Turangawaewae is very much in the news in Christchurch as we discuss what is important about the future place we stand in. Turangawaewae is “The place we stand” or where our spiritual and relational place is. The future mix of preservation of the past and building of the new is very important. For our children/tamariki Redwood School is a strong part of their turangawaewae. The school, and particularly the people, mean a great deal to them. Redwood School will have great impact on their lives now and will help shape their futures. This is like for many of us Christchurch/Otautahi is our turangawaewae. The people and places here are vital to our wellbeing, who we are and where we will be as people in the future. Therefore, for the long-term health and vitality of our city, we must value people, relationships and our social and cultural past, the same key things that make Redwood School what it is and what it will be.
So, what is most important about Redwood School? The people, first and foremost… the children, the parents, the staff. Beyond that, what is most important? Many children would say the redwood trees, the library, their classroom, the hall or the ipods and ipads(!)… the physical things around the school. Some would say the way we treat each other, our respect and support for one another… those heart, essence or spiritual aspects of how we relate to each other.
Experience and research shows they are all linked. So as we move forward as a school we must think broadly about our next steps. How do we as a school reinforce our turangawaewae, our place at Redwood School, to support our children and their future? We cannot afford to consider things in isolation. To get the best from our children/tamariki we must parent and support well, teach well, encourage, work as a team, build up a supportive physical environment and most importantly, foster positive attitudes to learning and to others.
That last one, the development of positive attitudes, is vital! This is where home and school must support one another. We have heard much in the news media about quality of teaching, funding, a child’s in-born ability, the income in the home, the amount of resources a child has at their disposal, etc. but the biggest determinant of success in life is the attitude they develop towards life itself. This is where we must focus on developing optimistic and ohaoha/team focussed children, two key core qualities of our Reddie Learners.
As we move forward the children’s turangawaewae at Redwood School and in Christchurch is very important. In our school and in wider Christchurch we must be careful in embracing the new but also preserving vital elements of the past to bring about the best mix of the cultural, physical, social and spiritual to foster the right growing conditions for our children/tamariki. It is their future we are planning for.
We will be asking for your input as we undertake more in-depth community consultation through the rest of 2012. Grasp the opportunity to give us feedback on your child’s future and their turangawaewae, Redwood School.