Tārai Kura | March 2022 | Pānui 5

By Diana Wilkes

Welcome to our second pānui for 2022. This month we share ideas and insights from foundation principals around their experiences establishing new schools. The insights provide valuable reading for school leaders who are also going through significant rebuilds/redevelopments. 

This pānui and the next two to come will have articles for you written by those who have or are experiencing establishing a new school – ‘Tumuaki Insights’.  

This week our articles come from Ben Witheford who is an experienced principal currently at Shotover Primary in Queenstown on the South Island. Ben established this school in 2014 and opened in 2015. We also hear from Steve Mouldey who is beginning the foundation tumuaki journey at a new school in the Ōrewa North West community, which will open in February 2023.

Ben suggests three non-negotiables for foundation principals: fit your oxygen mask first, be a learning-focused organisation and develop and grow your culture deliberately. He thoughtfully outlines the experiences, readings and processes that have yielded each as a priority.

Steve shares his ‘brand new fresh’ perspective as he dives deeply into the new school journey. The school is yet to be built and is currently being renamed through an engagement process with mana whenua. Right now relationship building is a priority, and for him, team design, visioning, consultation and property are what is on top.

The threads that are inherently strong for each leader are that your people, your vision and your systems are essential to starting the way you wish to continue. Enjoy reading.

In this pānui we also include the Change Kete for School Transformation. The kete contains rich ideas, guiding pātai and a well curated list of resources to guide your thinking as a school leader engaged in school transformation. 

Thank you from the team at Tārai Kura.

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