It is through our focus at HPSS on the concepts of manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, especially in those very important days at the start of the year, that we bring these concepts to life. While any of the one events I outline below would occur in most schools I'm proud of the complete, cohesive approach we follow.
It begins in August of the previous year when we hold individual 30 minute enrolment interviews with the whole family. I attempt to run the vast majority of these but my SLT support (especially over the first 3 days). The hui is centred entirely on getting to know each other and is guided by the following questions:
- What is the student looking forward to about coming to our school?
- What is the student most anxious about coming to our school?
- What are the parents most looking forward to about their child coming to our school?
- What are the parents most anxious about their child coming to our school?
- What does the child enjoy learning the most? What do they least enjoy/find the most challenging?
- What are the child's aspirations through and beyond school?
- What are the parents' expectations of us as a school.
It continues in November when we bring Year 8 students into our school for half a day to participate in our Big Project Exhibition where they interact with our students and their projects to whet their own appetite for such learning.
Then in late November we have an Orientation Day for all of our students who have chosen to enrol with us for the following year. This day is entirely focused on manaakitanga and begins with a mihi whakatau (my highlight is cooking the barbecue and serving the Year 8 students for lunch - though my PA is moving in on my place behind the BBQ so feeling a bit threatened!), and on whanaungatanga. Unlike in other schools there is absolutely no testing. Students are allocated to their Learning Communities and participate in a range of interactive and physical activities that get them to know each other, get to know their teachers and to be introduced into our design thinking approach to learning.
|New staff induction|
|Senior students supporting International Student Induction|