Early Learning Regional News - 17 August 2021

Regional News / General News / Other News updates from the Directors of Education for Ministry of Education regions.

Tai Tokerau Regional News

Kia ora koutou,Kia ora koutou,

Farewell to Irene Iwikau

Irene Iwikau has retired from her role as ECE Education Manager. I want to acknowledge the significant contribution Irene has made over 20 years in the Ministry. She has provided professional and personal service for our tamariki and mokopuna in early learning services. She has gifted her knowledge and expertise over and above normal requirements of the role to enable participation in early learning to grow across the Tai Tokerau region and contribute to transitions into schooling and lifelong learning. Irene will continue to support early learning kaupapa for a little while longer in a different capacity. 

New staff in the Early Childhood Team

Jody Barrell
Jody Barrell
Deanna Niha

Deanna Niha

Melanie Wilkin

Melanie Wilkin

We welcome Jody Barrell as Education Manager holding the portfolio of early learning alongside two new Senior Advisers; Deanna Niha and Melanie Wilkin. Jody has over 20 years of teaching experience and has previously held SENCO, Deputy Principal an Acting Principal roles. Jody is moving from a Service Manager role in Learning Support to the ECE Education Manager role. Jody is thrilled to start in her new role and focus on the journey of our tamariki in an early learning setting. The life of the child and their journey from cradle to career. 

Jody is committed to the partnership and relationships of the Treaty of Waitangi and knows that what we do for our Māori children will work for all children, without exception.

Melanie Wilkin, Senior Adviser, was born and raised in the Far North in a small village called Pukepoto. Mel comes to the Ministry with over 11 years of experience working in early learning education and has previously managed two early learning centres. Mel has always been passionate about working with tamariki with a philosophy underpinned by whanaungatanga, manakitanga and enhancing each individual’s mana through equitable learning environments.

Deanna Niha, Senior Adviser, lives in Whangārei with her husband and four children with waka ama playing a big part of her whānau relaxation and reset time. Dee has been working and teaching in the early learning sector for 30 years and 21 of those years were spent as a Centre Manager. Dee believes strongly in a mana inspired approach in all that she does and is extremely excited about the journey ahead and the opportunities in this new role.   

Introduction to the Curriculum Lead role in Te Tai Tokerau by Te Riini Henare

“Kia ora koutou, ko Te Riini Kapa-Henare tōku ingoa. I'm a Curriculum Lead in Taitokerau for Māori-medium and early learning.

For me, the most important aspect of the role is putting relationships first and being inclusive of kaiako and all contributing stakeholders – whānau, marae, hapū, iwi and community.

It’s so exciting working, supporting, and walking alongside whānau, hapū, iwi and kaiako in early learning services and kura. I’ve always believed that bringing our own kōrero and histories to life in everyday learning environments will provide change for our Māori tamariki struggling with identity and culture in English-medium schools.

I’m here to assist kaiako in their teaching journey and experience. I work in the background to locate or assist in the creation of resources. It’s such a time saver! This role isn't PLD. It’s support and guidance – and at no cost!

Curriculum Leads | Kaihautū Marautanga are about the whole system learning together and from each other. Their job is to help you make sense of the national curricula so that you can design great learning for ākonga.

Local curriculum | marau-ā-kura is important as it brings local knowledge, stories, and history to life in schools and ELS supports tamariki to see, feel and hear themselves within their learning environment. This is where Māori-medium settings thrive and why they are successful. Learning about where we live and the stories of the land we reside on is so important for everyone to have in their kete mātauranga to understand the ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘where’ of their community.”

Mauri ora,

Hira Gage
Director of Education Tai Tokerau
Phone: 09 436 8914
Email: hira.gage@education.govt.nz 

Waikato Regional News

Kia ora koutou,

There are a number of important work streams being addressed by the Ministry. One thing I have noticed is how frequently I am seeing colleagues from the sectors coming in and contributing to thinking. These partnerships are something we are keen to grow as we move into a new way of operating. The partnerships not only add depth to our thinking but also ensure there is a regional flavour to the work that is being done.

