Education Gazette 103.8

Page 1

Environments of unity, connection and belonging

Editor’s note

Nau mai, haere mai to the last issue of term 2!

Around the country, educators are doing truly inspirational work creating connections. Whether to place, people, or learning, these connections are empowering ākonga and their communities.

In this issue we see the ways inclusion in sport and physical environment creates connections between people, improving understanding and supporting participation.

In Fiordland, rangatahi take a once-in-a-lifetime trip and make connections to our environment and learn about kaitiakitanga guardianship.

In Thames-Coromandel, ākonga connect to their community and get involved in local government – with real results.

Be sure to also take a look at the young tamariki connecting to the theme of Pink Shirt Day with their powerful self-affirmations.

Kia manahau! Enjoy!

Mauri ora, Keri McLean, Ētita | Editor

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On the cover

Page 8. “In every conversation, with every single student, staff member and member of our community, we want to make sure they understand their value and worth,” says Te Ahi Kaikōmako Rolleston School principal Simon Moriarty about adopting the E Tū Tāngata mindset.



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'We succeed together' is one of the pillars of E Tū Tāngata, page 8.
Betty and Tiki collect cockles.
Image: Andrew Penny.


Diving into environmental guardianship on a virtual field trip

A virtual field trip to Tamatea Dusky Sound is offering students the opportunity to learn about conservation and the role all New Zealanders have in the kaitiakitanga (guardianship) of our environment.

Picture this: The school week begins with a helicopter ride over Fiordland, before boarding a converted 27-metre expedition naval ship that takes students around the remote fiords.

Later, the class will explore the pristine islands of Tamatea Dusky Sound, searching for evidence they are predator-free, checking tracking tunnels, and picking up trap data. As they head into the weekend, students have a new knowledge of restoring ecosystems in their own backyards.

It’s the trip of a lifetime.

Fiordland, a World Heritage Site, is spread over one million hectares and made up of 14 fiords. Tamatea Dusky Sound alone has 700 islands.

Now, ākonga across the motu can travel to the ends of the earth, experiencing Tamatea, a place largely untouched by human footprints – enjoyed all from the comfort of their classroom.

It’s an opportunity that has come about through Tātai Aho Rau CORE Education, the Ministry of Education, and the Department of Conservation (DOC), who have created two virtual field trip resources in conjunction with Pure Salt, a multi-day charter vessel company in Fiordland.

The resources were created from live expeditions into Fiordland, and the content then placed on the online platform LEARNZ, making the field trip virtual and accessible for anyone.

Tamatea vision

Maria Kuster and her partner Seán founded Pure Salt eight years ago. Behind everything they do is the ‘Tamatea vision’, a dream they share with DOC to help turn Tamatea Dusky Sound into one of Earth’s most intact ecosystems –a ‘biobank’ where native species can be sourced and sent to pest-free locations around the country.

if they are actually on board a week-long

how we care for our environment changed significantly after the trip.

Top left: The expedition into Tamatea Dusky Sound was used to create content for the virtual field trip.
Top right: Students jumped into the freezing water to dive for crayfish.
Bottom left: The field trip is set up so that teachers can take students through it day by day – as
field trip.
Bottom right: Tiki says his perspective on
Images: Andrew Penny.

“We started the business to connect people with place and give back to the place we call home. Everything else flows from there.”

In 2018, the Pure Salt team started to work on restoring Mamaku Indian Island. They began thinking about how nothing they do matters if the next generation isn’t passionate about it.

“We started asking ourselves, ‘how can we connect more kids to Fiordland and ecosystem restoration? What conduits are there?’” says Maria.

After a conversation with a local DOC officer, they heard of LEARNZ – a programme of free virtual field trips which first began with trips across Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys in 1995. The platform suited Pure Salt’s idea perfectly.

Maria and Seán organised an expedition into Tamatea Dusky Sound to create resources for the virtual experience. Joining them on the expedition were three children and their guardians, chosen in a nationwide competition for their best expression of what kaitiakitanga (guardianship) means to them.

It’s through the eyes of these tamariki that ākonga across Aotearoa can experience Tamatea Dusky Sound.

Saying yes to opportunities

Tiki, an ākonga from Massey High School, had never visited Fiordland before joining the trip.

“I wasn’t too interested in the trip until I looked into it and saw the amazing boat, Flightless. It’s three storeys with a spa pool on top,” says Tiki.

The trip changed his life, inspiring him to always say yes to opportunities.

He ate raw mussels, climbed mountains, and jumped into freezing water in a 7mm wetsuit to dive for crayfish only a few metres underwater.

After the trip, he says his perspective on how we care for our environment changed significantly.

“Our chef on board Flightless expertly used every part of a blue cod I caught. Fried the skin, smoked the roe, battered the fillets, smoked the frames and heads. We ate all of it. I’ve brought that home with me – now, as little food as possible goes to waste, using bones in stocks and such, composting waste to put back into the garden to grow our own produce,” says Tiki.

He has been sharing all he learned with his friends and wider community.

“Seeing what a difference they’ve made down there ... we can do that, we just need to work together; we are one people on one rock. We need to look after this place we call home the best we can, by following the message of kaitiakitanga.”

“We are one people on one rock. We need to look after this place we call home the best we can, by following the message of kaitiakitanga.”
“It was awesome seeing how engaged the students were with the material. We’re removing stoats from this environment so our native species can thrive, and it was cool to see the students make that correlation.”

Learning from the experts

Helping to curate the content were on-board experts, including Predator Free New Zealand Trust chief executive Jessi Morgan and the DOC’s Te Anau community ranger Jo Marsh.

Jessi Morgan

On the field trip, Jessi and Pure Salt’s conservation hero Rusty took the students trapping in the forest, teaching them different ways of controlling introduced predators.

“It was awesome seeing how engaged the students were with the material. We’re removing stoats from this

environment so our native species can thrive, and it was cool to see the students make that correlation.”

Jessi says students joining the field trip can take their learnings from Fiordland and translate them back into environments near them – their backyard or local reserve.

“The area is such a special part of New Zealand. It’s awesome showing students what thriving native forests and oceans could look like in their home towns if we didn’t have introduced predators.”

Jo says Tamatea is a great place to learn about conservation.

The chef on board Flightless used every part of the blue cod Tiki caught, a waste-free practice he has taken home to family and friends.
Image: Andrew Penny.

“It is one of the first places where European explorers set foot in NZ. The landscape still looks the same, but introduced animals have had a big impact on the forests and animals that live there, even way out in the wilds of Tamatea.”

On the trip, she guided the group over predator-free Pukenui Anchor Island.

“Best of all, the kids just got it – why this island is so important in Aotearoa’s conservation story. Being predator-free means that Pukenui acts as a biobank, a place for endangered species such as kākāpō and kiwi to flourish in relative safety, away from introduced animals such as stoats, cats and rats.”

“The more biobanks we can have, the more taonga we can hopefully save and return to the mainland one day if future kaitiaki can create the methods to make more of Aotearoa pest-free.”

Tiki says the knowledge he learned on board the boat was “staggering”.

“I learnt more than I can remember just being around these amazing people.”

Accessible conservation

The LEARNZ resource is free and open to anyone.

“Providing an opportunity to learn about these special areas on a platform such as LEARNZ is the first step in supporting young people to play a part in protecting them,” says LEARNZ kaiārahi Andrew Penny.

“A key part of virtual field trips is about helping ākonga access the inaccessible and inspiring them to take conservation action in places close to them.”

Tiki says before the trip he had no idea of Fiordland’s “uninterrupted beauty hiding behind every corner”.

“It was truly breathtaking to see the water clarity, how clean the air was, and how much kaimoana lived beneath the waters. LEARNZ gives you a glimpse of this and inspires you to use this as an example of what kaitiakitanga can do to a place,” he says.

