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Case studies

Queen’s High School: Finding our Pasifika niche Exhibition (2023)

Dunedin artist Ana Teofilo and Queen’s High School kaiako Cherie Ford collaborated on a Creatives in Schools project that has engaged, empowered, and celebrated its Pacific students.

Ana led a dozen or so senior Pacific students (from Sāmoan, Cook Islands and Fijian backgrounds) through her art process. Under Ana’s guidance, the students carved motifs and patterns into painted board, embellished the surface with painted glue dots and varnished the finished piece.

Read more on Education Gazette: Pacific students find their niche through creative expression

Morrinsville Intermediate School: Bringing local pūrakau to life on stage (2023)

Morrinsville Intermediate School staff and students have taken the opportunity bring local pūrakau to life on the stage through the production of The Time Travelling Waka.

The Time Travelling Waka takes the audience on a voyage of discovery through the ages and in the process has given the opportunity for learning, not just for students, but staff and the Waikato town’s wider community. 

Led by teacher Bailee Foulds, the school started with a focus on the significant pūrakau of local iwi Ngāti Hauā. 

Read more on Education Gazette: Bringing local pūrakau to life on stage

Ngātaki and Te Hāpua Schools: The Story of Tūmatahina (2022)

Rāwiri Hindle and Bethany Edmunds-Kuki worked with ākonga, kaimahi, and mana whenua for Ngātaki and Te Hāpua schools in the far north to explore the stories of their ancestors and tūpuna.


About the project

Download transcript (Word 2007 26 KB)

Titirangi Primary School, Auckland: Looking Back, Moving Forward (2022)

Filmmakers Martin Sercombe and Britta Pollmuller worked with the students and staff of Titirangi Primary School to record and portray key aspects of their local history.


 About the project

Download transcript (Word 2007 21 KB)

Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand, Auckland: Youth Theatre Project (2022)

Directors from the Tim Bray Theatre Company worked with students to help them learn a range of dramatic and performance skills and to produce a performance using NZ sign language and from their own culturally Deaf perspective.


About the project

Download transcript (Word 2007 17 KB)

Linwood College, Christchurch: Exploring culture and identity through VR (2021)

Artist Claire Hughes worked with senior students and virtual reality technology to create imaginative worlds that expressed less tangible aspects of the students' culture and identity.


About the project

Download transcript (Word 2007 22 KB)

Newtown School, Wellington: Butterflies Together (2020)

Artist Paul Forrest worked with students, staff, and whānau to explore the concept of transformation, drawing on students’ cultural stories to create an enduring outdoor public exhibition.


About the project

Download transcript (Word 2007 19 KB)

Taita College, Lower Hutt: One Heart, One Beat (2020)

Artist Chevron Hassett collaborated with senior students to produce a series of portraits that uphold the essence and mana of the students, their cultures, and the wider community.


About the project

Download transcript (Word 2007 18 KB)

Clifton Terrace Model School: Guided by the Stars (2022)

School has partnered with creatives Liz Melchior and and Mel Dodge to produce a performance called Matariki, Guided by the Stars. The idea for the performance was inspired by the Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum content. Their project looked at how Polynesian navigators used the stars to navigate and Matariki. In developing their project, the school looked to the work of Dr Rangi Mātāmua and sought guidance from Hemi Prime, their kapa haka tutor.

Read more on Education Gazette: Guided by the stars

About the project

Manutuke School: Ngā Toi o te Kainga (2022)

School has partnered with local creatives to provide learning experiences for ākonga in the Māori immersion unit and explore whakairo, whatu (a korowai weaving technique), raranga, tukutuku (latticework panelling), pūoro (music), kanikani (dance) and mau rākau (a discipline in martial arts).

This culminated to an exhibition called Ko Rongowhakaata: The Story of Light and Show, which invites people to explore the land, the people, and the stories of Rongowhakaata, an East Cape iwi renowned for their innate creativity and innovative spirit.