New Zealand has done extremely well to keep COVID-19 out for the last 12 months, but it is inevitable that at some point we will have another outbreak. We all need to review our processes around how we will manage alert level changes. Think about it like the emergency practices we do for fires, lockdowns, and earthquakes. We need to be well organised and prepared. In response to the Delta variant of COVID-19 it is likely there will be some changes to procedures relating to how we move into different levels, and timeframes may be shorter than in the past. Keep a look out for updates on these procedures.

Ngā mihi,


Te Wiki o te Reo Māori - 13 ki 19 Mahuru 2021

It’s almost that time again where we all celebrate Māori Language Week. “Kia Kaha te Reo Māori - Let’s make the Māori language strong”. Did you know that Te Wiki o te Reo Māori has been celebrated in Aotearoa New Zealand since 1975? It acknowledges and celebrates the Māori language as a unique cultural treasure for all New Zealanders. There are plenty of resources and ideas to include in your service’s celebrations available on the TKI website and don’t forget that the recently published resource Talking Together, Te Kōrerorero provides support for kaiako to integrate te reo Māori in early learning settings, recognising that this is essential for providing a rich oral language environment for all tamariki.

Te Wiki o te Reo Māori - TKI website(external link)
Talking Together, Te Kōrerorero(external link)

HS34 Incident Notifications/ Serious Incidents

A reminder if you need to notify a specified agency of a serious injury, illness or incident involving a child while at your service please ensure that the Ministry of Education is informed at the same time. You can send a copy of the notification to enquiries.hamilton@education.govt.nz mailbox. There will be times that we may need to follow up with you to ensure all regulatory requirements are being met. If you need further clarification as to the type of incidents that require a notification please see the licensing criteria.

HS34 Incident notification to the Ministry of Education(external link)

In addition, please ensure that serious incidents that may not require notification to a specified agency are still reported to the above mailbox. An example of this would be a child leaving the service without the knowledge of adults at the service. We may be able to support you to improve practices at your service.

SELO update

Thank you for all the interest in the SELO presentation looking at the Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities. Our intention is to offer further presentations throughout our region in the coming months. A SELO provider will be in touch directly with the Service Provider from your service with more information regarding dates and venues.

The Big Art Day Out

Recently a group of Hamilton ECE teachers have worked with facilitators from Educational Leadership Project to engage in art experiences that can be meaningfully shared with mokopuna in their individual settings. It has been exciting to read comments and reflections from kaiako. These show shifts in thinking and practice as participants have explored their own feelings about art and discovered new ways to use art as a medium to improve literacy outcomes and to explore Māori values and concepts aligned with Te Whāriki 2017 with tamariki at their services.

Art projects being displayed on table

Paint resources on table.

If your early learning service, kōhanga reo or playgroup has a story of success or celebration that you would like to share with the wider Waikato region, please email it through to linda.baxendine@education.govt.nz. We are always happy to receive contributions.

Marcus Freke
Director of Education Waikato
Email: marcus.freke@education.govt.nz

Bay of Plenty | Waiariki Regional News

Kia Ora and Talofa Lava,

As beneficial and thought provoking that looking after another region is, it is also comforting to be back “home” on familiar territory. Thanks to Dawid for being the Director while I was away, and welcome to Marcus Freke, recently appointed Director of Education for Waikato.


In light of the Government’s latest response to how we respond to COVID, it is timely to remind everyone to review their planning for any resurgence or lock-down situations we may have. The notice for change to alert levels will be much shorter so forward planning is vital. We have done this before team but some key questions for you and teams to consider:

  • Do you have a pandemic plan and distance learning plan? What support might you need from us now to help you?
  • Do your parents know what your plans are?
  • Does your planning consider those children who might be living in crowded conditions? Have you identified children and whānau who might need additional support?
  • Are there staff who may need additional support if there is a lock-down and do you have a staff wellbeing register?
  • Are you regularly reminding everyone to scan QR codes?
  • Is your centre’s QR code visibly displayed at your main door and reception area?

