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"Te Roopu Rangitahi" - Growing our Maori Student E-Learning Leaders

RCICT Cluster Reflection - Milestone 6

Year Level - Primary

Cluster Type - Traditional ICTPD Cluster

ContextTe Roopu Rangatahi is a project group that has been established by the Rotorua Central Information Communication Technology Cluster

This is a cluster of 5 diverse Rotorua schools - Glenholme, Westbrook, Malfroy, Rotorua Primary and Sunset.

The overall vision of the cluster is to provide opportunities for students to become confident, connected and creatively involved 21st Century learners.

National Goal 1- Students to become successful Digital Citizens

Cluster Goal 1 - Students showing

- digital etiquette

- digital communication and

- digital literacy

-accessing digital tools.

Students are using e-learning and SOLO Taxonomies to support and enhance their achievement.

It is important to note that each school has a specific focus on addressing the needs of their Maori Students and that this initiative was merely one facet of that plan. For example, how Glenholme School have catered for their students can be viewed in the presentation below

Rationale - Each school in the Rotorua Central ICT Cluster has an extremely high percentage of Maori students. Management of the Rotorua Central ICT Cluster believe that managing success for our Māori students is about having a high quality education system that is accessible, equitable and responsive to different learning aspirations, ensuring every educational option is quality choice

• The Rotorua Central ICT Cluster’s purpose is to transform the education system of our schools to ensure Māori are enjoying educational success in Information and Communication Technologies

• Management of the Rotorua Central ICT Cluster agree that the students within the cluster do not have the required ICT support from parents and whanau to build strong foundations for ICT learning as a prerequisite for further education, qualifications and higher level tertiary education consistent to that of their European counterparts

• The Rotorua Central ICT Cluster wants to build on the Māori Potential Approach which emphasises working together, sharing power and informed decision making

• The Rotorua Central ICT Cluster supports Māori self-development and self-determination and represents a move away from a focus on deficit, problems failure and risks to focus making the most of opportunities for success

• The Rotorua Central ICT Cluster believes that this application for Information and Communication Technologies Professional Development Collaboration Programme is an opportunity to ultimately manage success for Māori students of Rotorua through effective teacher professional learning and development.

 Focus - The Te Roopu Rangitahi Group was created to nurture a small focus group from within each school that could then share back to their teachers, peers, classes and wider school community. This group (wherever possible) would stay consistent for the period of the contract (3 years), it was also set up with the hope that it would be a sustainable entity with lead teachers from within each school taking responsiblity to oversee it's success (rather than Director, Principals or Facilitator). Hence the reponsibility of communication, content, planning, student outcomes and documentation fell on the lead teachers.

Taken from the initial Te Roopu Wiki

"The 20 Maori students selected (4 from each school) will spend time in each others' schools working together, sharing ideas and ICT information. They will receive guidance to explore and use ICT skills effectively. They will become more proficient users of ICT and will be given the opportunity to utilise this new knowledge themselves, and to lead other learners in their home schools."

Intentions - Students would be identified that would benefit from 

  • Increased confidence and ability to build relationships
  • The opportunity to communicate and collaborate with other Maori students across the 5 schools.
  • Developing an understanding of what it means to be a digital citizen and role model this to others in their own schools.
  • The opportunity to build resilence and leadership skills
  • Increased exposure to ICT tools and equipment

Westbrook's lead teacher shares that "Children were selected in consultation with the classroom teacher.  They had to be on the Maori role and were children who would most likely be able to display leadership qualities in ICT given this opportunity."


The group would meet as a whole a minimum of once a term (preferably twice), Lead Teachers would also be released to work with the group as well as  provided with release time to reflect, plan and implement next steps (both as a group and individually). Lead teachers would be expected to operate, to continue and to extend the learning of the group within their own school between times. This in school e-learning would provided each Te Roopu member with the opportunity to nurture their confidence, to learn new skills, to experiment, and to dabble, grow and share within their own school - with each school catering for this how they see fit (eg either through group lunchtime  sessions, sharing at assemblies/staff meetings, becoming recognised 'ICT Guru's' that teachers and students alike call on for support/role modelling)


There would be a strong focus on digital citizenship and cybersafety with all five school adopting the use of the online resource Super Clubs Plus very early in the initiative.

