Friday, 10 July 2015

Evaluations of the Cultural Responsiveness in Practice [Activity 14]

My school is a Decile 1 and has a large Pasifika presence, yet all cultures, beliefs and understandings are used to inform the way forward with our school vision.

These are three ways in which my school is culturally responsive.
  1. Vision, Goals and Values
    Our school vision is Partnering with our community to develop successful learners who can take action to shape their future. This is being acheived though ensuring our staff work in a partnership with the community, prepare our learners to be successful and equipped with the correct tools to aid their success once they leave our school. We also address this vision by fostering our core values Whakaute (Respect), Manawaroa (Resilience), Kaitiakitanga (Responsibility), and Whakawhanaungatanga (Relationships).
     
  2. Policies
    We have various policies that we adhere to each day.  A few of our policies are, a 'no-fizzy' drinks policy that came into effect this year.  It was initially a questionable policy as some families found it more affordable to buy lunch packs which readily include very sugary juices or fizzy drinks.  However, this year we have been privileged to participate in the Fonterra 'Milk for schools' initiative and receive fresh milk each day.  This has helped us justify the policy and encourage parents to send their children to school with water only, provided we have milk each day and water fountains around the school.  There is a Media release policy that needs to be signed by each family upon enrollment that respects their rights to privacy and/or allows the school permission to publish their child's name and picture. We are also a PB4L school and have our 'Hay Park Way' firmly established throughout the school.
     
  3. Communication methods
    English is a second language for many of our students and their families.  Along with our regular newsletter, we also send newsletters out in different languages, such as Tongan or Samoan.  This is achieved by approaching our local parent community and involving them in decisions about the language used in our newsletters and asking them to translate them into their native tongue.  This regular parent consultation also allows keeps us aware of cultural issues or concerns that exist in the community,

    Another way is by arranging qualified translators to attend meetings where our parents and families struggle to understand English.  For example, I have worked alongside a mother who knows very little English but speaks fluent Urdu.  After arranging an interpreter, her confidence in helping her children and participating in school activities increased.

References

Hay Park School. (2015).  Vision,Goals and Values.  Retrieved from http://www.haypark.school.nz/ vision-goals-values on 12 July 2015.

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