COL Connections - Issue 1, April 2021
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Kia Ora and Welcome to the first 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. 


Across-School Leader for Morrinsville Kāhui Ako-Community of Learning

The MKA-CoL is delighted to introduce Rachel Howser as our newest ASL. Rachel began her teaching journey in the Early Childhood Education sector after studying at the Waikato University. She completed her Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood), majoring in Professional Education. While in Early Childhood, Rachel created a transition to school program and then decided to move into the Primary School sector. 

Rachel joined Orini Combined School in 2019 and was appointed as a Within-School Leader [WSL] in 2020. She is passionate about lifting student achievement through 'learning through play' techniques. Late last year, Rachel was appointed as an Across-School Leader for our COL and she began in the role this year. She aims to develop successful relationships and transitions between the different education levels, and raise student achievement through student agency.

Rachel has a strong commitment to our community and staff with her own children having attended Orini Combined School and Morrinsville College. She particularly enjoys being a big part of the community through various organisations. Rachel is looking forward to meeting you and can be contacted by email: 


Sharing news from around our MKA-CoL

At the beginning of this year, Jeremy Pollard of Tahuna School, left NZ to take up the position of Principal of the Mercy Ship, which is located off the coast of West Africa. Clare Gow acted as Principal and we were delighted to work with her over Term 1. The Tahuna Board has now appointed Phillip Otto as the new Principal of Tahuna School, and he will begin in the role in Term 2. As the previous Principal of Motumaoho School, Philip is a key member of our COL leadership team and we are pleased that he will continue to add to the team as the new leader of Tahuna School.

Jenny Clark, Principal of Morrinsville Intermediate School, will be taking her long-awaited sabbatical in Term 2. We want to wish Jenny well as she refreshes and completes her research. In her absence, we look forward to working with Andrea Devane as Acting Principal.

We also want to congratulate Rob Gunn, Deputy Principal from David Street School, who has won the Principal position of Whatawhata School in Hamilton. We want to thank him for his contribution to the COL and wish him well in his leadership journey.

Lastly, we are delighted to welcome Daynah and the team from Old MacDonald's Childcare Morrinsville as the newest member of our Kāhui-Ako.

We are now a strong collaboration of 11 Schools and 8 Early Childhood Centres in Morrinsville. 


Our first COL Professional Learning Day to Rangiowhia led by Assoc. Prof. Tom Roa.

Dr. Tom Roa (Ngāti Maniapoto, Waikato) is a Tainui leader and Associate Professor in the University of Waikato’s Faculty of Māori and Indigenous Studies. He is highly - respected throughout Tainui and the country, and we were privileged to have him lead our hui to Rangiowhia and Orākau. MKA- CoL staff heard stories of the battles that took place just out of Te Awamutu and the impact on both Māori and Pakehā.

You can learn more about the NZ Wars here. Our aim is to learn about local history and heritage so that we can design learning around such stories to ensure that our children know their culture.


The MKA-CoL team began work in 2020 to review our achievement challenges and develop the strategic plan for 2021 and 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 when this is completed.


 Zareen and Rob Cope presented on "How to keep our children safe online"

This was an eye-opening and sobering presentation on what we enable our children to access when allow them a mobile phone or any other device that accesses the internet without adequate knowledge and supervision. Zareen and Rob's talk covered pornography, predators, social media, hyper-sexualisation, consequences of being switched on 24/7, cyberbullying, and solutions. 

We are committed to nurturing responsible digital citizens in our community and we can only do this by educating ourselves and educating our tamariki. This presentation offered practical solutions such as using filters for safer access to technologies, how to deal with an exposure, how to help keep children safe outside of the home, and finally how to consider what is best for your own family.  The talk also covered effects and solutions for tamariki from toddlers through to teens. 

If you missed the presentation, you can find more information here. Additionally, each school will be sent details of the presentation to share within each organisation so please keep our eye out for this.

As we enable connections between our students, teachers, leaders and members of the community, we particularly want to focus on things that help our children to become happy individuals and positive citizens. Our team works hard to bring you these free COL Community Connect events so that together we can Empower Learning for All. Please support our efforts by attending.

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

Best wishes for a happy and restful Term 1 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