Māori Educational Success
As required by the Education and Training Act, Otonga School’s board ensures that every student at Otonga School is able to achieve their highest possible standard. Otonga School is also committed to te Tiriti o Waitangi and gives effect to te Tiriti by achieving equitable outcomes for ākonga Māori (Education and Training Act, s.127).
Otonga School is guided in our thinking, planning, and actions for our ākonga Māori by the cross-agency strategy for the education sector, Ka Hikitia Ka Hāpaitia: The Māori Education Strategy. Our Māori Educational Success policy should be read in conjunction with Ka Hikitia. We support its vision to help ākonga Māori enjoy and achieve educational success as Māori, while developing the skills to participate in te ao Māori, Aotearoa, and the wider world. The board and staff consult with our Māori community when developing policies, plans, and targets for improving the progress and achievement of our ākonga Māori.
To achieve excellent and equitable outcomes for our ākonga Māori, Otonga School:
- builds whanaungatanga with our ākonga Māori and whānau, and our local hapū and iwi to ensure everyone is informed and involved as our education partners
- recognises and builds on the diverse abilities, strengths, and aspirations of ākonga Māori and their whānau
- promotes a strong sense of belonging and engagement by integrating te reo Māori, tikanga Māori, mātauranga Māori, and te ao Māori into school life (including the curriculum)
- ensures that the school is a physically and emotionally safe place and works to eliminate racism, discrimination, and stigma – (Inclusive Education)
- engages with any national, regional, and local implementation plans developed by the Ministry of Education and education agencies
- supports staff to access appropriate professional development
- implements effective, high quality teaching and leadership practices that promote success for Māori as Māori.
Otonga School supports ākonga Māori achievement by:
- tracking the attendance and achievement of all ākonga Māori
- providing appropriate learning support, and other support or extension programmes and processes for our ākonga Māori, as they progress through their schooling
- evaluating and continually improving school programmes and teaching practices
- reporting on ākonga Māori achievement to parents, the school community (as appropriate), the board, and the Ministry of Education.
Te Mātaiaho NZ Curriculum Refresh
The new NZ Curriculum Refresh Te Mātaiaho “to observe and examine the strands of learning ” gives expression to the right to education set out in the Education and Training Act 2020 that every ākonga, no matter who they are, where they live, or what school they attend, can attain their highest possible standard in educational achievement. As such it also expresses the obligation on schools and kaiako to provide equitable access to this education. It starts from the premise that learners are taonga. It sets out obligations to nurture and care for every ākonga as an individual, as a member of a whānau, and as a citizen of Aotearoa and the world.
In order to help realise the purpose of Te Mātaiaho and to do things better, we have started with the following actions:
– In 2021, our school made new history by joining The Rotorua Central Kahui Ako (RCKA) Community of Learning. Our Principal is now the co-lead Principal and leads the governance group with his colleagues from Glenholme School, RIS, Boys’ High, Girls’ High, Malfroy School, Ngakuru School, SDA School. This enables us to be part of Achievement Challenges, one being Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.
Our Leader of Māori works closely with the across-school leaders from the Kahui Ako.
– Strategic planning in line with the National Education Learning Priorities (NELPS) for connection and growing relationships with Māori whānau to support involvement in our school.
– Employed culturally responsive staff who put relationships at the centre of learning and who value students’ prior knowledge, culture, language and ways of making sense of the world.
– Introduced effective Teaching and Learning Through Play Pedagogy that honours Te Ao Māori and creates opportunities for Māori to be Māori. It recognises akonga as holders of taonga and mātauranga in the context of their learning. Kaiako, in the context of effective pedagogy, can bring rangatiratanga of Māori learners to the forefront, so that akonga are comfortable in bringing their iwitanga into their learning.
Play ensures equitable access to the curriculum, and values different world views, perspectives, experiences and measures of success.
– Eliminated streaming and put in its place a personalised, flexible model where all tamariki can progress and achieve at their own level and pace no matter where they start in their learning journey.
– Transformed our learning, assessment and reporting to formative practices using Otonga Progress Plans (OPPs) that value who our tamariki are, where they come from, what they bring to the learning and what their whānau aspirations are for learning, wellbeing and progress.
– Appointed a Leader of Māori and team with a strategic plan to lead this important kaupapa.
– Engaged tamariki with waiata and kapa haka (Junior and Senior Ropu) to perform at Ahurei. Tamariki enjoy schoolwide weekly Waiata practice.
– Started using the Wai Ako Resource schoolwide to ensure all students are learning Te Reo Māori.
– Enabled and supported our Teachers to enrol for Te Ahu o te Reo Māori – Te Taumata O Ngāti Whakaue
– Connection to Te Tiriti o Waitangi is evident through our school values. Our school values are Māori values. These concepts are a shared language across our kura and linked to our graduate Year 6 student profile. These values are New Zealand values for all citizens.
– Our kura now uses He Pātaka Kōrero o Ngāti Whakaue as part of our Aotearoa NZ Histories Curriculum.
– Appointed a Leader of Aotearoa NZ Histories to bring this learning alive from 2023.