfly, written by Dr Maysoon Salama, is dedicated to the families and children whose lives


Education Gazette

were changed forever after the attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. Maysoon lost her son, Atta in the mosque attacks and the story was written for her granddaughter, Aya. The story follows Aya as she grows and nurtures several swan plants in the garden with the help of her grandparents. Butterflies eventually come and lay eggs on the plants and caterpillars soon appear. The death of Aya’s father is implied but it is not the main focus of the story.

“Live theatre takes us on a journey that transcends the pages of the book because it is so five dimensional – it comes at us from so many different angles, through our emotional and physical engagement.” Bridget Sanders

Instead, Aya learns patience and understands letting go as the caterpillars turn into butterflies and flutter away. The story’s goal is to help any child dealing with loss and trauma.

Storybook brought to life

Aya and the Butterfly is currently being developed into a live theatre show for tamariki aged three to five by theatre company Birdlife Productions. Birdlife Productions create shows specifically for schools and kindergartens. Founders, Bridget and Roger Sanders, pair hand-made puppets and backgrounds with live music, aiming to bring a sense of wonder to their young audiences. Bridget says she first discovered Aya and the Butterfly on the staffroom coffee table at a kindergarten. “I was instantly drawn to the use of the theme of the natural cycle of the monarch butterfly to explore the importance of moving through grief – letting go and

finding hope,” she says. “I felt that the strength of the imagery would be a good premise for a piece of theatre for young children, as well as adding to the diversity of telling stories from New Zealand’s minority cultures and communities.” Maysoon says she hopes the development of her story into a theatre show will create new connections, relationships and bring her story and its characters to life. Turning her book into a show is not a literal retelling, rather it’s a conversation where one story-telling format has inspired the other. “I am positive it will shape the human experience in the story in a purposeful and interconnected way, appealing to children,” says Maysoon. “Retelling my story in a puppet show will bring more affirmation to the concepts and lessons intended from the story. It will stir emotions and feed an appetite for discovery and more learning and expansion of knowledge.”

Birdlife Productions performing The Boy with Wings at Cambridge School. Photo by Michael Jean.

13 June 2022

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Unpacking the emotional journey

Maysoon explains, due to the young audience, the storyline will be minimal. “Our most important intention is to represent the emotional journey of Aya, reflecting that through the metaphor of the butterfly cycle, showing the patient unfolding of grief and the importance of letting go and that it’s OK to cry,” she says. Through going deeper into the character’s perspectives in the live show, Maysoon hopes the young audience will be able to make connections to their own experiences with the themes. “Children need to learn to name and describe their feelings and to also recognise and acknowledge these feelings in others too,” she says. Maysoon adds that discussions about death with children are often avoided. Yet, she believes it is essential children learn about how to remember and feel sad, alongside letting go and continuing on in their lives with hope. After watching the performance, Maysoon says a young audience could be encouraged to analyse the puppet show and reflect on the differences to the original story. “This is to encourage development of their social skills,” she says. Maysoon also hopes the theatre production will allow for further celebration of the Islamic culture, language and values in a way that is missing from her storybook. The story has been given another dimension through live performance, as a new message will be about learning to accept and respect other cultures. In the development of the production, Bridget says

there have been ongoing conversations about the considerations needed in representing a culture different to their own. Maysoon adds that the performance will delve deeper into the story’s message and the perspective of the characters. The project is set to be completed and ready to tour by September.

Firing up imagination

Live theatre can be used as a tool that fires up the imagination of tamariki. Maysoon believes live theatre is a great alternative to screen-time, offering education and fun story-telling for children in a magical world of make believe. “It has the power of suspense and disbelief, which is very appealing to the heart of children.” Birdlife Productions specifically love stories that walk a meandering path between fantasy and reality – a perfect combination to capture a child’s imagination. Bridget says when children are entertained for a brief time, pulled into someone else’s story through all of their senses, it gives value and perspective to their own lives. Lyn Gardner, theatre reviewer at The Guardian says live theatre gives children skills and creativity necessary “to face the world, to understand it, and perhaps change it too.” She believes to solve world issues faced by young people such as climate change, economic collapse, and a global pandemic, imagination is needed just as much as smarts, skills and knowledge. Live theatre can help with children’s learning and development, with a particular focus on social skills and understanding different emotions.

