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25 June 2021

posted 24 Jun 2021, 20:33 by Carolyn Brett
In our annual targets for 2021, we are aspiring to increase achievement in the foundations of Reading, Writing and Mathematics and, alongside these constants, we have a focus on whole person/school wellbeing and cultural and environmental sustainability. Wellbeing and these aspects of sustainability are intertwined and weave together in so many ways. When we think of our Kapa Haka celebration and all of the learning that has led to this, we can identify Character Strengths, Positive Relationships, Health, Engagement, Accomplishment, Emotions... it is all there on the menu!

Our fantastic new Kapa Haka T-shirts have the image of our kuaha proudly displayed on the front. (Please see the full meaning of the kuaha below.) Sadly, it spends a lot of its life hidden away under a 'vandal proof' metal cover. This will soon change as the funding we have received from The Lion Foundation grant was also to get a perspex cover custom-made so the visibility of this beautiful carving is constant.
This kuaha was designed and carved by the talented Dean Whiting, who was also a parent at Worser Bay, his wife, Maria, also a teacher here in earlier days. I was thrilled to read an article on their son, Tama, in the Sunday Times last week..... it touched on many things we are aspiring to here now, "How te ao Māori has helped bring backyard NZ to the Big Apple". It's a lovely read which really resonated with our curriculum in many ways. (I also wondered if the Uncle referenced is our teacher John... I think so!)
These are very different times to my primary years. I grew up in New Plymouth, not far from Parihaka, and had never heard anything about the history of the place apart from some vague mentions at home.... certainly not at school. I'm currently reading a wonderful little book - an author's personal story of Parihaka "Ko Taranaki te Maunga" by Rachel Buchanan.... I wish I'd been introduced to these concepts 45+ years ago! 
As part of the NZ Curriculum Refresh which is taking place over the next 5 years, New Zealand Histories is the first area in the national curriculum to be redeveloped. You can find out more here. We  are immersed with a lot of this learning already being a key element in our curriculum. My memory may not be bang on but, in my senior primary years, I recall the stand outs being sent to the library alone for hours to read, making multiple macrame planters and crocheting dolls' clothes. (I was pretty bad at this as I've never liked details much.) 
Anyway - our children hopefully will leave not only curious, connected, creative thinkers... but also well informed so they can make sound judgments in the future.

Back to the stunning T Shirts... We have great news - you can pre-order navy blue versions via Online Payments for $25 (Kids' T-shirts) or $28 (Adult T-shirts). Orders will close on Friday 9 July.
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei
Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain