He Poutama: Unshakeable

Our world has changed.

Never before in modern history have New Zealanders found themselves in a lockdown situation. Whilst the Covid19 lockdown has provided some incredible time for families and communities to reconnect, the adverse ripple effect on what the future holds for our youth is more uncertain than it has ever been.

Now, more than ever, our youth are having to plan-for and step into a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. As they look ahead into their future, they may be feeling an array of emotions; anxious, excited, unsure, energised or even overwhelmed. It’s a time when they are having to draw deep within their internal resources and find their inner strength and sense of self in order to step into this disrupted world.

Unshakeable Triangle

My question to you as leaders who are charged with preparing our youth for their world, is to what extent are you supporting them to be ready? How are you supporting them to develop skills such as adaptability, self-confidence, straight-forwardness, empathy, optimism (to name a few)? These things are often called “soft-skills”, but ask any employer, and they will tell you they are THE skills. It is these skills our youth need more than ever in order to go strongly into their world.

In the education sector, we are great muddling, at doing a bit of this, and a bit of that, taking a very piecemeal approach. It is time to identify exactly where your youth are in these skills and strategically and collaboratively plan for their development. This includes research-based assessments, personalised development plans, and a wrap-around, triangulated support partnership that ensures they succeed.

We can do better for our youth. There is no excuse. It is time!

He Poutama: Unshakeable Outcomes:

This Unshakeable journey is about supporting our rangitahi to reconnect-with and be grounded in their own whakapapa, kainga tūturu and the values they provide in order for them to have a strong inner pou so as they step into their world. Like the roots of a tree, we want their feet to be grounded in where they come from, what they stand for and who they are in a way that allows their branches to reach high and grow strong.

Nurturing and supporting their growth are their whānau. As parents we don’t get a handbook on how to support our children to become emotionally strong. We often learn it from our own experiences growing up. Whilst this can sometimes hold us in good stead, often we find ourselves wondering what to do to support our tamariki.

Alongside the whānau and child is the school/kura. Growing teacher capability in how they can support the children they teach and their whānau is vital.

He Poutama: Unshakeable is about growing the emotional strength of an entire school community: child, whānau and teachers.


Grounded in who they are, where they come from and knowing and living their values.

A strong inner pou that holds them steady amidst an ever-changing world.

Able to recognise their own emotional state and regulate this by drawing upon strategies within their kete.

Able to use their voice to ask for what they need.

Have personal power in co-developing their learning journey alongside people who care deeply for them.

Know that they are loved and supported in this development by their whānau and kiako.


Feel deeply supported within the school family.

Bring their culture with them as an integral part of who they are and how they live.

Bring forth their ‘knowings’ and experiences as parents/caregivers.

Learn emotional intelligence strategies to support their children.

Grow their own kete of strategies for emotional regulation.


Deeply understand the elements of emotional intelligence and how to develop these competencies in their students (and selves).

Develop their own self-journeying towards understanding and reconnection and emotional intelligence to better support their own wellbeing, and that of their students.

Create an even deeper partnership with whānau to support the child.

Build deeper learning-centered, whole-hearted relationships with their students.

School Community

There is a deep essence of kotahitanga – unity between whānau, the child and the school. The child is enveloped in a committed, supported community who are learning and growing together. A common language and understanding across your school community is developed that supports each other to raise the vibration of how people are being with each other and within themselves.

He Poutama: Unshakeable Pathway:

Below is an overview of the partnership phases, content and timing.


Prepare & Sew

• Introductory hui/meeting with Board of Trustees and Leadership team.
• Identification of in-house emotional capital coaches, trainers and assessors
• Training of in-house emotional capital coaches, trainers and assessors (3 days).
• “Emotional Capitalists” by Martyn Newman reading for Leadership team.
• 2x Senior Leadership Team and Staff Teacher Only Day’s: Understanding my own Emotional capabilities and Building them in my students
• SMT 360 assessments and follow up coaching and development plan
• Staff self-assessments and follow up coaching and development plan



• Whānau/Caregiver hui to introduce the programme
• Identification of students and parental permission
• Meeting with students
• Student self-assessments
• Meeting with whanau/caregivers and teachers
• Student development plans co-created
• Meeting with students
• Lessons with students begin.
• Whānau/Caregiver hui to share strategies and answer questions
• Teacher professional learning/think-tank sessions (1 per term)
• Re-assessment of student development at end of year.



• Repeat Phase 2
• Induct new staff
• Integration across curriculum
• Reconfiguration of curriculum as required
• Personalisation to context
• Transitioning new teachers and students
• Expansion further across school as required
• Ongoing assessment and tracking of student results
• Ongoing teacher professional development/think-tank sessions (1 per term)


Maybe you already have some MOE PLD funding tagged for Localised curriculum, or graduate profile development, or Wellbeing, or perhaps you wish to apply for some? We can use this avenue.

Or perhaps you wish to self-fund as a school community? We can do this also!

Contact me here to arrange a time to chat further about He Poutama: Unshakeable for your context.

Contact Mary-Anne

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