Matariki drives discovery

Posted on 21 February, 2017

Napier’s Matariki Community of Learning/ Kāhui Ako is lifting student achievement in Science across the community. Senior students from Hukerere Girls College and William Colenso College have been learning with primary students from their partner schools.

The principles of tuakana-teina were clearly evident as the students rotated through a series of experiments designed to illustrate the chemistry behind changing states of matter.

Fiona Craven, Across-schools Teacher (Science), was impressed by how much all the students gained from working together.

“It was wonderful to see how quickly the students assumed their reciprocal roles. The younger students were respectful of the older students while the older students were stretched to describe things like oxidation and reduction in ways that could be grasped by younger minds. Over the afternoon I saw the questions posed change from ‘Which flame is prettier?’ to ‘Why do you think it’s a different colour?' 'What might be happening?’"

Matariki’s distributed leadership model means each of the seven principals leads an achievement goal. Chris Meynell of Marewa Primary School has responsibility for Science.

“If we can change the children’s perception of Science at primary level, then we are onto a winner in terms of getting those kids to experience success in what is a national priority. It’s a goal for us to look at what we can develop in the primary setting so that they are ready and more engaged in Science at the secondary level”

Across the community there is structured and frequent engagement between the principals, their respective boards of trustees, and teachers - something Chris believes is already delivering benefits.

“One of the features that I’ve found has been the opening up of each other’s schools, There are now relationships between teachers across schools where they can go and visit each other and see each other’s practice and work together.”

“What really binds us together is the absolute belief that our kids can achieve great things.”

The Matariki Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako consists of the following member schools:

  • Henry Hill Primary School
  • Hukarere Māori Girls College
  • Maraenui Bilingual School
  • Marewa Primary School
  • Richmond Primary School
  • Te Awa Primary School
  • William Colenso College