“So much work has been put into keeping it a safe haven for native animals and plants down there. Maybe students can see that and be inspired to take their message of kaitiakitanga worldwide.”

Maria says people are never too young to start learning about conservation and our role as kaitiakitanga.

“I think it’s important for students to understand they’re part of the ecosystem, not removed from it, and that they can make things better. We need to look after the places that look after us.”

Tiki says he often hears his generation “are doomed” due to the damage done to our ecosystems.

“But a lot of those who ‘doomed’ us are doing a lot of good to help the environment. Now is the time to get involved with conservation work so we can learn from those who are doing amazing things now and not have to start from scratch in 20 to 30 years.

“We need to be engaging in the work they are doing so we can gain new insight, a new angle on the problems they are facing because only together are we going to make this work.”

What to expect on a virtual field trip

Students have two choices for a virtual field trip to Tamatea Dusky Sound.

The first trip, ‘Expedition Fiordland’, gets students to join a group working hard to turn Tamatea into one of the most intact ecosystems on earth. Almost 100 schools have already joined.

The second trip, ‘Environmental Guardianship in Tamatea Dusky Sound’, was published in March. This trip has students connecting with our seas and embarking on a journey learning about ecosystems above and below the water.

“This second trip was pretty special as it opened up what is beneath the reflection of humans,” Maria says.

“People tend to think about forests and birds when they imagine ecosystem restoration as it’s easily accessible, but opening this up to our oceans and getting kids to understand that biodiversity is also important there.”

The field trips are designed to fit into the New Zealand Curriculum. They are set up so teachers can take students through them day by day – as if they are actually on board a week-long field trip.

The content is geared towards early-to-late teens, but Maria says teachers can easily enrich the content and make it more challenging by adding supplementary resources.

“The visual content is also great for younger students if you want to show them birdlife or go diving with someone,” she says.

On top of the LEARNZ field trips, Pure Salt also collaborated with NZ Geographic, where they captured Fiordland experiences in 3D filming.

Teachers can get VR goggles into the classrooms so students can virtually walk through the video content, from kayaking to standing under a waterfall to snorkelling underwater.

Jessi says teachers can choose different angles to explore from the field trip based on their students’ interests.

To find out more about the virtual field trips, visit the LEARNZ website.


The power of lifting each other up

E Tū Tāngata, a programme aiming to empower ākonga to lift each other up, is having a positive impact on students in Ōtautahi Christchurch and seeing an increase in engagement and attendance.

Jay Geldard was on sabbatical overseas when he was struck by the high rates of suicide in many countries, including New Zealand.

“It was then I knew I wanted to help people to recognise their intrinsic worth and remind young people that they have value,” says Jay.

“I wanted to create a resource that would help individuals understand how to value each another and how an individual’s value can contribute to the success of those around them.”

He made it his mission to help New Zealand tamariki and rangatahi see that they have value, and to help them see the importance of valuing one another.

From this vision, E Tū Tāngata was born.

Lifting each other up

Westburn Te Kura o Hereora is just one of several Ōtautahi kura using E Tū Tāngata to break down tall poppy syndrome and empower ākonga to lift each other up.

“You don’t lose anything by complimenting somebody else. We want our kids to build up and acknowledge others, rather than tear them down,” says principal Susan Jennison.

“We need to get this message right at school so when these kids become adults, they get it right in society.”

One of Susan’s junior students says adopting the E Tū Tāngata has changed the way her classmates treat each other.

“People in my class use E Tū Tāngata as a way to be kind to others, to help others in need, to be a role model in the classroom, and to have integrity in class even when no one is looking,” she says.

Te Ahi Kaikōmako Rolleston School began incorporating the E Tū Tāngata mindset into its daily school life in mid-2019.

Principal Simon Moriarty says what drew his school to E Tū Tāngata first was that it was not a programme, but rather a “direction” to move in.

“It’s about creating a mindset to help that cultural shift in New Zealand society addressing tall poppy syndrome.

“And we wanted to be a part of that journey ... our school playing a role in positively impacting an aspect of New Zealand much bigger than us.”

Fitting in with school values

Every school can apply the E Tū Tāngata mindset in the way that works best for them.

Te Kōmanawa Rowley School began to incorporate the E Tū Tāngata mindset in 2022.

Principal Graeme Norman says the mindset “fit beautifully with our school values of relationships, identity and dignity –we adapted the programme to suit us and our kura”.

Every Monday morning, Te Kōmanawa Rowley holds a whole-school assembly where the E Tū Tāngata values are discussed with ākonga, including group singing of the E Tū Tāngata song.

Graeme says student leaders also suggested using the assembly as an opportunity to do “a thumbs up to the kids that had done cool things during the previous week”, which they have since implemented.

Every Friday, the staff wear t-shirts with E Tū Tāngata wording and talk to students about the values more casually.

“In every conversation, with every single student, staff member and member of our community, we want to make sure they understand their value and worth.”
Simon Moriarty
E Tū Tāngata founder Jay Geldard has made it his mission to help ākonga see they have value.
Rolleston School has reshaped its culture around the three pillars of E Tū Tāngata.

Te Ahi Kaikōmako Rolleston School has re-aligned its school values to the three main pillars of the E Tū Tāngata mindset. These pillars underpin their strategic plan and annual targets.

» You have value | He mana tōu nō whakapata.

» We succeed together | Ki te kāpuia e kore e whati.

» Others matter | He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata.

“From the top down, we are living by this mindset,” says Simon.

Te Ahi Kaikōmako Rolleston School has also reshaped its culture, environment and even curriculum around the three pillars, he explains.

“In every conversation, with every single student, staff member and member of our community, we want to make sure they understand their value and worth.”

As an example, Simon said they reframed their school student leadership programme. Each student leader takes on board one of the pillars and champions that.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Simon says for two weeks the school focused on teaching ākonga ‘you have value,’ where students sent in examples of what they valued about themselves, such as juggling a football or playing a musical instrument.

The next two weeks were focused on ‘we succeed together,’ where students were encouraged to do tasks such as

To learn more about E Tū Tāngata and access their free implementation resources, visit their website.

Schools have seen the amount of negative self-talk by students decrease.
'We succeed together'
one of the pillars of E Tū Tāngata.

collaborating with their siblings or cooking dinner for their parents.

Their two-week focus on ‘others matter’ occurred over Anzac Day, and students created memorial displays on their windows.

Huge positive impact

Simon says Te Ahi Kaikōmako Rolleston School is “100 percent” seeing results from incorporating the E Tū Tāngata mindset.

“The instances of negative self-talk amongst our young people are decreasing and instead being replaced by the language of E Tū Tāngata.”

The school was also involved in a study by Canterbury University, which showed the “huge positive impact” of the mindset.

Westburn Te Kura o Hereora was also involved in the study after picking up the E Tū Tāngata mindset in 2020.

Susan says the study showed the students who had the most positive perception of E Tū Tāngata, also “felt more valued, felt their classes were collaborative and inclusive, had a higher sense of belonging to the school, and were

willing to take more risks without fear of failure”.

In comparison, the students who said E Tū Tāngata were not as present in their classes had a lower feeling of being valued and included.

Graeme says his students are learning to be proud of who they are, and this has led to an increase in attendance.

“Four years ago, when I started here, our attendance was 40 percent. From teaching our students that they’re valuable, a part of something and that others matter, our attendance has really shot up,” he says.

Attendance at the school is now up to 87 percent.

Graeme says one young student had been in several other schools before joining Te Kōmanawa Rowley School. He would stay for an hour and then be sent home.

“My belief is: If you have value, you’re the same as everyone else and so you go to school all day. When he got angry, he would come to my office and I would talk to him about E Tū Tāngata,” he says.

“And the highlight for me is, at the end of last term, he told his Oranga Tamariki social worker that his favourite thing about his new school was, ‘Even when I’m angry, they tell me I have value’.”

