Tamatea High School Kāhui Mātauranga members (from left) Johanna Wilson (Tangoio), Tīpene Cottrell (Wharerangi) and Hinewai Ormsby (Waiohiki).
Honouring the Treaty of Waitangi has been a topical issue for decades. The Government is challenging schools and other government entities to do a better job. Tamatea High School has created a new strategic group to give the school advice and support with Māori student achievement, realising Te Tīriti o Waitangi partner obligations and developing their local curriculum, says principal Robin Fabish.
The group comprises hapū members Johanna Wilson, Tīpene Cottrell and Hinewai Ormsby. The three of them have connections to the marae at Tangoio, Wharerangi and Waiohiki and have been invited to be a part of the group because of their background in education.
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"I am thrilled to have the support and guidance of local hapū members who understand the education system. We're also keen to invite whānau from Petāne marae to join our kāhui so that we have input from the seven local hapū."
Matua Robin says the Board of Trustees has approved a new plan to explore and realise what the Treaty of Waitangi can be like in a mainstream secondary school.
"This includes examining our attitudes and building understanding of the impact of colonisation, privilege and racism in Aotearoa. The school has plans to ensure that the physical school environment reflects the cultures of the students."
Reviews of the school curriculum from a mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) perspective will mean that they will be enhancing the things students already learn with links to local contexts
"We could be looking at the eels in the Taipo stream and Ngaruroro rivers and water quality for our science focus. Technology could see us gathering supplejack from the bush to make hīnaki (eel traps) to catch some eels and making smokers to smoke the eels and then we can cook them in our food and nutrition classes. So we'll be learning all of the normal concepts and content, but in a way that connects us to contexts that are engaging for all of our students."
Matua Robin says he is really pleased with the work that staff are doing to support the acceleration of learning in the junior school, engagement in the classroom and ensuring that school leavers have meaningful paths.
"We've been getting really pleasing results. I'm proud that our little whānau school is doing a great job of realising our vision which is 'Growing good people for a changing world.'"