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Koraunui School - Liz Raimona

2021 | Matariki, maramataka and the impact on te taiao

School: Koraunui School

Region: Wellington

Host: Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, Centre for Science in Society 

Poipoia te kākano kia puāwai – Nurture the seed and it will thrive 

Koraunui School aims to help every child to achieve personal success in their learning, the competencies and skills they will need for life as they work towards being the best version of themselves. The cultures and interests of the tamariki, local environment, preserving and growing natural areas in Stokes Valley is central to their learning.  Through rich, practical experiences, especially in science, tamariki develop curiosity, critical thinking and the skills to question and apply this new knowledge to other areas in their lives.  

Through participation in the Science Teaching Leadership Programme, Koraunui School will continue to sustain the work and practices already in place at their school and continue to develop teachers’ understanding of the Nature of Science.  Through science and as an Enviroschool they will strengthen partnerships with science organisations and their local hapori.  

Liz has taught in primary schools for a number of years.  During this time, she has had the opportunity to teach tamariki from a diverse range of year levels, abilities and cultural backgrounds. She spent five years teaching in the reo rua unit at Koraunui School. She is passionate about te taiao and engaging ākonga in all of the guiding principles of Enviroschools, in order to empower them with the tools they need to be effective kaitiaki. She enjoys using nature as a teacher and is the lead teacher for Enviroschools, at Koraunui, where the school is currently at silver level aspiring to reach Green Gold.

She is passionate about ensuring all tamariki see themselves as scientists and looks for varied ways to allow culturally appropriate activities which support this. She looks for opportunities for developing links between mātauranga and the realms of western science. She believes that it is important for tamariki to make links from their cultural backgrounds in pūtaiao and recognise that their voice has a place in science. Liz believes that hands on learning enables ākonga to develop curiosity allowing them to become further engaged with science. 

She is fortunate to be given this opportunity in order to continue to build upon and sustain the depth of science that is at Koraunui School, where tamariki continue to grow into confident questioners, collaborators and explainers.

Liz’s placement will involve her participation in research and activities conducted by the Centre for Science in Society at Victoria University. The programme will include opportunities to work with students and faculty staff, attending undergraduate and post graduate lectures. Participation in fieldwork and research, including listening to pakiwaitara and interacting with students and researchers in academia. Liz will also be working alongside a team, who are developing an outreach programme with specific focus on kura ākonga ensuring Mātaraunga Māori is embedded through a range of activities based on pūtaiao ā nuku and tuarangi. She is hoping to gain a deeper understanding and knowledge around the maramataka from various iwi and is looking forward to broadening her knowledge about Matariki.

On completion of this placement Liz aims to have a greater foundation of knowledge and understanding of the Nature of Science, along with the science capabilities.