Early Learning Symposia

We know how much you enjoyed and benefitted from our previous symposia and you will understand why we didn’t manage to hold one last year but planning for this year is now well underway.

Early Learning Symposia
Friday 5 November Saturday 6 November
Centre Leaders and Managers Early Learning Teachers
Te Puia
Hemo Road

Te Puia
Hemo Road

We are planning these two days with a strong focus on the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP). These priorities direct government and education sector activities towards the actions that will make the biggest difference and ensuring that we are able to strengthen the education system to deliver successful outcomes for all learners/ākonga.

Details about the programme and registration will follow shortly.

Matariki and the Rotorua Japanese Playgroup

The following piece has been written by Chrissy Russell Senior Adviser Early Learning who attended this event.

On 11 July 2021 Matariki was celebrated by the Rotorua Japanese playgroup families at Tangatarua Marae (Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology). The playgroup has reciprocal relationships with a number of organisations and is supported by, Kai Rotorua Inc, Rotorua Japanese Community, Rotorua Racco (Japanese Drum team), Sing in Unity Gospel Choir and the Multicultural Council.

Harina Rupapera (Rotorua Kai Inc) shared her kōrero on Matariki and what this means for tangata whenua. She mentioned that as a Japanese community, “you too may well celebrate Matariki in your culture and with your words”, this kōrero was well received. At the conclusion of her kōrero the chair person Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea (Kai Rotorua Inc), put out a wero (challenge) to the Japanese playgroup and the Japanese community, “I would like you all to learn waiata for Matariki 2022 celebration” and come together with us. Thought provoking I’m sure.

Waiata tautoko and kai karakia followed. Where we were all invited to part-take in kai prepared by the Japanese families and dishes brought in by other cultures. Mika and Brendan Squibb, their boys, many other families, supporters and guests concluded the celebrations of Matariki with delicious Japanese delicacies and a variety of other foods. What a privilege to attend such a beautiful celebration. Thank you Rotorua Japanese playgroup and Rotorua Japanese community.
Kia ora mo tēnei whakanui

Japanese playgroup pose in front of Marae

From Left to Right; Yumiko Kawano with Mika Russell; Brendan Squibb; Mika Squibb; Arlo Russell; Harina Rupapera; Te Rangikaheke Kiripatea

Staffing Matters

Last month Dawid reported on several staffing matters including us recruiting for a Manager Education in Rotorua. This is the position that Nancy Macfarlane held and is currently being looked after by Merle. Merle isn’t applying for the position and we are still in the process of looking to fill this position. We are looking for someone with an education background (early learning, primary, kura, wharekura or secondary) and with leadership experience. The role is preferably based in the Rotorua office and looks after schools in the Rotorua, Taupō, Turangi areas and the early learning services across the region. This role could be a secondment or on a fixed term basis for a period of up to 12 months. For a copy of the job description please contact Pennie Muldoon on 07 3497464 or by email at pennie.muldoon@education.govt.nz.

Deana Rika who we recently appointed to the role of Lead Adviser Whānau Engagement has taken a secondment into the role of Strategic Adviser Māori – this is the role that Tina Leach held with the other Strategic Adviser Māori being Sunny Wikiriwhi. I am now looking to second someone into the Lead Adviser - Whānau Engagement – if you know of anyone you think maybe suitable, they can contact Pennie Muldoon as above.

If you would like to discuss anything feel free to email me at ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz or contact me directly on 027 296 8196

Nga mihi nui,

Ezra Schuster
Director of Education Bay of Plenty – Waiariki
Phone: 07 349 8309
Mobile: 027 296 8196
Email: ezra.schuster@education.govt.nz

Hawke's Bay | Tairāwhiti Regional News

Tēnā koutou e ngā rangātira. Nga mihi o te tau hou ki a koutou,

The last weeks COVID scare at the Tauranga Port has been an important reminder for us, that at any stage we could find ourselves in a change of level situation very quickly. Although we have managed elimination incredibly well as a country, we need to continually have our own preparation strategies ready to go if given short notice of a change. Now is a good time to re-look at your COVID emergency plans.

