14 A jungle of risk
Taking it to the world
1 Publisher’s Note Less Is More 2 Waitangi in schools 5 Kick start your own engine 6 On the bus 7 Happy endings 8 A jungle of risk Building on trust 10 Fun is a foundation 12 Planning and doing 14 Taking it to the world 19 What is Learning Auckland? 20 Book Review Technology brings learning to life 22 Core Education 24 Smokefree rock quest 27 Got the boot
Established 1989 Publisher Education Today Limited, PO Box 22321, Wellington www.educationtoday.co.nz ISSN 1175 9240 Advertising Rate card, media specs and general enquiries Phone 04 499 9180 firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions Email email@example.com Use subject line SUBSCRIBER or phone 04 499 9180. Annual subscriptions are $49.50 inc GST in New Zealand. Overseas rates available on request. Cover Our cover is of Indira Force (Indi) of ACG Senior College who took second place in Smokefreerockquest and the 2012 NZ Post national ‘Creative Break’ competition with her original song ‘Green’. See Auckland entrants photo spread inside. We welcome student artwork, photography and writing for publishing and website posting. Send as minimum 1MB jpeg attachments to production@ educationtoday.co.nz subject line student submission.
This publication is part of the Learning Auckland initiative, a ground-up movement set up to bring about a long-term shift in educational achievement across Auckland. Learning Auckland provides opportunities for individuals, organisations and groups to use their own ideas to create positive changes that support learning and skills. www.learningauckland.org.nz
Learning Auckland is produced by Education Today to tie in with the Learning Auckland Accord, Whakakotahitanga te Ara Mãtauranga, as part of a wide range of collaborators working together for a shared goal. Education Today and Learning Auckland are independently owned and promote creative, stimulating thoughts and ideas for the benefit of students and educators. Contributions to Education Today and Learning Auckland are welcome, and contribution guidelines can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org and/or emailed to that address. Photographs are also welcome, and where applicable must include appropriate permission sign-off from parents, students, and school principal. Photos need to be sent as minimum 1MB jpeg attachments. Sign-off form and format information is available by email. The Education Today and Learning Auckland website homepage also publishes student artwork which does not require sign-off. Artwork copyright remains the property of the student and it is accepted that artwork is submitted to be shown on the Education Today website with the permission of the students. To submit artwork, see the website or email email@example.com Education Today content is copyright, but may be published elsewhere after gaining consent from the publishers. All care but no responsibility taken for loss or damage. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the writers.
earning Auckland is a Collective Impact movement set up to bring about a long-term shift in educational achievement across Auckland. It is a groundup movement for individuals, organisations and groups to work together to create positive changes that support learning and skills. Education Today produces Learning Auckland with the Learning Auckland Student Editorial Group to help give their voice to the Learning Auckland Accord, and this Publisher’s Note page is given to that purpose.
Learning Auckland Student Editorial Group member Santiphap Soumphonphakdy attended a recent meeting of the Learning Auckland Accord. Here is his report.
have a simple message for the Learning Auckland Accord members. Keep it simple.
In January I went to the kaitiaki meeting held by the Learning Accord and hosted by Accord members Learning Academy Group. I was able to experience the Accord firsthand, and able to share my thoughts at the meeting. The Learning Accord is aimed in making education and learning in our city better and to improve it for our young people and help enhance their future. The Accord joins people in our city who care for our learning, and the future of our city’s learning. Many people around the table had their own thoughts on what could be done, and all would most likely have a passion for helping our city’s learning. In the meeting, we looked at something similar that was happening in the United States, a system called Strive where many cities have their own networks with a similar goal and aim to
Learning Auckland’s -to achieve better learning and education in each independent city. Strive has is the idea of ‘from cradle to career’, and Learning Auckland looks at ‘from cradle to life’ and in both cases learning and education doesn’t stop after school, but is about gaining new skills and knowledge throughout and for life. Another thing that was looked at was the Learning Auckland accord itself, with logos and pamphlets being discussed. The idea of the logo was to have something simple and meaningful, and I thought some of their ideas and examples were quite interesting. The current logo is of simply Rangitoto Island, and the new ones that being considered were a development of this image. The meaning behind it was interesting, showing how in Auckland our learning all intertwines and will benefit one another in the end. In my opinion, I think that the Learning Auckland Accord and the goal of the people involved is a wonderful thing. Being able to care about the learning of our city is what makes us really a super city. To be able to have many people caring about the same thing, and wanting to make a difference in it is what helps to make a goal very achievable, and that is what I saw between the people at this meeting. However, I have to say that on the day, I felt more of an outsider than part of the group, where most of the people there hold important
antiphap made quite an impact on the Learning Auckland kaitiaki group. His message to “open the process up to community involvement” resonated so much with Susan Warren the group that they have asked him and another of the Learning Auckland student editors, Elisabeti Feiloakitohi, to join the group permanently. Santiphap and Elisabeti will bring a student perspective to the Learning
roles or have a title or letters after their name. I think to have Learning Auckland be more successful, and to have it really be a part of Auckland, we all need to get into the community and grab more people to be part of and to help the Accord - the people who are just regular people, regular learners with opinions from the people the Accord is trying to help. Whose voice would be better than the people themselves - people the Accord is trying to help. I also felt everything seemed a bit to complex. The people at this meeting obviously didn’t want to be another sort of ‘ministry of education’; they want to be an independent group who come together in the hope of one cause. Sometimes things kept going through one ear, messed around in my head, then back out the other because of how complicated things were. I think the Learning Accord’s actions and ideology should be really simple. Find the problem, find the solution to the problem, then get the solution under way to resolve the problem. If things happened simply then maybe learning in Auckland could be improved quickly and efficiently. My opinions may seem harsh and a bit off track from the people in the Accord, where I might just be another naive young mind taking things too simply and wrong, or I could be just like the rest of our city and want the best in the easiest way.
Auckland planning process, to ensure the project works for young people. Meanwhile, the kaitiaki group are also following Santiphap’s “keep it simple” advice as they move to the action phase of the programme. This year’s action focuses on one small goal - to increase families’ attendance at parentteacher meetings. Schools, community groups, employers and families are all being asked to take action towards this one concrete goal, and the results will be reported back at the end of the year. Susan.Warren@cometauckland.org.nz phone 09 968 8773 See Learning Auckland Accord page 19
Waitangi in schools The Waitangi National Trust and Treaty Grounds are key elements in the heritage and history of our country. Education Today is helping bring this closer to our schools.
he Waitangi Treaty Grounds is New Zealand’s premier historic site where, in 1840, New Zealand’s founding document the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. The Treaty Grounds features the Treaty House, the carved Meeting House, the flag pole signifying the spot where the Treaty was signed and the world’s largest ceremonial war canoe – Ngãtokimatawhaorua. In 1932 Governor General Lord Bledisloe bought the Treaty Grounds and 1,000 acres of surrounding land and gifted it all to the people of New Zealand. He hoped the site would become a national memorial, symbolising a unique partnership between Mãori and the British Crown. A trust board was set up to look after the land. The membership of the Trust Board reflects the partnership. It includes descendants of those involved in writing and signing the Treaty in 1840. In the early 1930s the Treaty
House was run down and the trust board restored the house in the 1930s and again in the 1980s. The south wing contains a small museum dedicated to the Treaty and to life in the house as it was during the time of the signing. The north wing tells the story of the Bledisloe gift to the nation. The Carved Meeting House (Te Whare Runanga) symbolises Mãori involvement in the signing of the Treaty and was built in 1940 to commemorate 100 years since the signing of the Treaty. The carvings in the meeting house depict ancestors from many Mãori tribes. The war canoe Ngatokimatawhaorua was also built in 1940 for the centenary of the Treaty. It takes part in Waitangi Day celebrations every year and, with 76 paddlers on board, is a sight to behold.
settlers arrived. The first known European to ‘discover’ New Zealand was Dutch captain Abel Tasman in 1642.
