Read the full article on the front page of Katikati Advertiser, Thursday September 16 2021 below.
Bursting into spring is giant sunflower – not quite the plant species – but a creative one made of upcycled plastics and reuseable materials, that will be displaying during Katikati’s Festival of Arts in October.
Matathui School’s giant yellow sunflower is one of 111 large wooden sunflowers that have been distributed to preschools and schools in the area, to be decorated for the Festival of Art, hosted every two years by Katikati Open-Air Art.
Festival organiser Jacqui Knight says is was a real gift to see the sunflower from Matahui School, iwth all the Covid uncertainty about what events can and cannot be run at the upcoming festival.
“I think it is absolutely amazing, I don’t know here people get their ideas from, this one is fantastic!”
“I can not wait to see the others too.”
Designed to reflect the bright community spirit that surrounds Katikati, the Matahui School community has been working as a team – staff, students, parents and community members – on the giant sunflower. The students played an active role planning the project aimed at utilising reusable materials and upcycling plastics.
Principal Mary Woods says the focus on upcycling was thought to be the best use of plastic, as no further resources are required to process or recycle the plastic, it goes directly into another use – the ultimate in reducing consumption.
“It’s incredible the things that can be created out of a plastic bottle, can or glass container if you put your mind to it.”
The students reached out to the community for donations towards the sunflower which was painted before lockdown. They took their investigation of sunflowers a step further by examining them in great detail, up close, to find and develop the aesthetic and design.
During the lockdown “MrsB”, Kathryn Burtenshaw, teachers of the year 7 and 8 class worked on the project while communicating remotely with the students about here parts were glued on. Each piece was strategically placed to add character to the sunflower.
Students and families from Kauri Point village donated an array of plastic items, some from children’s toy boxes, and adults delved into their plastic recycling. Mrs B often found packages of plastic bits in her letterbox during alert level 4, a contactless delivery from community members.
“Every time the students see the flower they try to hunt down and identify where their donated piece is glued.”
“it’s almost like a Where’s Wally activity – one can spend hours looking at all the parts of the flower, so many different items have been collected and used.”
Mary says it has been a huge community project bring people together. “It represents more that just an art project. It shines a brightness on our community as we move forward into spring and summer.
“A time of colour, vibrancy, abundance, fresh food and good health.”
The sunflower will join others, soon to be on display at the Katikati library showcasing the talented work of our local children.
Here is an article we had published in the Hauraki Coromandel Post, explaining Matahui’s unique approach to the education of each individual student, you can read the full article below.
At Matahui School we understand learning takes many shapes and forms and all children are individuals and learn in different ways. This is the reason why we have built a school ethos that acknowledges and values the different strengths of each student. Instead of asking ‘Is this child smart’ we ask ”How is this child smart” Instead of fitting students into a box, we celebrate individual brilliance, we call these ‘super-powers’. Dr Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple intelligences is embedded in everything we do to find students ‘smarts’ or ‘super-powers’. Is your child word smart, logic smart, do they have strengths in math, music, drama or are they a natural scientist or palaeontologist? Are they fascinated with insects; do they care for the environment? All of these are ways of being smart and we make connections with these intelligences and forest the in a safe nurturing environment where students can be themselves.
As we prepare our students for their futures, we teach them how to think and problem solve through our interdisciplinary approach. Core subjects are integrated across different areas of learning to create relevant meaning for each individual student. Students are able ton connect and gain understanding of concepts through engaging hands-on activities. Our teachers at Matahui School guide students in their understanding key concepts while encouraging each student to think creatively, collaborate with their peers and teacher and be free to experiment and take risks.
Education outside the classroom, EOTC, is an important area where learning take place beyond the four walls of the classroom. Matahui School students are involved in a number of camps during the year where they are challenged to reach their physical and mental potential. Another opportunity for EOTC is our Guardians of the Forest programme which allows students to have real-life experiences in a natural environment where they can play, learn and create; explore land and water and become guardians of our natural environment. Matahui School offer school tours every Wednesday during school terms, for anyone who would like to learn more about the programmes Matahui School offers students.