A whole-school approach to hauora

Why we're exploring...

When Sparklers set out, we did so in response from teachers and kaiako requesting support with tamariki post Christchurch-earthquakes. We didn’t know Sparklers would quickly shift from a Canterbury to a national focus and here we are 5 years later with our statistics telling us Sparklers is present in 78% of Aotearoa primary and intermediate schools. We are amazed!

We want to explore how we can support you to extend your wellbeing mahi wider - we know you'll already be doing this. There’s heaps of 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 really rate Lucy Hone and Denise Quinlan’s book The Educator’s Guide to Whole School Wellbeing because it does a great job setting 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 our guide as we gently learn about whole-school approaches alongside you, offering starting points, tips and sharing ideas each week to help guide the process for you, your school and kura. But it’s manageable - promise!

Building on our term 1 mahi, we’ll also intertwine what we do with Te Whare Tapa Whā. We know many schools and kura have already, and we'll look to share these stories and learning.

And we look at all the school and kura hauora possibilities as we fid them - this hikoi isn’t about Sparklers. It’s about wellbeing and hauora and finding our way to make it available for everyone.

First things... 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.

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Pink Shirt Day and Sparklers

Look at how Te Kōmanawa Rowley School enables Upstanders with mindfulness yearlong.

The Mental Health Foundation and Sparklers have collaborated to hear tamariki and kaiako kōrero about what enables them to be the best Upstanders for Pink Shirt Day and beyond. Listen to them share how mindfulness skills, like emotional regulation, helps them to connect and show kindness to others and their environment.

A culture of kindness is not a place where bullying can thrive - Ka rawe Te Kōmanawa Rowley School! Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying.

Stunning examples of whole-school approaches to hauora and wellbeing

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.
  • Add the idea to your team hui agenda.
  • Connect with fellow kaiako to create a wellbeing working group.
  • 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 our case studies above that explore what some schools are currently doing.

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!

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

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