Whole-School Approach to Hauora

Why we're exploring...

If you read The Creation of Sparklers page, you know that Sparklers arose in response to kaiako requesting tautoko with tamariki post Christchurch-earthquakes. We didn’t know Sparklers would quickly shift from a Canterbury to a national focus, and here we are 6 years later with statistics telling us that Sparklers is present throughout 78% of kura in Aotearoa. We are amazed!

We want to explore how we can support you with extending your wellbeing mahi wider. Heaps of you are already doing this and we have all had diverse experiences along the journey. There’s literature on ‘why’ it’s important to build a whole school approach to wellbeing, but knowing ‘how’ to go about it can be where it gets a bit tricky.

We rate Lucy Hone and Denise Quinlan’s book The Educator’s Guide to Whole School Wellbeing because it really sets the scene. It’s from Aotearoa, based on tonnes of research, is full of resources, and doesn’t ask that we follow a one-size-fits-none approach - that ticks many of our boxes!

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We’ll be using this book as a guide for learning more about whole-school approaches. We can offer starting points, tips, and sharing ideas - keep an eye on our weekly newsletter for inspiration. We recommend you track your progress of everything you’re trialling and implementing. And if there are any more resources we can develop that would be helpful to you and your kura, reach out to us ([email protected]).

So, first thing... get your hands on a copy of Denise and Lucy's book, share this page with school or kura leaders who are curious too and spend a little bit of time reflecting. We've created a worksheet to support this process here.

Next, consider the different aspects of your kura and start a kōrero. Where is the best place to focus on? What are the practical steps? You get to discover what is best for you kura as you cultivate from within your unique culture and identity. This framework, from Worth-It Positive Education, provides a clear indication of the areas to think about before you begin rolling out your initiatives.

According to Lucy Hone (and what many kaiako are saying to us), the greatest help is having a forum to share what’s working and what’s not for your whole school approaches to wellbeing. That’s what we’re here for! There are over 5,000 kaiako in our Teachers Sparklers FB group and we see our role as providing space for you to share with one another. You can comment on the pinned traffic light posts, in this rōpū, to share what’s working, what’s not, and what you’ve refined to fit your kura. Remember, we’re all in this together.

Get inspired by stories from other kura.

Lucy Hone speaks to Whole School Approach

A wee bit of reflecting on your whole school approach to wellbeing...

We’ve been reflecting on how Matariki has enabled schools to connect with tamariki, whānau and the wider community.  As part of this, we'd love to know your thoughts on these questions:

  • What did you notice for your tamariki after having their whānau and wider community with them for your event?
  • What did you notice about the whānau you saw - were there any emotions you visibly saw?
  • How did you feel at that time, and now as you reflect on that time together?

We’re not suggesting you need to recreate events like this each week, but looking at the essence of what you created together, the memories and the emotions - these are the inspirations to start (and continue!) our whole-school approach to hauora.

Flicking through Lucy Hone and Denise Quinlan’s excellent book (and guide) The Educators’ Guide to Whole School Wellbeing, this quote really struck us. It’s from Jess Patrick at St Peter’s Cambridge, referring to Zig Ziglar’s quote

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

Jess’s advice is invaluable when she says,

“Our wellbeing journey started with a desire to be brave.”

How can you and your school be brave again like you were at Matariki?

Some beginning of term starters...

We've have had lots of pātai around how to even begin this conversation… We think that you as kaiako and teachers have a beautiful platform to start this kōrero from.

Some ideas you could try:

  • Hui with your leadership team or Tumuaki to approach the idea of a school-wide approach and what the expectations could be.
  • Kōrero in your team hui as a pinned agenda item.
  • Connect with fellow kaiako to create a wellbeing working group (we can help with this, reach out to have you name on the list to network with fellow local kaiako who are wellbeing leads and hauora enthusiasts).
  • Get the tamariki involved! Kōrero with them about what they think would support their wellbeing at school? Te Whare Tapa Whā is a great framework to have this kōrero.
  • Engage your kaiako to find out what they need to feel supported with this kaupapa?
  • Share some ideas from case studies about how other schools bring a sparkle to school life. You can share your story with us verbally or upload a video on Sparklers TV for our Sparklers kaiako community, get in contact with us today.

We know that beginning a whole school approach can seem like a daunting task but find comfort in knowing you are likely already doing many things. We are here to support you on this journey!

Get inspired by stories from other kura.

What we learned from Dr Denise Quinlan

We were lucky enough to be able to kōrero with Dr Denise Quinlan from the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience and who's been at the front of the whole school approach to hauora 'shift'.

Interviews with some some of the experts - you!

Nic Rickard from Burnside Primary School and Tracy Clelland from the University of Canterbury join us to kōrero whole school approach to hauora

And Sophie Ralph and Kelly Tippett from Rolleston College kōrero their great ideas and insights

Other videos we love and have learned from

Get inspired by stories from other kura.

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

Learn more