“From teaching our students that they’re valuable, a part of something and that others matter, our attendance has really shot up.”

Every Friday, Te Kōmanawa Rowley School staff wear t-shirts with E Tū Tāngata wording and talk to students about the programme’s values.
E Tū Tāngata founder Jay Geldard.
The school has installed a wheelchair carousel in the playground.


Building inclusion into the environment

Woodstock School in Kirikiriroa Hamilton has built an accessible environment that honours its school values and the physical abilities of all of its students.

Woodstock School sits close to the Waikato River on Kirikiriroa Hamilton’s east side, not far from the city’s centre.

“It’s the coolest little school,” says tumuaki Paula Wine. It is a community proud of its picturesque green environment and its vision of ‘growing greatness’.

“Our Woodstock learners are caring, inclusive and welcoming, and our staff are, too. Here, we are committed to ensuring our school is a place where we value diversity, we aim high in our learning, and we are kaitiaki of our environment.”

Not one to simply talk the talk, the school is making sure it is walking the walk and modelling its values every step of the way.

Inclusion is woven into its fabric, says Paula. “How this looks and feels at Woodstock is omnipresent.”

“Starting with the playground, our recent inclusive installations ensure that our tamariki can play together and all children have access to the playground. We have also installed an elevator to our stage in the hall so that all children can come up on stage for production or for their assembly.”

Woodstock has two different units based on site and learners with special needs in their mainstream classroom.

“We are a unique, wonderful kura,” says Paula. “Our school is made up of 15 mainstream classrooms and one ‘conductive education unit’ for learners who have physical needs. There are two Patricia Avenue [Specialist School] satellite classrooms. We invite each other to our school events, and we all share the playground.

“Being inclusive is one of our core values and we have created really neat opportunities for our children to mix, play and learn together.”

Enhancing mana

The school spent the past year fundraising to pay for additions to its junior playground to ensure it is not only wheelchair accessible, but an exhilarating experience for all users.

“We are installing a wheelchair trampoline, a trio ensemble for wheelchairs and a wheelchair carousel.

This has been achieved by fundraising and combining funds up to $60,000,” says Paula.

She explains how the recent developments in the school’s environment sit within its core values.

“Our core values at Woodstock are mana, manaakitanga, kotahitanga and whanaungatanga. All of these encompass the concept of inclusion. We are all about ensuring that every person feels a sense of connection and belonging at our kura.”

“Our core values at Woodstock are mana, manaakitanga, kotahitanga and whanaungatanga. We are all about ensuring that every person feels a sense of connection and belonging at our kura.”
Paula Wine

Building inclusivity into every aspect of the environment

Building inclusivity into every aspect of their environment, the kura is proud of how this concept translates across the school and its mahi.

Paula proudly lists some of the ways the school has embedded inclusion in its everyday teaching and learning.

“Our conductive education unit (CEU) learners come join our mainstream learning for literacy and numeracy,” she says. “The CEU learners have buddy classes who they visit some afternoons and do wellbeing activities together.

“CEU learners are included in the Jump Jam team, as well as in the school’s gymnastics team – they’re set to take part in an upcoming competition.

“Both our CEU and Patricia Ave students are also included in weekly assemblies and singing assemblies, and we have even held full-school events that celebrate wheels of all kinds.”

Professional learning and development

Full staff professional learning and development (PLD) takes place regularly on how to be truly inclusive. Most recently this was delivered by the Halberg Foundation.

Paula says staff are grateful for the many supportive, active community members who “fully involve themselves in school life”.

“Our staff are open, welcoming and committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that each learner is stretched in their learning and their personal development,” she adds.

“We are not aware of many other schools with such diversity and with facilities to cater for play, social and learning needs. Our school is 70 years old, so it certainly is not a new build,” she smiles. “We feel the older character of our school is an asset. What we’re doing now is enhancing it by making our kura more inclusive.”

“Being inclusive is one of our core values and we have created really neat opportunities for our children to mix, play and learn together.”
Paula Wine
The new additions ensure all children have access to the playground.


We can incorporate a variety of games in to your turf so that ALL children can play!

Para sport champion Jaden Movold talks with a young student.


Bringing the Paralympic spirit into the classroom

Blending real-life stories with robust educational resources, Paralympics New Zealand’s new educational programme is aiming to make a lasting impact on teachers and students alike, fostering a more inclusive and empathetic future.

Paralympics New Zealand is transforming how primary school students perceive disability with a new programme inspired by the lives and stories of Paralympians and para athletes.

The programme, Seeing is Believing, integrates the Paralympic Movement into curriculum learning opportunities in primary schools and kura. The programme and matching I’mPOSSIBLE resources were developed by the International Paralympic Committee and tailored to the Aotearoa New Zealand context by Paralympics New Zealand.

Central to the programme are the ‘para sport champions’ – exceptional Paralympians and para athletes who challenge perceptions of disability. They highlight the Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration, and equality.

“These elements combine values-based learning with the lived experiences of Paralympians and para athletes,” says Greg Warnecke, chief executive of Paralympics New Zealand.

“It’s a powerful combination which inspires both participation and inclusion in school environments.”

Classroom impact

Hobsonville Point Primary School’s middle leader Reid Walker shares his insights and experiences, highlighting the programme’s impact on his classroom.

Initially sceptical about how the programme would fit into the curriculum, Reid and his colleagues decided to give it a try after meetings with Paralympics New Zealand’s education lead. The programme’s flexible approach allowed them to integrate as much or as little as they wanted into their curriculum.

Para sport champions are exceptional Paralympians and para athletes who challenge perceptions of disability.
“The children asked if he would have chosen a different path if he could, and his perspective on achieving great things despite his disability was humbling.”
Reid Walker

“Our children loved it. We thought it was intriguing and empowering. My initial thoughts are that it is looking and feeling great.”

Reid found the implementation process straightforward, thanks to the lack of a rigid schoolwide timetable. He appreciated the wealth of online resources and the support, which allowed for a tailored approach.

“The support was amazing and being able to talk to other schools helped us adapt the programme to our needs,” he explains.

When para sport champion Jaden Movold visited, the students were initially overwhelmed and awed by meeting someone with a disability who had achieved so much.

“The children asked if Jaden would have chosen a different path if he could, and his perspective on achieving great things despite his disability was humbling. It was quite humbling not only for a child but also for the teacher.”

Learning and inclusion

Reid observed significant changes in his students’ understanding of disability and the values embodied by Paralympians.

“Their understanding of disability has definitely improved. The programme provided more examples that aligned with the disposition qualities or key competencies we talk about.”

One memorable moment for Reid was when students, eight months after the pilot, identified their para sport champion as a role model.

“We were looking at leaders in the sporting field, and some students – unprompted – mentioned our para sport champion. That’s what we were after.”

Reid encourages other teachers to embrace the programme, citing its potential to build essential skills and knowledge in students. He also noted the broader applications of the programme, from fostering empathy to supporting behavioural shifts in students.

Looking ahead, Reid hopes the programme will instil a lasting shift in students’ perspectives, helping them understand perseverance, resilience, and determination.

“If we have created memories that alter their perspectives moving forward, that’s a success. Just having the presence of an athlete is affirming for our disabled children.”

Students are often in awe meeting athletes with disabilities who had achieved so much.
The Seeing is Believing programme inspires participation and inclusion.

Schools can register to explore the resources and prepare for participation coinciding with the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. For more information, visit

Halberg Foundation’s training app is an intuitive and easily accessible resource for teachers to use.

Empowering accessible sporting experiences

In a move towards accessible inclusive sports education, the Halberg Foundation’s Inclusion Training programme has found a new home on the CoachMate app.

Alongside 20 engaging games and activities, Halberg has developed 10 learning modules in collaboration with CoachMate. These modules delve into the fundamental concepts of disability and inclusion, equipping teachers and coaches with the knowledge and confidence needed to create truly inclusive sports environments.

