We are so excited to have opened Waitati Schools first Creatives in School Project.

Te Timataka – The Creation

Nga mihi ki a koutou,

Mō Tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei

 for us and our children after us

Our Creatives in School journey began in 2021 with an application for funding.  Our project was named Papanekeneke Waitati embracing our school value Turangawaewae, connectedness,the place where we stand.

Papanekeneke Waitati embracing our school value Turangawaewae, connectedness,the place where we stand. 

In true transdisciplinary form the project drew from several disciplines,  the  NZ History curriculum, arts curriculum, English and math.  

Our local Kāi Tahu creation story has been our anchor, which tells the story of moving earth (Papanekeneke) from the beginning. 

During 2022, this project interweaved with our school wide projects on 

Ko au te Whenua, Ko Whenua te au.    I am the land and the land is me.

Learning, experiencing through creativity helped us to really dive deeply into the Kai Tahu Creation story. Creativity enables us no matter what our age to view a concept, story or idea from a different perspective. This can lead to transformative change in mindset.   One which is more inclusive, more understanding of people and place. 

Now for the Thank yous,

David Milne, began work in our newly formed ceramics studio on 18th Feb 2022.  David, you have been wonderful.  David has spent over 100 hours with our ākonga during 2022. 

David Milne, our creative, brought experience and gently guided our students through the creative process.  Firstly, honouring each child as the expert, secondly, teaching them ceramic skills with humility. You have taught them   Skills from keeping a notebook with ideas in it, to particular skills needed such as wedging.  Along the way, David shared about his creative journey.  Within this, he mentioned his ceramics business and how he merged this with being a Bee Keeper.  Children have seen the link between the learning and the business. 

Chris Slabbert, our lead teacher, has patiently worked alongside us all.  On March 3rd 2022, we opened Mahi-a-ringa ceramics studio in our school shed.  Chris was the inspiration for this space.  It has been a privilege to work with you Chris in developing our own ceramics studio.  Waitati is full of creatives, and our learners have flourished having access to this.  Along with our learners are the community of Waitati who now have access to another creative space within the village. Thank you for all your hard work throughout the year.

Rua McCullum, our Kai Toko,  and Mauraka Edwards,

Mā te kimi ka kite,

Mā te kite ka mōhio,

Mā te mōhio ka mārama.

Seek and discover. 

 Discover and know.  

Know and become enlightened. 

Nga mihi nui Rua.  Thank you for your patience with us.  For sharing such treasure, the purakau ki Kai Tahu, Te Timataka.  I hope we have done justice.   We have learnt so much.  We have had our understanding challenged in so many ways, and our respect and aroha for Kai Tahu has grown. 

Ākonga – our learners  – how proud are we of you.  You have shown such confidence in sharing your creative ideas.  You are all capable, what you bring is enough.  You are not scared to just get in there and start.  As an adult, there is so much which holds me back.  Your confidence has been outstanding.  One study through Covid linked the existence of a positive relationship between the experiences of a crices  and creativity.  The study found that creative growth was associated with a highler level of flourishing wellbeing.  I believe we saw this.  Having access to a studio, and creatives such as David and Chris, is empowering.  Over the year,  an increase in children being able to self-regulate.  Part of that was because of our focus on creativity. 

Whānau –  Alan our board chair, thank you for being there.  Antony Deaker prior to you, thanks Ant.  Craig, Sinead, Chris, Mark, Raf, Phil, and many others who encouraged us and provided advice. 

Kaiako – Thank you for trusting me.  Thank you for following.  I love you all, you are amazing educators and I hope you feel so proud of the work you contributed to.  

Finally, this project is part one of three.  Palmerston School is working on Part two of the Purakau and Karatane part three.  When they are ready, we will link the projects through qr codes.  We plan to put an information board here explaining the story and how three schools have worked together to bring it retell.