Te Mahau

The changes that are going on within the re-structure of the Ministry of Education (Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga) towards a more responsive, connected and accessible Te Mahau (our location) within Te Whare of te Mātauranga, are beginning to take shape for us. This includes the appointment of the new Hautū (Deputy Secretary) of our Mahau (Te Tai Whenua), which is in progress. To ensure we are preparing for the change and ensuring our schools and early learning voices are being heard within the change process, we are planning/undertaking a range of engagement strategies at a regional level. These will include opportunities to wānanga and provide your voice through already planned hui with the Ministry.

If you would like to know more about how to engage with the Te Mahau conversation, please email Hayley.genet@education.govt.nz.

Iwi led and Ministry of Education supported whānau engagement strategy

Victor Walker (Tairāwhiti) and Tawehi Munro (Hawke’s Bay) are our Strategic Advisors Māori. They are working alongside iwi and hapū groups to support the development of Whānau Engagement with education. In Tairāwhiti, Victor and our education team are working alongside Maru Whakatipu (iwi education collective) as they co-design their strategy to support whānau engagement. In Hawke’s Bay, Tawehi is working alongside the four Hawke’s Bay Taiwhenua as they design their respective strategies. Both engagement strategies are involving; whānau, agencies, schools, kura and Kāhui Ako.

Exploring the role of Kawanatanga

A couple of weeks ago we hosted a Public Service Leaders wānanga facilitated by Te Huia Bill Hamilton, on the role of Kawanatanga within a treaty framework and its relationship to Rangatiratanga. A key learning, I took from the wananga is the way we talk about equity and equality.

When we talk about equality it is often misleading as people are often only referring to equal opportunities and inputs, rather than equal outcomes. This is misleading as equal inputs and opportunities are only truly equal when both groups already have equal outcomes. Therefore, we need to re-frame the discussion from equal inputs to equity of inputs, to ensure we achieve equal outcomes. Equal outcomes means such things as; equal average income, equal quality and ownership of housing, equal health outcomes, equal education outcomes etc. Within the Treaty framework, we as Kawanatanga need to ensure we take on an equity lens towards inputs to ensure we are supporting and enabling the system to create equal outcomes for our Māori tamariki and whānau.

Emergency Planning Workshops

Last week we held two emergency planning workshops for schools/kura and early learning services/kōhanga reo in Napier and the tsunami evacuation zones with Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence. This was an opportunity to discuss hazards in Hawke’s Bay and their impacts and to cover the key elements of a good emergency plan so we can prepare for and respond to an emergency and keep ākonga and kaimahi safe.

Attendees watch presentation at emergency planning workshop.

We have further workshops planned as follows:

Hastings/Havelock/Flaxmere areas
When Tuesday 24 August
Venue Magdalinos Room, Havelock Function Centre, 30 Te Mata Road
3.30pm - 5pm Schools/kura
5.30pm - 7pm Early learning services/ kōhanga reo
Central Hawke’s Bay
When Tuesday 7 September
Venue Scallywaggs Kindergarten, 9 Russell Street, Waipukurau
5.30pm - 7pm Early learning services/ kōhanga reo
Schools/kura workshop was held previously

Please contact Samantha Vernon, Principal Advisor to the Director at Samantha.vernon@education.govt.nz for further information.

As always, please feel free to email me at daniel.murfitt@education.govt.nz or call me on 06 833 8475 if there is anything you’d like to discuss or if you have any good news stories you would like us to share.

Ngā manaakitanga,

Daniel Murfitt
Director of Education Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti
Phone: 06 833 8475
Email: daniel.murfitt@education.govt.nz

Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū Regional News

Ngā mihi maioha ki a koutou katoa,

Welcome to the August Bulletin. The daffodils are starting to appear so spring must be just around the corner.