Additionally, the app offers step-by-step instructions on utilising the ‘STEP’ model to modify and adapt various sports activities.

Mark Harrop, principal of Ngahinapouri School and user of the CoachMate app, says it’s an intuitive and easily accessible resource for teachers to use.

Find more information at or download the CoachMate app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Top and bottom: Para sport champion Jaden Movold’s main sport is wheelchair racing. He competes on both track and road in distances from 100 metres to 21 kilometres.

Oaklynn Specialist School held an adapted Weet-Bix TRYathlon for more than 200 students.

Specialist schools connecting through sport

At Oaklynn Specialist School in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, physical activity and sport doesn’t just support cognitive development and emotional regulation for ākonga, it benefits them socially.

“Everybody needs to feel connected to their community, and sport does that,” says associate principal Emma Cutts.

Over the last 18 months, the school has been supported by Healthy Active Learning and Tū Manawa Active Aotearoa for a year of dance classes, an adapted Weet-Bix TRYathlon for specialist units in the area, and interschool matches facilitated by Netball Waitākere.

Having the right tools to participate

With 11 percent of young people between 8 and 15 identifying as disabled in Aotearoa, a key part of Shanley Joyce’s job as a Healthy Active Learning advisor is to make sure teachers have the tools and confidence to ensure all students have quality physical education and activity experiences.

“Sometimes students don’t get to participate in health and PE lessons because teachers find it too challenging to bring them outside,” says Shanley.

Research from Sport NZ supports this. It shows that one of the biggest contributors to the lower rate of physical literacy amongst disabled tamariki is the limited availability of opportunities.

Shanley’s main tip for kaiako wanting to help shift this is communication – both with students and whānau.

“Talk to students,” she says. “Ask them, ‘What do you want to do? How can we make it work for you?’ Taking the time to do that can save so much heartache.”

She adds that it can often be as simple as changing the texture or colour of a ball, particularly for neurodivergent students.

Emma agrees, and says it is important to base physical activity around the interests of any young person, encouraging kaiako to start small.

“The feeling of being included in such a large event and receiving special taonga like medals and uniforms, it’s not something we can easily create on our own.”

Emma Cutts

Encouraging participation through preparation

A great example of how communication can enhance physical activity experience is Oaklynn’s adapted Weet-Bix TRYathlon, says Emma.

After trialling the event in 2022, the school spent 12 months gently preparing students and teachers for the event ahead, sharing photos and videos of what they could expect. This included chill-out zones for students, bouncy castles, and medals and t-shirts for every participant.

Emma says the day, held at the end of 2023, was amazing.

Over 200 ākonga from Oaklynn and Arohanui special schools attended with their carers, kaiako, therapists, and teacher aides. There were even students from Hobsonville Point Secondary and Te Atatū Intermediate there to cheer on their friends from the satellite units.

“The feeling of being included in such a large event and receiving special taonga like medals and uniforms, it’s not something we can easily create on our own,” says Emma.

A platform for integration

Oaklynn School, which has 230 students in satellite units at 11 schools across Central West Auckland, can sometimes struggle to integrate across the wider school community where their unit is situated.

Shanley hopes to see that change and believes physical activity is the perfect platform to do so.

“One of my goals is to get all mainstream schools who have satellite units working together a lot more.”

For Emma, that would be a win-win for all students.

“We want all children to leave school being young adults that care for the whole of their community, rather than othering people,” she says.

When it comes to her hopes for the students at Oaklynn, providing opportunities to be active is all about supporting their wellbeing for years to come.

“I would love for them to know that movement is a strategy that they can go to and that will make them feel better.”

Communication is a key part of creating options for inclusive physical activity.
All participants in the TRYathlon received medals and t-shirts.

The hydrogen revolution creating a future for Southland

A science programme in Southland is teaching ākonga about the power of hydrogen in an initiative developed to build the skills and expertise needed in future generations.

The hydrogen kits create enough energy from water to run a fan.

At Waiau Area School in Southland, ākonga in Years 7–10 are setting up hydrogen fuel kits. Using battery packs, they’ll create enough hydrogen from water to run a fan.

The school’s science teacher, Florence Chatelier, says the hydrogen fuel kits have helped ākonga understand the potential of renewable energy.

“It’s led to discussions about how to reduce climate change and the future of green energy. The kits also include coloured cellophane that lets students explore the light spectrum and compare how different colours impact the energy going from the solar panel to a fan,” says Florence.

It’s part of an outreach programme developed to teach ākonga to make hydrogen and to understand its potential as a green fuel, even using it to power toy cars.

The programme’s Dr David Warren says students constantly surprise him with their enthusiasm.

“We show them how to put the kit together themselves and they can see the hydrogen being made. Then they connect the motor up and see it move. They’re pretty astonished to know they’ve made the hydrogen themselves and they understand why it’s working and why it’s so cool. That excitement is magic to see.

“Some of the students are from farms and with that background, they think about using hydrogen in the context of a farm operation,” says David.

Skills and expertise for science industries

Otago University’s School of Chemistry’s outreach programme has been visiting schools in the South Island for a number of years, inspiring students to think about science and its role in society.

In 2022, David and a group of PhD students teamed up with Murihiku Regeneration, an initiative focused on creating jobs for Southlanders in the event the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter closes. It encourages ākonga to develop the skills and expertise to become part of the workforce for those industries.

Together they have taken the hydrogen programme to 25 of Southland’s 63 primary schools.

Murihiku Regeneration is led by Ivan Hodgetts, who says the initiative is a deliberate attempt to disrupt the intergenerational assumptions tamariki and rangitahi are used to making about their career options.

“The reality is that the under-30 workforce for those organisations – the power generators, companies and manufacturers of 2035 – are in our schools, learning, right now.

“We have built a vocation transitions framework so that whether the smelter closed or not, there are already emerging industries and a skilled workforce. Some of the jobs they’ll be doing already exist and others will be designed to fit emerging technologies.

“The trick here is to do this work in a way that doesn’t try to pre-determine an emergent future and force people into ‘pipelines’. Ultimately, we don’t fully know where technology and human creativity will take us, but we can be prepared,” says Ivan.

“The under-30 workforce for the power generators, companies and manufacturers of 2035 are in our schools, learning, right now. We don’t fully know where technology and human creativity will take us, but we can be prepared.”
Ivan Hodgetts

Sparking curiosity and starting conversations

Waiau Area School associate principal Richard Bennett says ākonga were enthused by the visit from Dr Warren and his students last year.

“It has really engaged our ākonga. It sparked their curiosity and started conversations about how it was happening and what could be possible in the future.

“We want to inspire them to think about their place in that future and the roles that are needed to build industries in this region. It’s unusual to have scientists come to your primary school and teach,” he says.

“All they have to do is turn up and be willing to learn,” says David. “We hope that by taking the science to them and teaching them to make hydrogen, they’ll start thinking up different ways they can use science to make things they want.”

Ivan says the programme uses hydrogen because it’s a great way to show how green energy can work.

“We’re thinking about where the hope and purpose is for these ākonga. By demystifying science, we’re showing them that technology is changing fast and they can be part of that in lots of different ways.

“Their future isn’t necessarily in hydrogen. They might end up doing something else entirely, but hydrogen is a good way to teach sustainability because it’s a green fuel.”

“We want these ākonga to broaden their aspirations. It’s about inspiring them to dream some really big dreams for themselves and to know how they can make them become reality.”

Dr David Warren

Dreaming big dreams

David says the university students love going out to the schools.

“They’re closer in age to the ākonga than I am. It’s our hope that making cool science experiments with those young learners will help them imagine a similar career for themselves.

“We want these ākonga to broaden their aspirations and we hope many of them will choose to study science. It’s about inspiring them to dream some really big dreams for themselves and to know how they can make them become reality.”

