At Taita College in Wellington's Lower Hutt, learning is authentic, future-focused, multidisciplinary, and culturally responsive.
Taking the rich cultural diversity of their student cohort as a starting point for deep learning, school leaders have been integrating NCEA units around authentic cultural contexts, such as the cooking of food in a hāngī and umu (Māori and Pacific earth ovens).
"We often tend to emphasise academic intelligence, but at Taita we know that emotional and cultural intelligence are critical."
– Karen Morgan, Principal
This integrated unit takes place in term 4 and involves all year 10 students. It offers the chance to earn multiple credits across a range of NCEA learning areas before moving to year 11.
The learning culminates in a special one-day event, preparing a hāngī and an umu followed by an evening celebrating student success with the wider school community.
For science HOD, Sujata Rajagopal, hāngī and umu are perfect contexts for the level 1 standard AS 90943: Investigate implications of heat for everyday life . Students achieve this standard through an analysis of the hāngī and umu cooking processes as they relate to the principles of conduction, convection, and insulation.
On the day, students work with specialists from Callaghan Innovation , who teach students how to use equipment for measuring heat, such as thermo-cameras. Students take sensor readings of the hāngī and umu and analyse the data by making plot graphs.