A LITTLE KINDNESS GOES A LONG WAY
On return to school following lockdown, the Sir John Kirwan Foundation recognises that schools may need to pause
everyday learning to allow space for ākonga to explore and express their hopes and fears about the changed world they
Along with gifting Mitey to New Zealand schools, the Sir John Kirwan Foundation is thrilled to gift a multi-level unit of work to help teachers support their ākonga returning to school. The unit of work titled “A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way” is built around the NZ book Tu Meke Tuatara by Malcolm Clarke, illustrated by FLOX. Using Tu Meke Tuatara, “A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way” celebrates the beauty and diversity of Aotearoa and the importance of kindness and reconnecting together.
Through arts and literacy and by building on themes of friendship and kindness, ākonga are given the opportunity to explore their feelings and to develop strategies for managing feelings in times of uncertainty. By focusing on community and communication, ākonga will experience how helping others can help their own wellbeing. Working through “A Little Kindness Goes a Long Way” with their teacher and class, gives ākonga the space they need to re-establish where they belong in their classroom, in their whānau and in their community.
ANXIOUS CLASSROOMS, ANXIOUS STUDENTS
Coming back to the classroom after a long break because the world has changed can be a tricky time for many children. For some it’s really hard to find the words to describe how they feel. Finding safe ways to explore emotions, protecting children so they can risk sharing their worries and concerns and providing some tools to help cope with worries is an important part of settling back into school.
Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships
The Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships classroom program is an open-access social and emotional learning resource, that I developed for the Victorian education system. A detailed teacher manual comprising lesson plans, learning intentions and evidence-informed rationale is provided for each level from Foundation to Years 11-12. The participatory learning activities are mapped to the curriculum and grouped for each level of the program into eight thematic areas of Emotional Literacy, Personal Strengths, Positive Coping, Problem Solving, Stress Management, Help-Seeking, Gender and Identity, and Positive Gender Relations. I am currently researching uptake and impact within an ARC linkage project. The learning materials are particularly well received by teachers and students.