Why did New Zealand need a treaty?
Englishman Captain James Cook arrived 127 years later in 1769, followed by French explorer Marion du Fresne, who met a grisly end when he was killed in 1772, along with some of his crew.
The Mãori people had lived in New Zealand for about 1,000 years or more before the
In those days, traders from Britain, America and Australia wanted New Zealand’s seals,
whales, timber and flax. The Bay of Islands became a major trading port and many Mãori joined trading ships to sail to Sydney and even Britain. By the 1830s, many British settlers were moving to New Zealand, which was a lot different than the New Zealand we know today. Around this time there were large scale land transactions with Mãori, unruly behavior by some settlers and signs that the French were
interested in seizing New Zealand. In 1831, 13 major northern chiefs gathered at Kerikeri to sign a petition to the King of England, requesting that he become “a friend and guardian of these islands”. In those days they couldn’t just phone England and organise things, so the letter was sent to England by ship, which took about six months. In 1833 James Busby was appointed
as the British Resident. Busby’s main duties were to protect the more orderly British settlers and traders and prevent ‘outrages’ by the less orderly Europeans against Mãori. In 1939 William Hobson was appointed as British Consul and Lieutenant Governor to New Zealand. The events in 1840 Hobson sailed into the Bay of Islands on January 29 and drafted the Treaty, assisted by Busby and local missionaries. On February 4 once the English version was written, missionary Henry Williams and his son Edward translated the Treaty overnight into Mãori. On February 5 chiefs from the Bay of Islands and surrounding areas gathered in front of Busby’s British Residency (now the Treaty House) to listen to Hobson read the English text and Mãorispeaking missionaries read and explain the Mãori version. When Hobson closed the meeting late that afternoon, the chiefs moved across the river to Ti Tii (now Te Tii marae) where they continued discussions into the night. Hobson had given the chiefs until February 7 to debate the treaty, but they returned to the Residency the next morning ready to sign. On the February 6 longtime associate of the English missionaries, Hone Heke, was the first to put his name to the Treaty, followed by 40 other Mãori chiefs, including Tamati Waka Nene and Patuone, who had spoken in support of the signing, and Te Kemara, who had spoken against it. As each chief signed, Hobson shook their hand and said: “He iwi tahi tatou” – “we are all one people”. A gift of a mere club for Queen Victoria was handed over and the ceremony closed with three cheers from Mãori. After the signing in Waitangi the Treaty was sent around the rest of the country with over 500 Mãori - including 13 women - also adding their names or moko to the document. Waitangi Day Waitangi Day was first commemorated in 1934 and has been a public holiday since 1974. Every year, thousands of people visit the Waitangi Treaty Grounds for Waitangi Day celebrations where officialdom mingles with fun and market stalls, kapa haka demonstrations, the Royal New Zealand Navy band performances and Beat Retreat.
Did you know?
efore the Treaty was signed on February 6, 1840, a huge tent was erected on the lawn in front of Busby’s house. Food gathered for the chiefs included half a ton of flour, five tons of potatoes and 30 pigs. Ngãpuhi chief Hone Heke was an influential Mãori voice in favour of the Treaty of Waitangi, but he later became a leading opponent of British rule in New Zealand. At the time of the Treaty signing, he told Governor Hobson, “You should stay
with us and be like a father. If you go away, then the French and the rum sellers will take us Mãori over”. However, in 1844, disillusioned with British rule and their treatment of Mãori, he ordered the flagpole at Kororãreka (now Russell) to be cut down. The flagpole was re-erected and cut down three more times. Busby gave 22 senior chiefs a blanket and six pounds of tobacco after delivering the King’s reply to their request for protection. A feast was then held for the 600 Mãori.
Busby was also concerned that many of the New Zealand ships that were used for trading were not registered and so in 1834, he gathered 25 northern chiefs on the Waitangi lawn to choose the first flag to fly on New Zealand ships. The chiefs chose a flag of white with a red Saint George cross and in the upper corner on the left side was a blue field with a red cross and four white stars.
Kick start your own engine Educators and communities can only do so much. Santiphap Soumphonphakdy of Otahuhu College says learning starts with the learner, more than the system they are learning in. influential role models for their kids. The motivation and influences young people get from their parents will differ, and can depend on the background of the family and the parents. Some parents didn’t get an education, or came from another country as refugees to find a better life, and these factors all affect their children’s motivation in some way.
Santiphap Soumphonphakdy, Otahuhu College.
any ideas and actions are being thought up and being put out there for helping to make children and young people’s education better and beneficial. But there is a great barrier which we, as a city and a country, need to realize and face; the lack of motivation young people may have in wanting to learn, and to gain a ‘good’ education. Children go to school every day, go to class every period and listen to a teacher’s every word. But what’s the point if they go to school because they have to go and spend all their precious time to eating lunch and seeing their friends? Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the first priority for his council is to ‘put children and young people first’. Fine. The first step in putting young people and children’s education first is to let them put their education first themselves.
Motivation is the key which drives a will, and some young people’s will to learn seem to be low. What motivates and influences children to learn? These factors include family, friends, teachers and even money.
Family Children and young adults generally look up to their own parents, and so they are highly
The people we hang around with can affect us a lot when it comes to wanting to learn Some people want to learn because their parents sacrifice a lot to help give them a chance for a good future, so they take that opportunity and learn as much as they can. On the other hand, some people see their parents doing fine without an education, and this can cause the learning motivation to die because it seems as if their parents survived and found a life without it, so they can too.
Friends Friends will always affect us, and generally having a friend who is concerned with not only their own learning but yours as well will have a great effect. The people we hang around with can affect us a lot when it comes to wanting to learn. If we have friends who don’t care about learning then it seems as if we don’t care about learning either; similarly, if someone takes learning seriously, that person can influence you and help you to put learning first.
Teachers Teachers can be either an angel or a demon in students’ eyes. The way teachers teach and generally act towards young people can either greatly motivate or bring down young peoples will to learn. Friendly teachers seem to have more of an effect, and praising students can put them up in confidence and motivation, and the way a teacher treats their
students can change how they see learning. A less friendly or ‘mean’ teacher, for example, may put down a child more often and bring them to a level where they react negatively to that teacher and all other teachers. There is no doubt teachers affect students’ motivation.
