Cultural responsiveness is a relationship based approach which allows for culturally appropriate responses to diverse communities based on a range of factors:
In a safe, supportive environment MRGS will provide learning opportunities for each student to strive for excellence, realise their personal potential, and develop understanding of social responsibility and respect for individual and cultural differences.
The school has a very culturally diverse student community, including many students for whom English is a second language. Pacific students comprise a quarter of the roll and Asian students have increased to just over fifty percent. Education is seen by the school as the gateway to a successful life for each individual . This is why a number of initiatives have contributed to the increased successful National Certificate Educational Achievement (NCEA) attainments such as the percentage of students leaving with NCEA Level 2 is nearly ten percent higher than national levels. The results attained by the school for Maori and Pacifika students has increased over the last four years. The cause of this can be seen in the many cultural responsive practices seen happening within the school and around the campus including with the primary and intermediate schools in an initiative called MERGE.
MERGE and whānau involvement
MERGE encompasses a wide range of cross-campus, student-centred activities. These activities are central to the MERGE goal of increasing parent/whānau participation in their child’s learning.
Specifically there are effective strategies to support Māori success, as Māori.
The Māori achievement plan contains a number of goals and plans to promote educational success and success as Māori.
The Pasifika Achievement Plan Goal is to further accelerate Pasifika student achievement through culturally responsive pedagogy and meaningful learning partnerships with Pasifika students, their families and fanau.
Connection with the wider community
Students benefit from the support of external agencies providing specialised programmes for students at risk. These students have an over representation of Maori and Pasifika students. Students selected for two of these programmes are often identified while still at the intermediate school and continue their participation during the first year at the high school. One aim is to provide students with a consistent person who traverses the four social worlds of the students (school, home, peers and broader community) and who supports students to move between those worlds. These external mentors have ongoing informal interactions with their students across a range of social, sporting and learning situations. Another initiative runs for one hour a week. It is designed to build resilience. Many students begin the programme during their time at intermediate. At Year 10 a further programme reinforces the messages explored in the Year 9 programmes for those students identified at risk of disengaging with learning.
The latest Education Review Office report tells us that;
"Student achievement information is used by school leaders to determine priorities and targets, and to evaluate the impact of teaching and learning initiatives. Targets for raising Māori and Pacific student achievement have been prioritised. Annual achievement targets are incorporated into the school wide operational planning and are used to evaluate the school overall performance. Curriculum leaders and teachers are strengthening their use of student achievement information. Developing staff capability to analyse and inquire into achievement data is seen as a key to improving outcomes for students." (ERO, 2015, p. 2.)
This is evidenced by;
These culturally responsive practices based on working with communities to support culturally appropriate programs and practices, supported by the resources to create such programs, policies, and practices that are culturally responsive to community needs, promotes and supports successful learning outcomes for Maori and Pacifika students.
ERO Report (2015). Retrieved from: http://www.mrgs.school.nz/uploaded/file/downloads/ero20151.pdf
MRGS Charter. (2015). Retrieved from: http://www.mrgs.school.nz/uploaded/file/Charter%202014.pdf
MRGS Mentoring Programme. (2015). Retrieved from: http://www.mrgs.school.nz/curriculum/mentoring_programme.aspx
MRGS Vision, mission and core values. (2015). Retrieved from: http://www.mrgs.school.nz/uploaded/file/downloads/Draft%202014%20sl...
Add a Comment