Ministry of Education – Licensing zoom hui

During June and July, the early learning team held a number of zoom hui to discuss a range of topics relating to the Licensing Criteria, 2008. We have now presented four hui to early learning services across the region with great attendance and positive feedback.

We would love to hear your feedback about previous hui and any ideas for topics that could be covered at future hui. Please send any feedback to Nicole.hobbs@education.govt.nz

Playgroup News

Congratulations to Good Seed Trust on their opening day of Good Seed Supported Playgroup in Bell Block, New Plymouth. The Playgroup opened their doors to the community on the 23 July with a fun open day and blessing and was officially named “Purapura Pai He Pā Tākaro”.

Purapura Pai He Pā Tākaro is located at the Northpoint Baptist Church, Bell Block. This Playgroup is free for all and operates Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays from 9am to 1pm.

Playgroups provide whānau with another choice of early learning education. The focus is on parents learning alongside their tamariki in an inclusive, relaxed, and stimulating environment with the support of other parents and Natalie the co-ordinator.

If you would like more information, feel free to pop in or check out their Facebook page.

Playgroup members pose for photo.
From back left; Sharon Ledua; Aioi Iona-Fruean; Karleen Roache; Liz Paovale; Chrissy Ikiua; Kendra Tike.
Front row from left; Caleb; Ariana Prescott; Helen Senior; Natalie Owen; Liana Senior-Lafu.

Playgroup Funding

Playgroup operational funding is now open for the July to December period. Thank you to all those parents and volunteers who have submitted their PG5 funding reports. If you have not yet submitted these, can you please do so as soon as possible as this will ensure your operational funding is approved and paid on time. If your playgroup would like to apply for a Special Grant, please contact us using the details below.

Updating Playgroup Details

It is important that the Ministry has the most current details for your playgroup. If your playgroup has had a change of contact person/s, postal addresses, change of venue, days of operation or bank account details, please notify us. Incorrect details may result in delayed funding.

Education Advisers for Playgroups

For general playgroup enquires or funding related support Ann-Cherie or Suzanne can be contacted on the following details:
Ann-Cherie Phillips
Email: Anncherie.phillips@education.govt.nz
Phone: 06 349 6311
Mobile: 027 234 9467

Suzanne Beenen
Email: suzanne.beenen@education.govt.nz
Phone: 06 7576 434
Mobile: 027 304 4443

Please contact me using the details below if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi,

Marlene Clarkson
Director of Education Taranaki, Whanganui, Manawatū
Phone: 06 349 6304
Mobile: 027 275 1450
Email: marlene.clarkson@education.govt.nz

Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast

ECE Regional Workshop

Thank you to those who attended our workshop on Thursday 22 July. Many of you joined online and it was good to have some attendees join us in person at our Nelson office.

A copy of the presentation is available; please contact your education adviser if you would like a copy to be emailed to you.

As always, your feedback is appreciated along with ideas for future workshops.

Attendees of regional workshop sit around a table

Attendees of regional workshop sit around a table

Services impacted by severe weather events

I would like to acknowledge the hard work and resilience of those working in the parts of our region that were affected by the recent severe weather events. Our thoughts have been with those communities. Our staff at the Ministry of Education have been connecting with services over the worst hit period and one service operating in Westport is operating from a temporary venue whilst its premises are repaired.

Westport Early Learning Centre

After just over two weeks without a centre to go to each day, the tamariki of Westport Early Learning Centre have a new space to operate from. Unfortunately, the centre suffered substantial damage after the recent flooding in Westport, and significant repairs are needed to be undertaken throughout the premises. A temporary location needed to be found for the centre as soon as possible to limit the disruption to tamariki and their whānau. The local rugby clubroom was the chosen venue. The centre staff, alongside the support of the community have worked extremely hard to create a welcoming home away from home, a warm environment to bring some familiarity and consistency back into their lives.

We would like to thank everyone involved; it has been a huge effort!

We look forward to supporting Westport Early Learning Centre back into their original premises as soon as repairs are complete.

