Kia ora and welcome to Kia Eke Panuku

Secondary schools giving life to Ka Hikitia and addressing the aspirations of Māori communities by supporting Māori students to pursue their potential

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Recent News

Manurewa Inside 1

Ehara taku toa i te toa taki tahi, he toa takitini.

Posted on 01 December, 2016

Manurewa High School celebrates Maaori students' success*

Manurewa High School annually celebrate the achievements of their Maaori students at their awards evening, He Poo Whakanui I Ngaa Aakonga Maaori – Tuaakana. However this year’s event saw a growing academic strength in the awards given and a tangible sense of connectedness and pride.

Members of the Strategic Change Leadership Team (SCLT) attribute this to an unrelenting focus on the success of their Maaori students and the implementation and spread of the Ako: Critical cycle of learning and leadership effort.

Alongside the Ako cycle, a provocation series - including presentations by students, Maaori educational leaders and iwi representatives - has encouraged teachers to engage with the concerns and aspirations of their Māori community.

Feedback from staff on their professional learning has been positive along with encouraging shifts in recent Rongohia te hau data.

“I think the observation tool used by KEP is very effective. I like that it places the emphasis on relationships and what is observed rather than on how the teacher is teaching content and what could be done better. This allows impartial feedback from the observer and gives the observed the ability to reflect on their practice.

It provides staff members with both the opportunity to reflect on how engaged the students are (specifically Maori students) and consider the possibility of what could be done to improve… There is also a very broad range of areas which are being observed so the observed teacher can consider all areas of their teaching and relationships with students.”

“I like the framework and working with people from different departments… It’s not deficit and it tries to switch the mindset of teachers, by focusing on Maori students - it has a positive effect on everybody.”

* My success is not mine alone but that of many.

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Wananga Hero

Wānanga for Waikato-Tainui Kia Eke Panuku Schools

Posted on 01 December, 2016ānanga-for-waikato-tainui-kia-eke-panuku-schools

Thirteen schools sharing insights

Thirteen Kia Eke Panuku schools located within the Waikato-Tainui region participated in a wānanga hosted by Tuakau College recently.

The theme for this professional learning opportunity was framed by one of Kingi Tawhiao’s tongi or prophetic sayings:

Māku anō e hanga i tōku nei whare,
Ko nga poupou he mahoe he patete,
Ko te tahuhu he hinau.
Me whakatupu ki te hua o te rengarenga
Me whakapakari ki te hua o te kawariki.’

‘I will build my house,
the pillars will be made of mahoe and patete,
the ridgebeam of hinau.
It shall grow and blossom like that of the rengarenga
And be strong and flourish like the kawariki.’

Sharing perspectives and narratives
Schools were invited to share examples of their own success within Kia Eke Panuku with others, and engage in presentations by guest speakers to begin collectively and collaboratively strategising a continued focus on accelerating and advancing improved educational outcomes for their Māori students and communities.

The day began with an engaging and insightful presentation by Marcus Akuhata-Brown who reiterated the important place of identity, language, culture, maatauranga, and relationships in our schools and communities. His personal narrative connected the audience to the significant relevance of connections to people and place, and a relentless focus on having high expectations of our Māori students.

Waikato-Tainui Education Advisor Raewyn Mahara, shared developments relating to the Kawenata partnership and recent educational initiatives that have been made available to schools and their students who are Waikato-Tainui descendants and tribal beneficiaries. This provided greater clarification and impetus for schools looking to engage as Kawenata schools, and strengthened opportunities for reciprocal and educationally powerful partnerships with iwi.

The closing keynote presentation by Mere Berryman synthesised the key messages throughout the day beginning with intergenerational stories of Māori experience and connections to the past and present.

Mere provided a timely reminder that as we move forward into a new professional learning landscape which highlights different priorities, spaces of marginalization, can also become spaces of resistance and hope. Ka Hikitia and educational partnerships with iwi offer spaces for schools to build their own whare with strong foundations and posts to uphold our ongoing and unrelentless focus on Māori potential and improving the educational outcomes of Māori students.