Coloured cellophane lets students explore the light spectrum and compare how different colours impact energy.
The programme encourages ākonga to develop the skills and expertise for a future workforce.

Ivan says he hopes Murihiku Regeneration will become a more systemic way for ākonga to experience magic moments of inspiration.

David agrees. “I like to tell them about the story of Professor Alan McDiarmid. Professor McDiarmid won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, but very nearly didn’t get into science at all.”

As a student, McDiarmid showed an interest in science, but it wasn’t until he was in his last year of high school that his passion for chemistry ignited. He went on to complete two PhDs, eventually becoming a joint winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his part in the discovery of a plastic polymer that could conduct electricity.

Breaking down barriers

Murihiku Regeneration is just beginning its next series of school visits to Southland schools. The team will visit some schools multiple times, bringing different science ideas to inspire the next generation as well as holding teacher professional development days to support STEAM education in Southland’s schools.

Ivan says the project is breaking down what he calls the ‘expert’ barrier – giving teachers access to the expertise to create STEAM experiences and broaden their own capability to teach STEAM subjects.

“We hope these students will become the many different kinds of engineers and managers and IT architects and other roles we can’t even imagine, yet who will build the future industries of Southland.”

What the students said

“It was amazing to see energy produced from water. I didn’t know that was a thing.” Deakon, Year 9

“I liked being able to follow the instructions to build the fuel cell and then to see the fan start to move was awesome.” Hamiora, Year 7

“It was so cool. It made us think about how it can benefit us in the future, it is much more environmentally friendly to get power from hydrogen or solar. Why don’t we have solar panels at our kura?” Summer, Year 10

“My eyes were opened to the potential of future energy production.” Maddi, Year 10

Students are often astonished to know they’ve made hydrogen.
Dr David Warren (right) has been inspiring students to think about science and its role in society for years.


Ākonga engage with local governance in Thames

A new student governance programme in Thames brings local students and district councillors together, resulting in tangible changes such as improved lighting and updated district plans.

Young people in Thames-Coromandel are getting involved in local governance and community development through an initiative by Matatoki School and Thames High School.

In late 2023, Matatoki School principal Hine Viskovich and Thames High School learning support coordinator Lisa Barnett began the pilot student governance programme now known as the Thames Kāhui Ako Youth and ThamesCoromandel District Council (TCDC) Forum.

The programme initially arose from a kōrero about how Lisa could support Hine and engage learners who were struggling.

“In te ao Māori we are very much about keeping our vulnerable ones close. And I am keen to minimise disturbances for our more vulnerable kids by keeping visitors to the school limited and keeping their space continuous,” says Hine.

Their discussions segued into how they might extend those rangatahi who wouldn’t be harmed by missing some classes and who might thrive on opportunities out in the community.

At the beginning, 10 students selected from three local kura met with local councillors from the council once a month.

“We took students in Years 7 and 8 from three schools, Matatoki, Pūriri and Pārāwai. We needed whānau support as some of the meetings are outside of school hours.”

Sharing ideas

Hine says Thames District Councillor Martin Rodley was enthusiastic to start meeting with the students, and to have them experience local governance and decision making in action.

Students first met with councillors and learned about their long-term plan. They were then given large pieces of paper on which to write down all their ideas. When asked, “What are the problems and things that need changing where we live?” she says they were all amazed by the scope of ideas.

“The students have ideas beyond what is immediately related to young people’s lives. For example, they commented about local water systems, saying some of our water tastes like

Year 7 and 8 students meet with Thames-Coromandel District Council to experience local governance and decision making.

dirt, and asked questions like, ‘What is there for us to do in Paeroa and Thames? Why do we have to leave here to study or get jobs?’”

Councillor Robyn Sinclair said she had been impressed by the issues students have picked up and was thrilled to see those who joined the programme in Year 8 return in Year 9. This had been Lisa’s plan – for the group to continue from primary and combined schools through to secondary school and beyond.

Developing key skills

Students in the Thames Kāhui Ako Youth and TCDC Forum have divided themselves into four interest groups – water, arts, transport pathways and local business. Mentors from each area are being matched to the students to further develop their knowledge and experience.

“One group is attending a peninsula-wide forum on tracks and trails,” says Lisa.

The programme aims to teach advocacy, and to cultivate connection across communities and age groups.

“This group of 11 to 14-year-olds are all so beautiful and watching them communicate with councillors aged between 30 and 60 has been amazing. We are so lucky and fortunate that the council is open to the youth voice.”

Hine meets with the students once a week in her office to practise things such as shaking hands, looking people in the eye, and how to present in a meeting format. Students are also learning key skills when working in local governance, such as how to:

» present ideas to authorities and conduct themselves in a formal meeting

» listen to and contribute ideas confidently and with courtesy

» critically think about and discuss ideas that impact on others

» develop strategies and problem solve for local issues

» identify challenges and considerations involved in implementing change or improvement

» deeply consider ideas and respond to the group

» identify existing and predicted issues and challenges, particularly for youth

» learn about the different groups of people involved in decision making and project development.

Connecting across generations

Hine loves working with this group and their passion hits close to home. Hine’s uncle, Hiwi Tauroa, had many roles in his lifetime including headmaster and race relations conciliator. In that capacity, he began a programme where decision-makers, including local councillors, were invited to marae to foster better understanding and whanaungatanga.

“Being here is connecting to my past,” says Hine. And with her tupuna, and Lisa at the helm of the programme, Hine is broadening the scope of local whanaungatanga and governance now and into the future.

Ākonga get results for their community

This list is some of the tasks, improvements and achievements that have come as a result of discussions between ākonga and councillors in Thames-Coromandel:

» Checking night lamp lights (and more than 70 found to be not working).

» Prioritising water treatment for Pūriri area.

» Investigating having a youth page of events every fortnight in the local newspaper.

» Upgrading existing water fountains.

» Shared lots of ideas to make Thames more fun for youth, such as stalls on wheels, more festivals, cooking lessons in commercial kitchens in town, cultural eating experiences and mobile beach entertainment.

» Using hard-copy newsletters which are easier for students to access and read as opposed to digital ones sent to parent emails.

» Creating and administering a school survey about the new community pool.

» Voting on artwork to be displayed around Thames.

In talking to councillors, students have made real-world improvements to their local community.

Health academy provides realworld skills and knowledge for future workforce

For the past seven years, NorthTec has helped students gain health industry experience, knowledge, and skills – while still earning NCEA credits. Their academy programme has helped strengthen pathways into health careers with many students going on to complete further industry-related study.

Once a week, ākonga from schools around Te Tai Tokerau spend their day at NorthTec, a tertiary education provider in Whangārei. The environment not only provides practical experience for a future career, it helps students work towards achieving important unit standards.

It’s not a traditional classroom, but that’s exactly what makes it so impactful.

“I think the advantage is that they get to experience practical stuff [of a role in the health field], such as blood pressure taking, temperature taking, using a stethoscope. The students go on a field trip to the hospital (subject to covid restrictions) as well to get to meet health care professionals like midwifes, doctors, nurses etc,” says Jane Lim, NorthTec Trades Academy coordinator.

“Students get to experience what a job is like rather than just reading about it or looking at photos. Under the

Trades Academy programme, they get to experience it themselves.”

Opening up pathways into health

NorthTec’s health academy was established in 2017 to support students at Whangārei Girls’ High School gain tertiary and clinical experience in the health field. It is part of the broader Trades Academy programme, which offers a range of opportunities, including automotive, hospitality, and hair and beauty.

Today, the academy supports Year 12 students from seven schools across Northland.

NorthTec tutor Lucie Quantrill says the students do a combination of theory and practical work to gain those Level 2 NCEA credits. While some students are not initially fond of the written work, they have a better understanding when they can link the theory to the practical.

Health academy students Lilly Humphreys and Kelsey MacCarthy-Morrogh with tutor Lucie Quantrill.

“When they learn about infection control, they do some book work but then we also do a practical lesson on hand hygiene and donning and doffing PPE.

“When they learn about moving people and equipment, we do scenarios such as how to move a patient up if they slide down the bed, or how to transfer somebody safely.”

Jane says the health academy opens many pathways for students.

“Either the student would return to school and do NCEA Level 3 before they do the degree, or some would leave school at Year 12 and do the foundation at Level 4 before they can proceed with the degree. That has been the case most of the time.”

Denise Jelicich, Te Tai Tokerau Trades Academy manager, says that “bridging the gap between high school and entry-level tertiary” is what makes the health academy highly successful.

“It’s not just academic. They’ve got a ward set up in the teaching space with beds and blood pressure equipment and all the other stuff. Students are issued with scrubs when they first start. They look like trainee nurses –they’re making that first step towards that vocation,” says Denise.

Retention, engagement and achievement

Denise says the whole philosophy of trades academies centres around retention, engagement and achievement.

“It’s about keeping them at school, boosting their achievement, and providing meaningful pathways. The Northland programme is ticking all those boxes,” she says.

The statistics confirm this – the number of students who complete the academy consistently exceeds 70 percent.

A significant proportion of graduates choose to pursue further study at NorthTec across a range of programmes, showing the positive impact of the academy’s preparation, and its versatility.

Jane says there are students who went through the academy who are now registered nurses. Around 21 students are currently studying nursing at NorthTec in the Bachelor of Nursing or Diploma of Enrolled Nursing.

Preparation for the real world

Aliesha Evans is one of those students. She attended the health academy as a Year 12 student in 2022. Aliesha left school at the end of that year and started a six-month Level 4 course at NorthTec at the beginning of 2023.

She is now studying for a Bachelor of Nursing degree at NorthTec and is due to graduate in July 2026. She says she always wanted to be a nurse and the health academy cemented that dream.

“I loved the health academy. It exposed me to what it would be like to be a nurse and it also widened my knowledge on multiple important topics. The clinical/ practical aspect of the course to me was the most enjoyable and I think a lot of other health academy students would say the same. I was able to practise doing vital signs like taking blood pressures, respiratory rates, pulse rates, temperatures and I also learnt multiple assessment tools,” she says.

She says the course “100 percent” prepared her for the Bachelor of Nursing.

“I not only knew my way around the campus, but I knew some of the staff. I had also learnt basic skills in the clinical room as well as other theory topics.

“By doing the health academy it felt like I was a step ahead before I’d even started.”

Lucie and Jane say seeing students go on to have success after the programme is “hugely rewarding”.

“I see the students right at the beginning all the way through. Any student that starts and then when they complete their degree or diploma is rewarding, you see such personal growth,” says Lucie.

“I think that’s the objective, to make a difference in the lives of these young people,” says Jane.

“Ākonga get to experience what a job is like rather than just reading about it or looking at photos. Under the programme, they get to experience it themselves.”
Jane Lim
The NorthTec health academy is based in Raumanga, Whangārei.


Bishop Viard College students launch Mālamalama: Light and Understanding

Students from Bishop Viard College in Porirua have taken a bold step in fostering inclusivity and understanding with the launch of a groundbreaking professional development resource called Mālamalama: Light and Understanding.

Charity and Fa’amavaega are Year 13 students at Bishop Viard College.

Mālamalama is a term from the Samoan language meaning ‘light’ and ‘understanding’. It aptly captures the essence of this student-led project.

Mālamalama: Light and Understanding is an innovative resource comprised of seven informational videos. It is a testament to the power of storytelling and the importance of amplifying diverse voices within the school community.

The videos, written and produced by students over the course of a year, draw on the lived experiences of past and present students, and provide a deeply personal and poignant exploration of significant social issues. The resource is proudly supported by the Ministry of Education’s Pacific Education Innovation Fund.

Fa’amavaega and Charity are Year 13 students at Bishop Viard College and two of the inspiring students at the helm of this project, which they anticipate will address some important issues for Pacific students in education.

“Most of us Pacific students tend not to talk or ask questions in class because of the fear of getting judged. So we came up with the idea to find a solution on how we can push ourselves as Pacific students to be better in the classroom,” says Fa’amavaega.

Each video in the Mālamalama series delves into topics that are both challenging and crucial for today’s society. Among these are discussions on racism, which address the pervasive and insidious nature of discrimination, and Pacific migration stories, which illuminate the rich and complex histories of Pacific communities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Gina Lefaoseu, deputy principal at Bishop Viard and teacher overseeing the project, says that Mālamalama will spark some vital conversations between students and teachers.

“Whatever perspective they may come from, the teachers and students that see it will be having a conversation.”

Authentic student voice

One of the key strengths of Mālamalama is its authenticity. The students’ voices and stories are presented with raw honesty, allowing viewers to connect with their experiences on a profound level.

“As a Pacific student, I struggle sometimes with learning in class. In collecting student perspectives from past and present students through our survey, I found that most students are in the same boat as me, so I wanted to do something to help fix that,” explains Fa’amavaega.

The results of the student survey highlighted a common thread with a lack in communication with their teachers and a lack of confidence with the students. This connection is vital in fostering empathy and understanding, which can be crucial for combating prejudice and building a more inclusive community.

The survey results became the starting point for the Mālamalama: Light and Understanding project and led to the production of the videos.

“Some things in this resource will be quite confronting for staff, so I’ll just say this: embrace it. This is the most important thing – our students,” says Gina.

The video on racism features candid conversations about the personal impacts of racial bias and discrimination. Students share or act out their encounters with racism, both overt and subtle, and reflect on how these experiences have shaped their identities and perspectives. This video educates viewers about the realities of racism and challenges them to confront their own biases, by taking action against racial injustice.

The Pacific migration stories video offers a rich tapestry of narratives from a student and her grandfather, who migrated to Aotearoa New Zealand from Tokelau. These stories provide insight into the challenges and triumphs of migrating to a new country, preserving cultural heritage, and navigating the complexities of identity in a multicultural society.

“We just hope this resource persuades Pacific students to be more confident in who they are, use their background as a strength to push them and guide them along their journey.”
Fa’amavaega, Year 13

“We showed the migration story of a student’s grandfather. The value of this story for our Pacific students is to inspire them to embrace our elderly and go back to that old knowledge and how we came to be [in Aotearoa New Zealand].

“Some of the students didn’t really know how they got here, so this video encourages students to talk with their grandparents, to try to connect with them and to listen to the sacrifices they made for all of us to get here,” says Charity.

The video highlights the resilience and strength of Pacific communities and underscores the importance of recognising and valuing diverse cultural backgrounds.

Embracing our differences

Beyond these topics, Mālamalama also addresses issues such as cultural identity, belonging, and the power of education. Each video serves as a valuable educational tool, not only for students and staff at Bishop Viard College, but for the wider community as well.

“Showing our students these types of videos, we hope they can take something from it and put it into their path of where they’re going,” says Fa’amavaega.

The resource is designed to be used in professional development courses, sparking conversations and inspiring action towards a more equitable and understanding society.

“Moving here from Samoa three years ago was difficult and I thought I had to be like my friends to fit in. Thankfully over time I realised that difference doesn’t mean you’re bad, it just means you’re unique and you don’t have to be someone else,” says Charity.

The creation of Mālamalama: Light and Understanding is a remarkable achievement for the students of Bishop Viard College.

It exemplifies the school’s commitment to nurturing socially aware and engaged young people who are equipped to make a positive impact in the world. The project also reflects the power of student voice and the importance of creating platforms for young people to share their stories and perspectives.

“We just hope this resource persuades Pacific students to be more confident in who they are, use their background as a strength to push them and guide them along their journey,” says Fa’amavaega.

Sustaining Mālamalama

In a time when issues of racism, migration, and cultural identity are at the forefront of social discourse, Mālamalama: Light and Understanding provides a beacon of hope and a call to action.

