COL Connections - Issue 2, July 2021
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Kia Ora and Welcome
This is our second E-dition of COL Connections for 2021. Our aim is to connect and update all members of our Kāhui-Ako through this quarterly publication. Each school disseminates the newsletter to Boards of Trustees, staff, parents, whānau, and student communities to communicate the work of the Morrinsville Kāhui Ako - Community of Learning. We hope that you find this newsletter informative and interesting. 


The MKA-CoL team began work in 2020 to review our achievement challenges and develop the strategic plan for 2021-2022.
Ki te whai Ao Ki te Ao Marama
The pursuit of the world of light and of enlightenment
Empowering Learning for All 
Te pae tawhiti, whāia kia tata
Te pae tata, whāia kia ū
That which is on the distant horizon,
Pursue it to bring it close;
That which is near at hand,
Pursue it too, to its completion.

Our four challenges for 2021/2022 are:

Challenge A: Ko tā te Kaiako kōkiri ako - Teacher Efficacy
To continue to strengthen our cultural knowledge and intelligence that enable culturally responsive educational practice
Challenge B: Ngā Moemoea - Student Agency
To better understand and support our learners through crucial transition points between different learning environments
Challenge C: Whakawhanaungatanga - Family, Whānau and Community Partnerships
To enable a strong Learning Support Network that ensures equitable learning outcomes for all learners, especially those with additional learning needs
Challenge D: Hauora - Health and Well-being
To nurture responsible digital citizenship in our learners 

You can access our COL Achievement Challenge document here. This is currently being updated and all schools and organisations will be issued with a new version in Term 3.


Sharing news from around our MKA-CoL

It is with regret that I've accepted the resignation of Rachel Howser from the position of Across School Leader for our Kāhui Ako (as a result of Rachel resigning from Orini School where she is a teacher). Rachel is moving to the South Island with her family for new adventures and we will miss her expertise working with our schools and the Early Childhood sector. We wish Rachel all the best in her future endeavours.

Samantha Farook, our other Across School Leader, will be on maternity leave for the rest of this year. We want to wish her all the best in welcoming her new baby, and look forward to her return to the College and our COL in Term 1 next year.

It has been a pleasure to work with Andrea Devane in her Acting Principal position while Jenny Clark, Principal of Morrinsville Intermediate School, has been enjoying her sabbatical. We look forward to continuing our work with the MIS leadership team and staff.

We want to welcome and congratulate Tina Baptist who is the newly appointed Principal of Motumaoho School. Tina assumes the position from Term 3 and has already attended a Kāhui Ako meeting to meet our team and get a feel for how we work together. Di Pollard-Williams, who has been Acting Principal for Term 2, has been a wonderful support person and we want to thank her for her contribution to our COL.

Yesterday I was privileged to be invited to an historical ceremony by the Directors of Te Maataarae ki Rangiriri Limited Partnership to attend the inaugural Keri Awa o Rangiriri Paa - Turning of the Soil Ceremony. Waikato Tainui and Ngaati Naho are successful recipients of the New Zealand Government Provincial Growth Fund, and this ceremony signalled the commencement of recreating the historical 1863 Rangiriri Paa earthwork trenches. We are looking forward to working with Brad Totorewa in 2022 so that our staff and students will be able to visit this site of significant historical and cultural significance as we look to developing our knowledge and delivery of local curriculum.

Below are pictures of Kiingi Tuheitia Potatau Te Wherowhero VII turning the soil.


 He Whakatika i te Maramatanga me te Whakareingā o te Whakaharatau Take Ahuroa 
Developing Cultural Understanding - Enhancing Cultural Responsiveness

In early June, our teachers from across the region came together to learn about how we can better develop cultural understanding in order to enhance our cultural responsiveness in the classroom and across our schools. We were privileged to hear the following speakers deliver presentations that offered us fresh ideas on how, as educators, we can consider our own impact on the education of our children in our schools and ECEs, and how we will work together to engage with them to promote equity and excellence.

Our Keynote speakers were:

Rukumoana Schaafhausen - Lawyer, Director, Chairperson of Te Arataura - Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Hauā
Rukumoana presented her own life story and talked about how her Ngāti Hauā upbringing has influenced her educational and leadership journey. She gave an overview of Ngāti Hauā’s strategic framework, E hoki ana ki te Tonuitanga, and spoke about the aspirations of Ngāti Hauā. 

Teresa Tepania-Ashton - MZNM, CEO, Chairperson, Coach
Teresa spoke about her journey as the previous CEO of Te Rūnanga-a-Iwi o Ngāpuhi from 2004 – 2011, and the current CEO of Māori Women’s Development Incorporated. She shared her insights on what it means to be a Māori woman of influence whose work is to provide loans and wrap-around support for Wāhine Māori in business, and their whānau, and the impact of this endeavour. 

Alex Hotere-Barnes - PhD Candidate, PLD Facilitator
Alex's keynote reflected on old and new understandings regarding Te Tiriti o Waitangi in education and schooling. Alex shared his understanding of what non-Māori are learning - the challenges and potential - of becoming “Te Tiriti honouring”.

Dr. Melinda Webber - Associate. Prof. Auckland University, of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whakaue
Dr. Webber's keynote addressed Kia tū rangatira ai: Learning - Succeeding and Thriving at School. Her presentation explored what happens when we use a strengths-based approach to better understand how students learn, succeed and thrive at school. She discussed how students develop positive attitudes, engagement, and aspirations towards school. 


Nurturing responsible digital citizenship
Pauline Spence from Linewize presented to our families 
about how to keep our children safe online

In association with Linewize, Pauline Spence presented to our parent community about how we can support our children and teenagers to safely interact, engage, share and communicate online. Digital platforms are integral to young people everywhere in this technological age but increased time online can see some children at greater risk. For some parents, whānau and children themselves, this can be a time of heightened anxieties, stress and helplessness. 

Pauline was able to unpack the risks, challenges and complexities that young people face online. She then offered a range of comprehensive and practical ideas on how to support our tamariki and rangatahi to navigate complex online spaces.

If you missed the presentation, you can find more information from Linewize here. Additionally, each school has been supplied with resources from the presentation to share with families and whānau so hopefully you have received this already. 

Sir Mason Durie, Emeritus Professor, KNZM, FRSNZ FRANZCP

The COL team were lucky to hear Sir Mason Durie, one of NZ's most respected academics, discuss a range of topics relating to principles for working with Māori and Māori development. Sir Mason presented aspects of well-being and explained how this is ultimately dependent upon the dynamic interaction of people with each other and within the wider cultural, social, economic, political and physical environments in which people live. Sir Mason talked about how Māori wellbeing is the product of these combined forces acting on the past and present experiences so that future prospects can be enhanced. 

This has been a busy yet exciting term as we strive to stay true to our vision of  Empowering Learning for All. With a successful conference now over, we look ahead to a fresh term focusing on Hauora - Health and Well-Being.

Accordingly, we will be working with The Collaborative Trust and Michael Hempseed who will present to our students, staff and community on Understanding Self-harm and Suicide, Managing Big Emotions and Stress Management. We really hope to see more parents attend our evening presentation with Michael - details will follow. You can see Michael's TedTalk here.

If you have any queries, thoughts, or ideas about how we can forge strong partnerships across our community and learning organisations, please get in touch

I hope that everyone enjoys a restful break over Term 2 school holidays.

Best Regards, Ngā Mihi
Dr. Thilo Govender | MKA-CoL Leader

ADDRESS:  c/o Morrinsville College, PO Box 325, Morrinsville, 3340, NZ 
PHONE: 07 8898308