For Selwyn Ridge School in Tauranga, a whole school approach to wellbeing is about understanding, recognising and implementing the value and importance of the hauora curriculum for their ākonga and kaiako

Selwyn Ridge School is using Te Whare Tapa Whā, developed by leading Māori health advocate, Sir Mason Durie, to strengthen the pou of wairua, hinengaro, tinana and whānau for their learners.

We spoke to kaiako, Erin Neilson, to learn more about the successful implementation of Te Whare Tapa Whā into their curriculum.

“Integrating Te Whare Tapa Whā was such an easy win for us as a kura. We’ve been able to implement this with a huge amount of positivity, creativity, passion and direction for both tamariki and staff.”

“Hauora has been embedded throughout our kura with every classroom having a Te Whare Tapa Whā model on display. Kaiako then make the model come alive in different and dynamic ways for their tamariki.”

Selwyn Ridge School have a key goal for their curriculum - their tamariki will be confident, healthy and actively engaged in their learning focussing on the whakataukī “Kō mana nui ahau - my super power is me!”

“By using Te Whare Tapa Whā and teaching about the wellbeing of self and others enables us to support our kids towards our key goal.”

“We can also highlight the importance of exploring local whenua, connecting with whānau and celebrating individual differences. It supports tamariki to have an understanding of who they are and where they belong which is integral for us as a community.”

Looking at the future

Selwyn Ridge School’s long-term goal for their whole school approach to wellbeing is teaching their tamariki emotional literacy and self-awareness as tools for building self-efficacy so they can embed this in everything they do.

“When our tamariki leave our kura our hope is that they are confident, happy, healthy and active lifelong learners.”

The advice Erin has for any kura wanting to start their whole school approach to wellbeing journey:

“All kura should travel on a wellbeing journey. Emotional literacy is as valuable as all other curriculum areas. We cannot expect children to soar high and achieve their goals if they are unsure of who they are, what they feel and think.”

“Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou - Seek after learning for the sake of your wellbeing”

Hauora in the classroom

Erin had some wonderful ways she is building hauora in her classroom, we loved them so much we thought we'd share them with you!

The Feelings Wall

“This is our feelings wall. Every morning when the children arrive at school they put their photos against their feeling at the time. Our leader of the day calls the roll and each child tells us how they are feeling and how this connects to a whare taha e.g. Kei te harikoa ahau and my hinengaro is feeling strong.”

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“Each child in my class has created their own superhero. We add a celebration/achievement each week to this poster by writing on a stickie.”

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