Thriving as Whānau!

Yesterday was a great day! We were privileged to welcom back into the school this newly released research report,Thriving in Practice, (O’Sullivan, 2011) from the Families Commission, who looked for cases of “exemplary organisations that put ‘families whānau’ priorities and motivations at the centre of their practice.” Huia spent two years being part of every aspect of our school life. Our senior students told her:

We’re about whānau

Whether it’s your whānau kura

Or your whānau at home

Your up-north whānau

Or the whānau you never met

When you’re together, that’s whānau

That’s the connection

I leave my house walk down the road
And I’m home again.

That’s achievement as far as I’m concerned! However, it wasn’t enough for Year 13 student, Ivory. when the researcher and writer came to school to feed back the draft poem to the students. Having read through the draft poem the day before, Ivory was ready with carefully thought out notes that told the researchers they hadn’t gone far enough and she wanted to add another verse. To their credit, they wrote down every word and returned it to us that afternoon, with every one of Ivory’s points included in the final verse.

Looking to the future
We will know who we are as Mäori
We will identify ourselves as Warrior Scholars
We will be articulate thinkers speakers activists
We will take ownership of our physical and spiritual wellbeing
We will make decisions about what feels okay for us
We will demonstrate a strong work ethic
We will go on to achieve
When we leave school
Our future pathway will be clear
We will have left our mark on Te Whänau o Tupuranga
And the door will be open for our return
At this place of learning
Commitment to the kaupapa is everything
Tüturu ki te Kaupapa!