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Australian academics visit Kia Eke Panuku schools

Posted on 29 November, 2016

Sharing insights

From Wednesday 26 October to Wednesday 2 November 2016, a small group of lecturers from the University of Sydney (Drs Cathie Burgess, Lorraine Towers and Kevin Lowe), who specialise in Aboriginal education, visited a number of Kia Eke Panuku schools. These included Kaikoura College (a week or so before the earthquake), Queen Charlotte College, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College and Mt Maunganui College.

All three were delighted to meet staff and students from each school, and apart from enjoying visiting different parts of the country again, were able to get a better understanding of the kinds of changes that Kia Eke Panuku schools are trying to achieve, each in their own way.

Kaikoura College
At Kaikoura College they saw how Principal John Tait has encouraged staff to participate in professional conversations that, at their core, address the issues of what type of society we want to live in, and what role teachers/principals have in contributing to social cohesion.

‘We noted that he sets high expectations for teachers and students, and the child-centred, holistic approach to teaching and learning and culturally responsive schooling has resulted in improved attendance, retention and much improved educational outcomes.’

Our visitors liked the changed format for Parents and Teachers’ nights to day-time appointments, where parents and students now both talk to teachers, with students leading the discussions. The concept of ‘Māori success as Māori’ was explained to them by John, who they believe demonstrates those attributes of leadership that reflect his mana, personal capacity, prestige and presence.

‘He helped us see ways of working with staff who, in the past, may have seen some student underachievement as being part of a longstanding pattern that was difficult to solve’.

Queen Charlotte College
At Queen Charlotte College our visitors said:

‘We were privileged to be officially welcomed to the school with a pōwhiri that demonstrated pride in Māori culture by all students and staff (Māori and non-Māori alike). The day started for us on an inspiring note. And to see the school ‘Head Boy’, a non-Māori student, advance, speak in te reo Māori, and welcome us to the community, showed us how cultural inclusion and the influence of Māori language can affect the conōceptualisation of power and authority of an indigenous knowledge’.

After being shown around the school by proud senior students, and a delicious lunch made by the hospitality students, our visitors were treated to a kapa haka performance led first by the staff and then the students.

‘This seamless interaction between the teachers and students reinforced the respect everyone has for each other in what is clearly a wonderful place to learn!’

The school’s aquaculture studies particularly impressed them, as it is not available in their curriculum.

Taupo-nui-a-Tia College
At Taupo-nui-a-Tia College our visitors were accompanied by Associate Professor Mere Berryman, Director of Kia Eke Panuku, and they noted the positive relationship between the University of Waikato and the school.

‘Many teachers spoke to us in depth about the challenging and inspiring journey to become better teachers through the former Te Kōtahitanga and current Kia Eke Panuku programmes. Cycles of improvement that include lesson observations and data gathering are all geared towards building better relationships with their students’.

Our visitors saw that teachers draw on the knowledge and perspectives of the students and their families and communities. This effective community engagement was evident in a recent launch of eBooks, which the school had gifted back to the community.

They also noted how the Strategic Change Leadership Team involves all staff through its strategic plan development process, drawing on the expertise, enthusiasm, knowledge and aspirations of both Māori and non-Māori staff alike, across all key learning areas of the school. Educational outcomes in retention, attendance, literacy, numeracy and the three levels of senior study are continually improving through the creation of a strong community of learners that involves feeder primary schools, and a strong evidenced-based approach to student achievement.

Mt Maunganui College
At their last school visit, to Mt Maunganui College, they saw that the embedding of Māori culture was the responsibility of the Deputy Principal and the He Waka Eke Noa team.

To generate a greater level of success for Māori students, the school had sought to ‘individualise’ their implementation of the Kia Eke Panuku programme through three key areas of activity - academic achievement, culturally responsive and relational pedagogy, and place and community.

‘Place-based pedagogy is a key theme, and the science faculty spoke to us about a program, located in their school, working with the local iwi and authority to protect the local waterways’.

Our visitors noted that the leadership development approaches include teachers with specific skills, students who demonstrate potential, and the improvement of the school’s relationships with local iwi and the Māori community, which they admitted was an area of ‘unfinished’ business that they needed to work on.

In summary
Overall our visitors were excited by what they saw.

