Introduction to the study
The Manaakitia ngā tamariki kia ora ai | Supporting children’s wellbeing publication shares themes and narratives from six good-practice primary and intermediate schools that are designing and using approaches to enhance the wellbeing of tamariki. The schools were invited to be part of this study as their Wellbeing@School data showed tamariki Māori, and other learners, all had high wellbeing. These six schools had positive trends over time or high values in three indicators (wellbeing, equitable relationships, and aggressive behaviour) which suggested they were engaged in an active change journey.
We wanted to learn from their experiences. We visited each school for 2 days to talk to a mix of people who could tell us about the school’s approaches and wellbeing journey.
The study had two main focuses. The first was to deepen our understandings about the different ways schools promote the wellbeing of tamariki, and, in particular, tamariki Māori. The second was to find out how schools deal with things that impact on wellbeing, such as racism and bullying behaviour.
We used an exploratory Māori-centred approach guided by kaupapa Māori principles and a social justice lens to develop the study approaches and to analyse the data. We placed the experiences and views of Māori at the centre.
This publication is relevant to primary schools thinking about ways of fostering student wellbeing, developing a reo Māori curriculum, or incorporating more Aotearoa New Zealand content and history into the curriculum. The findings will help to deepen readers’ commitment to change, by showing the equity and wellbeing benefits of honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi/The Treaty of Waitangi, and mātauranga Māori in a central place in school life.
All the schools were on a long journey to better support the wellbeing and learning of tamariki. Key to this journey was support from Māori champions, two-way partnerships with whānau, a commitment to long-term PLD, and leadership driven by core values and a holistic view of wellbeing.
We found that schools had some beliefs and practices in common. Those that stood out included:
- A prioritisation of wellbeing and the view that students were not ready to learn unless they felt a sense of belonging and safety at school, and that their identities were valued.
- A commitment to reducing the separation between home and school through a focus on whanaungatanga and upholding relationships. All those in the school community were viewed as part of a large whānau. This commitment helped schools deal with racism and conflict such as community members who were not supportive of the school’s focus on mātauranga Māori.
- A commitment to placing mātauranga Māori in a more central place in school life. Three main ways most schools did this was through:
1. developing tikanga for the school
2. focusing on identity and supporting tamariki to learn about themselves and their connection to local histories, people, spaces, and places
3. providing reo Māori teaching and learning including through whole school kapa haka.
- A commitment to celebrating diversity in all its forms.
- Schools’ desire to do the best for students. Schools had multi-faceted approaches to building students’ sense of belonging and pride in their school. They offered students many opportunities to find passions and interests at school.
- A commitment to building students’ capabilities in two main areas: recognising and understanding their own and others’ emotions so they could build empathy and positive relationships; and developing leadership skills.
Schools faced common tensions and challenges on their journey. Building a whole school critically conscious curriculum to explore and understand the impact of colonisation was one challenge schools were working on.
Manaakitia ngā tamariki kia ora ai – Te hāpai i te waiora o te ākonga
Te whakatakinga o te rangahau
Ko tā te rangahau o Manaakitia ngā tamariki kia ora ai | Te hāpai i te waiora o te ākonga, he whakapuaki i ngā ariā me ngā kōrero a ngā kura tuatahi me ngā kura takawaenga e ono e tohu ana i ngā whakaritenga papai, otirā, e waihanga ana, e whakamahi ana hoki i ngā aronga e whakatairanga ai i te waiora o ngā tamariki. I tonoa ngā kura kia whai wāhi mai ki te rangahau nei, nā te āhua tonu o ā rātou hōtuku Wellbeing@School e meatia ana kei te tino pakari te waiora o ngā tamariki Māori me ngā ākonga katoa. I ēnei kura e ono, he ia whai hua i roto i te roanga o te wā, he papai rānei ngā wāriu i roto i ngā tohu e toru (arā, i te waiora, i te tōkeke o ngā hononga, ā, i te whanonga ririhau), heoi, e marohi ana nei i tā rātou whai mātātoa atu i te huarahi whakapakari.
I hiahia mātou ki te ako, mai i ā rātou nā wheako. I noho mātou ki ia kura mō ngā rā e rua, ki te kōrero ki te tangongitanga o ngā tāngata i whakamārama nei i ngā aronga o te kura me te huarahi o te waiora.
E rua ngā aronga matua o te rangahau. Ko te mea tuatahi, ko te whakahōhonu ake i ō mātou māramatanga ki ngā tūmomo huarahi ka whāia e ngā kura ki te whakatairanga i te waiora o ngā tamariki, inarā, i ngā tamariki Māori. Ko te mea tuarua, ko te whai māramatanga ki ngā huarahi ka whāia e ngā kura ki te whakatau i ngā tūāhuatanga e pā tōraro ai ki te waiora, pērā i te kaikiri me te whanonga whakaweti.
