As a part of the process of consultation, redeveloping the charter and strategic direction of our kura here, the board made a decision to make a change to our mission statement here at school. And what they did is that they identified a whakatauākī that had been associated with the school here for quite some time and that was resurfaced.
And that whakatauākī says:
Iti te kōpara e kai takirikiri ana i runga i te kahikatea
And we interpreted that as striving for personal excellence.
Now that whakatauākī is a very strong visual analogy. The kahikatea is a very big tall white pine tree. It is the tallest tree that you will find in the ngahere. And a kōpara is a small bell bird. And so the visual analogy is that the kahikatea tree is education and the kōpara is the learner, and e kai takirikiri ana is when this little bell bird is working really hard to beat its wings very hard so it can feed at the berries at the top of the kahikatea because those berries are the ones that get the sun so they are the sweetest, ripest, biggest berries. So this little bell bird hasgot to work really hard in order to get to those berries.
So if our children our learners are the bell bird, they have to work very, very hard to be able to gain the fruits from their education. It is not just going to be something that falls into their lap. They have to really strive for excellence in education. They have to work hard for it. We use the word ‘personal’ excellence. That was a very, very deliberate inclusion of that word because we recognise that each of our learners is a unique person. They are all very different and they have all got varying and wonderful inherent potentials within them. And one learner’s inherent potential is going to be different to somebody else’s inherent potential. Therefore excellence for one learner is different for another.
That mission statement was further unpacked in a series of three visioning statements that underpin a lot of what our whānau have identified as what they really want for their kids.
Our children will be achievers who realise their inherent potential and gifts through a love of and commitment to lifelong learning.
The second one is that our children will be bicultural citizens who are secure in their unique identity thus enabling them to take their place in a diverse and changing world.
And the third statement is that our children will be kind, confident, and courageous people of character who make a positive contribution to society.