Team from Westport Early Learning Centre pose for photo.

Andrea Williams
Director of Education Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast
Phone: 04 4638686
Email: Andrea.Williams@education.govt.nz

Canterbury | Chatham Islands

Kia ora,

I hope your year is going well and we continuously appreciate your support of our tamariki and whānau.

As well as receiving information through our monthly bulletin, or directly from our regional team you can also keep up to date through the changes in education on our website.

Ministry of Education (external link)

This includes information across a number of areas of education policy and practice.  

Making referrals for learning support services

You can request a copy of the latest Request for Support form by emailing Referrals.canterbury@education.govt.nz

Alternatively, you can download a Request for Support form from our website - scroll down to where the form is located under Canterbury, Chatham Islands region. You might like to save this link in your favourites. 

Learning support services(external link)

When completing Request for Support Forms please ensure that writing is clear and legible and that all details on the form are completed.

If all the correct information is received it will speed up the processing of the request. Emailing these back to us is the preferred way of receiving these. We are receiving many different versions and it would be appreciated if the current form is used.

Curriculum resources

This new curriculum design diagram supports intentional decision making and includes helpful prompts to consider when designing and reviewing a culturally responsive local curriculum. Great for short, medium and long term planning. 

Local Curriculum Design Guide

The diagram can be found on the Te Whāriki online website

Local curriculum design guide – Te Whāriki online(external link)

Te Kōrerorero / Talking Together 

Our early years and learning support teams have been exploring this new resource designed to support oral language. The intentional practice cards include strategies that can be implemented across the curriculum to strengthen how kaiako support language pathways. A digital copy is located under Mana Reo / Communication in the Teaching Strategies and Resources section of Te Whāriki Online. The resource will be unpacked at the upcoming Futures Network hui Tuesday 14th September

Te kōrerorero | Talking together - Te Whāriki Online(external link)

If you want to connect with our Kaihautū Mārautanga / Curriculum Lead team in Waitaha, please contact Kathryn O’Connell-Sutherland on this email canterbury.cl@education.govt.nz.

Toothbrushing a part of the day at He Manu Hou

He Manu Hou bilingual early learning centre in Timaru are the first early learning centre in South Canterbury to implement a toothbrushing programme. The centre, along with Arowhenua Māori School, piloted the evidence-based toothbrushing programme in South Canterbury, Te Hā o Aoraki – The breath of Aoraki. He Manu Hou kaiako, Missy King said, “Through trial and practice we have developed a paraihe ngā niho (toothbrushing) routine, which is working well for us, and is a regular part of our curriculum. He Manu Hou is a mixed aged kaupapa Māori setting, so we had to figure out how this was going to work for ngā tamariki kātoa (all children). Tamariki are involved in this programme from when their baby teeth break through”.  

As part of the programme He Manu Hou have supported whānau and tamariki through ongoing conversations and education around healthy teeth and kai.Tamariki brush their niho (teeth) after lunch. “Tamariki are really keen to brush their niho (teeth) and pack up their pouaka kai (lunchbox) when they see the toothbrushing being set up. This is Ako in practice, as our older and younger tamariki are learning and doing together”, said Missy.
“It’s great to see our tamariki supported with the knowledge of ‘how’ to brush their teeth,” according to one whānau member.
“The mahi that the He Manu Hou kaiako have invested in this programme has led to the best practical ways to implement the programme within our early learning setting. These findings are being shared with other centres to support the implementation of Te Hā o Aoraki within their space,” said Missy. 

The programme is a collaboration between the South Canterbury District Health Board, the local public health unit Community and Public Health, Community Dental Service, and Arowhenua Whānau Services. 

South Canterbury District Health Board’s Director of Māori Health, Joseph Tyro, is encouraged by the findings of the pilot programme. “We’ve trialled the programme locally and are now very confident this programme will make a positive contribution to the oral health of children in South Canterbury. We are excited to see this programme rolled out to more early learning centres and schools in our region.”