Kia Eke Panuku has given them greater insight into how outcomes for indigenous students can be improved by a determined focus on a culturally responsive, evidence-based approach.

They appreciated how ‘…teachers are being challenged to evaluate, to re-think the implications and outcomes of their own practices, and to take responsibility as individual teachers… the Treaty seems to fundamentally underpin these school transformations, which have improved the educational and broader social outcomes for Māori. This seems to be only the beginning of the story of change and we are all very keen, each in our own way, to know more ’.

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Whangamata College Pic 4

Realising potential at Whangamatā Area School

Posted on 29 November, 2016ā-area-school

Utilising systems and structures to support systemic change

Some say that the excited buzz that seeps out from under the library doors of Whangamatā Area School can directly be attributed to the enthusiasm of staff realising their collective potential.

Amidst the conversations about topics such as critical thinking and dialogic sense-making sits the school’s Change Team – a team which was derived from the Strategic Leadership Team, and a team that is determined to support purposeful, evidence-based change.

Changing the system and sharing the load
As the Change Team begins to successfully align and spread mahi tahi throughout the entire staff, significant changes are taking place to the school’s existing systems and structures.

Six Professional Learning Groups (PLGs) have been established to support teachers to become critically reflective practitioners, using evidence to develop their culturally responsive and relational pedagogy and building on their expertise as teachers.

Unpacking and making sense of the pedagogy is central to the picture, with PLG members being observed throughout the year as well as participating in critical learning conversation and shadow-coaching to build on their teaching practice.

How working in small groups has helped
Bronwyn Baxter, a Change Team member, reflects on how working in small groups has enabled relationships of care and connectedness to develop – resulting in staff who have de-privatised their practice:

“The tool that we have utilised for the classroom observation, is gold”.

“Teachers can have a look at the evidence of their pedagogy in relation to cultural responsiveness and relational pedagogy, and then they can see areas they need to develop - based on the observations”.

“For example, they may need to bring in cultural toolkit, they identify that themselves and then they set some goals and next steps, and that has led to an attitude of critical reflection spreading throughout the staff”.

“Staff now welcome members of their professional learning group into their classroom to carry out the observation, or to be involved in shadow-coaching or just to catch up. We are regularly having professional collegial conversations about our practice as we sit together and critically reflect on our own pedagogy”.

Time, as always, has been a challenge for the team, but it has never been a deterrent to engage with the change they want to achieve. Existing systems such as staff meetings have been utilised in order to give the PLGs more time to partake in their mahi. As well, the Change Team has been allocated a regular Tuesday morning timeslot to discuss the mahi and consider their next steps.

In acknowledging their work and commitment, the principal, Ross Preece, had this to say:

“It is great for members of the Change Team to have the opportunity to provide leadership. I am very cognisant of giving people a chance to lead and they have all done a great job”.

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Kaipara College Hero

Students lead staff PLD day

Posted on 28 November, 2016

Māori student agency at Kaipara College

Kaipara College recently held a whole staff PLD day that was planned and facilitated by a group of students and members of their local hapū.

Empowering students
The College has always gathered a variety of student voice across a range of issues.

However, when the Kia Eke Panuku Strategic Change Leadership Team (SCLT) examined what was happening in the school, they found little evidence to show that student agency was then being supported and promoted as a result.

The SCLT also wanted to ensure they did not make decisions from the evidence they were gathering without the students being part of that collaborative process

Student agency
Over a period of three months the SCLT organised wānanga alongside senior students gathering their thoughts about learning at Kaipara College and their understanding of the notion of Māori succeeding as Māori. These wānanga have led to a student agency group being formed that is actively involved in decision making at Kaipara College.

This group meets regularly with SCLT and co-constructs possible approaches that could be implemented into the school operations, including the student-facilitated staff PLD day.

Authenticity and ongoing review
The student leaders continue to look for authentic ways to improve Māori student’s experiences of learning at Kaipara College and involve their parents, whānau and community in the school environment.

This process is an ongoing cycle of review for the school. It has challenged and continues to challenge the SCLT and SLT in communication that supports and strengthens reciprocal, learning-centred relationships.

It also has potential to develop the school leaders approach to collaboration that enriches opportunities for students to become confident, connected, actively involved, learners.

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