As part of our transition towards new ways of teaching and learning together, we have been revisiting our vision. We have worked with our community, students, staff and Board of Trustees to understand the essence of what we see as our purpose, our vision, and the values that underpin that vision, to take our school into the next 10-20 years. To that end, we drafted a new vision in 2016:
Filling our kete for the journey!
Whakarite nga kete mō te haerenga!
We have agreed on five values that we believe encompass everything that our community feels is important for our children to learn and will take them into the future successfully:
- We care
- We get there together
- We love challenge
- We love learning
- We make a difference
As part of this review, we have worked with a graphic designer to create a new school logo to go with the new vision and values.
The story that we are referencing in our logo, and in the development of our vision, begins before the history of the school and takes us back to the pre-European days of Waitaha (Canterbury). This story has been supported by the cultural narrative written by Ngāi Tahu this year for the local Ōpāwaho cluster of schools, including Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto.
This cultural narrative states: ‘The story for the school lies within ‘place’ and is endowed within the landscape. Within the landscape there are the key components which are encapsulated within the histories of mana whenua.’
Ō Pāwaho (the original Māori name for the Heathcote river) flows through the Beckenham area, forming what is now fondly known as ‘the Beckenham loop’. The river was an important travelling route, and the area around Beckenham an important resting place for Ngāi Tahu travelling between Kaiapoi and Horomaka (Banks Peninsula). The surrounding area was an important ‘mahinga kai’, a source of plentiful food. The river historically meandered through extensive wetlands prior to urbanisation, and one of the last vestiges of this swamp that survives today are the Beckenham ponds.
Mahinga kai, and the associated custom of kai hau kai (exchange of food/resources), is of central importance to Ngāi Tahu culture and identity. Literally meaning ‘to work the food’, it refers to the gathering of food and resources, the places where they are gathered and the practices used in doing so. Traditional mahinga kai practice involved the seasonal migration of people to key food gathering areas to gather and prepare food and resources to sustain them throughout the year. These hïkoi (walks) also provided opportunities to reinforce relationships with the landscape and other whanaunga (relations), develop and share knowledge and provide the resources that could be used for trade.
The logo symbol flows like a river (the Heathcote River flows down and up to form the Beckenham Loop). The shape is taken from the shape of ‘hei matau’ (Māori fish hook) which also looks like a stylised lower case ‘b’ for ‘Beckenham’. Hei matau finds its origins in Māori legend, which holds that the North Island of New Zealand was once a huge fish that was caught by Maui using only a woven line and a hook. Here it references the gathering of food (mahinga kai), to fill the kete – a metaphor for our vision.
We want Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto to be a place where all learners are able to ‘fill their kete (basket) for the journey’ and be able to do this in many ways: collectively and individually, through teaching, exchanging of stories, sharing of ideas, and working together to create new learning and knowledge. The separation of the logo into two parts forms a pathway, symbolising the journey that each of us are on, throughout our lives.
The colours are the original school colours of red, black and gold, selected by the founders of the school and taken from the colours of the Belgian flag, to honour the sacrifices being made during the First World War by the soldiers of both Belgium and New Zealand. Red and black are also the colours Canterbury province and gold symbolises excellence. The new logo honours the commitment of the school to bi-cultural education and to the Treaty of Waitangi.