In 2021 considerable engagement was undertaken with our wider School Community, Kaiako and Kaimahi teams. It was team to revision who we are and what we want for our tamariki going forward. As a result we developed a new vision statement:
Think Thrive Create
we want our children to be independent thinkers
we want our children to be curious about their world and we believe thinking skills can be taught
our curriculum is designed specifically to encourage children to learn to think in different ways
we want our children to thrive - academically, socially and emotionally
we use a Strengths Based philosophy recognising every child has a strength; it is our job to find it and to develop it further
we provide lots of different opportunities for children to thrive. These range from offering a huge variety of sports, lunchtime activities and clubs, ICAS exams, O'Matholon, EPro8 etc. We also have a specialist music teacher working with our children each week
we want our children to experience the richness of The Arts (e.g. dance, drama, music, Kapa haka) as this feeds directly back to their wellbeing
we use Digital devices as a tool, and provide opportunities for our children to be 'producers' and not just consumers when using digital technologies. Opportunities include movie making, programming, using Garage Band to create music etc.
Our new mission statement also tumbled out of our partnering with our community in 2021. This statement represents not on who we are now, but who we will be in the years to come.
Weaving diversity, strengths and values into meaningful learning
Our logo is really special to us as it tells a story about our school.
Te harakeke is a metaphor for the way we care, nurture and teach the tamariki in our kura and is symbolic of what we want for our tamariki.
The Rito (child) is at the heart of what we do - this is represented by the central leaf
The Awhi rito (parent, whānau and teachers) represented by the leaves next to the rito, provide shelter and support for the rito to thrive
The Tūpuna (whānau, community agencies, etc) support the show rito - represented by the surrounding outer leaves
The Kōrari (flower) represents our children ’reaching their potential’ as a result of them being allowed to thrive as a rito. The fact the Kōrari extends beyond the blue circles, is a metaphor of our tamariki thinking outside the ‘square’
The Kakau (stalk) represents the strength/quality of the learning of our tamariki and speaks of strength and resilience
The blue outer circles represent our geographical location (i.e. being centred around the Otago Peninsula) with the whole harakeke plant being embedded in the cultural heritage of our local story and whenua
The symmetry of the harakeke suggests a balance in life
At George Street Normal, we also have a pā harakeke which is treasured by us. Both our logo and our pā harakeke are intertwined and an additional understanding of their meanings can be understood from an article from Set No. 3, 2022 drawing on mātauranga Māori understandings of how wellbeing is protected within pā harakeke:
within the pā harakeke, mokopuna are recognised as rangatira who blossom when the harakeke is supported to grow
the paiaka, the roots of the harakeke, represent tikanga Māori, the underlying constitution of Māori rights
wellbeing is embedded within tikanga and exercised within whānau, hapū, and iwi
rights are traced and inherited through wkapapa which is represented as the soil nourishing the pā harakeke plant
the mātua or parent leaves, which sit just outside of the rito, depict Te Tiriti o Waitangi and He Whakaputanga o te Rangatiratanga o Nu Tirene (The Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand). The provision of these documents guarantee mokopuna Māori tino rangatiratanga over their whānau wellbeing, and affirm their status as protected taonga.
the wider leaves of whānau depict international conventions and declarations such as the United nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People and United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.