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29 June 2018

posted 28 Jun 2018, 16:37 by Stephanie Williams   [ updated 28 Jun 2018, 16:37 ]
Next week we will be having our Matariki celebrations to celebrate 'Maori New Year'. For those of you more recent arrivals to the country you may not be familiar with this annual event. In fact it seems to have become a much larger event, nationally, over the last 10 years or so, than ever.

Matariki is the cluster of stars that can be seen at this time of year - These stars signify reflection, a sense of hope, our connection to the environment and the wellbeing and of people and community.

Having our school positioned on such a significant pā site - that of Whetūkairangi - means we have a very special and authentic connection to the stars. We often use the analogy of our children travelling through our celestial heavens of Autahi, Tautoru, Māhutonga and Matariki, gathering their 'baskets' of knowledge' just like the story of Tane-te-wānanga-ā-rangi (Tāne, bringer of knowledge from the sky)  

This can also be found in our local curriculum documentation.   

Our strategic direction also provides great scope for giving Matariki prominence in the wintery calendar and highlighting the opportunities for great learning it brings. There is the connectedness, the cultural responsiveness, the sustainability of language, people and place, there is the wellbeing aspects, there is the desire for learning to be a social activity......and it's all coming to a place near you next week!

As well as our own celebrations you will find many free events going on across the city. Check them out.  
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage website has good background information too. 
We have plenty of lovely Matariki books to read available through our library.

Thanks so much for the feedback around the recent progress meetings and the overall reporting picture. We will be pulling all of this together and feeding this into our review and planning cycle for 2019 reporting practices.

Wednesday evening was a double whammy with the Autahi mindfulness and storytime evening. A lovely opportunity to learn together and from each other about simple tools that different teachers and parents use to turn the dial down before bedtime. These sorts of practices happen across the school regularly and as part of our learn it, live it, teach it, embed it Positive Education model, the staff also practice these techniques throughout the day. So if you drop your children off on a Thursday meeting morning and see us sitting in the staffroom with our eyes closed, please don't be alarmed!  The teachers shared how children knowing different ways to calm themselves forms part of their 'I am Powerful Plan'.  

Later Wednesday evening the Fair team had a meeting to share progress and next steps. Here's a team of people who certainly are demonstrating both personal and collective power. In terms of giving them the help required as they need it, as a whole community we can be part of ensuring the load is spread, manaakitanga is alive and well and they too have a chance to relax that wee bit more often also. 

Then of course we have the lovely opportunity to get together again next Wednesday at 7am for Matariki. The idea, with the weather gods smiling we can go on a bit of a midwinter mindful beachwalk and be grateful for what an amazing place we learn in, work in, many live in and community we belong to.

Have a lovely weekend

Ngā manaakitanga