Income Money, money and more money. Motivation is greatly affected by money. Why do we need to learn? To get an education. Why do we need an education? To have a good future. How do we get a good future? Get a good job. Why do we need a good job? So we can have lots of money. But money can work against motivation. Many teenagers get
jobs and earn good money, and the motivation to learn can reduce as the income increases. People can be blinded by money in their hands: “I have all this money, and I can keep getting it, so why do I need to learn anymore?” But later on in life they’ll have to work harder and longer to maintain a steady life, paying bills, mortgages, fees etc, as well as money for their fun time. But no matter what the obstacles to motivation may be, putting children’s and young people’s learning first means getting them to understand and want it themselves. With motivation they understand, and generated from their own will and desire to learn comes a clear path to succeeding with an education.
now EDUCATION TODAY T H E E D U C AT I O N M A G A Z I N E O F T H E F U T U R E www.educationtoday.co.nz
To subscribe ... Online
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line SUBSCRIBE. Please include the following information: Name/Title (contact person) • Phone • School/Institution/Company Fax • Address • Email • Area Code Subscription fee - $49.50 for one year Make payments to: Education Today 03 0713 0407775 00 showing school or company name across the particulars, reference and code fields.
By phone Call Education Today - 04 499 9180. Post cheque to PO Box 22321, Wellington.
On the bus Stephanie Weatherill from ACG Sunderland School says museums should be more accessible, and suggests how to do this. “What’s the museum like, I’ve never been?” This is a common statement nowadays as many primary and intermediate students have never been to the educational icons in Auckland such as the museum, Motat or even the zoo. Though these may seem like things that are not important to a student’s education they are very important to both the academic and social side. “How can I help, I don’t have time to drive all that way…?” If there was a child-friendly bus travelling from various suburbs to the zoo and back one weekend and to the museum the next, the cost and time could be addressed. The occupants of the bus need
not worry about where to go when they arrive at the selected destination as a volunteer from the attraction could provide a full tour. “This seems expensive,” you might say, but a gold coin donation could be put toward the fuel cost, and a ‘koha’ made at the destination to go toward maintaining and improving the attraction. “What if I live too far away from the bus stop?” The bus could go from different places each weekend, for example New Lynn one weekend and Te Atatu peninsula the next. This idea could help children learn more about where they come from and help motivate them towards learning.
Say cheese: Auckland Museum teamed up with Auckland Zoo for a one-day photography expedition across the two well-loved locations. Stephanie Weatherill says students need bus services that help make these and other valuable education facilities more accessible. I feel it can be done with the cooperation of transport companies, local government and the Ministry of Education, and the destinations – museums – themselves. Links
If you or your organisation support this idea or have more to add, please contact production@ educationtoday.co.nz so we can report your views in the next edition and help generate interest in the idea of free/sponsored bus services for children to museums.
A bus passes MOTAT. Stephanie Weatherill says many students can’t get to Auckland’s educational icons.
Carolynn Reddell says a fairy tale world view is unhelpful, and suggests re-writing the popular stories to create a new way of dreaming, and achieving, a happy ending. into popular movies such as Tangled and The Princess and The Frog, with each of the stories changed and twisted. The characters in the films change from the weak, stereotypical ‘damsel-in-distress’ to strong-willed hard workers who aren’t afraid to fight for what their heart desires.
Fairy tales inspire a generation of wishers It’s not as if fairy tales have not been changed at various times in the history of literature. The original tale of Red Riding Hood, a popular story told to children before bed, was a far more gruesome affair than the later, sanitised version. In the early versions, instead of being rescued from the wolf, Red Riding Hood is eaten and the story ends with no happy ending. In some variations, she is even forced to eat her own grandmother.
e place a lot of emphasis on our children, perhaps more than ever.
We feed them special formulas and diets designed to toughen their bodies, and send them to advanced daycare designed to strengthen their minds. However, are the stories and tales we are reciting to our children filling them with unrealistic ideas – thoughts that could harm them in the future?
doubt going to have a handsome princess fall in love with her, wishes upon a star and her desire comes true, what are our children hearing this going to think? These fairy tales inspire a generation of ‘wishers’: people who sit back and wait for what they want to be handed to them on a plate. Growing up with this preconceived idea that if you wish hard enough good things will happen, can often be disastrous. This thinking needs to change so that instead we have a generation of ‘workers’: people who aren’t afraid and will do the work to achieve their dreams. This will help create a society of people who strive together for their goals, creating a much happier environment for all.
A new mind, one not used to manipulation, one that is still naïve and learning about this world, is easier to influence. So when a beautiful fictional princess, one who is no
The latest films show us these perspectives are being changed. Traditional fairy tales such as Rapunzel and The Frog Prince have been remade
Children in today’s world and the past few generations have been brought up with fairy tales to comfort them. These stories of beautiful maidens, dashing knights and the evil, monstrous villains change our perspectives on life and how it works, just as any television show, newspaper and movie may do to adults.
These themes were deemed unsuitable for children and through the generations, the tale has been adapted to what it is now. This could happen again. With a few altered words, we can create characters that can inspire and fuel children with a desire to achieve their dreams through means other than wishing upon a star. Not only would a revised edition of fairy tales be beneficial to get youth up and working, it would also reduce the common stereotypes present in most fairy tales. Instead of having large, strapping young men with rippling biceps and a white horse as an example of a perfect man, young boys would see that their heroes can have flaws too, and that it isn’t necessarily bad to have them. Instead of having delicate, well-dressed princesses with flowing locks and a tower to keep them locked up, young girls could see that they can stand up for what they believe in and still get their happy ending. When it comes down to it, we are all searching for that happy ending.
Slideshow celebrates creativity
Artwork is always special Education Today has a new website with student art featuring on the homepage in a slideshow. Send jpeg photos of students’ work, including student name, age and school to production@educationtoday .co.nz
Artwork and photos of sculpture and other art projects are welcome from all age groups. Education Today accepts the artists’ permission has been given before the artwork is sent to us. All work remains the property of the artist.
‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.’
EDUCATION TODAY 04 499 9180 www.educationtoday.co.nz
8 LEARNING AUCKLAND
Hilary Dutton is studying a BA majoring in Education and Philosophy at Auckland University and took on a role as a youth mentor that is proving valuable for both parties.
A jungle of risk Gina Sinaumea of Otahuhu College says ‘putting children and young people first’ starts with being honest about the risks they face in their own neighbourhoods.
uckland mayor Len Brown wants us to ‘put children and young people first’. It is a priority in his council’s planning for the future of our city.
It’s a laudable sentiment, but how can we ‘put our children and young people first’? What are the actions or courses we must take for such a statement to become practical? We say it, but there are many sub-categories involved in committing to this idea of putting young people and children first. I believe it starts with creating safer environments. How is child or teenager supposedly going to operate in a school which is within a three-minute walk of a liquor store? With times changing and trends becoming more ubiquitous and contagious, young people become increasingly obsessed with most modern trends and what everyone else their age is doing. They want to do it. Sometimes it seems to them they must do it. The effect of the outside world is beginning to have an influence which young people aren’t usually exposed
to before the age of 18, but now there are even 13 year olds who are consuming alcohol. With a liquor store right near a high school there are definite possibilities of students taking advantage of the opportunity to buy alcohol and not only drink it themselves but share it with others the same age or younger. Putting young people first is a task which no one can describe as easy, but if we were to just stand back and allow for these liquor stores to sell drinks to younger people under the excuse ‘they are simply making money, they are in business’, then we are not putting our young people first, we are increasing their chances of endangering themselves. We may not properly realize this particular danger, but we see it in the increased number of deaths as a result of young people drinking excessively. We need to be aware of the threat and ‘put our young people first’ by making a move to fix this issue, because it is a problem with young people becoming more influenced by what older people are doing. It may be a dangerous world
we live in, but we can still take steps toward making it much safer. It isn’t so much about removing the threat, it’s about fixing it. We want to put our young people first not by removing every threat that may lessen the danger; we want to overcome the threat, we want to mould it into something we can use, because young people will eventually move from school and family into the wider world. I’m not saying the answer is in taking away the liquor store; it’s in actually thinking honestly about it. How can we really put our young people first? When it comes to liquor, you tell me. What are your answers? Are you even thinking about it?
t has been a long time since I was twelve.
