Here is the story behind our project.
First we establish a big vision for our students to build their language and cross cultural skills by making a connection with their own roots, and to share it with others in relation to WWI.
Then we needed to work out what we were seeking to achieve and what it would look like as a result. Here is what we sought to achieve:
• Connect with our “kiwi soul” and “global vision for Shirley Men” by learning about NZ and French history.
• Akonga to understand the contribution they can make with the world if they value diversity in themselves and with the wider world.
• Have akonga develop self understanding by connecting to their ancestors from studying the Great War, local men women and boys that went to fight in Europe, and learn about how the French view our contribution today. Help them see how their actions contribution to the greater good too.
So what do we think it will turn out like? Here are some of the outcomes we are aiming for:
• Learn of NZ maori traditions with Ki-o-Rahi, haka, our school haka.
• Design and build 2 pou (3 panels each to represent Oraka/Shirley/Otautahi region, Dijon or Arras, and the links between France and NZ in the two world wars. Put the pou together in France, and gift them with proper ceremony to these two cities. Extend invitations to our community to prepare and build pou. Bind the participating students together by making this shared project, and working together in France to assemble it. NB: we chose this project because Lycée Carnot, our partner in Arras, met via our Young Ambassador Sean last year, is a construction based high school and Shirley Boys has a very strong technology department so we shared similar interests and skills. (yes, this is well under way as you can see here!)
• Discover NZ native plants, and which would be suitable to the two French climates/geography so they can be planted around the pou when in France (we are currently engaging with our students in the horticulture and science department for that)
• Provide an opportunity for the boys to develop skills in art/carving/design/construction, transactional writing (proposals, letters of introduction, directions for construction, explanations of tikanga and symbols), financial planning, NZ native plants and how to care for them though co-curricular learning with other subjects
Phew, we are on it! Come back soon for more news