Improvement strategy helps Rangikura pupils
A programme aimed at improving Maori and Polynesian pupils’ education at a Porirua school is proving successful.
The Tamaiti Mua programme was created by Rangikura School in Ascot Park.
Principal Eddie Uluilelata said it focused on improving the relationships between teachers, students, parents and the community.
‘‘We were no better or no worse than any other school. We just thought we could do better, and needed to do better to raise our pupils’ achievements,’’ Uluilelata said.
He said the programme centred on the idea that the involvement of parents in their children’s education would improve their grades.
‘‘ It’s the engagement we need now. That’s the key. We need to change that involvement into engagement.’’
The first stage of Tamaiti Mua revolves around parents and what prevents them from being involved.
‘‘Back at day one, it was just about us needing our parents and our community to help.
‘‘We’re doing as much as we can and maybe a bit more than expected, but we need more parents on board.’’
Since the programme began, there has been a rise in Polynesian achievement, with Maori grades lagging only slightly behind.
‘‘ All around the country Maori and Pasifika results are not so good, and our Pasifika results haven’t gone through the roof, but they’re up there now with our whole school results. Maori data has improved, but not as much.’’
Step two opens up the school and makes it as welcoming as possible.
Uluilelata said he had high expectations of his staff, and that not all teachers had
welcomed the programme.
‘‘We’ve had staff realise that they probably don’t fit here.
‘‘ Our waka is going this way, and we’re all paddling this way, but if you’re paddling some other way – we’re gonna throw you off the boat. No we’re not – we’re going to get you to go somewhere else.’’
Rangikura School principal Eddie Uluilelata is pleased with results from the new school programme.