Te Kāpehu Whetū provides outstanding education to students and whānau seeking bilingual education in Whāngarei. Year 8 and 9 students were exploring the history of Ruapekapeka Pā. ĀKAU ran a workshop to extend this enquiry and give them a taste of a totally different learning style. Employing a raft of creative methods, we had them drawing, modelling, working in groups and alone; discussing and presenting their ideas. Working in these hands-on ways allowed the students to delve into some critical design thinking. They came up with a number of awesome concepts for their classroom that drew on the rich pā history. Students who initially thought they couldn’t draw and had no belief in their creative potential came up with some of the most beautiful and thoughtful outcomes. Fitting nicely with our kaupapa, the students were able to look back to the past in order to design something meaningful for their future.
Our design has an awa running through from the entrance way into the classroom space that has tuna under it and leads to the school logo compass to show direction and purpose. If we couldn’t have an actual awa we could represent it with movement – watery projection onto the floor.