Even for someone like me who is relentlessly nostalgic, it is marked in my memory as a time that was awkward, difficult, and confusing. The opportunity to mentor a young person in a South Auckland intermediate was an intriguing one, and ultimately became an experience I believe has and will continue to affect me on a personal and professional level.
Mentoring has shown me the possibilities for positive youth development I went into it with a lot of enthusiasm, positivity and hope. In our first lecture we were each asked to tell the rest of the class why we wanted to be a mentor, and I offered two reasons: to get a glimpse into the life of young people in today’s world and to, hopefully, make a difference in my mentee’s life. At this time I did not know who I would be matched with or exactly what mentors did and this was a rather terrifying prospect. I was filled with many doubts – would my mentee like me, and would I like them? Will they talk to me and trust me? Would we have fun together? Do I really have something to offer a young person today? It is a relationship that comes with a great deal of responsibility. I was committing myself to a weekly two-hour session for the whole year with another human being who – according to the school, family, and mentoring programme – really needed me. The anticipation was the hardest part
Tips for a successful mentor/mentee relationship.
of the process. Once that first conversation with your mentee is underway and especially once you illicit that first smile or laugh from them, it just begins to flow.
The anticipation was the hardest part of the process My experience as a youth mentor was a challenging one. Each mentee comes with their own history and personality. Some of the challenges were relatively minor – exercises my mentee didn’t enjoy, mismanaging time with activities taking only a fraction of the time I anticipated they would, or having an extra mentee with me in the event of mentor sickness. I learnt early on I had to be well prepared, but that I also needed to be creative in the moment when the unexpected happened. Other challenges began to surface. My mentee became disengaged for a number of sessions and then I learnt that she had been receiving detentions for bad behaviour. Being able to ask for help is critical as a mentor. My own tendency for independence had to be replaced with reaching out to others because I did not want to lose my mentee or our burgeoning relationship. This challenge was overcome with help from the project leader and my mentee’s engagement began to increase. A few months later, we fell into a similar pattern with her being disinterested and rejecting any
Hilary Dutton activity I brought to her. At this time I found I had to accept and trust that I was the “expert” to my mentee, not another mentor nor the other adults from the university and programme. I was the person who held the knowledge of her, who held her trust and who had a relationship with her. It was up to me to resolve this new test. I trusted my instincts and took the action I thought was appropriate. The next week, she showed up with a great attitude and lots of enthusiasm and we had one of our best sessions all year. This was a big moment for me as a mentor and I felt more confident than ever. Despite the early fears and on-going challenges, mentoring is a hopeful and deeply fulfilling practice. It is grounded in the belief that one person can make a difference in someone else’s life and my experience
has reaffirmed this for me. Not only do I believe it is within my mentor/mentee relationship, but also in observing the other mentor/mentee pairings.
Mentoring is a hopeful and deeply fulfilling practice On a personal level, it has galvanised my beliefs around the importance of meaningful relationships and given me the opportunity to prove to myself I do have something worthwhile to offer. On a professional level, mentoring has shown me the possibilities for positive youth development, acting for social justice within a community and providing service to others. At times in my life, my ambition to make a difference in the world has seemed too idealistic. Being a mentor has proved to me making a difference is not only a worthwhile cause, but an entirely attainable and realistic one. Whether it is pursued in a school, community or even in government, the greatest lesson I have learnt from mentoring is the difference is there to be made by passionate people who care.
Mentoring course co-ordinator Pat Bullen, left, and Ann Dunphy, the internship coordinator, with Hilary Dutton, centre.
Mentors: • Whenever possible, connect with your mentees family and teachers. This will give you greater context and a richer understanding of your mentee. • Incorporate your mentees interests and dreams into your sessions. This will show them how to make links between their life now and what they dream life can be. • Give yourself and your mentee time. Changes in behaviour take time, so don’t be disappointed if you don’t see immediate or short-term changes. • Cultural identity matters. Be aware of your mentees cultural background and try to connect it to their academic and school life. • Get to know fellow mentors. They will be able to inspire ideas and offer support and understanding. Mentees: • Relax. It is perfectly normal to have fears or worries about having a mentor – your mentor is nervous too. • Your mentor works hard for you. Respect this through your attendance, participation and enthusiasm. • Be honest. It is OK to tell your mentor you don’t like something they have brought in as long as you can explain why (and maybe even offer an alternative). • Think about your goals and dreams beforehand, so you can tell your mentor what you want to achieve as a mentee. What are you good at, what do you have difficulties with, what do you want to be? • Being a mentee is special. Enjoy it.
10 LEARNING AUCKLAND
Elizabeth Feiloakitohi of Otahuhu College shares her thoughts on the role and importance of early childhood education, and some challenges families may face.
hildren learn best when the word “fun” is expressed.
Fun learning is a memorable educational experience. Early childhood education (ECE) helps our children learn the basic first steps in life. Socializing allows the child to build enduring security beyond the bond of their mother. These first steps to independence lead to the confidence status of the child, and the more confidence the child gains helps form a bond of trust which the child will eventually reveal between peers and teachers. The child also learns to communicate in
all sorts of ways that lead to progressive action skills. Preschools allow the children to form these quality skills at a younger age and are often taught with fun and happy memories. Social skills are taught and often reflect on behaviour as the child eventually learns how to respect themselves and others. It also teaches them how to compromise and solve problems. Classroom etiquette is also taught and reflects on manners, eventually learning how to listen while someone’s talking and how to raise hands, take turns and share the teacher’s attention. Laine Tipi is an ECE teacher
who believes in the importance of preschools. Mrs Tipi believes socializing is important and children who attend preschool develop talking skills and eventually learn new vocabularies as they grow within the preschool environment. Mrs Tipi did not attend preschool but Sunday school was the beginning of her childhood education. She understands why children need preschool and its importance in preparing them with the basic learning skills before entering primary school. Mrs Tipi shared a sad story of a mother hiding behind a classroom while her son cried
Elizabeth Feiloakitohi for her presence on his first day at primary school. Mrs Tipi questions why teachers take the time to help the child settle down while the other children have to wait. Preschool
Laine Tipi and the children creating memories in the fale (house) of their playground at their early childhood centre.