I roto i ā mātou mahi ki te whakawhanake i ngā aronga o te rangahau, ki te tātari hoki i ngā hōtuku, i whakamahi mātou i te aronga tūhura, i te aronga hoki e hāngai pū ana ki te Māori, ā, i arahina ai ki ngā mātāpono kaupapa Māori me te tirohanga mā te manatika ā-pāpori. Ko tā mātou, he whakatakoto i ngā wheako me ngā tirohanga o ngāi Māori ki te pūtake o te rangahau.
Ka whai pānga tēnei putanga ki ngā kura tuatahi e rapu ana i ngā huarahi ki te poipoi i te waiora o te ākonga, ki te whakawhanake rānei i tētahi marautanga o te reo Māori, ā, ki te whakarahi ake rānei i te aronga me ngā hītori o Aotearoa ki te marautanga. Ka whai wāhi atu ngā whakaaturanga ki te whakapūmau ake i te ngākau nui o ngā kaipānui ki te panoni, mā te whakaatu i ngā hua o te mana taurite me te waiora ka ahu mai i ngā mahi e whakahōnore ana i Te Tiriti o Waitangi me te mātauranga Māori e noho ai ki te pokapū tonu o te ao o te kura.
Ngā whakaaturanga matua
I te kōkiri ngā kura katoa i te huarahi pae tawhiti, kia hāpai ake ai rātou i te waiora o ngā tamariki me tā rātou ako. Ka noho mātua rā ki taua huarahi, ko te tautoko mai o ngā whakaihuwaka Māori, ko te hononga tauutuutu ki te whānau, ko te ū ki te whakawhanaketanga ako ngaio o te pae tawhiti, me te ārahitanga e kōkirihia ana ki ngā uara matua me te aronga torowhānui ki te waiora.
I kite mātou, he rite tonu ētahi o ngā whakapono me ngā whakaritenga ki waenga i ngā kura. Ko ētahi o aua tino tūāhuatanga, ko:
- te noho mātua o te waiora, ā, ko te tirohanga hoki e kore te ākonga e rite ki te ako, ki te kore ia e rongo i te aronga toi whenuatanga, i te haumaru hoki ki te kura, i te whakamanatanga hoki o tōna tuakiri.
- te aronga nui ki te whakakapi i te noho wehe rua o te kāinga me te kura mā te aronga ki te whanaungatanga me te ū pūmau ki ngā hononga. Nā tēnei tirohanga, he whānau nui te katoa e whai wāhi atu ana ki te kura. Ka hāpai taua aronga i ngā kura ki te whakatika i te kaikiri me ngā raruraru, pērā i ngā wā kāhore ētahi mema o te hapori i tautoko i te aronga o te kura ki te mātauranga Māori.
- te ū kia noho mātua pū ake te mātauranga Māori ki te ao o te kura. E toru ngā tino huarahi i whāia ai e te nuinga o ngā kura kia pēnei, arā, mā te:
1. whakawhanake i ngā tikanga ki te kura
2. arotahi ki te tuakiri, ā, mā te hāpai i te ako a ngā tamariki i ngā tūāhuatanga e pā ana ki a rātou anō, ki ō rātou hononga hoki ki ngā hītori, ngā tāngata, ngā takiwā me ngā wāhi o ō rātou hapori
3. whakarato i ngā whakaakoranga me ngā akoranga o te reo Māori, tae atu ki te tū ā-kura o te katoa hei kapa haka
- te ū ki te whakanui i ngā tūāhuatanga katoa o te kanorau.
- te wawata nui o ngā kura ki te mahi hei tino painga mō ngā ākonga. He aronga matahuhua ā ngā kura kia āta whakawhanakehia te aronga toi whenuatanga me te manawa whakahī o ngā ākonga mō ō rātou kura. Ka whakaratohia hoki ngā whai wāhitanga maha kia kitea e ngā ākonga ō rātou hiringa, ō rātou ngākau nuitanga hoki ki te kura.
- te ū ki te whakapakari ake i ngā pūkenga o ngā ākonga i roto i ngā wāhanga matua e rua, arā: ko te tāutu, ko te mārama hoki i ō rātou ake whatumanawa, i ngā whatumanawa hoki o ētahi atu, kia pakari ai te ngākau aroha me ngā hononga papai; ko te whakawhanake hoki i ngā pūkenga ki te ārahi.
Tērā ngā maniore rite tonu, ngā wero rite tonu hoki i pā ki ngā kura i ō rātou huarahi. Ko tētahi wero e whāia ana e ngā kura te whakatutuki, ko te whakawhāriki i ngā mōhiotanga kaikini ki tētahi marautanga ā-kura, kia tūhuratia, kia māramahia hoki te pā kaha o te tāmitanga ki ngā iwi taketake.