Wairakei Power Station was commissioned in 1958 and Wairakei Primary School followed not long after on September 7, 1959. Positioned close to the steam fields, our school history and culture has been and continues to be influenced by this geothermal environment and energy that is generated in this unique area.
Driving to school, the steam plumes rising from the fields acting as a focus point and so it seems natural that our school vision, values and mission statement build on and incorporate this theme.
POWER - Pride, Opportunity, Whanau, Excellence and Respect have formed the backbone of our school values systems for more than ten years.
It wasn’t until we looked briefly at removing these terms and simplifying them that we realised that they were deeply embedded in our community and culture and needed to stay. What in fact needed to be tweaked was the school vision and mission statements.
After consultation with members of our school community, the following mission statement emerged:
Wairakei Primary School Educate Students with POWER to be Confident Learners
Combining our links to the steam field and its energy allowed us to develop
Rising to Success
as our school vision for the future.
The next question's are if you were to wander around Wairakei Primary School what would POWER look like? Where could you see POWER in action? Would our students be able to explain what POWER means to them? Could we see POWER anywhere?
Classes have been ‘unpacking’ the Mission and Vision. The juniors have thought about and written about how they can show POWER in different settings, and the middle and senior students have taken the metaphor further and developed their own unique POWERships. These range from rocket ships, to container ships to a whare where students in Room 2 thought about the areas of POWER they needed to work on.
The roof of our whare is the weakest part - this is what we need to work on the most. The base of the house is what we know about most - our strongest areas Louie
Students have been working with our new visuals and using digital tools to recreate them and share their understanding of what they could mean.
Rising to Success means working hard all the time - it is trying to do better than you ever have Mithesh
We have heard from our whanau that this learning is being shared at home. This highlights the value the students are placing upon it.
Love it, my little girl came home talking about it…so it already has value for her. Great mahi, Wairakei Parent
Rising to success rejuvenates and supports our POWER values as we strive to provide quality education for all those in our Wairakei Primary School community -- Chris Te Whare, Board Chair.
Sitting alongside the new Mission is a school wide Matrix developed with staff at our Teacher Only Days. This is a living, breathing document that students and teachers use as part of the Behaviour For Learning Toolkit. Teachers brainstormed what each letter of POWER looked like inside the classroom, outside the classroom and at gatherings and developed lesson plans that sit alongside each one. It is just as important to teach our young people values and what POWER looks like in different settings.
Where to from here
Our next steps are to introduce the Tokarewa Programme to classrooms. Tokarewa means Magma - it is the beginning of our learning journey and the beginning of ‘our’ Wairakei metaphor for Rising to Success for our students. All students will have their own Tokarewa booklets that teachers can use to reward students for showing POWER in different settings. The booklets have water drop stickers that students earn, and at different intervals they will receive prizes. This initiative encourages students to engage in positive behaviour across school settings. It links closely with the school wide matrix with the goal that over time students will use the language of the matrix and encourage their peers to do the same while earning "cool" prizes.
Key words: Vision, Mission Statement, Power4Learning, POWER.