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28 February 2020

posted 3 Mar 2020, 13:42 by Carolyn Brett
This morning was a wonderful celebration of learning, of connection - past, present and future and of community. Thanks to our staff, parents and children for the passion and commitment to always deliver the goods! 
 
As a staff, we have been learning more about our links on the Peninsula to Taranaki Whānui and have been working on changing some of our practices to reflect new knowledge.
 
Last evening for those of you able to join us on the Hikoi had more of a chance to get inside this rich history. It's something that makes where we work and play that much better! Special thanks to John for leading this. Nga mihi nui ki a koe John mo tou matauranga.
 
If you couldn't make the Pōwhiri this morning, I thought I'd share my words again anyway.
 
Tēnā koutou katoa e te whānau o Whetūkairangi
E ngā rangatira, Mikayla,Teuila me Holmes Construction 
Nau mai haere mai ki te kura ahurei
Kei konei mātou hei tautoko, hei manaaki i a koe.

Whenever we gather here at an occasion like this, it’s with all the strength of the people who have come before…...  and there have been many before us, here at Whetūkairangi Pa and surrounds. I only realised recently that it was just over 50 years later that this school was built in 1897, the first school on the Peninsula, a very cute tiny rectangular building with paned glass windows housing 16 children and 1 teacher. These were the days when women staff members were not allowed to show their ankles! 

Fast forward and now………..

Now, almost 130 years later we find ourselves as kaitiaki/guardians of the site through an exciting new phase in its life.

If you are new to the school, you will soon become familiar with our references to the past, to our namesake, ‘stargazers’, and hopefully get excited about the rich history of the peninsula.

As Tane went through the heavens filling his ketes of knowledge, so will your child as they journey through our own heavens of Autahi, Tautoru and Māhutonga Matariki.

Tane had a call to adventure.

Your children, yourselves and all of the school community has had a call to adventure in 2020. A new decade, a new style of roaring 20s!

Like the story line in mythology, or any good story, we start with:

Part 1 - the call to adventure. Along the way, there are helpers and mentors, there are a few ordeals on this journey, there is more than likely an opportunity to experience a transformation over your time here. 

Our staff and many whānau have confirmed this notion of transformation and feel very bound to the school and what it represents for many years after they have moved on. My hope is that this is also a reality for you all.

I love this idea of great mythology expert, Joseph Campbell, and the hero's journey and seeing the big picture of dynamic movement….. not just event to event, thing to thing, date to date, sushi day to sausage day to pizza day!

None of us will always get it right along this journey - in fact, often there is no right or wrong….. and this is where we must always assume good intent for our home/school partnership to be rock solid. In the end, schools exist for the children and we need to do our best by them.

I’m a bit of a David Bowie fan - Like his song 'We can be heroes - just for one day’, if every one of us, children, staff and parents, ‘team builders’, could be a hero for one day - that’s at least a year's worth of hero-ing!

At the end of that, our school will be far more on its way of the property equalling the quality of what goes on inside. What a great start to the decade!

At the 100 year commemorations 23 years ago, local MP Annette King stated "..... this is a real neighbourhood school, inclusive, the glue, the children are winners in this supportive, cooperative and stimulating environment that promotes the balanced growth of each individual.” A quarter of a  century later - this hasn’t changed - it’s still the strong central philosophy - it’s our job to keep it so and keep adding flavour and spice and relevance to the future to this highly recommended dish!

Aesop, in his fables, was apparently the first one to use the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall”. United we must be!

No reira tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa 
 
On that note...
Kia pai tō rā whakatā
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