When Māori-medium kaiako and whānau came together at Titahi Bay North School, they worked hard to create Te Marau ā-kura o Te Whānau o Te Kākano - a living, breathing curriculum that would ideally reflect the expectations and aspirations of the whānau, hapū and iwi. Titahi Bay North is an English-medium school with a Māori-medium unit. This story occurs within the Māori-medium unit, Te Whānau o Te Kākano.
A Marau ā-Kura demonstrates the strategic commitment of the school to provide quality Māori-medium programmes that serve the educational needs of the students and their whānau. Central to quality professional practice, most kura/schools are seeking support to develop the rigour of their Marau ā-Kura including clearly articulating the alignment of whānau aspirations to classroom implementation. For more information and impact in Te Marautanga o Aetearoa, see the 2014 infographic data.
“E kore au e ngaro i te mea he kākano i ruia mai i Rangiātea!”
I shall never be lost, for I am a seed sown in Rangiātea.
Te Whānau o te Kākano strive to maintain and uphold the essence of this proverb. Metaphorically speaking, the tamariki are the seed being nourished, nurtured and loved so that they may never be lost! The language and beliefs, including whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, mana, and whakaute, are at the heart and soul of this programme.
The story so far
Māori-medium teachers have developed (in consultation with whānau), Te Marau ā-kura o Te Whānau o Te Kākano. It is firmly based on Te Marautanga o Aotearoa (TMoA), reflects the wider school context, vision and values and provides teachers with clear guidance and expectations for teaching and learning. Their Graduate Profile sits alongside the localised curriculum and incorporates the attitudes and skills important to the whole school community.
Work on developing the Graduate Profile and localised curriculum began in 2012. Te Toi Tupu facilitators have been able to walk alongside kaiako, Whaea Parani Te Moana and Whaea Pohoira Clay to help unpack the potential of TMoA as a localised curriculum and in particular the Graduate Profile. Clear and evident connections are now made between the aspirations of parents, whānau and students and the school’s vision for learners. The connections carry through to planning, learning and teaching, as well as assessment and reporting practices. As a result of these developments, the Graduate Profile is represented visually throughout the classrooms and is revisited frequently to ensure this is a living, breathing process.
According to whānau, tamariki and pouako, as a result of engaging in Te Toi Tupu PLD, the most recognisable change and shifts have taken place in Pānui, Tuhituhi and Tau me te Taurangi. ERO stated, "The school’s curriculum promotes success for many students" and"Teachers have developed useful teaching strategies to support students’ learning." ERO observed settled classes, clearly articulated expectations and purposefully engaged students. Positive, affirming relationships between students and with teachers were evident.
Impact for tamariki
Māori students make up 71% of the school roll. About half are part of Te Whānau o Te Kākano. As ERO observed, "Students are able to talk about what they were learning and what they had to do to complete tasks."
As these results show, students are achieving well against National Standards with some identified needs in Kōrero. This success has been the result of a correlation between the Graduate Profile, Te Whānau o Te Kākano localised curriculum, improved teaching practices, and the Professional Learning and Development undertaken from 2012 until now.
A greater understanding of the Graduate Profile, as well as the recent donation of 10 iPads to Te Whānau o Te Kākano has provided an excellent opportunity to capture student voice and show their understanding and knowledge. Digital applications such as Pic collage and iMovie are also used.
Impact for kaiako
The kaiako know their akonga intimately. In the sound recording on the left, Hohepa explains the dynamics of how teachers in a Māori-medium context know their students and whānau and use these connections to inform teacher practice. As ERO noted, "There is strong leadership from the Māori-medium teachers to support, promote and demonstrate Māori success as Māori. In Te Whānau o Te Kakano there are regular whānau hui, strong tuakana teina relationships and promotion of te ao Māori." What is clearly apparent, is that this whānau has years of experience and knowledge in ensuring changes in TMoA are on-going and relevant to their student and whānau needs. Some kaiako have since gone on to present at conferences such as Teacher Refresher Course Committee and ULearn15. Their willingness to coach and mentor fellow Māori-medium educators is an inspiration to the wider community.
Impact for tumuaki
An exciting development has been the Principal supporting a similar process of localising curriculum in the auraki side of the school. Whilst still in its infancy, the move to having a solid curriculum design school-wide, informed by whānau, the community and students, is groundbreaking for the school. It is yet another example of developing powerful partnerships with whānau.
Impact for whanau and the wider community
What has been clearly apparent, is the collective knowledge and experience the whānau bring with them. This has ensured that the programme is forever growing and developing along the way. Input and involvement from whānau continues to be a key strength at Titahi Bay North School.
Where to from here?
Further developments in PLD will help Maori-medium teachers to implement their Marautanga ā-kura by exploring and understanding Ngā Āhuatanga Ako, from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, in the context of selected learning areas. Kaiako continue to support students to have increased understanding about their learning as well as next steps for learning. A Moderation Cluster has been initiated in order to provide guidance and support for fellow Māori-medium kaiako, as well as refine the ability of kaiako to ultimately provide accurate judgements around student achievement.