LEARNING AUCKLAND 11
According to the statistics Education statistics show suburbs such as Manukau, Manurewa and Tamaki have significantly less than 90 per cent of children attending ECE compared to other Auckland suburbs with 90 per cent or more children attending ECE. These three suburbs also have a large population on low incomes and in some cases at poverty levels , many are Mãori and Pasifika people, the importance of benefits of ECE for their children needs to be underlined to parents. Laine Tipi says her Pacific Island experience is that not only does it help our children grow in knowledge but contributes to working together as a family and community to achieve a better living and future for the generations to come. It is important as our legacy – the practices we pass on encourage our young teen parents or guardians to take their children to preschool because it is beneficial in so many different ways to the children, their families and to the entire community.
Fun learning is memorable. These children are enjoying the diversity of an Auckland kindergarten environment. is where children learn to trust others and slowly drift from their mother’s constant oversight, with less subsequent drama when they start primary school. Preschool allows children to learn how to count, spell, read and write – the skills they need to take to the next stage in their education. Even the smallest things like learning to hold a pencil, solving puzzles, identifying the different colours which can be taught through touch and smell in activities like playing with playdough helps prepare them for the wider school experience that awaits them.
In my opinion barriers to this include language and communication. Not all people have English as their first language. Networks are also important – it’s not what you know but who you know. I also believe word of mouth is the way to advertise preschools. Parents from different Islands that have different perspectives and may feel insecure taking their children to a preschool that doesn’t share their religion and culture. The lack of motivation and self-confidence arising from these misunderstanding can cause a disadvantage for their children in their learning environment. Mrs Tipi shared a saying that reflects on her way of success. “It takes a whole village to teach a child.”
Taken in an Auckland kindergarten, this photo shows children enjoy learning with teachers from the community around them.
Your home, your school, your surroundings and your people make who you are and what you know, and also show what you can become.
12 LEARNING AUCKLAND
Faith is important to many in the Pasifika community, but Veisinia Ha’unga says this is not adequately reflected in the Pasifika Education Plan.
VEISINIA HA’UNGA completed Kia Aroha College last year and has moved on to tertiary education. Education Today asked Vei if she had heard of the Pasifika Education Plan, given it was a major strategy devised for people just like her. She hadn’t, and when she looked closely, she considered it lacking in a key area.
he first time my attention was drawn to the Pasifika Education Plan was when I was approached to do this article. My first instinct was to find out as much as I could about the plan.
I realized key components were missing and as a Pasifika child this did not sit well with me. Yes, education is a crucial part of our lives but what makes us
Pasifika children unique is our religious background and the faith that we carry in
I truly believe that faithbased initiatives should be acknowledged in the Pasifika
We are told to leave our faith and cultural identity at the gate our daily lives, as well as the traditional values and norms we are taught by our elders and family members. All of these key aspects in life interweave together to make us Pasifika.
Education Plan, because knowing your faith plays an integral part in Pasifika families and communities. Each day when we enter our school gates we are told to
leave our faith and cultural identity at the gate and to follow the school’s way of learning and curriculum. We are not told this directly but it is hidden and invisible. Our lives are driven by our faith and Christian values, but when we come to school our beliefs slip through the cracks and seem to be completely ignored. I feel our faith and Christian
LEARNING AUCKLAND 13
values ultimately define us as Pasifika. Separation of church and state in New Zealand is clear and visible in many different aspects in life, and almost seen as a conflict of interest. While government can only govern people’s actions, religion governs people’s beliefs; it depends on how the nation sees this whether separation of church and state is a good or bad thing for our
traditionally been a time for worship and studying the bible. My parents have always instilled in me the belief and the importance of the bible and going to church.
As a young Tongan girl, I feel invisible because I cannot see myself being reflected in the Pasifika Education Plan It would be safe to say that the majority of Pasifika families have the same beliefs and the role of the church plays a significant part in our lives. In Tonga, faith plays a huge part in our very existence and in the migration of our families to New Zealand we brought our faith and beliefs with us and continued the practice here. I feel this this is true for most Pasifika families. The strong ties that Pasifika families have with the church seem to have been deliberately ignored in the Education Plan, and this angers me as a young Pasifika girl. It saddens me to see Pasifika students most often being labelled as underachievers, when I feel schools could be better at Pasifika learning styles. I believe faith-based education equips a child to survive in today’s society. I am certainly not stating that this is the one and only way to mould a child, but it is one of the key aspects in Pasifika way of life that should be acknowledged. One religion cannot be promoted or endorsed by the Education system because that would be unfair, but for the decision-makers of the Pasifika Education Plan it is clear that majority of the Pacific Population are heavily involved in church and are Christian, and a way must be found to encompass this in our learning. This Pasifika Education Plan does not cater for our needs as Pasifika children. I believe Pasifika leaders, families and students should have been involved in the decision making for this and allowing our voice and opinions to be acknowledged.
In saying this I believe, Pasifika people especially our youth (who are the leaders of the future) must begin to question and critique this society we live in. Don’t let government or high-powered people shape the way we think and see things. Speak up and let your voice be heard.
country. I believe that church and state are the pillars of society and should work together as much as possible.
I question who was involved in the decision making for constructing this Pasifika Education Plan, and whether community leaders, families and students voice were acknowledged, or considered.
As a young Tongan girl, I feel invisible because I cannot see myself being reflected in the Pasifika Education Plan. My church and faith plays a huge role in my life and the way I see the world and my culture, identity, values and language is what defines me. From the time I was born, Sundays have
Filipai 4:13 Oku ou Mafeia ae me’a kotoa pe iate ia oku ne fakakaukaua au. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
he Government’s newly released Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 sets out a five year strategy to raise achievement among Pasifika students. The Plan’s vision is to see ‘five out of five Pasifika learners participating, engaging and achieving in education, secure in their identities, languages and cultures and contributing fully to Aotearoa New Zealand’s social, cultural and economic wellbeing’. One of the targets in the plan is that 85 per cent of year 1-10 Pasifika learners will meet literacy and numeracy expectations, including achieving at or above in in National Standards across years 1-8, in 2017. The Ministry of Education alongside the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Education Review Office (ERO), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Careers New Zealand, and the New Zealand Teachers Council (NZTC) are working together to deliver results for all Pasifika learners and will be held accountable for achieving the targets. The Ministry of Education is set to release an implementation plan to support ECE services, schools and tertiary providers reach the goals set out in the Pasifika Education Plan 20132017.
The Pasifika Education Plan 2013-2017 is available on the Ministry of Education’s website www.minedu. govt.nz/NZEducation/ EducationPolicies/ PasifikaEducation.aspx
14 LEARNING AUCKLAND
LEARNING AUCKLAND 15
Event director Theresa Howard
Weather favoured the 2013 staging of the ASB Polyfest which was an outstanding success with brilliant cultural performances, and a few surprising results on stage.
reat weather helped ensure a great mood for the 38th year of the ASB Polyfest (under ASB naming rights for the past 29 years) at the Manukau Sports Bowl from March 13 – 16. This abundance of sunshine put performers and patrons in a positive mood throughout the festival’s four days. ASB Polyfest Event Director Theresa Howard was delighted with her first festival in charge.
“This year’s ASB Polyfest exceeded my expectations. The weather was fantastic, the crowd well behaved throughout the festival, and the performances on the stages of a very high standard,” Theresa said. “There were also a few upsets on stage, with not all competitions going with the traditional favourites,” she said. The University of Auckland Samoan Stage Co-ed school section (Tama ma Teine) was won this year by Manurewa High School with Tamaki College
Traditional Tongan Dance - St Paul’s College.