Auckland Point School ākonga are enthralled by a live theatre performance.


Education Gazette

“Live theatre takes children deeper into the world of their imaginations – a vital link that has been proven to aid emotional intelligence, lengthen attention span, and equip them to better face the challenges of life,” says Bridget. Maysoon also points out research on the effectiveness of puppet shows as a story-telling method has shown a link to improvement of children’s behavioural issues. She says live theatre could also have a positive impact on improving mental health among children. Watching a movie on a screen can be a way to switch off the mind. In comparison, live theatre actively engages the child in the story, also providing time to absorb and reflect. “Live theatre takes us on a journey that transcends the pages of the book because it is so five dimensional – it comes at us from so many different angles, through our emotional and physical engagement,” says Bridget.

Thoughtful reflection

When performing, Bridget says they incorporate plenty of nuanced changes to tempo and pace, including times of stillness, gentleness, and observation, allowing time for thoughtful reflection. Live theatre simplifies extraordinarily complex stories in a way that allows all ages to be involved.

Part of the magic of live theatre is weaving together humour, live music and allowing the audience to join in as well. This is a vital way to help young audiences form a deeper connection with a story’s characters and overall message. The audience gets to be a part of the story too. Older children become intrigued by the development of the story itself – the making and construction aspects. Younger children simply enjoy the fun and adventure.

Capturing all ages

Students and teachers from Ngatimoti School in Tasman experienced live theatre’s magic in December 2020 with a performance of The Boy with Wings, which tells the tale about the annual kuaka/godwit migration. Kuaka/godwits migrate to a beach near the school each year so the story was particularly relevant to them. But principal Ali Turner says the story’s themes of habitat destruction, journeying and reflecting are important and relatable wherever you live. A teacher’s pack is provided with the show, allowing teachers to explore those deeper themes of the play back in the classroom. Ninety-five tamariki aged from five to 13 years, teachers and even a 75-year-old grandparent watched and enjoyed the show. Ali says there was an overwhelmingly positive response, something they found surprising due to the diverse tastes and needs of the differing age groups. “All students were enthralled by the magic of the puppets, the clever set designs and changes, the lessons within the story and the ability for many to link their own experiences and knowledge to this show,” she says. The Ngatimoti teachers themselves were awe-struck and enthralled. Ali says the play is a “fabulous example of story-telling,” where Birdlife Productions were able to convey information, capture and hold the attention of students, staying hidden yet visible. Ali sees many positives for tamariki watching stories come to life through live theatre. “The ability to laugh, connect, listen intently, and be absorbed in a live show cannot be underestimated,” she says. “Live theatre gives a personal experience, a sense of authenticity and an aura of mystique when performed well.”

Read this article online to see previous articles about Aya and the Butterfly.

Left: Dr Maysoon Salama, the author of Aya and the Butterfly, is the manager of two Muslim early learning centres, and the emeritus national coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council New Zealand.

13 June 2022

Tukutuku Kōrero



Enhancing staff capability at Newtown School Many schools are exploring ways to boost the capability of their staff to help support the needs of every child and their family, including Wellington’s Newtown School.


Playtime at Newtown School.


ewtown School’s central philosophy is simple: this is everybody’s school. The inner-city Wellington school has a culturally diverse roll of 360 students with a wide range of needs. The school’s expectation is that all tamariki feel at home in the classroom from day one, regardless of the complexity of their needs. Tamariki with high and complex needs work with multiple members of the teaching assistant team right from the beginning. Teaching assistants are part of a team that shares clear and specific expectations for the students’ individual learning journeys. Deputy principal with the learning support portfolio, Justine Henderson, feels this approach is setting children up for success at Newtown School. Tamariki become less dependent and more confident; they develop flexibility and independence, she says. “Children are the best teachers of other children. Through observing and modelling, tamariki develop crucial skills to play, learn and get along with others.” Newtown School is also working with Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | The Ministy of Education and the Resource Teachers: Learning & Behaviour (RTLB) service to pilot a model based on Universal Design for Learning. The model aims to provide a tiered system for supporting the wide range of needs of children within a flexible learning environment. “We’re implementing this model in our whānau spaces with strategies to support all our learners. It’s promising. The theory is good; the application we’re still exploring,” says Justine.

