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Since the end of 2015 Western Springs College – Ngā Puna o Waiōrea has been working to develop closer links with the local primary and intermediate schools that many of our students come from.  This led to all the schools (the college, three intermediaries, and eight primaries) exploring the possibility of a more formal collaboration –  a Kāhui Ako or Community of Learning.  At the very end of 2017 all twelve schools, seven of them with Māori Medium kura, were formally endorsed by the Minister of Education as Te Kāhui Ako o Waitematā.

It’s been a long, thoughtful, and exciting journey, and we have reached a unique space – a Kāhau Ako with strong Maori Medium and English Medium Pathways and a commitment to build structures and ways of working that reflect our Treaty partnership.  Ngāti Whātua hosting our recent launch (pictured) at Orākei Marae was a powerful affirmation of this partnership.

One of our first tasks will be to build stronger two-way communications between our Kāhui Ako and its wider whanau.  Up until this point, this has been largely via the parents and caregivers that are elected to the Boards of Trustees of our various schools, but we need to establish other lines of communication too.

As a Kāhui Ako our vision is that we build strong and seamless educational pathways where every student succeeds.  We believe that the key to achieving this goal is developing greater student agency, and our targets focus on student wellbeing as well as student achievement, higher levels of achievement in relation to qualifications and the consolidation of the skills and dispositions that the student will take to their life beyond school.

Over the past week two Western Springs College – Ngā Puna o Waiōrea teachers, Peter Kerr and Tupe Tai, were appointed as Across School Teachers, leading change across all twelve schools.  Nerida Phillips form Westmere Primary- Te Rehu, who has children at WSC-NPOW, was also appointed to the same role and challenge.

Paul Alford
Te Kāhui Ako o Waitematā Leader


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