Tō Mātou Wahi

Our Place

Te Pepeha o tō Mātou nei Kura
(Our Roslyn School Pepeha)

Roslyn School whakapapa to Rangitāne o Manawatū due to its structural connection to the whenua.

Ko Rangi ki runga

Ko Papa ki raro

Tīhei mauri ora

Ko Ruahine me Tararua ngā 

pae maunga.

Ko Manawatū te awa.

Ko Kurahaupō te waka.

Ko Whātonga te rangatira.

Ko Rangitāne te iwi.

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Acknowledging the sky above

Acknowledging the land below

Behold the breath of life

Ruahine and Tararua are the mountain range.

Manawatū is the river.

Kurahaupō is the waka.

Whātonga is the leader.

Rangitāne is the tribe.

Greetings to everyone.

Te Pakiwaitara o tō Mātou nei Kura

Roslyn School was first built in 1951, but didn't open until 1953.  When it opened, there were 420 students. In 4 months, 100 new children started. They didn’t have enough classrooms and teachers, so there was a need to quickly build more and get more teachers.  Rooms 1-13 were the first classes built. Rooms 14-22 weren't built until years later.  There were 40 students in each classroom.  

The school pool wasn’t built until 1955 but, unfortunately, is no longer in use anymore due to structural damage and is now used as a Māra Kai (Garden for food).  The photo below and to the right are of the schools’ two Duxes, taken from a story that ran in the Manawatū Standard on 15th October, 1955:  They are Margaret Cheehan and Bryson Hosie.

Our Cultural Journey

- Fast forward from 2011...

Pā Shane Ruwhiu joined our Roslyn whānau in 2011 through his role as Kaitautoko Rangatahi Korikori Tinana facilitator at Best Care, Whakapai Hauora.  This was a part of their Health Promotion Programme, Health Contract and later, in addition to that, role he naturally became our Cultural & Te Reo Māori Advisor.  

Pā Shane had a strong whakapapa connection to both Rangitāne and Ngati Porou iwi.  He had a significant impact on many of our staff, students and our school community for the years he was with us and helped support the kaupapa and development of our cultural journey.  He was not only our Cultural and Te Reo Māori Advisor, he also attended and led many of our pōhiri, he was our Kapa Haka tutor, our facilitator for Tama Toa with Pā Jason Tatana, and he supported many school events, including having an active role in our termly Whānau hui.  

Pā Shane blessed and opened our new refurbished buildings at the start of 2018, and took us through the process of naming our buildings, which linked to the story created through our school Pou (2013) and the narrative of our kura using landmarks within the school as the foundation.  He was a well respected member of our school, and is greatly missed by all who knew him.  Sadly, Pā Shane unexpectedly passed away on the 16th October, 2018.

The Development of our Five Pou

 Pou are commonly thought of as pillars, upright support poles, or posts. But in traditional Māori narratives of the origin of the universe, pou were pillars of light, used to keep sky and earth separated. This allowed the natural world to flourish and, in turn, people to prosper.  Today a pou, or post, is made from a tree and erected in another place to make a statement.

In consultation with Pā Shane, our Te Ohu Mātua whānau and some of our senior students who had a talent and interest in the visual arts, we started discussions around what we could do to connect with the whenua more and the environment in terms of an installation of some sort. 

Our initial stage of planning began with a walk around our kura.  We talked about the whenua, environment and how it made us feel, and the things we noticed in and around our kura.  Our kura cater for ākonga from Years 0-8, so the students talked about their journey during the 8 years they had been a part of our kura.  They talked about pou they had seen in other schools and in different places, both traditional and contemporary, and so we explored and researched examples of contemporary pou and the different ways they were designed, displayed & completed and how to interpret them and their symbols.  We  explored options of and came up with the idea of creating five contemporary pou to share and tell our story as a representation of us, who we are, and what our kura means to us.  This was presented to Te Ohu Mātua (School Whānau) at a whānau hui.  Our whānau were very much on board and added to the discussions around our Pou, giving our concept even more breath and life to the idea.

Whaea Maryanne and Whaea Tracy continued with the project, using the kōrero from whānau and tamariki.  Whaea Tracy is one of our staff members who has a huge passion for the visual arts & our kura.  She is also responsible for the many art pieces installed around our kura, past & present, that she has worked on with students. Tracy is also one of our longest standing staff members, so she has a deep connection with our kura also.   