Building workforce capability

An important part of the model, and enabling inclusive learning in general, is delivering professional learning and development (PLD) opportunities for all staff at Newtown School. The new PLD priorities, which include cultural capability, assessment for learning, and local curriculum design, are expected to help support the shift to a more inclusive system. There are seven PLD priorities in total across English and Māori medium. Principal at the time, Mark Brown supports the new PLD priorities, however he believes more needs to be covered in this area in initial teacher education.

“There are so many demands within the course of training a teacher, but what are the core things that should be taught so that we understand our tamariki?” he says. “It’s so important that teachers understand that inclusion is more than the narrow band of just looking at learner needs. Actually, there’s so much more to inclusion, around diversity, culture, whānau and communities. For me, it’s around building capability within our staff, but also within our education system. I think we are down a track of openly talking about it, however we’re touching the tip of the iceberg.”

Keep pushing to the edges

Justine is up front about the challenges that come with building an inclusive learning environment at their school. “Finding time for teaching assistants to upskill, and support them with that, is a real challenge,” says Justine. She would also love to see more flexibility introduced around resourcing. Funding can limit the effective delivery of a programme, she says. “But no matter what the barrier, it’s our duty to meet the needs of the children regardless. It’s about pushing beyond the 80 percent, right to the edges. It’s about understanding the hopes and dreams of every learner and their family.” Mark Brown says the inclusive goal is an elusive one. “I don’t know if we’ll ever be ‘there’. Our communities, our demographics are constantly changing. It’s about listening and understanding the context of where they’ve come from. It’s working through a whole range of things other than just the easy bits of talking about the learner.”

Learning never stops

The Teaching Council believes it is important to have a systematic approach to building capability. Inclusive practice should flow through the standards for teachers, the initial teacher education (ITE) requirements, and across all work programmes. The new ITE requirements ensure providers develop authentic partnerships with, for example, disability groups and advocates, which will strengthen inclusive education in programme development. The partnerships which ITE providers nurture provide some experiences for students to connect with the community they will teach in

“No matter what the barrier, it’s our duty to meet the needs of the children regardless. It’s about pushing beyond the 80 percent, right to the edges. It’s about understanding the hopes and dreams of every learner and their family.” Justine Henderson 13 June 2022

Tukutuku Kōrero


and those with a lived experience of going through the New Zealand education system with a disability. “This means trainee teachers are being taught how to design their classes based on an understanding of each learner’s strengths, interests, needs, identities, languages, and cultures,” says Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti. “These graduates contribute to our combined learning support practitioner workforce, including resource teachers and Ministry-employed specialists, which has now grown in number to nearly 2,000.” Around 350 specialist teachers each year now receive study awards to attend a refreshed Massey University postgraduate course with new core content relating

to autism and neurodivergence woven through all endorsements of the programme. Professional learning should be ongoing, says the Minister. “I think it needs to be an integral part of what we do to develop our educators because these young people make up a huge percentage of our schooling population. Leadership is a big part of it too, she says. “What is it that we need to support our leaders to be able to lead in this space? And that’s about supporting leadership, supporting our educators through many resources, not just investing in the physical resource, but also the professional development that goes alongside that as well.”

Justine Henderson pictured here with tamariki, says inclusive practices are central to learning at Newtown School.


Education Gazette



Professional learning and development

To view the PLD, general notice listings and vacancies at



Scan the QR codes with the camera on your device.

DEPUTY PRINCIPAL An exciting opportunity to join the leadership team of this successful school. TNIS is seeking to appoint a dynamic and inspiring leader to the role of Deputy Principal from Term 4, 2022. If you are aspiring to be a school leader who is wanting to work within a successful school environment and looking to make a difference, we welcome your application. We are looking for a leader who has: • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills • Proven collaborative leadership experience • Strong curriculum knowledge and is data literate

• A strategic, future- focussed disposition • Cultural competency

TNIS is a Decile 9 International Baccalaureate School and the position attracts 5PMU.