A Glenholme Te Roopu group member reflects on Super Clubs Plus early in the programme




Examples of what we did

Session 1:

Students learnt how to use easi speak microphones and flip video's while also developing and learning their Pepeha. Students were both in front and behind the camera - leading their own learning.

Session 2:

Confidence grew (children that would normally never address a group became more familiar in front of a camera bith with their peers and their teachers.) (Jordan Year 1)

In Year 3 Learners confidence had grown and several were able to share what they had been learning with the whole group in an unfamiliar environment (eg a school other than their own - Jordan Year 3)

What do lead teachers feel has been a sign of success to date?

Glenholme Lead feels that

They (Te Roopu Students) are now able to go into other classrooms confidently and help other students as well as teachers with troubleshooting and various e-learning programmes.  I have found that no matter what programme they are shown or what tool they are given to use, they immediately take to it and become more proficient than several of their own teachers.

We have found that having the children assist staff during in-house ICT PD to be very successful. The children were well versed in the programmes being taught and keen to assist teachers who were new to the programmes.

Some teachers request the Te Roopu students to assist them, when teaching their classes ICT skills.

A Celebration

2012 Project - "E-Book Challenge" The Malfroy School Te Roopu group (with the support of their Lead Teacher) entered the NZTA Digital E-book Competition -"SaferJourneys for Children" and WON! Their initial winning entry (minus the sound and vide) can be viewed below. The e-book was created soley using the ipad and multiple applications (Book Creator, Diptic and PS Express).

As a part of their prize package Innes Kennard spent the day with them enhancing their E-book (personalising it re digital content/songs/images) ready for publication and use by the NZTA company.

“The boys collaborated and assigned jobs to each other, pulling on the talents and abilities of individuals. The boys were very keen to develop a message that could be shared with our junior school."teacher Wendy Stafford

Judges Comments: “Polished, skillfully crafted.”

Prize: Four days in-school support, $3000 vouchers of choice

Positive spin off's

Westbrook lead teacher stated that "By working alongside children many of the Lead Teachers were given the opportunity to learn new skills."

Vision for the Future

One Lead teacher shares “I see the concept of Te Roopu Rangitahi as the passing on of skills and knowledge to others by challenging the way we learn. In the future I would like to see opportunities opened up to Year 5 and 6 children of any ethnicity who already shine and have a confidence in ICT.  They would become mentors for their peers and for teachers too.  Part of their brief would be to further develop their own high level skills in the areas of problem solving (Technical) and become the first users to trial any new technology introduced to the school.  They would then become the “go to” person if teachers or classes need their help.  They could run lunch time clubs which could include programming, animation, film making, music studio and game making.”

Other Leads points of view "I would like to see them continue to meet as a cluster group, with like minded children, sharing ideas and e-learning tools / programmes.

"I would like to see these tamariki attend conferences, cluster shares and other ICT teacher PD workshops, alongside their teachers or e-Leaders. As they would benefit and soak up all the learning."

"I would like the teachers of the children selected, to be given a time slot during the week where they share ICT skills with their class or classes around the school to enable them to show off their skills and knowledge.  This will also show that they are valued and encourage leadership within the school."

Impact on students/teachers/whanau

A parent of a Glenholme Te Roopu Student  shares the impact that the group has had on her Whanau.






End of 3 year journey celebration and acknowledgements.

Principals, Board of Trustees, Parents and Whanau were invited to an finale celebration where the lead teachers and students journey was acknowledged and celebrated. Students shared their E-Book projects via the Rotorua Primary Computer Suite and Malfroy shared theirs via an iPad. 





An email received from a Glenholme Board of Trustees member after the event

Kia Ora XXXXX,

Thank you for the invitation to Te Roopu Rangitahi Cluster. It was a real pleasure to be there observing what our tamariki have been learning in the last 3years. Each presentation was well done, I am certainly amazed with the learning capabilities our tamariki have, and how fast they learn with technology today. ICT Maori leaders are certainly our future generation!

Lastly Thank you Jordan XXXXXX for taking the time to show me three presentations at school. You showed excellent communication skills and a very pleasant


 Nga mihi


Winiana Nicholls

Board of Trustee