Consultation was ongoing & involved Pā Shane, our staff, and our whānau roopu, Te Ohu Mātua,  through whānau hui to get their ideas and stories too. We gathered as much feedback from our whānau, staff & tamariki to help come up with the designs for our Pou.  We then created the narrative around our five Pou.  Four of these were designed using four wooden pou and acrylic paint as the medium.  We all worked together on the design for each of our Pou and worked with a couple of our students from start to finish.   Our fifth Pou is represented by the use of our old oak tree, which is at the entry point via Kipling Street (which was the original entry point to our kura).  The tree is the fifth pou due to its significance and purpose as an anchor.  It is the connection to the whenua and the land our school stands on.  

Pā Shane was our iwi representative through his mahi at Tanenuiarangi INC and he gifted the names for our five Pou, using the kōrero about each one and the journey we took to get here in designing and creating them.

The Whakapapa of our Contemporary Pou

Te Pou Manaia

As mentioned in some accounts, the manaia stylised figure is considered to be a guardian because it is able to cross from the spiritual world to the human world.  We feel that our manaia represents us, as guardians of our kura,  guardians of our tamariki, and guardians of the knowledge that is reciprocal.

Te Pou Hoe

This represents us paddling in unison: working in partnership with our people and whānau who are connected with our kura.

Te Pou Pa Harakeke

This is used as a metaphor to represent us and our whānau, and the gene pools inherited by our tamariki from both their parents, and the passing of attributes down the generations.

Te Pou Tangata

This pou symbolises the support and the supporters that unite us as a kura.

Te Pou Tāne Whakaruruhau 

(A historical tree at the entry point of our school via Kipling Street)

Tāne Whakaruruhau was used as our fifth pou because of its historical nature and connection to the school.  It connects us with our whenua and acts as a protector or shield for our kura, our Pou, and our school learning community.

These Pou were designed and created as a contemporary representation of our ākonga and kaiako, of us as a school and as a whānau.  They represent every single one of us in our school: it doesn’t matter if we are Māori, Pakeha, Pasifika or any other ethnicity from around the world.  

Unveiling of our Pou

We unveiled our Pou during a dawn service to bless them.   We had seven wahine (ladies, including our artists) standing beside and amongst each of our Pou. These seven wahine represented the time of Matariki.  Our wahine were a representation of Matariki and her daughters, Waitī, Waitā, Tupu-ā-rangi, Tupu-ā-nuku, Waipunarangi and Ururangi. These stars will always shine down on this good world of ours, hence the significance and reason we had seven ladies either holding onto our pou, or standing beside them.  

Our fifth Pou, Tāne Whakaruruhau - one of our oldest historical landmarks within our kura and its history - had two tāne, male staff members, standing on each side.  Our kura was founded in 1953.  The wairua of this tree plays a special or rather significant role amongst our Pou.  It isn’t just a beautiful large tree within our grounds: it is now named Tāne, Tāne Whakaruruhau.  The reason why we named it was: firstly, because of its historical significance and it has been here for a very long time; and secondly, because the sun shines down on this particular tree and it produces a huge shadow.  Not only does it shade this area of the school, but it will also protect, shield, and shelter our Pou.  The shadow is like a korowai, protecting each and every one of our pou and us.  It is protected by the spirit of Tāne, hence the reason we had tāne (men) standing on each side of  it during our unveiling ceremony to give it the representation of the Whakaruruhau. 

In 2022, with the support of our new Tumuaki, Mr Sam Bradnock, we begun work on aligning our kaupapa within our kura to all connect back to our five Pou and weave our five ngā uaratanga (values) through that kaupapa: these values being Manaakitanga, Kotahitanga, Hauora, Whanaungatanga & Kaitiakitanga.  We have been working on these values for several years now and they have become our core values throughout the school in 2024.

Our Learning Teams & Spaces

Our kura is surrounded by large established trees, which border the edges of a majority of our kura.  As such, we have affiliated most of our narrative, or rather the story of our kura, metaphorically inline with the notion of using the whenua, linking our Pou, with the naming of our buildings, our learning teams and our Kapa Haka roopu.

Our Learning Team Names

Roslyn School is made up of four major teams, often referred to as the senior school (years 5-8) and the junior school (Years 0-4).  Each team name is likened to the growth development of the great kauri tree that grows in te wao nui a Tāne:

Historically, our learning spaces have been positioned in their teams throughout the kura within blocks.  Therefore, Pā Shane suggested and discussed the following names & how those names came to him for each of our building blocks.