Punjabi pride, Papatoetoe High School.
second, after this section had been dominated by Avondale College or Otahuhu College for the past eleven years. The Boys section (Tama) was
16 LEARNING AUCKLAND
won by St Pauls College, and the Girls section (Teine) won by Auckland Girls Grammar School. The Waka Pacific Cook Islands Stage saw Mangere College back on top after finishing third last year. They beat traditional rivals Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate for the overall Cook Islands title with Tangaroa College finishing third. The powerhouses of Auckland secondary school kapa haka did battle on the Saturday of the festival with Nga Puna o Waiorea Western Springs College taking out Division One on the Hapai Te Hauora Mãori Stage for the second consecutive year. Kura Matua school - Te Kapunga James Cook High School finished runner-up with Kahurangi ki Maungawhau Auckland Girls Grammar in third spot. Division Two was taken out by Nga Oho o Waiorea Western Springs College, while Division Three was won by Te Puutake James Cook High School The MIT Niue Stage saw the sights and sounds of the island of Niue through speeches and traditional Niuean dance. Auckland Girls Grammar was judged the best overall school group, after finishing third last year.
Ni Hao - Epsom Girls Grammar Chinese goup.
The NZMA Tongan Stage featured huge crowds and the vibrant dances of Tonga. The Mako & Ma’ulu’ulu was won by Sacred Heart College, the Kailoa by Wesley College, the Tau’olunga by Marist High School, the Taufakaniua & Lakalaka by Otahuhu College, the Faha’iula by Baradene College, the Soke by Auckland Girls Grammar and the Tau’a’alo’o Ahoeitu by Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate. The Diversity Stage had the most number of groups with 55 groups performing dances from a range of cultures including Chinese, Fijian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Korean, Thai, and Tuavalean over two days. So – four days of colour and culture at the 2013 ASB Polyfest are over for 2013, with performers and audience now looking forward to the 39th running of this iconic cultural festival in 2014. Proud of my place in the Otahuhu College Niuean group.
Samoan beauty - St Cuthberts College.
LEARNING AUCKLAND 17
Smiles from an Avondale College Thai group performer.
Cook Island performer from One Tree Hill College.
Sri Lankan Style - Epsom Girls Grammar.
18 LEARNING AUCKLAND
PASIFIKA Interesting Facts March 2013 ASB Polyfest Host Schools Kura Matua School: Mãori Stage James Cook High School Mana Kura Schools: Cook Islands Stage Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate Diversity Stage Papatoetoe High School Niue Stage Alfriston College Samoan Stage Manurewa High School Tongan Stage James Cook High School Theme “The gifts of Papatuanuku are a koha to the people. Cherish and care for them.” Statistics • A total of 59 schools from the greater Auckland Region participated at the 2013 ASB Polyfest, with 200 groups entered. • More than 9,000 students performed over the four days. • Almost 100,000 people attended the festival over four days. • This is the 38th ASB Polyfest. It is the 29th year ASB have been the naming rights sponsor for the event. • The festival has grown from small beginnings in 1976 when four schools took part - Seddon High School (now Western Springs), Aorere College, Mangere College and Hillary College (now Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate), to becoming the largest Mãori and Pacific Island festival in the world. • At least 55 groups performed on the Diversity Stage which recognises cultures outside Polynesia.
Young Warrior - Mt Albert Grammar.
Filipino Dance - Baradene College.
Kapa Haka - Baradene College.
ASB Polyfest photos courtesy of Ben Campbell Photography www.bcphotography.co.nz Phone 021 419 779
LEARNING AUCKLAND 19
Learning Auckland Accord
Shared vision + evidence-based decision making + collaborative action + investment = success Learning Auckland is a Collective Impact movement that has been set up to bring about a long-term shift in educational achievement across Auckland. It is a ground-up movement for individuals, organisations and groups to work together to create positive changes that support learning and skills. Our goals: We will know we are succeeding when: • All Aucklanders have the literacy, language and numeracy skills to thrive in Auckland. • Every Aucklander, child or adult, has access to quality learning when and how they need it.
Learning Auckland is for everyone What we have achieved so far We have created the Learning Auckland Accord, Whakakotahitanga te Ara Mãtauranga, which sets out a vision and a set of principles for improving learning and skills in Auckland. “The Accord gives a focus that complements the goals of Auckland Council and Central Government, something that will really start to make a difference.” Tanya Harvey, General Manager, Auckland Kindergarten Association We have also created the Learning Auckland magazine, written and published by school and tertiary students, which is already sharing stories about successful things that are happening in Auckland. Part of an international movement: Learning Auckland is a member of the international Strive Cradle to Career Network, which provides access to world best-practice advice and resources. The network enables Learning Auckland to share expertise, identify and adapt initiatives that work and develop effective tools and resources that can be brought to bear on specific challenges.
Your action will drive change that will make our city stronger
“Learning enriches the lives of all people. Without learning, our place and its people cannot prosper. To learn better, we will share what works, exchange dreams for the future and take bold action together.” Learning Auckland Accord How Learning Auckland came about In May 2011, 200 leaders came together from education, industry, philanthropy, local and national government to discuss how to make learning effective for 100%, rather than the current 80%, of Aucklanders. The group concluded that we need to stop waiting for central government to do it for us, and just plan and do it ourselves as Auckland. Since then a cross-sector kaitiaki group has been meeting regularly to shape the Accord and drive Learning Auckland. “I want to be part of the development of an Auckland Education Plan that is effective in creating equity, excellence and opportunity for all learners – cradle to grave. This is why I became involved.” Cherie Taylor Patel, Chair, West Auckland Principals Association
Auckland Mayor Len Brown
For more information: Visit us at www.learningauckland.org.nz or call COMET Auckland on 09 968 8773 to: • Get / sign a copy of the Accord • Find out how you can get involved. If you work with an organisation that wants to sign the Accord or support Learning Auckland in any other way, contact Susan Warren at Susan.Warren@cometauckland. org.nz.
How you can get involved: • Go to www.learningauckland.org.nz • Read and sign the Learning Auckland Accord and we’ll send you a certificate • Send the Accord on to others who have great ideas. • Decide on an action you or your organisation can take that will contribute to one or more of the Accord’s success measures • Tell us what you’re doing: Share your results with us and monitor the progress others are making towards shared targets. • Look out for the Action Networks and join one that’s relevant to you
Our city needs you “Improving the skills and opportunity of Auckland’s young people is at the heart of the Auckland Plan and at the heart of my aspirations for this city.” Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland If Auckland is to be successful as a city, we must ensure that everyone can contribute to their full potential. In Auckland, students from low socioeconomic groups, and especially those of Maori or Pasifika descent, are much more likely to underachieve. With more than 70% of New Zealand’s Pasifika students and around 40% of Maori students living in Auckland, we need to act to make learning effective for 100% of the city’s people. This can’t be done by educators or policy makers working alone – it will take the effort of everyone to bring about the change we need. Make a stand: show Auckland how important learning is
20 LEARNING AUCKLAND
Business & Schools
Technology brings learning to life
The New Zealand Story What it is and why it matters A useful classroom resource aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, this bright, colourful publication would be useful for the whole family as an informative addition to any library. The publicity blurb is accurate enough, describing a ‘fascinating new book’ that exposes the rich history behind Anzac Day in an engaging and informative style, seeking to answer the many questions children often ask their parents and teachers around the 25th April every year. It covers all aspects of Anzac Day, from the Gallipoli Campaign and the Great War, right through to the format of the commemorative services held annually throughout the country. The author identifies important memorials around New Zealand, examines the national anthem, the tradition of Anzac biscuits, the Last Post and Reveille music, plus much more. She also offers websites and projects for further study. The thoroughly researched information is presented alongside numerous images, both historic and contemporary, giving children a clear view of the significance and background to Anzac Day. The imagery is a strong combination of line art, old photos, hand drawn art and modern photos against screens and tints, broken up into fact bites and longer detail. The style works well and holds the reader’s interest, with the bite-size layout approach lending itself to young readers, with a satisfying comprehensive feel across the whole book. • An insightful book that explains exactly what Anzac Day is and why it matters. • For the first time, both historic and contemporary information is brought together so that children can both appreciate the history and more fully understand the contemporary commemoratives. • Extensive illustrations and a creative design present the information in a very engaging style for children.
