Sparklers is a mental wellbeing toolkit full of fun activities designed for primary school classrooms (but often used in many other places!). Sparklers is based on the holistic understanding of hauora, as described by Sir Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Whā model. This acknowledges multiple dimensions of wellbeing: taha tinana (physical), taha hinengaro (mental health and emotions), taha wairua (spiritual), taha whānau (social), and explores the intrinsic connections between the whenua (land) and hauora.
The benefits of embedding a sparkle, a little and often, is that tamariki gain knowledge, tools, and confidence to tune into their hauora and wellbeing. They learn to look after themselves and grow their compassion and kindness towards others.
Sparklers is all about helping tamariki to be their best and embrace the things that make them unique. The foundational belief we hold is that all tamariki are awesome and can live brightest when they’re feeling good, functioning well, and relating well to others.
The benefits of Sparklers can be even better with a whole-school approach to cultivating a culture of wellbeing. Check out these inspiring stories from kura. Find out what informs Sparklers on our About page.
New Zealand Curriculum links
Sparklers is designed for kaiako and adults who work alongside tamariki, in Years 1 - 8. However, we love hearing about how you're adapting the activities for high school use - or new uses altogether!
Our Code Our Standards requires teachers to work in learners’ best interests ‘by promoting the wellbeing of learners and protecting them from harm’ and this practice also contributes to a whole school approach to uplift tamariki wellbeing.
The activities are aligned with the New Zealand Curriculum (2007) and Mental Health Education. Each activity is explicitly linked to the NZC by strand (see pp. 59-63), aligned to the five key competencies (see p.18 of NZC), and supported by the underlying concepts of the Mental Health Education guide:
- Hauora (see also p.18)
- Socio-ecological perspective
- Health Promotion
- Attitudes and Values.
**NEW** Te Whāriki alignment
For the wonderful kaiako out there who teach under 5-year-olds, we have now aligned the Early Childhood Education friendly Sparklers activities to Te Whāriki. This filter allows you to quickly find something to best suit your tamariki and learning environment.
Te Whāriki acts as a guide that is woven into the culture of the centre in collaboration with tamariki and whānau. You can incorporate your learning environment's goals and aspirations. We acknowledge that the use of Te Whāriki may look different for each of you and encourage you to adapt these activities to suit.
ECE-aligned activities have been mapped using the Principles, Strands, and Goals of Te Whāriki - Early Childhood Curriculum. Activities are designed to be flexible and recognise the needs, interests, and learning dispositions of your classroom. These suggested activities support and guide sound foundations for lifelong learning pathways.
To find out more about navigating and tailoring Sparklers, to meet the needs of your tamariki, check out how to use Sparklers.