Topic: Education

Te Kura o Waitahanui celebrate their success

By Mere McLean

A Māori school in the Central North Island has made some huge changes to its operation and because of that, they're now celebrating in their success.

Te Kura o Waitahanui nestled at the shores of Taupō with a roll of 18 students, its point of difference is they have strong community support.

But it hasn't always received glowing reports until a big shift six months ago.

Maria Rahui says, “We take the qualities from our community and we weave it into our curriculum so that their curriculum and the things that they learn are appropriate, that they mean something to them.”

For the last 11 years, changes have been developed within the school to strengthen its processors.

Teacher, Poko Mani says, “This is really huge for us. The main thing is that the office knows that our children are learning and that they have seen the spirit within our children and they are settled.”

Janice Wall says, “I think for me and for our community here in Waitahanui, it's time that we have had a reflection of the positive things that are happening here in Waitahanui.  We are encouraging quality family time at the moment and I think our ERO report has definitely reflected that.”

Many of the families have moved away from Waitahanui to Taupō.  The school hopes to offer those families living there the chance to send their children back home to be educated.

Manino Karen Clarke says, “It's been very long but good. The main incentive for our Kura is catering for the needs of our children.” 

At the school, they say a strong family makes a strong community, and also a strong school.