Anzac Day: The New Zealand Story What it is and why it matters By Philippa Werry Publication Date: March 2013 Price: $24.99 Format: 265 x 210 mm Extent: 64 pages Illustrations: Full colour throughout Binding: Paperback Imprint: New Holland Classification: Children’s, 8-12 years Author location: Wellington
The author Wellington-based Philippa Werry is a librarian and children’s writer whose non-fiction, poetry, stories and plays have been widely published. Her work has appeared in the School Journal and other educational publications, and some stories have been broadcast on National Radio. The Great chocolate Cake Bake-off was included in the Storylines Notable Books List 2008, and the Enemy at the Gate was shortlisted in the Junior Fiction section for the NZ Post Book Awards 2009. Philippa participates in the Writers in Schools programme.
ree ‘Windows in the Classroom’ seminars provide schools with a hands-on demonstration of how a range of software and devices can enhance the education experience – both in the classroom and beyond. Technology has a vital role to play in equipping today’s students with the 21st-century skills necessary for their future. Microsoft has made a significant commitment to researching the way educators are making effective use of technology – both in the classroom and beyond. This research has been distilled into a practical two-hour seminar, Windows in the Classroom, currently being delivered free around the country. One of the seminar facilitators, John Phelps, is a registered teacher and Professional Development Manager for New Era IT, a leading provider of technology to the education sector. “When schools spend money on IT they have to feel confident they are making a worthwhile investment that will deliver more powerful and engaging learning experiences,” says John. “The Windows in the Classroom seminar helps teachers and school leaders explore tools and technologies that energise and engage students. It demonstrates how schools can get more out of
the software they use every day.” The seminars aim to inspire educators to take a fresh look at technology by enhancing their use of familiar software such as Windows and Office to transform teaching and the way students learn. “We demonstrate real world examples of how software and devices are unleashing 21st century learning and how technology can be used to improve student outcomes and achievement,” John says. “The seminar explains how to use simple communication tools to share ideas, brainstorm and collaborate from anywhere, not just in the classroom.” The tools highlighted through the seminars include the latest version of Microsoft’s ubiquitous productivity suit, Office 2013, along with Office 365 for Education, the cloudbased collaboration platform that is available to schools at no cost. Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 8, is also showcased, as are the wealth of professional development resources available to educators through Microsoft’s global Partners In Learning programme. “With these tools and resources, assessment and student feedback become much more powerful and students can organise their learning, take notes and become highly efficient in the way they study, using invaluable skills they will carry with them into their futures,” says John.
LEARNING AUCKLAND 21
Teresa Bosch and John Phelps at the Windows in the Classroom seminar. The seminars have already provided inspiration – plus a greater understanding of the potential to get the most out of technology – to teachers and leaders at a range of schools up and down the country. Staff at Baradene College in Auckland have been among those to benefit from attending a Windows in the Classroom presentation. Baradene’s Deputy Principal, Theresa Bosch, says one of the goals in the school’s strategic plan is to embrace technology in the teaching and learning environment, and staff were encouraged to take opportunities to further develop their understanding of IT as a teaching and learning tool. Theresa says the Windows in Classroom seminar gave new staff at Baradene an opportunity to get up to speed with some of the technology the school was already using. However, even long-serving staff with experience of the school’s systems were able to pick up new skills and tips for
using specific Microsoft tools by attending the seminar. John says no matter where a school is at in terms of its current IT set-up, participating in a Windows in the Classroom seminar offers staff a valuable opportunity to be exposed to
new ways to bring learning to life through a range of technology scenarios. “Technology is an invaluable tool to support innovative teaching and learning. Our aim is to inspire educators to make the most of its potential.”
To arrange a suitable date and time for a free Windows in the Classroom seminar at your school, email: nzeducation@microsoft. com or for more information visit: www.microsoft.co.nz/ windowsintheclassroom
22 LEARNING AUCKLAND
LEARNING AUCKLAND 23
24 LEARNING AUCKLAND
Indi, ACG Senior College, Auckland, second place. Indira Force is singer/songwriter Indi. She loves to experiment with ways to create fresh, original material and explores different genres such as indie, folk, pop, alternative, electronic and (most recently) ambient. Indi says her songs appear at ‘sporadic moments of creativity’ and inspiration can come in really awkward situations - like in the middle of a conversation or in the shower. Indi also won the 2012 NZ Post national ‘Creative Break’ competition with her original song ‘Green’. http://www.facebook.com/ indiforceofficial
LEARNING AUCKLAND 25
Luke And Amberly, Kamo High School, Whangarei, third place. Luke And Amberly are an acoustic duo from Whangarei who, as well as going out together, have also been playing music together for over a year. Luke Reilly composes and Amberly Shepherd writes the lyrics, which can be pretty much about anything - including fights they’ve had. Amberly describes their sound as pop ‘with our own twist’ and both of them are serious about making a career out of their music. Luke also won The Mainz Musicianship Award in Whangarei.
26 LEARNING AUCKLAND
Smokefreerockquest 2012 Auckland placegetters
Smokefreerockquest first place went to Nelson Collegeâ€™s New Vinyl.
Recording to fit your budget www.projectstudios.co.nz
Audio student intern Adam at Project Studios.
LEARNING AUCKLAND 27
Q&A Every year about 1,500 young people are kicked out of school. While schools are allowed to “kick students out” for their behaviour, the law protects young people’s right to education by making it pretty difficult for schools to do this. Learning Auckland spoke to MIRA TAITZ, education coordinator at YouthLaw about this problem, and what Youthlaw and others are doing to help.
t o Got thebo Q What do you do? A I am the education
coordinator here at YouthLaw. I do presentations and workshops to young people and people working with youth (social workers, youth workers, teachers) about law relating to young people. YouthLaw is a community law centre specifically for children and young people. We have friendly, qualified lawyers who give young people free legal advice. Our lawyers also help young people who are facing being excluded/expelled, trying to work with schools to find a solution to keep them in school.
Q When can young people be kicked out of school? A Schools have to follow a strict process in how and why they kick students out: a student can’t just be kicked out for coming to school with pink hair or chewing gum in class one day. They have to
do something pretty serious. To kick a student out, the student must be formally stood down, suspended, excluded/ expelled according to a strict legal process and for specific behaviour.
