We have organised the Kura to better fit the concept of Ako. Firstly we have done away with arbitrary lines of ‘Years’. This is so we can reduce reliance on age as a marker of aptitude and to stop the notion that ākonga are part of an education system production line. That is ‘old school thinking for an industrialised age’. We live in a networked, technology savvy, complex, global society where knowledge and skills acquisition have no ‘age’ boundaries. Māori traditionally learnt through the transmission of knowledge between people, regardless of age or position in the relationship.
In te ao Māori, the concept of ako means both to teach and to learn. It recognises the knowledge that both teachers and learners bring to learning interactions, and it acknowledges the way that new knowledge and understandings can grow out of shared learning experiences. The principle of ako affirms the value of the pair and group learning approaches in which students interact with their peers, teacher, tasks, and resources. Embracing the principle of ako enables teachers to build caring and inclusive learning communities where each ākonga feels that their contribution is valued and that they can participate to their full potential.
In Te Kāpehu Whetū ako is reflected in the incorporation of mātauranga Māori throughout the curriculum and our use of inquiry learning as the fundamental approach to teaching and learning. This approach helps to build important learning competencies in our ākonga and encourages them to ask questions about the world around them.
From this we employ Project Based Learning and Place Based Learning to further develop a “real life” learning environment in the Kura.
Te Kāpehu Whetū has ‘launched’ a new format for Māori education covering early childhood through to young adults.
Mokopuna early childhood centres, where the nurturing of learning begins, ‘we see ourselves as an extension of the whānau’, with a centre in Moerewa, two in Whangarei and two in Manurewa.
Te Paenuku (year 1-6) ‘the close horizon’ opened February 2015, is a bilingual primary school offering Te Marautanga o Aotearoa curriculum and utilises experiential, place-based opportunities to learn knowledge holistically.
Te Paerangi (year 9–13) ‘the distant horizon’, opened in February 2014, is a full secondary school focused on students gaining a sound foundation in core curriculum areas (Matauranga Māori, Social Science, Mathematics and Science), while offering an array of ancillary subjects to maintain variety and/or support NCEA achievement.
Leadership Academy of A Company
Leadership Academy of A Company founded 6 years ago as a tribute to the 28 Māori Battalion and to foster young Māori leadership. The Academy established our unique educational approach – empowering students to ‘Be Māori’, ‘Be Educated, ‘Be Rangatira’ so that they can ‘navigate’ their futures in a globalised society, standing confidently ‘on the marae and in the world’ –
“Tū ki te Marae…Tū ki te Ao”.