The rollout of the toothbrushing programme, delivered by WAVE (Wellbeing and Vitality in Education), kicked off in June in early learning centres, with the WAVE team doing presentations to kaiako (teachers) to introduce the programme. WAVE Child Nutrition and Oral Health Promoter, Hacer Tekinkaya said, “Having a healthy smile is important and we want all tamariki to have the opportunity to brush their teeth and learn basic oral hygiene from an early age.”

South Canterbury District Health Board’s dentist Aravind Parachuru reiterates the value the programme adds. “We know that this programme works to reduce cavities, and the pilot programme has also shown us that it helps tamariki to remember to brush their teeth at home, which is fantastic” he said. 

Three children brushing their teeth

Four children brushing their teeth.

Futures Network

Please note that all meetings of this network will be held in the Ministry of Education Conference Room (ground floor), Te Ureti, cnr Hereford St and Cambridge Terrace. Dates for the second half of 2021 are:

Tuesday 14 September, 9.30 – 11.30am 
Tuesday 16 November, 9.30 – 11.30am

The closest public parking is the West End parking building – entry via Cashel St. There are also council owned public parking buildings in Lichfield St and at the Art Gallery with the first hour free (check that this offer is still available). 

Enjoy this month’s bulletin. 

Mā te wā,

Coralanne Child
Director of Education for Canterbury | Chatham Islands
Phone: 03 378 7345
Mobile: 0274 200 251
Email: coralanne.child@education.govt.nz

Otago | Southland Regional News

Kia ora koutou and warm Pasifika greetings.

I hope you are coping with the variable weather at this time of year, where despite the lighter evenings and the early rhododendrons, you will still be rushing the children indoors at times to avoid the snow and hail showers!

Following the very successful NELP and Ka Hikitia workshop we are keen to engage with you about the nature of future workshops and also want to hear you views on how we can work together under our new ministry Te Mahau structure.

Te Mahau Consultation

You will be aware of recent announcements about the establishment of Te Mahau (formally referred to as an ESA) as part of the redesign of Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga – Ministry of Education. Te Mahau will deliver new supports and services to schools and early learning services.

We are keen to provide opportunity for the wider education sector to help influence and strengthen regional responsiveness. We will be engaging with your sector representatives, over the next few weeks, to gain some insights about how we can support each other.

He kai kei aku ringa: Connecting the docs

On Saturday August 7, Jessica Tuhega (Curriculum Lead) presented a workshop with Paia Taani (Otago University – Te Tumu) at the Hui-ā-tau for early years kaiako run by the Otago University College of Education. This hui provided an opportunity for early years kaiako to come together to korero about work related to the implementation of Tiriti based practices. The keynote speakers included Lesley Rameka and Brenda Soutar who are currently working with the Ministry of Education’s Early Learning team to develop a te reo Māori version of the goals and learning outcomes of Te Whāriki that are grounded in a te ao Māori perspective.

Jess and Paia presented a workshop titled “He kai kei aku ringa: Connecting the docs,” which provided kaiako with an opportunity to critically examine tiriti-based teaching practices within early learning services and make connections between the four articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Te Whāriki, Tātaiako, Ka Hikitia – Ka Hāpaitia, and the National Education Learning Priorities (NELP).

The workshop was well attended and the feedback very positive. At the end of the workshop participants shared that they could now see how “easily” the documents connected, related to existing practice and that they were not something to be “afraid” of. Kaiako also expressed confidence around knowing how to continue using these documents to strengthen tiriti-based practice and their own capabilities around meeting the Te Tiriti o Waitangi standard and sharing this new knowledge with colleagues.

Workshop Opportunities

We have received positive feedback from the NELP workshops held earlier this year and are keen to follow on with another series early next term. If you have any areas that you would like updates on, we would welcome your suggestions.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss any issues or ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Ngā mihi mahana,

Julie Anderson
Director of Education Otago-Southland
Direct dial: 03 471 5217
Mobile: 027 836 4846
Email: julie.anderson@education.govt.nz

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