Whakawhirinaki – Trusted: People of Integrity

Posted Friday April 12, 2024

“Recognise the taonga of being a person of integrity, what happens when we lose integrity, and what we can do to repair it.”

Year 11 Achievement Objective Te Kōhatu: Whakawhirinaki – Trusted

Tō Tātou Whakapono Our Faith

Working with our new Religious Education curriculum from the Bishops of Aotearoa New Zealand is exciting. One of the interesting things about it is a schoolwide Achievement Objective for each year level. The one for Year 11 is quoted above. This is not an Achievement Objective that can be assessed by a grade, but by the way a person behaves, particularly when under pressure.

The word “integrity” does of course have many different meanings too. It was with this in mind that all of our new Year 11 courses have been created based on this concept, the concept of “integrity”. This snip of a Google search might help explain this.

Image by: Amy-Rae Rooijackers

By incorporating an understanding of what “integrity” means across all learning in Year 11, not only are we looking to address academic learning but also educating the whole person, holding true to our belief that every ākonga is a taonga who deserves as wide and holistic an education as possible in order to allow for agency and personal development.

A really exciting development for us at St Peter’s, Hato Petera, this year has been the introduction of more culturally focused courses. So many of our ākonga participate in Kapa Haka, after school music and Repertory productions, but we have not been able to cater to their needs here at the kura – now we do in a small way.

“It’s an easy way for me to learn more about my culture and my heritage in a dedicated class” – Te Ao Haka

Te Ao Haka is a culturally responsive art form, providing opportunities for all ākonga to engage in Māori culture, language and traditional practice. Te Ao Haka is founded on traditional knowledge, but is progressive in the development and evolution of the art form. NCEA website

The introduction of Te Ao Haka as a combined Year 10 and 11 programme has been welcomed by ākonga and whānau alike. Described by ākonga as a course where they engage in ako, “working with the teachers, not for them” “in a safe space where we work together to improve our different skills in a safe space”, this course is deeply meaningful for all the ākonga who have selected it. “Te Ao Māori is a huge part of our country – we’re learning waiata, haka, the tikanga of making rewana bread and so much more.” One ākonga spoke of his deepening understanding of his culture and another of being able to do this without “feeling bad about missing class time” the way he did when he goes to Kapa Haka. This dedicated group of ākonga are the nucleus of the 2024 Kapa Haka group which will be teaching the whole kura our new school Haka – watch this space!

When I visited the first time, ākonga were researching waiata to learn and perform, and were able to integrate their own cultural background into the mahi they were doing. The mahi tahi in this class by ākonga Māori and those who are tauiwi, migrants, is a real testament to the authentic living out of Te Tiriti at our place. Under the guidance of Whaea Vanessa, Matua Wayne and Matua Darren, we see the potential of national integrity in Aotearoa in this class.

Image by: Amy-Rae Rooijackers
Image by: Amy-Rae Rooijackers

“Where I get to be myself and follow my passion!” – Performing Arts

Our combined Year 10 and 11 Performing Arts courses this year build on each other. This semester ākonga have been looking at the history of theatre, particularly Elizabethan theatre. Ākonga have been learning about drama techniques, elements and conventions - the elements of structural integrity of a production - in the context of Shakespeare’s Othello. Racial and religious themes have allowed for investigation into the integrity of a person. At the end of this first term, it’s great to hear ākonga express that “it’s exciting – I want to head into acting, theatre and television when I leave school, so this course has been amazing for me.”

Photos here are of their run through of a 10 minute version of Othello. Thank you to the Calvin Church for allowing us to use their stage!

Image by: Amy-Rae Rooijackers
Image by: Amy-Rae Rooijackers

“Learning to be better with money, about investing and crypto…” Year 11Commerce

Building on the hugely successful and popular Year 10 Commerce course last year, so many ākonga chose Commerce this year that the same course will run twice. Working with kaiako Will Byars, who brings with him working experience in the Agri Business sector, our ākonga are relishing being in a class where they are “learning how businesses run”, are “getting to know about finance, cash flow and interest rates”. Buoyed by their year 10 Market Day experiences, ākonga are looking forward to using all the theoretical learning they are doing at the moment to manage their own lives and finances. We’ll update you on how they are going with this in the second part of the semester, next term!

Echoes of Courage: War vs Integrity

Image by: Amy-Rae Rooijackers

The Cultural Lunch experience of the Year 11 “Virtually There” course has already been highlighted in a previous newsletter. Constructed largely by our new and extremely creative Head of Learning of English, Lee-Anne Kortbaoui, this course is helping ākonga explore the world from the comfort of their classroom. Preparation for the Reading and Writing NCEA Co-Requisite assessments next term is pictured above. All ākonga have been practising all term for this online.

In the other English course this semester, ākonga have been studying war literature. The tane, young men, to whom I spoke about this course valued the fact that they were able to “learn about war, history and English” all in one course. They were learning “film techniques while studying Hacksaw Ridge” and loved learning using both poetry and film with Mrs Laura Thomas.

As we approach Anzac Day, which falls in the second week of the holidays, ākonga saw real relevance in diving deep into the ethics and morality of war, making connections to the theme of integrity.

And so, as we reach the end of the first term, I thank all the ākonga who have shared their learning with me as I’ve been into classrooms. I thank all of the kaiako who have shared their creativity, talents and expertise in creating the new courses. There are more courses to shine a light on next term in the newsletter. In the meantime, until then, I wish you all a restful two weeks, until we come together again in the pursuit of helping to shape rangatahi of integrity.