September 3 2018

Poutokomanawa 2019 Letter #1: Expression of Interest

Tēnā koutou whānau mā,

This is the first letter inviting you to consider placing your child in Poutokomanawa for next year. As a school we continue to embrace kaupapa Māori and in doing so provide this unique opportunity for student learning at Russell Street School.

Poutokomanawa is for all students regardless of their culture and ethnicity. It incorporates an approach that celebrates and respects Māori language, customs and beliefs alongside a range of highly effective approaches for teaching and learning. Poutokomanawa celebrates and actively builds understanding of what we know is important for all learners at Russell Street which are shown through our school values.

Below you will see some comments and feedback from students and parents from past and present Poutokomanawa classes about why it is such a great place to learn. This is only a small snapshot of the amazing culture and vibe in these classes.

Making friends and family is key and being able to get help by a teacher in a blink of an eye. Student

I believe Poutokomanawa is relationship and people centred learning at its finest. Parent

The best part of being in Poutokomanawa is that you get the chance to be kapa haka leader and that you get the one on one time that some of us need. You also get to learn a different culture (Māori) and you get to learn where you come from and it’s just really cool. Student

Everything about this class is fantastic. Student

Everyone helps each other! Student

Tamariki in Poutokomanawa learn to build strong, positive relationships with their peers, they learn new ways of seeing and understanding, they gain a strong and deep connection to the place they live. Parent

I am amazed at how fast she has learnt waiata and language. Parent

One benefit is learning the culture and getting in the learning pit every day and not giving up until I’m out of the pit and succeeded in my learning. Student

Our household is always filled with the sound of waiata as __ has sung so much his brother and sister know all the songs! Parent

The classes and approach create confident tamariki. Parent

The vibe, environment and tikanga has helped develop my confidence. Student

I had a lady staring the other day in town as __ was having a conversation in Māori and I felt so proud. Parent

Thank you for giving our younger tamariki the opportunity this year. I am so happy with my decision to put __ in Poutokomanawa and I am sure there are many other families who feel the same way! You are doing amazing mahi Eileen and Rosie! – Parent

The older kids (Tuakana) look out for our (Teina) little kids. Parent


Our plans for next year include maintaining two classes in Poutokomanawa but we are very open to establishing a 3rd class if there is enough interest.

To help us plan for this we are asking you to fill in the form below asap. At this stage we are asking for an expression of interest only with final confirmation of classes and teachers taking place next term.

Extensive discussions and planning has driven the thinking that sits behind Poutokomanawa which we are more than happy to discuss with you. If you are interested in finding out more please feel free to;

  • get in touch with Nick, Rosie, Eileen or Nic (all staff), or Darryn (BOT) to discuss this more and find out the answers to any questions you may have;
  • arrange to visit Poutokomanawa and spend time talking to the children and getting a feel for the class,
  • connect with parents of the current students in the class to hear their views, or;
  • come along any day on our open week, as detailed below.

Please complete the form below as soon as possible if you are interested in your child/ren being part of Poutokomanawa in 2019.

Nāku iti noa, nā

Nick Rate, Principal

Poutokomanawa Class 2019 - Expression of Interest

Poutokomanawa Class 2019 - Expression of Interest

Student name/s

Poutokomanawa Open Week (next week)

Monday 10th – Friday 14th September 9-9:45am each day.

Anyone welcome – both existing and new parents. Come along from 9-9:45am* to experience what these classes look and feel like and how it may be a great fit for your child.

*If you are coming, please be there for a 9am start.