We are Ako and we exist to revolutionise how education is delivered.
We are passionate about learning that is fun, compassionate and creative.
We want to create communities of creative, joyful, compassionate lifelong-learners who use courageous and innovative thinking to build a harmonious and sustainable world and become valued members of society.
We want to empower communities around Aotearoa and the world to start their own Ako spaces. Thus, we are building community, documenting our learning, and creating a platform that will enable others to do so.
Takaro - Play
We value play as the best way to learn.
We believe children learn best through play; they express themselves, process new topics and ideas, and form relationships. We also believe that they are instinctual learners, and we value their leadership and partnership in their own educational path. We are creating environments which inspire exploration, discovery, exuberance, and fun and support each child’s brave and confident pursuit of their interests, ideas, dreams, and projects.
We believe that curiosity is the key to finding your passion.
We acknowledge that each child is unique and a born genius ready to contribute. Our educators act as facilitators guiding each child’s journey, enabling them to build foundations to discover their place in the world.
We believe that all children have a natural curiosity and interest in learning and that by allowing individual learning styles and needs to be nurtured, every child can develop and learn at their own pace.
Being part of a learning community that gives them time, space and support, they can realise their unique spark and passions and become the best versions of themselves and thus valuable contributors to society.
AUAHATANGA - CREATIVITY
We value imagination and the ability to express ourselves creatively.
Ako will help tamariki to become resourceful and creative problem solvers by giving them space and opportunities to use their imaginations and express themselves in their unique way. By helping them to access their innate creativity and expression, we believe children will become intrinsically motivated to learn and more fully engaged in life. (blue)
“IN THE SHORT SPACE OF TIME MINNA HAS BEEN WITH YOU, WE HAVE NOTICED AN IMPROVEMENT IN HER PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS.
WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE CREATED, THANK YOU SO MUCH, WE ARE THRILLED!”
SANNA, MOTHER AND ECE TEACHER
WHANAUNGATANGA - Community
We believe that everyone is a learner and everyone is a teacher.
We see learning as a truly collaborative process and a partnership between whanau, Ako and the extended community in the endeavour to raise children. As the african proverb ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ says, Ako is a learning space where the whole community gets together and supports each other.
We acknowledge that everyone in the community has something valuable to contribute. The Maori concepts of tuakana-teina (older and younger siblings) and ako (‘the teacher is the learner and the learner is the teacher’) are deeply embedded in our philosophy.
By being part of Ako, parents and extended whanau accept our kaupapa and thus play an active role in the learning experiences and goals of their child. Parents are encouraged to participate, contribute, learn and share their passions, skills and interests with our community by being parent helpers, mentors, tutors, or coaches.
We know that learning does not only happen at school, but everywhere so Ako breaks the traditional walls between school and the community outside the classroom. We offer a learning environment that encourages creative capacity, tenacity, and citizenship.
WHAKAUTE - Respect
We respect ourselves, each other and the environment.
We believe that tomorrow’s global citizens have an unprecedented responsibility to create and implement change. From their connection to the kaitiakitanga/taiao (environment) to their relationships to different cultures, our children have opportunities to discover who they are and recognize other perspectives, building a strong connection to self and others. They connect with and learn from nature, explore our ecosystems and how humans influence them and thus, become knowledgeable and respectful kaitiaki (guardians) of our kaitiakitanga/taiao (environment). They also learn to respect themselves and develop grit and resilience in the face of challenges.
Whare TAPA WHA - Seeing the whole child/holistic
We acknowledge that we learn with our hands, head and heart.
Humans are integrated beings with the intellectual, emotional, social, physical and spiritual parts all developing constantly. Thus, we take a holistic view to education which is closely linked to the four dimensions of Maori well-being: Taha tinana, taha wairua, taha hinengaro and taha whanau.
We support our children to develop a profound sense of self, by understanding their own learning processes, social skills, and strategies for well-being.
We help children to be open-minded, kind, reflective, curious, and balanced and aim to instill a passion for personal growth and wellness that lasts a lifetime.