Our Building Block Names

Kapa Haka Roopū

Ngā Tupuranga is our Senior Kapa Haka Roopu (performing arts group) that represents Te Ao Māori within Roslyn School.  Ngā Tupuranga was the name gifted to us by Pā Shane, which metaphorically acknowledges the child’s mental, physical, spiritual & whānau growth: so, in terms of when the child is sitting in a single state, they are grasping all that knowledge of spiritual, physical, mental and whānau development, and learning the principles of life through those cornerstones and nurturing their potential.

Our group was first formed in 2012, under the guidance and leadership of Whaea Maryanne Ferris and Kaitautoko Rangatahi Korikori Tinana facilitator, Pā Shane Rūwhiu, of Best Care Whakapai Hauora.  The area of focus has been to raise the level of physical activity and education knowledge of nutrition using iwi tools of atuatanga, tipuatanga and kaitiakitanga.

These iwi values, concepts and principles enhance the pride and mana of our students, who are interested in developing their knowledge of te reo me ona tikanga through pūoro (music) and nekehanga a tinana (body movement) using te reo Māori.

Ngā Tipūranga is our Junior Kapa Haka Roopu, which caters for our students from Year 1 to Year 4.  Our Junior Roopu was developed from a mental, spiritual, physical and whānau health need, and a strong desire of our Māori students and other students wishing to learn te reo Māori through waiata, haka and poi.  This helps them transition to the senior kapa haka group as they move through our kura to Year 5. Ngā Tipuranga (seedlings) are learning to grow and flourish within a Māori environment, learning basic te reo Māori through waiata and movement.

2018 - Present Day

Ngā Tupuranga is now tutored by Whaea Sandy & Whaea Maryanne, and they also take Junior waiata for the whole junior school once a week.   

School Uniform Implemented: 2022

Tohu Design 2021 - Moa Clothing Supplier

 Ngā Pou o te Kura

The tohu is broken into five parts to represent the five Pou of our school. The pattern is also reflected to         articulate the duality of Te Ao Māori: Te taha mo te tāne, Te taha mo te wahine etc.  

1. Te Pou Tāne Whakaruruhau - is represented through the middle. This pou is what connects the people to the whenua. The patterns within talk about the ever growing and ever developing face of the school: much like the tree it will always continue to grow forth. The five mangopare through the centre of the tohu, talk to the interconnection of each pou.

2. Te Pou Manaia - The two manaia act as kaitiaki for the school and whoever wears the kākahu with this tohu on. The manaia also represents the people who have gone before us and paved the path we stand on today.

3. Te Pou Pa Harakeke - This is represented through the pattern of “papa whāriki” the sacred mat of learning, in acknowledgement to the space of wānanga and the joining of people, whakaaro and whakapapa.

4. Te Pou Tangata - This pou is represented through the koru, speaking to the continued growth of the tauira that come through the kura. The three kape rua at the tip of the kore represent: 1. the retention of old knowledge, 2. the development of new knowledge, and 3. the preservation of knowledge for the future.

5. Te Pou Hoe - These are represented in two sails of a waka hourua. The pattern in the sails is the connection back to our tipuna mai i Hawaiki nui, Hawaiki roa, Hawaiki Pamamao. The star constellation on the right is Matariki, representing new beginnings and a shift in thinking towards a new more inclusive future. The star constellation to the left is Mahutonga (the southern cross). This represents the guiding of the school into the future, while acknowledging its past. 

The tohu has been deliberately placed on the side of our school polo so that our pou and what each of them represents, embraces and wraps around all our ākonga/tamariki and those who wear our tohu.  You can see Te Pou Whakaruru Hau is the anchor at the seam, joining and connecting all our pou together and ensuring both manaia are protecting our ākonga from the front and the back as well as the side.  Te Pou Whakaruru Hau is the korowai shielding and protecting all our other pou and our ākonga.

Moa Clothing designed and supplies our school polo, and are based in the Manawatū.  Maia Gibbs no Te Tairawhiti designed our Tohu and contracts to Moa Clothing, which is owned by James Soloman.  He is responsible for the Cultural designs for Moa Clothing, whether Māori or Pasifika.  Both Sam Bradnock (Tumuaki) and Whaea Maryanne Ferris have connections to James and Maia, which helped the process in designing our Tohu and school uniform.