For application information please contact: Roger Harnett: or Ph 022 0201250 Applications close Noon, Friday 24 June 2022

Pinehurst School | Executive Principal

Applications close on Wednesday 22nd June at 1pm (NZST).

“Respect for ourselves, respect for others, and excellence”

Pinehurst is a world class, co-educational independent school of 1100 students. We teach the Cambridge curriculum from Years 1 to 13, and our students take their qualifications to many of the best universities in New Zealand and the world. Our values permeate all aspects of school life, and are visible in the confident, kind young people in our classrooms, gyms and playing fields. The Executive Principal is responsible for a team of around 140 staff. The School operates as a Primary School (Year 1 to 6) and a College (Year 7 to 13), with as many decisions as possible distributed to the Primary and College teams. We are looking for a leader who embodies Pinehurst’s values, is committed to modelling excellence in leadership and education, and is an accomplished team-builder and communicator. The person we are seeking is also a future-thinker who is recognised by their peers, their students and by parents for their skills, passion, and excellence in their work.


Education Gazette

The position commences at the beginning of Term One 2023 Please visit the school website An application pack is available online at pinehurst For queries, please contact Tanya Prentice on 09 920 2173 (admin@educationgroup. or Kay Hawk on 021 587 683.

Principal AG Muritai School - Eastbourne, FLLower Hutt A unique and exciting opportunity for an inspirational, talented, and collaborative educational leader Nestled between the sea and the hills and at the heart of a very special community you will find Muritai School - a Year 1-8, decile 10 school, with a roll of 360 students. The school community is made up of a highly supportive and actively involved team of teaching staff, support staff, Board, and parents who are all passionate about our school, our young people, and their futures. We are seeking an inspiring, energetic, and capable leader who will deliver educational excellence and build and maintain a strong, positive, and vibrant school culture.

Our students are at the heart of all we do at Muritai. We are seeking a leader who shares this view. We have a highly committed team of teaching and non-teaching staff and we are seeking a leader who is committed to growing and developing our people and will bring fun and joy. •

Students who are eager to learn and who excel in all areas

The successful applicant:

A highly committed team of teaching and non-teaching staff

Will be a good person of sound and positive character

An engaged and welcoming community.

Will have integrity and courage

Will have a passion for people and their development

Will be an experienced and highly successful educational leader

Will have a collaborative, inclusive, and relational leadership style

Will be an exceptional communicator

Will have a genuine passion for young people, their wellbeing, their learning and development, and their futures

Will be committed to delivering the highest quality education to all students.

Muritai School Offers:

Applications close 1:00 pm Monday 11 July 2022. Appointment commences Monday 17 October 2022 or as negotiated. Application pack available at: Any queries, please contact Tanya Prentice or Tom Hullena, or 09 920 2173


Do you have a vacancy that you would like to advertise to the education sector? Place an advertisement in the display vacancies section and reach both the passive and active jobseekers by contacting Jill Parker: 027 212 9277 XX Xxxxxx 2022

Located in beautiful Hawkes Bay, Havelock North High School is a high performing, co-educational secondary school with consistent achievement across all areas of school life as reflected in our academic, cultural and sporting successes. We are a vibrant school with a progressive education system, and traditional values such as house spirit, school pride and high expectations of performance as reflected in our school motto Whaia te iti Kahurangi - Aim to Excel. With the resignation of our long serving and highly regarded Principal, the Board now invite applications from proven educational leaders who can successfully take on the role of only the fourth principal in the school’s 47-year history.

Key attributes for our next principal include: » An experienced and inspirational leader and educator with high professional standards and excellent communication skills, to facilitate positive relationships with the school and wider communities. » Well-developed cultural competency, a focus on culturally responsive practice and a strong commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi. » Leadership experience which has a key focus on creating pathways to success that enable all students to learn and achieve personal excellence. » An innovative leader who is motivated to drive change and promote and maintain a positive and values led school culture, with a safe and supportive environment. Applications close 8 July 2022 with a start date for the role being Term 1 2023. An application pack is available from Paula Edilson, Principal’s PA, or phone 06 877 8129 ext 722. Any queries please contact Emma Appleyard

Tukutuku Kōrero


Matariki resources for kaiako Scan the QR code to find a range of resources to bring Matariki to life in your classrooms.

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