How Strong is Your Whare?

If your health and wellbeing was a whare, how strong would it be? Room 11 students are learning about  the Whare Tapa Wha health model. This model looks at health as a wharenui  or meeting house. The  four walls or areas of importance are mental, spiritual, physical and social health. Our connection…

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The social health area of the Whare Tapa Wha model aligns closely to Health  in the New Zealand Curriculum, in particular building relationships. This is particularly important at the start of the year. In Room 11, students started this  journey by sharing stories about themselves using Art as the context.  

We used a jandal template to represent walking with each other to get to know one another. Students had to use pictures to tell their peers about themselves.

Exercising, basketball and soccer and watching the sunset make me feel good. When it's sunny I can swim in my pool.

My favourite things to do are running, playing on the trampoline and lego. I drew my family and where mum and dad work too.

As the students explored what they did to help them maintain a balance, they discovered that they had many things in common with their classmates.

We both go camping sometimes.

We both like nature like sunsets and swimming.

I like swimming, playing soccer and going on our boat.

I love playing soccer and going on my boat too.

This helped students become more comfortable to interact with a wider range of their classmates. To encourage this, Room 11 did team building activities such as puzzle making and building challenges. Students were surprised at how much fun they had problem solving together with other students they would not normally work with.

To introduce the Whare Tapa Wha concept to the class, one challenge was for teams to use different materials to try to build a strong and secure home. Quickly, students realised that without a connection between walls, their houses were unstable and more often than not fell over.

Students are realising how growing connections with others can strengthen areas of their health. In Room 11, we will continue to work on strengthening all the walls of our whare.

Paul Morehu is working on strengthening areas of his mental and social health.

We encourage you to work on strengthening areas of your whare too. Maybe we’ll bump into each other on our journeys.

Keywords: Strong, Whare, wellbeing, relationships, growing connections

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