Read more on Education Gazette: Inamata ki te anamata through Toi Māori

About the project

Mt Richmond School: Mātauranga (2022)

Ākonga explored visual arts in partnership with Māpura Studios, a creative space in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Learners took part in creative experiences that best fit their interests and express themselves.

Learners explored different art media and ways of exploring their individual artistic process in a supportive space designed to respond to special needs. By offering a range of different media and processes provides “breakthrough” opportunities. For some, this will be an opportunity to begin their journey to participate and contribute beyond the classroom.

About the project

Lincoln Heights School: Music Therapy for Students with Disabilities (2022)

The school partnered with Raukatauri Music Therapy Centre to provide ākonga opportunities to explore their musical side and express themselves via music-making. The creative project also supported learners to gain confidence through their ability to communicate through music.

About the project

Ko Taku Reo: Youth Theatre Project (2022)

A group of ākonga from Ko Taku Reo worked with the Tim Bray Theatre Company to perform in NZSL and confidently express themselves, and strengthen their sense of identity and belonging. They took part in a visual performance, using dance, sign and expression to tell stories.

About the project

Logan Park High School: Cultivating Diversity for Industry’s Future (2022)

The school partnered with creative Abby Wolfe on a project that enabled ākonga to understand the music industry including social, cultural and historical contexts. The school said it has a strong Rainbow community and they wanted to celebrate diversity and enable students to see themselves represented everywhere. Learners experienced the process of songwriting, from inspiration through to production.

About the project

All of the four creative projects’ stories were featured on Education Gazette: Inclusive arts support ākonga to communicate their lived experiences

Richmond Road School: RRS Mua I Malae Arts (2022)

Tamaiti in a Samoan bilingual unit took part in a dance project to connect more closely with traditional arts, and to gain confidence and pride in their culture. The project was led by Mua-Malae togafau Filo Tu-Faleupolu and two local artists, Cilla Brown and Albert Tupuola.

The project aimed to provide opportunities for their tamaiti to learn and understand their Samoan culture through song and dance. Each class learned one form of Siva Samoa, which will then be showcased at the end of the project.

Read more on Education Gazette: Deeper learning for tamaiti through Siva Samoa

About the project

Ngātaki School and Te Hāpua School: Ngātaki and Te Hāpua Schools Creatives (2022)

Ākonga took part in a project that have woven together whakapapa and mahi toi/arts to tell the story of Tūmatahina.

The project combined mau rākau, waiata, dance, and drama, which culminated in a week-long kauapapa at Waiora Marae at Ngātaki.

Read more on Education Gazette: Tūpuna inspire tamariki

About the project

Gisborne Boys’ High School: Tūranga Tāne Choral Group Showcase (2022)

A group of ākonga from kapa haka, the Pasifika group, the First Xv/school rugby teams and LGBTQI students will hold a public concert performance, which will also include an exhibition of carving from the whakairo students.

Read more on Education Gazette: Choir calls community together in Tairāwhiti

About the project

Bayswater School: Aotearoa New Zealand Histories through storytelling and the Arts (2022)

Ākonga at Bayswater School are combining Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories, the arts, and digital technology to bring their community together in developing a resource for the school – the sounds of their shared histories.

Read more on Education Gazette: Using music to tell the stories of local histories

About the project

Arapohue School: Te Wā Project (2022)

Ākonga and teachers at Arapohue School worked with creative Danya Hewetson to improve their school’s outdoor spaces to ensure that the physical environment supported learning programmes. The project allowed ākonga to create, collaborate and connect both with their wider community and with Papatūānuku, to strengthen tūrangawaewae.

Read more on Education Gazette: Our garden, our tūrangawaewae

About the project

Shannon School: A journey through time in Shannon- He haerenga tahi o tenei rohe o Hanna (2022)

The school has embarked on a mural inquiry that focuses on the history of Shannon, the values of the school community and the principles of Enviroschools. The project aims to build and strengthen partnerships with parents, whānau and hapori, and enable tamariki to discover and nurture a deep sense of personal identity and fulfilment from their creative project.

