Raising Maori Achievement

Raising Maori Achievement

We made the Write that Essay programme a school-wide goal.

Part of our journey with staff over the past few years has been working through a programme called Te Kotahitanga. Our teachers specifically looked at strategies they were using in the classroom to engage Maori.

We were deliberate in our strategies to address Maori achievement in a way that would benefit all students. Teachers were looking at using Write that Essay in engaging Maori students particularly.

I think specifically Write that Essay— in terms of Maori achieving as Maori —allowed our boys bring who they were into the process.

Initially, Dr Ian modelled with our staff, what we had to do as teachers with our boys. We were made to write from our own tool box of knowledge. And from there, Dr Ian developed it further with structure and techniques.

Similarly with the boys, we began with the students existing knowledge and from there developed their techniques with sentences and paragraph styles. Write that Essay didn’t deviate from their benchmark of excellence: bringing our cohort of boys up to a position of excellence, and making huge shifts in the way our boys were writing.

 As a maths teacher it was all fresh knowledge. Instantly, I was engaged.  

Probably the biggest shift was the structure Write that Essay gave us to work within. It gave us something tangible all the staff here at Gisborne Boys’ could work within; it was seamless.

Initially one of the earliest things that resonated with me was, “good readers do not make good writers.” And that stuck with me. Dr. Ian talked about how you can coach good writers, and so it was that whole coaching approach, working with a team and developing those strengths with each individual that was really attractive and stood out.


Case Study

Teacher   Christine Swann, DP
Objective   Schoolwide improvement
Key Impact   Raised Maori achievement