Rangiātea: Kakapo College

Project focus: building relationships

The whole school has the warm feeling that it does because there was a real focus on the pastoral side of the school. The form teacher starts with a class in Year 9 and goes through with them to Year 13. It’s about building relationships. (Principal)

Kakapo College is a decile 9 co-educational school in an urban setting. Māori students make up 16 percent of the roll.

The school chose to remain unnamed, so the pseudonym Kakapo College is used here.

The case study

Key points

Establishing goals and expectations

  • Charter contains strategic long-term goals for Māori student achievement written in clear language.
  • Teachers from every learning area meet to discuss progress of each student.

Strategic resourcing

  • Māori interests are strongly represented on board of trustees.
  • Targeted resourcing of Māori staff in key roles, such as Māori dean and Māori student support.
  • Resourcing for strong pastoral care and extracurricular activities.
  • Resourcing for special initiatives in some subjects.

Curriculum and teaching

  • Curriculum shaped to meet student need.
  • Form teachers monitor academic progress of students across all classes.
  • Students involved in appraisals of classroom teaching.
  • Māori staff feel valued as Māori within school.
  • School leadership constantly looking for new ways to use data to inform teaching and learning.

Building educationally powerful connections with whānau

  • Māori students choose whether to be in whānau class (vertical form class) or mainstream.
  • Principal seeks advice from kaumātua; for example, on matters of tikanga.
  • Wide range of approaches used to communicate with whānau.

The exemplar

The Kakapo College exemplar tells how the school built relationships and modified the curriculum in order to engage the interest of Māori boys in English.

Reflective questions

Reflective questions to help groups and individuals engage with the ideas in the case studies and exemplars:

Rangiātea: reflective questions

Tags: Māori student achievement

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