Some schools do a great job but there have been cases where schools have not followed the law, kicking students out without following the correct process. In one case, a judge criticized a school board that expelled a student for smoking at school camp, saying that the school did not investigate what happened properly or give the student a good chance to have a say about what happened. You may say that smoking is gross (and I agree) but the judge made a good point – losing out on education is serious and the school shouldn’t have kicked the student out without following the correct process. Most importantly, students should only be kicked out as a last resort, and schools should
find other ways to work with young people and their families to keep young people in school.
Q But what can a school do if students misbehave? A Of course schools can do
something about a student who misbehaves, like if they suddenly start dancing Gangnam style on stage in the middle of school assembly. Schools have to look after students’ safety and their education and they can discipline students who behave badly during school hours or at school events like a school camp. But schools cannot discipline students for illegal reasons such as for their sex, race or religious belief and they can’t use punishments which are illegal, use force or are cruel or humiliating. If students behave badly, it makes it difficult for teachers to do their job (and they have a pretty tough job to start with). If the student’s behaviour is very
serious or on-going, the school may ‘kick students out’.
Before taking this extreme step, the school must first provide guidance and counselling and find out what happened that led the young person to misbehave. Often we find that the student might have their own story to tell about what happened (teachers are pretty awesome but sometimes they can get the facts wrong, too). Or the young person might be having problems at home that contributed to the misbehaviour, for example, a death in the family. We don’t make excuses for bad behaviour but it’s important to look deeper to see what might be causing the behaviour.
Q What happens to young people after they’re excluded/ expelled? It could be pretty nice being kicked out – you could play Xbox in your pyjamas all day.
28 LEARNING AUCKLAND YouthLaw education coordinator Mira Taitz.
A Usually, they feel pretty stink. They feel excluded, sad and disappointed, and also a little bit lost. It puts stress on the whole family because parents might have to take time off work to look after them. It might also take a while to find another school: usually students are out of school for over a month while a new school is sorted out. This means falling behind on work and losing touch with friends and all the goss at school. If they are over 16, schools do not have to take them, so it could mean their education ends early. Leaving education early means fewer career opportunities for many young people. Sadly, young people who have been kicked out of school are much more likely to get involved in crime. Judge Andrew Becroft of the Youth Court, has said that he sees heaps of young people in his court who have been kicked out of school. In fact, he’s said that if there was a ‘silver bullet’* to solve the problem of youth crime, it would be keeping young people in school.
Q What else can schools do? A Giving guidance and
counselling is really important. Suspending, excluding or expelling students should be the option that schools turn to last. If all else fails, then the law allows young people to be kicked out, and some of them might go on to be sweet in training or jobs that suit them better than school. But we want to do our best to explore other options first to keep them in school.
Q How many young people are kicked out of school every year? A In 2011, 1308 students
under 16 were excluded and 167 students 16 and over were expelled . We are happy the number is not going up year by year, but we think that’s still too many students being kicked out. The high number of under 16s being kicked out is a worry.
Judge Andrew Becroft
Q Are some young people more likely to be kicked out than others? A Yes, sadly: • Boys are more likely to be kicked out than girls • Maori and Pasifika students are also more likely to be kicked out than other ethnicities • Students from lower decile schools are more likely to be kicked out than higher decile school students We know that those students are not born bad: a student from a low decile school is not born naughtier than a higher decile school student, but they might be more disadvantaged. These students can face lots of challenges in life that make them more likely to end up kicked out of school. All the more reason to work to help them solve their problems while they’re still young, find ways to help them grow their strengths, and try to keep them in school.
Q What about young people with disabilities? A Unfortunately we see quite a few young people with disabilities kicked out. Young people with disabilities have the same right to education as other young people. Also, we see too many cases of students with disabilities being punished for behaviour that is caused by a disability. Wait. Go back and read that sentence again. Punished for behaviour that is caused by their disability. That’s wrong on like, 1000, levels. For example, a young person
LEARNING AUCKLAND 29
might be ‘acting out’ but that behaviour is actually caused by autism, a medical condition. Schools should counsel and talk to the student and investigate whether a disability could be causing the problem.
Q What can I do? A The most important thing to remember is
that the law has strong protection of students’ right to education, making it very difficult to kick a student out if the law is followed correctly – and with good reason. We have a world-leading free education system available to all New Zealanders from 5-19, and teachers these days have excellent programmes like ‘Positive Behaviour for Learning’ to help young people behave well in school. You don’t need to know all of the law to help. If you know a young person who is facing being kicked out, you can call us on 0800 UTHLAW as soon as possible. To learn more about education law, you can give me a call to book a workshop or seminar for your workplace or group about education law or another area of law relating to young people.
Dramas at home? Problems at school? Trouble with police? Issues at work? Been ripped off? We are a FREE Community Legal Centre for children and young people under 25. To speak to one of our friendly lawyers for FREE call 0800 UTHLAW or jump on our website and send us a message. Our clients are young people (under 25s) but we often get calls from parents and teachers calling about a young person. Many of our clients are young people who have been ‘kicked out of school’ through being stooddown, suspended, excluded or expelled. Like us on Facebook for legal information, inspirational posts and competitions. http:// www.facebook.com/youthlawnz Interested in joining us? We have an awesome Youth Advisory Group of young people under 25 who give us feedback on our services and on youth issues. To apply, go to http://www.youthlaw.co.nz/ about/youth-advisory-group/
Volunteer Interested in volunteering for us? We have an active volunteering programme for uni students and community members. Law students assist our lawyers with client files and interviews, and we also train volunteers to support students facing exclusion or expulsion in Board of Trustees hearings, to try to keep the young person in school if possible. To apply, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
A class field trip
to the Bay of Islands Every Kiwi kid should have the opportunity to visit the birthplace of our nation, Waitangi in the beautiful Bay of Islands. Thanks to Fullers GreatSights Bay of Islands and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, we are offering one lucky school class (up to 32 children and 10 adults) the opportunity to experience a two-day field trip in term two 2013 that they will never forget.
The prize includes • Return coach transfers from Auckland to the Bay of Islands • One nights’ accommodation in shared rooms or cabins • All meals • Entry into Waitangi Treaty Grounds including educators session, guided tour and a cultural performance • A Fullers GreatSights Dolphin Cruise to the spectacular Hole in the Rock Plus the winning entry will be displayed at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds! Entries Waitangi in the Bay of Islands is considered the birthplace of modern New Zealand society. We want students’ views on New Zealand culture and society in 2013 and what makes it so unique. Your entry can be in one of the following formats: A written essay (up to 1000 words), a photo essay or as an artwork Entries can be submitted by students, parents or teachers and the entries can be individual student entries or shared entry as a class.
How to enter Email entries to: Waitangi@thisismango.co.nz (max 5MB) Post entries to: Waitangi School Competition c/o Mango Communications, P.O. Box 2188, Auckland 1140 Entries should be received by no later than 5pm on Friday 12th April 2013. Winner will be notified on Friday 19th April 2013. Visit www.dolphincruises.co.nz/waitangi for full terms and conditions and an educators support pack from the Waitangi Treaty Grounds