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The marae

Duration: 4:57
Download the video clip for FLV player (23.38 MB)

In this clip, we see Plimmerton School visiting the local marae – where teachers and students can relate in a different way, because of the different context. We hear about the benefits of engaging whānau, and facilitating open dialogue, which in turn improves student learning (due to there being a better appreciation of the backgrounds/needs of Māori students, and a clearer understanding of parental expectations).

Transcript

Plimmerton School staff visited Hongoeka marae for a number of reasons. The main purpose of the visit to the marae is to build relationships.

Maurice Laird – Plimmerton School

Every second year the teachers and parents have come on, and every first year the form 2 students have come and stayed overnight at the last term, prior to them leaving and going to secondary schools.

Kerehi Waiariki Grace – Plimmerton School

I recall the first visit to Hongoeka marae, consultation visit, where the Board visited the marae and I think both sides were relatively nervous about it. There was a certain amount of tension although the communication worked quite well because it was the beginning of a process, that was relatively tense. And over the years we have had successive visits to the marae. There has been of course visits by students, and several noho by staff as well.

Maurice Laird – Plimmerton School

The parents of our children, our tamariki, get to know the teachers in an informal setting, or in their own setting. Most parents go to school when they are asked to come to school because there is something.... you know their kid has been in trouble or something to do with the kid not learning or something like that. So it’s kind of, in a way, a negative experience for them. But with the teachers coming on a regular basis to this marae, at least once a year, and having meetings with the whānau, it makes them a lot more familiar with our culture.

Kerehi Waiariki Grace – Plimmerton School

It’s so important to build relationships with your parents. The school is a community and we need to know the parents, and their strengths, and what they can offer the school and what we can offer them. It’s important to talk to them about our programmes at the school, make sure they know what their tamariki are doing at our school. But we also need to report on progress and achievement, how their kids are doing academically. So the main point in going down was consultation. For our staff, we talked to them about what an amazing opportunity that would be for PD as well.

Kate Jensen – Plimmerton School

The advantages of visiting the local marae are that the growing or the developing relationships improve student learning for a number of reasons. Firstly I think that the staff better understand our Māori students, where they come from, their parents, their backgrounds, and their needs. It’s interesting that the students really closely relate to their teacher when they are at the marae, almost cling onto them a little bit.

Maurice Laird – Plimmerton School

One in particular was a little five year old, he might be six now, and his teacher was down there and he would not leave her alone. He sat under a table watching her eat and then was brave enough to come and sit next to her and have pudding with her. When she got up to walk to get a drink, he walked with her. He was just so excited about her being there, and on the Monday he came to school and he wrote the most amazing story, three page story for a kid that maybe usually writes a page, wrote three pages of great quality stuff about what he ate on the marae, and what he talked about with his teacher. And that is the key really. It is a very very special place. You can come through some pretty stressful times at school. And for us to have come through a stressful time and share something that was really special is a very healing process.

Kate Jensen – Plimmerton School

One staff member said to me that that visit to the noho marae was the point which they felt a fully included member of our staff now. It was a very comfortable occasion. I felt like I was amongst friends. I think that is really the result of the relationships that have been developed over time. Communication has meant that we are much more aligned in our views, and I think the school caters for Māori students and the expectations of the parents from Hongoeka far better than it ever did before.

Maurice Laird – Plimmerton School

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