Ākonga play key role in testing new sports programme

Issue: Volume 101, Number 2

Posted: 23 February 2022
Reference #: 1HASy8

Ākonga at Ahipara School in the Far North are playing an active role in testing a new sport engagement programme Tākarokaro, so it’s ready for schools and kura across the country in terms 2 and 3 this year.

Ākonga at Ahipara School are designing games to get their whānau and communities active.

Ākonga at Ahipara School are designing games to get their whānau and communities active.

Ahipara School principal, Lisa Murray says it has been fantastic to have the opportunity for their ākonga to get involved in the development of Tākarokaro, a programme that will ultimately be available throughout the country.

It aims to support schools and kura to collaborate with sports clubs on the delivery of local curriculum and Healthy Active Learning initiatives. 

“Last year some of our kaiako were part of a group from Tai Tokerau who worked with our local Te Rarawa rugby club and representatives from Sport NZ, Sport Northland and New Zealand Rugby to design ways in which sports clubs could better engage with schools and kura,” she says.

This initiative involves schools and kura creating healthy and active learning environments, and better connections to their local communities.

“Since last year the ideas have been turned into Tākarokaro and now it is the turn of our ākonga to try out the various learning experiences and have their say on how well they work,” says Lisa. 

Ākonga use Sport NZ’s Insights Tool to research trends in participation.

Ākonga use Sport NZ’s Insights Tool to research trends in participation.

“It’s interesting to watch them as they not only take responsibility for their own learning but also contribute to the programme development process. Seeing a real-life reason for their learning and knowing that their actions might make a difference in our community also seems to be adding to their motivation to learn.”

Tākarokaro begins with ākonga using Sport NZ’s Insights Tool to research participation in play, active recreation and sport in their class, community, and the country.

“We’re looking at how active people are in New Zealand, and they get less active when they get older. It also gives you an idea about other things that mean people don’t get active. It made me wonder what I could do about it,” says Year 7 Ahipara School student Olivia.

Armed with their new knowledge about participation, ākonga then start looking at how games are designed to get people active. They begin by exploring a range of games from the MoveWell resource to see how teachers go about designing games. 

Ākonga then visit their local rugby club to find out what the key things are that sports consider when they design activities to get people involved, and staying engaged. Volunteers from the club provide insights into how the club runs and take ākonga through a set of activities and games related to their sport.  

“Once ākonga have learned how sports and games are designed, they are starting to focus on designing their own games and investigating the impact on things like teamwork, enjoyment, their sense of wellbeing and their desire to be active,” explains kaiako Angie Peters. 

Ahipara School kaiako Angie Peters introduces Tākarokaro to her ākonga.

Ahipara School kaiako Angie Peters introduces Tākarokaro to her ākonga.

“They will then choose their favourite games and work with Te Rarawa Rugby Club to hold a Tākarokaro festival where whānau will try out their games and see the results of their research.”

Year 7 ākonga at Ahipara School are excited by their experiences, and the opportunities.

“It’s cool to make your own games because you can put in whatever you want – it’s way more fun,” says Taj.

“It’s good because everyone can do things and have fun – not just the sporty kids,” says Hunter.

Maiki adds, “I like it when you can work with other people because you can bounce ideas off them and get better ideas.”

Feedback from Ahipara School ākonga and kaiako and Te Rarawa Rugby Club volunteers will be used to further refine the Tākarokaro programme ahead of it being available to schools and kura throughout the country from the beginning of term 2.

“It is great to manaaki ākonga at our club and introduce them to our kaupapa and our games. We are really looking forward to seeing what they come up with,” says Lesley Wallace, president of Te Rarawa Rugby Club. 

Rugby New Zealand is working to ensure they can leverage off major sporting events and establish sustainable ways to engage with schools and kura in a way that meets their local needs, and that of their communities.

“We are really looking forward to working with schools and kura throughout the country on Tākarokaro and playing our part in encouraging
New Zealanders to live more active lifestyles,” explains Mike Hester, participation and development manager at New Zealand Rugby.

Find out more information, or register for Tākarokaro at takarokaro-sport.net(external link)

Read about the first phase of Tākarokaro’s development, featured in Education Gazette 100.11(external link) last year.  

Ākonga learn how rugby activities are designed with support from Te Rarawa Rugby Club and Northland Rugby.

Ākonga learn how rugby activities are designed with support from Te Rarawa Rugby Club and Northland Rugby.

MoveWell for teachers

MoveWell(external link) is a resource to assist teachers, kaiako and others who may be involved with implementing activities to support and extend children’s learning, confidence, ability, and enjoyment in movement.

The resource uses an enjoyable, games-centred approach to develop ākonga knowledge, attitudes and movement skills and is incorporated into the Tākarokaro school engagement programme.

MoveWell aims to build from students’ playful and creative nature, not by just ‘teaching skills’ but by creating environments that allow them to explore, problem-solve and build their movement abilities, competence and confidence to play games with others and feel a sense of success.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 12:54 PM, 23 February 2022

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