OUR SCHOOL REBUILD JOURNEY

This year we opened the doors for the first time to our new school. The school was earmarked for a complete rebuild in 2019. The children are all very proud of their new learning spaces. Our next major project consists of landscaping and this has been designed to be completed in 7 stages - 3 of which are now all but complete.

A Bit of Background.

In 2019, we engaged with the Ministry of Education to undergo a rebuild due to the condition of many of our rooms and spaces.

At the same time, I approached our local Rūnanga, Te Taumutu, in the hope of being gifted a Māori name for our school, that was in fitting with our landscape, environment, and curriculum direction.

We were gifted the name: Te Pou, Tī Kōuka. Meaning: cabbage tree, the stalwart.

The whakataukī / saying that was given with this is: E kore, e riro he tī tamore nō Rarotonga.

Meaning: The cabbage tree is never carried away in a gale.

This whakataukī refers to a person of courage. It likens a person to a cabbage tree that can withstand the brutal force of a gale. This speaks to the perseverance and resilience of our ākonga (learners).

Our spaces were also given names that link to the different parts of the cabbage tree.

These were given when we teamed up with Mātauraka Mahaanui to assist with our cultural narrative that describes our school and the journey the tamariki (children) take as they move through their education.

Kōrito - this part of the tī kōuka tree is the inner heart leaves and is our junior learning space which our Piwakawaka children predominantly learn in.

More Tī - this is the tap root of the tī kōuka tree and is the more mature part of the tree, thus it has become our senior learning space, which our Ruru children predominantly learn in.

Kāuru - this is a side shoot of the tī kōuka tree and is used as our whānau sharing space as a part of both learning spaces and our community.

Hāpua Tī - this is a tī kōuka grove. This name was given to the administration block as a place that supports many - learners and whānau alike.

Umu - Tī - this is the name for an earth oven. This name was given to our multipurpose space as it is a space where our community can gather and share kai.

Our manifestations on the windows of our spaces link our school to our environment. We have a singular, young cabbage tree in the junior space, an older, slightly bigger cabbage tree in the middle space and a large, seeding cabbage tree in the senior space.

This signifies the journey and growth our ākonga take with us. It also links to cabbage trees as traditional ‘marker’ trees along the landscape and speaks to Springfield being a town where many pass through making their journey over the pass.

The rain screen design is known as Kōeaea - the shoaling whitebait. If you’ve ever seen whitebait traveling upstream you’ll have seen this sort of zigzag shimmer effect as they travel in a group.

The style of weave also signifies learning together as it is a pattern of 2 over, 2 under.

The front steel panels on the administration block, link us to the railway line, a signficant feature of our town.