Literacy and Numeracy Initiatives

Te Pūtahitanga o Te Waipounamu has been working closely with three kura in Ōtautahi to develop whānau literacy and numeracy confidence and capability. The three kura involved with this project are Haeata Community Campus, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waitaha and Te Pā o Rākaihautu.

Each of the kura developed their own style of programme to meet their needs and all engaged with the Whānau Ora navigator approach which enabled them to create whānau work plans. The work plans enable a holistic path to literacy and numeracy goals for each whānau and address any remedial and extension needs of tamariki.

Te Kura kaupapa Māori o Waitaha: Te Mātau Ahumoni - supporting financial literacy

Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Waitaha (Te Kura Whakapūmau) have had a specific focus on Te Mātau Ahumoni, Financial Literacy. Through the engagement and use of digital technologies, tamariki and whānau have been able to gain skills and knowledge to experience positive shifts in their learning through the context of health and well-being practices. Their Kāinga Ora Engagement Plan is made up of five face to face wānanga, seven weekly whānau challenges (Whakapātaritari) and one home visit (Toronga Kāinga). Each whānau have access to an iPad, Apps and internet access for the duration of the Kāinga Ora Project.

Te Pā o Rakaihautu: Preparing young minds for planting the desire to read

Te Pā o Rakaihautu are developing their own literacy programme called Te Māra Kupu o Rākaihautū which literally means the word gardens of Rākaihautū. Rākaihautū, a Ngāi Tahu ancestor used his kō to not only dig the lakes and rivers throughout Te Wāipounamu but also to cultivate his māra kai Te Kōtake, Te Kōake and Te Koānga. Te Kōtake refers to the work that is needed to do with the kō today, to firstly prepare young minds for planting the desire to read. Then to nurture and raise literacy achievement, which is Te Kōake. Finally, to support tamariki as their confidence and reading skills begin to blossom, which is Te Kōanga.

Haeata Community Campus: Upskilling whānau with knowledge and strategies to support their tamariki with their literacy development in the reo-rua kaupapa;

‘Support-a-reader’ is a programme that involves the community of a school, a great way to build and strengthen the relationships with Tūakana and Teina at the kura and with whānau. The goal is to support whānau with understanding how their tamariki read and how best to support their tamariki reading in the home. Whānau and community gain the skills and strategies needed to support tamariki in their reading journey and are empowered along the way.

Whānau that have been taking part have indicated an improvement in the way in which they work alongside tamariki to improve their literacy and numeracy. They have also developed closer relationships with the kura and have had the chance to create and use literacy and numeracy resources of their own to ensure that their tamariki have learning support at home. Learning to use technology has given whānau the ability to improve their own capability along with being able to develop personalised resources to encourage their tamaiti.

When asked, ‘what is better now’ as a result of the pilot, the tamariki responded “Everything”;

“I know more words”; “I love my book”; “I moved up higher levels”.

The parents reinforced that positivity with their responses. Seventy seven percent of mātua said that since the Whainga Tuatahi initiative, their tamariki have improved their attitude to learning.

There is a strong relationship between low levels of literacy or language competence and high levels of unemployment and other forms of social disadvantage and so this is an area we see huge value in investing in to make a difference to whānau across all of the Whānau Ora pou and particularly in relation to wellbeing.

By putting whānau in the picture, giving them the tools that they need to develop solutions for their own tamariki, we’ve seen the three kura in this pilot programme make a huge impact over a short period of time.

The high engagement of whānau has resulted in accelerated progress in the literacy levels of tamariki showing a marked improvement over a short period of time. Kura and whānau have collectively been able to identify barriers to supporting tamariki at home, which has been key to developing tailored resources and approaches.

Their feedback says it all:

“We as a whānau are now very involved with each other and do a lot more together as a whānau”.

“We love to watch moko writing stories”.

“There is less stress because we felt the school was not listening to our concerns about literacy for mokopuna”.

“I’m able to communicate with my tamariki better with te ao Māori".