It reminds us that understanding, and empathy are the foundations of a harmonious society and that through listening and learning from each other, we can create a brighter, more inclusive future for all.

Moving forward, a plan to develop this resource beyond this year is already in motion. Gina says that once her students are confident in leading workshops on Mālamalama, they will pass on their knowledge to the next cohort of students, who will then do the same and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

“We want to tell our Pacific students: you don’t have to act a certain way to fit into society. You can be you, just embrace your differences and use that as a strength to guide you through life,” concludes Charity.

For more information on Mālamalama: Light and Understanding workshops, check out @malamalama_bvc on Instagram.

The Mālamalama team present a sneak peak of the resource at a resource launch.
Some of the Mālamalama team with deputy principal Gina Lefaoseu (second from left) and principal Chris Theobald (far right).

Young hearts embrace kindness on Pink Shirt Day

Sunshine Christian Preschool in Manukau recently celebrated Pink Shirt Day, engaging tamariki in activities that promote kindness, compassion, and anti-bullying. Ruth Solomon, head teacher at the preschool, shared insights into the event and its impact on the children.

Dressing up in pink set the tone for a sense of belonging.

Pink Shirt Day is widely celebrated across Aotearoa, with schools and kura participating across the motu to work together to stop bullying by celebrating diversity and promoting kindness and inclusiveness.

Sunshine Christian Preschool, based in Manukau, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, took the opportunity to create a day of embracing this messaging and use the momentum to carry it through to their everyday lives. The preschool’s dedication to fostering a nurturing environment is evident in their planning and enthusiastic participation in Pink Shirt Day activities.

During mat time on Pink Shirt Day, Sunshine Preschool head teacher Ruth Solomon and other kaiako led discussions about bullying and its effects, emphasising the importance of kind words and deeds.

One of the activities involved each child writing down characteristics they love about themselves as part of a pink shirt collage. This creative task was designed not only to engage tamariki in a fun and artistic project but also to reinforce self-esteem and self-awareness.

“This activity helped us pause and revisit each child’s traits, affirming their contributions to making our preschool a joyful and conducive place for learning and playing,” says Ruth. The process was reflective, allowing children to consider what makes them unique and valuable individuals.

The response from tamariki was overwhelmingly positive, and the kaiako inform us that the children had many discussions as they found words to describe their traits. These discussions were more than just about identifying traits, it was a chance for children to hear affirmations from their peers and kaiako, improving their confidence and sense of self-worth.

Pink shirt collage

The process of creating a pink shirt collage was a group effort, involving the collection of pink items like pompoms, papers, streamers, hearts and ribbons.

“The main contribution we valued was the conversation around Pink Shirt Day as we made the art,” affirm their kaiako. Through these conversations, tamariki learned about the significance of Pink Shirt Day and how small acts of kindness could make a big difference in someone’s life.

The children designed the shirt according to their creativity and wrote down their characteristics with the help of their kaiako, including ‘I am kind’, ‘I am funny’, ‘I am quiet’, ‘I am patient’, ‘I am gentle’, ‘I am serious’, and ‘I am helpful’.

Sunshine kaiako share that it took time for the children to discuss and reflect on the meaning of these traits before affirming them as their choice. This reflective process was crucial in helping children understand and appreciate their own and others’ unique qualities.

“Acknowledging their characteristics helps children to be more responsible and intentional in their interactions with others,” Ruth added.

Daily incorporation of values

Sunshine Preschool incorporates the values of kindness and anti-bullying into daily routines and interactions. These values are discussed daily during free play and mat times. This consistency helps tamariki reinforce these values and apply them in their interactions.

“We made our class treaty wherein the children volunteered rules that align with anti-bullying, and we often refer to them in our class,” their kaiako informs. This treaty is a living document, reflecting the commitment to a safe and inclusive environment.

The preschool integrates Christian principles, breathing exercises, and communication strategies to support children in regulating their feelings. These practices help children manage their emotions and reactions, contributing to a peaceful and harmonious classroom atmosphere.

The class rules – “Use gentle hands, use kind words, try your best” – play a crucial role in creating a safe and happy learning environment. These rules are simple yet profound, setting clear expectations for behaviour and interaction.

“The children give us the rules they want to follow, setting clear boundaries of acceptable behaviour. During Pink Shirt Day, we discussed these rules again and came up with new ones like, ‘Do not say yuck to other people’s food’.”

This ongoing dialogue about rules helps keep them relevant and meaningful to the children.

Memorable moments

Dressing up in pink helped the tamariki feel connected to the cause and the larger community. This sense of connection is vital for young children, helping them understand that they are part of a larger movement towards kindness and inclusivity.

“Things are a lot more memorable when we can physically join in. Children were delighted as they arrived in preschool wearing the same colour, which set the tone for a sense of belonging.”

Recounting some memorable moments from the day, a few kaiako recalled hearing the children say, ‘I am funny’ and ‘I am quiet’ was heartwarming.

“These little moments of self-affirmation were really powerful. They highlighted the children’s growing confidence and self-awareness.”

Positive affirmations are to be celebrated, says Ruth, as they show that “we value different characteristics and that not all children are the same”.

Sunshine Preschool plans to continue promoting the values of kindness and compassion throughout the school year. The lessons learned on Pink Shirt Day will be woven into the fabric of daily life at the preschool, ensuring that the spirit of the day continues to inspire and guide the tamariki long after the pink shirts have been put away.


A guide to managing asbestos

Did you know that buildings built before 1 January 2000 are likely to contain asbestos? Education Gazette reports on how schools with asbestos-containing materials can manage risks to health and safety.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral made up of lots of strong small fibres. Until the late 1990s, it was used frequently in building materials because of its fire resistance, insulation properties, durability, and low cost.

Due to the age of many school buildings across the country, asbestos is present in the materials used to build many of our schools. These materials include roofing, external wall cladding, vinyl floor coverings, thermal insulation to pipework and decorative coatings.

A low health risk

It may come as a surprise to some, but when materials containing asbestos are kept in good condition and undisturbed, health risks are low because they are unlikely to release airborne fibres that can easily be inhaled.

However, it’s important to make sure asbestoscontaining materials are clearly identified so they can be managed properly.

To help with this, the Ministry of Education property team has put together some tips to help identify asbestos and make sure asbestos-containing materials are kept undisturbed and in good condition.

Health risks from materials containing asbestos are low if those materials are kept in good condition and left undisturbed.

Tips for managing asbestos

Identify areas with asbestos-containing material and create a register

Engage the services of a qualified and experienced asbestos surveyor to identify any areas in the school where asbestos is present. They can help you create a register and determine the condition of the materials as well as share their advice on how to properly manage it.

Have an asbestos management plan and keep it up to date

Include all findings from the register in your school’s asbestos management plan, and make sure that you update your plan regularly (that is, every time the situation/condition of an asbestos-containing material changes).

If you’re doing construction or maintenance work, make sure that your contractor has seen your asbestos management plan

Before starting any construction or maintenance job, the contractor should pay attention to the asbestos register, the site plans and any photographs relevant to the location where they will be conducting work. If your asbestos management plan indicates that the building under construction may have asbestos, the contractor will need to investigate and complete a demolition or refurbishment survey. If you need to, update your asbestos register and management plan.

Be careful washing school buildings

Never use high-pressure sprays to clean asbestoscontaining materials. High-pressure sprays can damage the material and potentially lead to unwarranted asbestos contamination. Under the Health and Safety at Work (Asbestos) Regulations 2016, an individual or business can be heavily fined for using high-pressure water spray or compressed air on asbestos-containing materials.

To wash down school buildings, use a soft brush instead of high-pressure water blasting. Never wash unsealed asbestos – unsealed asbestos needs to be painted or protected first.

