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Stokes Valley school strives for Maori and Pacific achievement

Sep 3rd, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News


TUI GLEN PRINCIPAL: Philip Benson in his office

STOKES VALLEY’S Tui Glen School has made strides in an area of improvement suggested by its last Education Review Office (ERO) report.

One area was, according to the report, to “develop a deeper understanding of how to foster success for Pasifika and Maori students”.

The school’s recent board of trustees election has delivered eight parent members comprising six Maori, one Pasifika and one of New Zealand European descent.

The board is two meetings in to its new term, but, according to Tui Glen principal Philip Benson, the board elections are not necessarily in themselves addressing the challenge of fostering Maori and Pasifika success.

“The staff and board spent a full day at the [nearby] marae before the beginning of the school year to work on the school charter and values, which are all new.

“It’s not just about the achievement of Maori and Pasifika students, but it’s also about understanding and relationships.

“It’s about the way that families are included in the school and activities are aimed to include people,” Mr Benson said.

The board aims to encourage Pasifika families to be part of the decision-making at the school.

“I’m very proud of the children, staff and families in terms of the Pasifika group and the kapa haka group. The whole school takes part in these things.

“I wouldn’t say this makes us unique, but I think it’s indicative of the school that it’s about inclusion.  We do think of ourselves as a family.

“A lot of the children are actually related, so I’m not sure what everyone’s definition of family would be, but for us it’s about older children and younger children working together and taking part in things together. I think it’s a very positive aspect of the school life and culture.

“Our Pasifika group, the children who have chosen to be a part of that, I would say that less than half of them are actually Samoan or Tongan, possibly the majority are actually Maori, but they’ve chosen to be a part of that because they enjoy what goes on,” Mr Benson said.


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