FERNWORTH Primary School is facing a bright new future.
The school has been rebranded, complete with a new Maori name, logo, vision and a vibrant new uniform.
Principal Alison Cook said the school’s vision had not been reviewed since the school opened in 2005, so the board of trustees thought it was time to refresh it.
“It was time to hit the reset button.”
The board collaborated with pupils, staff, whanau and members of their local marae, Murihiku, last year to develop the school’s vision for the future, she said.
“We wanted the vision to reflect what was important to the new families in the school.”
The new vision incorporated the values of whakapono (traditional Maori religion), having self-belief and confidence, and manaakitanga (hospitality), being respectful and caring towards others.
Those values would be embedded in the school’s curriculum, she said.
Through those discussions with representatives from the marae, it was decided to give the school the Maori name of Te Kura o Whare Pa, named after the original area where it is based, Whare Pa.
The new name had more meaning to the school community, she said.
Nearly 50% of the pupils at the school identified as Maori.
“We are excited to have a Maori name, kindly gifted to us by the Waihopai Runanga.”
As part of the new vision, the pupils were being encouraged to express their own identity.
In keeping with this, new uniforms were being introduced in six bright colours for the pupils to choose from.
Ms Cook said it did not make sense to encourage the children to express and celebrate their own identity and then require them to dress in identical uniforms, “like robots”.
The new uniforms would be integrated into the school over time.
Pupil Ranui Parkinson said he had chosen to wear the red top because red was his second favourite colour, with gold being his favourite colour.
He liked the idea of being able to choose the colour of his uniform, he said. He also preferred the new T-shirt style top rather than the previous one which had a collar on it.
Aria Barrett said she had chosen the pink top because pink was her favourite colour.