Read more on Education Gazette: A journey through time in Shannon - He haerenga tahi o tēnei rohe o Hanana

About the project

Aorere College: Aorere Media TV (2022) 

Ākonga at Aorere College, alongside their teacher Muzaffar Ali and creative partner Nirvika Nair, produced Arotahi. The project is a student-led and produced ‘breakfast style’ online show to share stories of their school and communities.

Read more (story is courtesy of Big Idea NZ:   How creative input can be a game-changer in schools  )

About the project

Sylvia Park School, Auckland: My Turangawaewae (2021) 

Students and staff at Sylvia Park School took part in a learning journey encompassing the arts, mathematics, tikanga, and identity. Many hands, hearts, and minds have contributed to the large tapa cloth artwork proudly on display in Sylvia Park School’s reception area. The collaborative project is called My Turangawaewae and it comprises many squares; each square reflecting the identity and culture of the student who created it. The school engaged interdisciplinary artist Alexis Neal in Term 1 to work with their years 4, 5, and 6 students on the project. 

Read more on Education Gazette:  My Turangawaewae – exploring identity through the arts .

About the project

Rosehill College, Auckland: Hip Hop fundamentals (2021) 

Students at Rosehill College learned about the culture and history behind Hip Hop and Street Dance styles. The school worked with Alexandra Page on a creative project that combined practical lessons with historical and contextual knowledge to help students develop a wider respect and understanding of the style and culture it came from.  

Read more (story is courtesy of Big Idea NZ:  Creatives and Teachers on the Same Page ).

About the project

Kelburn Normal School, Wellington: Performing Maui (2020) 

Students at Kelburn Normal School were engaged in retelling the stories of Maui using ngā toi Māori to strengthen key competencies and student voice and agency. The school engaged drama experts Rawiri Hindle and Bert Van Dijk to co-construct with teachers a cycle of plays inspired by the stories of Maui. The plays were created and performed by each home learning team for each other, and then for parents and whānau.

Read more on Education Gazette:  Breathing life into learning .

About the project

Māpua School: Toi Whakairo (Pou Whenua)

Internationally-acclaimed local master carver and tattoo artist, Gordon Toi, helped students create the pou, showcasing what the children treasured about their community. Children drew ideas based on what they valued in Māpua, with the pou intended to tell their story and mark their place. Working with Gordon enabled learners to gain greater insight into Māori culture.

Read more (story courtesy of Stuff Limited: School art project weaves cultures past, present and future )

About the project

Te Wharekura o Mauao, Tauranga: Takitimu (2021) 

Ākonga at Te Wharekura o Mauao delivered a full-scale production of Takitimu. The bilingual performance features a mix of different storytelling elements, including haka, singing, dance, and spoken word poetry. It looks at the navigation and challenges of Takitimu and contextualises it in the present day. They worked with director Jason Te Mete and choreographer Vincent Farane to produce this performance.

Read more (story is courtesy of Big Idea NZ:  Opening New Doors to Creativity in Schools )

About the project

Glenholme School, Rotorua: The Stories through Glass (2021) 

Students took part in a project that combines science and artistry behind glass fusing while exploring aspects of their diverse cultural identities and giving them opportunities to tell their own stories.

With guidance from local artist Jayne Baume, students learned about the different properties of glass and created pieces that reflect the many cultures that make up their school whānau.

Read more (story courtesy of Rotorua Daily Post: Glenholme School proudly displays creations from the magic of glass art )

About the project

St Mary’s Catholic School, Rotorua: The Journey Project (2021) 

Students worked with local artist Jessica Newman to create art pieces that help spread positive thoughts in their community. The project includes exploring the art of clay modelling, carving, making armour, and painting. 

Throughout the project, students were finding their creative voice while learning how to increase their confidence and resilience.

Read more (story courtesy of Rotorua Daily Post:  St Mary's Catholic School pupils excited to spread positive message ).

About the project


Page last updated: 2 April 2023
Watch this space for future updates.

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