Part of the reason for writing a diary of my journey this term is to reflect on what I have been learning but also to document the path we are following towards starting a brand new school. This is such a different start from just changing schools and I really feel honored to be a part of it. Others have also been doing reflections and it is good to see this journey from different points of view. Karyn Gray (one of our SLT) has written a blog that sums up week one. You can read it here. I find it interesting comparing her viewpoint from my own and seeing how the SLT have been planning each activity.
During this week we also had "Random Acts of Kindness" (ROAK) happening. We picked names out of a hat and over the week, there were many little gifts, comments and cards being given out. A difficult task as we don't have desks or personal spaces, so there was a lot of stealth and asking others to help out.
Day OneThe main focus of the first day was on our Cultural Narrative. We were very lucky to have Corban in again to help Mel go through our affiliations and talk us through the background of the naming of Haeata, our hapori and many of the wayfinding areas of our new site.
They talked us through the history of Ngāi Tahu and gave us an explanation of Te Rūnanga O Ngāi Tapu (TRONT) as opposed to the Rūnanga, of which we are affiliated to Te Ngāi Tūāhuriri Runanga. After this we worked in pairs to learn more about other Rūnanga and we created a document with information on to share with others.
I was really interested to hear about the origins of the names for our hapori. They are all connected and show the path of water flowing from Years 1-13. We went on a trip around to see many of these places, where Corban Te Aika told us of the cultural significance and gave us some history around them.
1 - Hikuawa - spring of the water
2 - Kaunuku - flowing water
3 - Kōrepo - swamp marsh bog
4 - Ihutai - estuary, before going out to big wide water
Each hapori also has a siapo design that relates to the name which relates back to the narrative. The community was consulted on all of the names, with the closing schools also given the opportunity to put forward names that were important to their schools. The Pasifika and European communities were also consulted and there are many names being used on our new site.
In the afternoon we did some more work on the Principles, presenting these to each other and then listened to more digital korowai as we continue to get to know each other. One of the staff mentioned this video The People vs the School System in their presentation, which I had seen before but forgotten about.
Day TwoToday started with our hapori taking the karakia, himene and mihi - dressed in our lycra and fluorescent gear! It was Andy Kai Fong and Karyn Gray's birthdays, both turning 50 today so a double special day. Each hapori took a session this morning and we embarrassed them as much as possible with our hapori getting the Green Goddess to take them through a gentle workout (hence the fluoro). We had a shared morning tea - I swear I have eaten more than ever in a week since being here - and then listened to Rebecca and Jess describe our Transition scheme. It is a big job enrolling the large number of students coming into Haeata next year, all for the first time. The gathering of information from kura and whanau is vital to help us support our learners and in particular those with diverse learning needs.
Day ThreeToday we spent the day at the Vodafone Xone in the centre of Christchurch. It was an opportunity to go to a different venue, have a look around the centre of town and spend time in a different space. We had a workshop on the Dispositions of Haeata. These are:
We were paired together to look at what we felt these meant to us, and after sharing our ideas we went out into the community to ask them what they thought about one particular disposition. We had Contributor and came up with the question " What does it mean to you to be a contributor in a school setting?". One of the answers we got from a Polytech student which we really liked was to "positively influence the culture of the school". We then made playdoh models of our disposition (I am so not an artist in any way shape or form) and these were put onto a slide show so we all had to guess which disposition has been portrayed. Some were really easy - others were not!
We then split into our hapori and talked about our next steps. We need to work out how we are going to work together so everyone has been asked to think about our ways of working, our roles and look at sharing our own ideas, dreams, pedagogies and experiences. We then went out and had a drink together and got to know each other more, with some crazy story telling and some laughs.
Day FourI started the day meeting with Andy to talk about our itinerant music lessons. This is very difficult to work out as we have no idea of numbers or of what instrumental tuition we may need. We really cannot make any decisions until we see the students next year.
We had some time in the morning (Mai Time) to do our own work and I spent time on reflections and writing up a list of music resources that we will use from the closing schools.
Our next block was with our hapori, looking at how we will work together and getting to know each other more. We looked at what we expect from our kaiārahi and our SLT and fed this back to them. We also had another look at the values and what they meant to us.
The afternoon was spent playing a curriculum futures game. This was a really entertaining afternoon with each group arguing for a specific type of curriculum. Many laughs were had, but also many valid arguments. Our group had the project based, community curriculum and we managed to come 1st equal. It was really interesting, as each of the groups had their merits and I felt that what we need in a school is a mix of all of them. You can read more about this game here - or play the online version.
Day FiveOur day started with some more digital korowai and then went into a dispositions workshop. We looked at the answers to people's playdoh models and got a few people to explain them further, as they were fairly abstract! We then got to look at all our dispositions and make comments on them. I found that many crossed over from one to another. It has been great to have this time to look at these, but also to have input into what they may look like for us and our ākonga. Andy ended up wearing someone's halo from our RAOK gifts, which had us all laughing. More Mai time after this to work on our reflections and talk with other staff and then after lunch Andy had us moving into continuums around a range of statements. This was interesting to see how people interpreted each statement but also who was at each end of the spectrum. For example, I am both an extrovert and an introvert depending on the situation.
The rest of the afternoon was answering our questions on the Wonder Wall. We had put a lot of questions up here and it was good to get some answers, even if it was just "we don't know yet".