Rangiātea: Opotiki College

Project focus: creating educationally powerful connections

We must show our children that we love them, that we have high expectations and aspirations for them, that they can achieve anything that a young person anywhere else can achieve and that their learning is the most important thing in our lives because learning matters. (Principal)

Opotiki College is a decile 1 rural school. Māori students make up 80 percent of the roll.

The case study

Key points

Establishing goals and expectations

  • Clear, measurable goals set out for all students.
  • School places emphasis on attendance.
  • Close liaison with contributing schools to ascertain student needs and capabilities.

Strategic resourcing

  • School participates in Te Kotahitanga programme.
  • Māori staff employed in key positions in school.
  • “Opotiki pedadgogy” developed, with recommended and described approaches.
  • Resourcing for restorative justice.

Teaching and curriculum

  • Wide range of activities and trips away to broaden students’ experiences.
  • Collegial system of self-review, peer review and reflective practice supports teacher development.
  • School offers relevant courses of study for all students, including use of Correspondence School Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu.
  • School-wide approach to behaviour management is documented and included in induction for new teachers.

Powerful connections with Māori whānau and community

  • Authentic, multilayered relationships between school, Māori whānau and iwi.
  • Whole person considered important, as well as relationships and connections.
  •  Bilingual option for students up to Year 11.

The exemplar

The Opotiki College exemplar explores the school’s restorative justice approach to behaviour management and its impact on student achievement.

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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