If asbestos removal work is required, get a specialist involved

You will need a licensed asbestos removalist to prepare and deliver an asbestos removal control plan. The plan will outline how they will go about removing asbestoscontaining materials, how they will keep everyone in and around the site healthy and safe, and how the asbestos will be disposed of.

Once the asbestos work is completed, hire an independent licensed asbestos assessor to inspect the finished job and issue a clearance certificate.

Information, resources, and guidance

Use the following information, resources and guidance to manage asbestos and make sure you are keeping everyone safe.

See the Ministry’s property maintenance guide.

Find useful information about asbestos in schools.

WorkSafe information about asbestos.

Health New Zealand information about asbestos.

If you have more questions about the management of asbestos or need help with your asbestos removal control plan, email

Winter property maintenance for schools

Mould and fungi grow more easily during the winter season because of higher moisture levels in the air. Here are four things you can do to prevent mould build up in your school this winter:

» Keep gutters clear and check regularly for possible leaks.

» Reduce moisture build up by opening windows whenever possible or using dehumidifiers.

» Regularly clean surfaces that get wet or show signs of condensation, such as joinery, window and door frames.

» Check interior surfaces for mould – remove it as soon as possible, ideally while it’s still wet.

Download the Ministry of Education’s guide to mould mitigation and management to learn more about cleaning to prevent mould in schools.

Kura: Arongotahi T0 - 15

Tumuaki: U3


EQI: 534

2 Manawapou Rd, Hawera

Isolation index: 1.29

P O Box 233

FTTE: 10.62 15 units 3 MMA

Nō te tau 1996 i whakatūria ai i tēnei Kura Aho Matua i te tonga o Taranaki. He kura tuatahi, engari ko te whai mana nei ā te tau 2020 hei kura arongatahi.

angitū hei pouako arahi i te marautanga. Kua rēhitatia te kaitono, ā he raihana taraiwa katoa tāna.

He mea nui te mātauranga me te arotau ki te āhuatanga ā-rohe o konei.


2 Manawapou Rd, Hawera

Wāea: (06) 278 4350

Ko ngā whakataukī e kawe nei i ngā wawata o te kura,

Kaute: 101

Kaiawhina: 9

Īmēra: kkm@ngatiruanui school nz

“Kia ū, kia marama. Kia upoko pakaru”

Kaiwhakahaere: 2


“Moea te aka, kia tipu. Moea te aho kia matua”

• Tono mai te pukapuka tono

• Tukuna mai tō tāhuhu tangata (C.V) hei tirotiro mā mātou.

Wā Kikī/Pūmau


Kura: Arongotahi T0 - 15

P O Box 233


Kei te rapu Te Kura

Tumuaki: U3

Wāea: (06) 278 4350

Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti

Ruanui i tētehi tumuaki

EQI: 534

mātau ki te kōrero Māori, he mātau hoki ki ngā tikanga

“Ko tōku reo, ko tōku taonga. Ko tōku taonga, ko tōku reo”.

• Ko te Paraire 19th Hōngoingoi 2024, 4 karaka i te ahiahi te rā kati i ngā tono.

Vincent Nuku

2 Manawapou Rd, Hawera P.O.Box 233

Isolation index: 1.29

4350 atiruanui school nz

Īmēra: kkm@ngatiruanui school nz

FTTE: 10.62 15 units 3 MMA

Wāea: (06) 278 4350 Īmēra:

Māori. He wheako angitū hei kaiārahi whakarautaki, hei pouako Kura Kaupapa

Kaute: 101

Arongotahi T0 - 15 ki: U3

Kaiawhina: 6

Māori anō hoki.

Kaiwhakahaere: 2

on inde

gotahi T0 - 15 15 un

hina: akahaere: 2


Ko Te Aho Matua te tūāpapa o te kura. He mema te kura nei o Te Rūnanga Nui o ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori o Aotearoa. Kia hōhonu te mōhio ki Te Aho Matua. He wheako

Tiamana o te Poari Matua

We are seeking a Principal who…

• Emulates this renaissance

• Champions successful education for students

• Sets high expectations

i o Ngāti Ruanui i tētehi tumuaki mātau ki te kōrero a Māori. He wheako angitū hei kaiārahi whakarautaki, hei pouako Kura Kaupapa Māori anō hoki

Principal Recruitment Advertisement

• Has proven leadership

• Is community-spirited

• Has the ability to collaborate and connect

• Has a desire to make a difference.

Nō te tau 1996 i whakatūria ai i tēnei Kura Aho Matua i te tonga o Taranaki He kura tuatahi, engari ko te whai mana nei ā te tau 2020 hei kura arongatahi

Reefton Area School offers an opportunity to lead a nurturing school with a family-like atmosphere. A rich curriculum (spanning years 1 to 14) taps into the local environment and the history of the area.

Reefton Area School offers an opportunity to lead a nurturing school with a family-like atmosphere. A rich curriculum (spanning years 1 to 13) taps into the local environment and the history of the area.

This is truly a rare opportunity.

apu Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Ruanui i tētehi tumuaki mātau ki te kōrero

This small, West Coast town offers a unique lifestyle. Surrounded by beautiful native forest, trout-filled rivers, and creeks that continue to excite gold panning, it is a town on the up!

We are seeking a Principal who…

This small, West Coast town offers a unique lifestyle. Surrounded by beautiful native forest, trout-filled rivers, and creeks that continue to excite gold panning, it is a town on the up!

- Emulates this renaissance

MMA anui i tētehi tumuaki mātau ki te kōrero wheako angitū hei kaiārahi whakarautaki,

To learn more about our school, what we seek in a Principal, and what we can offer you, please visit:

a Māori o Ngāti Ruanui i tētehi tumuaki mātau ki te kōrero tikanga Māori He wheako angitū hei kaiārahi whakarautaki, āori anō hoki

he mātau hoki ki ngā tikanga Māori He wheako angitū hei kaiārahi whakarautaki, ako Kura Kaupapa Māori anō hoki

Ko ngā whakataukī e kawe nei i ngā wawata o te kura, “Kia ū, kia marama. Kia upoko pakaru”

- Champions successful education for students

- Sets high expectations

au 1996 i whakatūria ai i tēnei Kura Aho Matua i te tonga o Taranaki a tuatahi, engari ko te whai mana nei ā te tau 2020 hei kura arongatahi.

“Moea te aka, kia tipu. Moea te aho kia matua”


“Ko tōku reo, ko tōku taonga. Ko tōku taonga, ko tōku reo”

- Has proven leadership

- Is community-spirited

ai i tēnei Kura Aho Matua i te tonga o Taranaki whai mana nei ā te tau 2020 hei kura arongatahi

Matua i te tonga o Taranaki. te

- Has the ability to collaborate and connect

- Has a desire to make a difference.

Nui o ngā

Leadership Advisory Service Opportunities 2025

We are now recruiting experienced Principals for the following positions in the 2025 cohort. Expressions of Interest are open until 9am, 29 July for the several positions within the advisory service:

› Supporting Pacific Principals: Tāmaki Makaurau based.

› Regional Advisors serving: Tāmaki Herenga Tangata (North and West region), Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Greater Wellington and Nelson/ Malborough/ West Coast.

We welcome Expressions of Interest from experienced and recently retired Principals from across the sector, school sizes and types. Secondments are for 12, 18 or 24 months. Applicants’ most current renumeration will apply.

Join the Leadership Advisory Team to help enable system-wide and transformational change by supporting and building leadership capability and designing a sustainable Leadership Advisory model.

Leadership Advisor roles

Your expertise, mana, passion and experience will enable you to contribute to building leadership capability in the sector. The Leadership Advisors will focus on supporting Principals/ Tumuaki in English and Māori medium schools/kura.

How to apply

For Information about the roles available go to the Education Gazette — online vacancies, and search under leadership section in your region: Applications close 9am, 29th July 2024. All positions commence 28th January 2025.

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