In this video, educators at Ilam School share how their observations of tamariki experiencing separation anxiety from their whānau when transitioning to school, sparked them to seek children's perspectives. They collected data from tamariki about what makes them feel happy at school and discovered the importance of play experiences. Listening to tamariki informed key changes to Ilam School by incorporating play approaches and learning stations.
“I used to think I listened to children. When they put up their hands, I let them speak. But I decided who. We knew that needed to change.” (Kaiako reflection) p.17
After watching this video, think about how well you consider what matters to tamariki:
Take a walk through your school and the classroom environment. Consider how it might look and feel for the many different tamariki and whānau in your community. How might they engage with other tamariki and your environment? What will be familiar to them? How will they see, feel, and know that they belong?
Reflect on how well you listen to the voices of tamariki. How well do you genuinely understand what the experience of starting school means to both tamariki and whānau?
As a team, explore different ways you might connect with whānau to find out what matters to their tamariki.
Discuss how these conversations can naturally occur with whānau who speak different languages, and are from different cultural backgrounds. How might you find a cultural support person from your staff or community for this whānau and tamariki?