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Te Marautanga o Aotearoa at Te Kura o Herewini

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa at Te Kura o Herewini – Selwyn School: The Spring of Hope – Te Puna o Te Tumanako: Maria Tibble

Te marau ā-kura, he marau ā-whānau, koia te whanaketanga, te poipoitanga o te tamaiti.

Our infographic highlights the work with kura to support and promote Akōnga agency, which is a key to ākonga’s own success. Akōnga will succeed as Māori when they know they are inherently capable and culturally advantaged and know they have unlimited potential.

Nā wai?  Mā wai?  Mō wai? By whom, who will do it and who will benefit?  These questions are crucial to our mahi as Te Marautanga o Aotearoa facilitators. Our job is to support the design, development and implementation of a Marau ā-kura (localised curriculum), for the ākonga, kura, hāpori, hapū and iwi. We want to develop a Marau ā-kura which will acknowledge their heritage, their stories, their histories and their education for the future  generations to come. We want to touch the hearts and minds of the kaiako, whānau, hāpori, hapū and iwi , and inspire, energise and motivate them to shift their aspirations for their tamariki into action. This has a huge impact on the learning and teaching of ākonga and ultimately in raising their achievement.

This is achieved through Marau ā-kura when akōnga:

  • Give voice to their aspirations.
  • Know how they want to learn and know what success may look like for them. 
  • Grow their love of learning to inspire and motivate themselves to want to achieve and succeed.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa facilitators worked alongside kaiako to locate them and their practice in ako, mana, motuhake and kotahitanga. When kaiako were inspired and motivated, and understood the vital role they have in curriculum design, development and implementation, it improved practice. As they became more effective, they were able to raise akōnga achievement by meeting their learning needs.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is also about honouring whānau voice. It is about schools demonstrating respect and care for whānau aspirations. Our infographic highlights how facilitators worked alongside kura to recognise the critical role of whānau, hapū and iwi engagement to the success of their tamariki. This engagement has a major impact on the Marau ā-kura, and ultimately the learning and teaching of ākonga and kaiako.  

Ko Te Mātāpuna, te ihi, te wehi, te wana - Tū tonu rā - kokiri!

Selwyn Primary School is a English medium school situated at the base of Mt Ngongotaha, Rotorua West. It has three classes at junior, middle and senior levels all operating at level 1 Māori immersion. Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is the curriculum document that guides all teaching and learning programmes in the immersion unit. 

Selwyn Primary 1

Selwyn Primary school 2.jpeg

Two stories from the Ministry of Education’s TMOA website, Te Haere Ngātahi me te whānau and He Wero, He Kupu Āwhina discuss the school's journey to developing a graduate profile and marau ā-kura (school based curriculum). The school’s ERO Report 2013/14, acknowledged that they “...have used a high-quality process to develop a graduate learner profile and curriculum content that effectively captures the aspirations of whānau” which affirmed the school’s total commitment to authentic engagement with their whānau. From the outset whānau declared that Te Reo Māori had to be the target language in the unit. The role of the school was to shape and give effect to this.

Strong leadership and effective teaching practice were essential, but not enough on their own. Whānau played a crucial role in improving student achievement and the school ensured they were always ‘invitational, encouraging and sincere’ in their efforts to engage with purpose and heart. 

Facilitators worked collaboratively together with the school community to clarify expectations of individuals and each other. Ways of working led to agreed realistic timeframes which showed care for workloads and commitments. Strong trusting relationships were evident where ‘challenging’ conversations were respectful of differing perceptions. 

The picture below shows the outcome of facilitated collaboration between the school and its community. Harnessing aspirations of whānau and students, and voices of hapū and iwi to inform curriculum design, was vital. ‘Te Mātāpuna’ - their immersion unit name - was born out of these aspirations, discussions with Ngāti Whakaue members, and a desire to align the school’s motto, Te Puna o Te Tumanako with the curriculum.


Whānau hui were held regularly and, with facilitator support, moved to a ‘lens on learning’ and developing a deliberate plan to engage whānau support for student learning at home. The role of whānau in the process was clarified, with the result that  they no longer see learning as the teacher’s sole responsibility. The strength of the relationships and networks added rigour to the Marau ā-kura and identified ‘ways we can all do this together’.  

The facilitator supported ongoing reflection, research and focus on what works for Māori medium students (throughout the school), ensured whānau voice was heard and their aspirations met. As a result there was a system shift that included authentic community engagement, curriculum review and increased effective teacher practice. Seeing the ‘graduate profile’ come alive in classroom programmes has been a liberating experience for whānau.

Next steps

Practice in the future includes implementing an adapted J.L.Epstein model (P 5, Improving Home-School Partnerships with English Language Learning Families, Janelle L. Newman).

Indiana University of Pennsylvaniathrough ongoing whānau surveys in six key areas of Parenting, Communicating, Volunteering, Learning at Home, Collaborating with the Community and Decision Making which reflects a true partnership between home, school and community to support student achievement. The aim is to collaboratively plan a sustainable pathway that results in high levels of student achievement and engagement.


TMOA: The Spring of Hope – Te Puna o Te Tumanako 


Te Marautanga o Aotearoa 

TMOA: Engaging with whānau

For more information about Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, visit the TMOA project page or contact Phoebe Davis.