Q&A With Matua Liam

How long have you been teaching at RAS?

I’ve been at Raglan Area School for about 8 years now. I began working with the new entrants, then year 5 & 6’s and now I work with students from year 7 through to year 13. I currently teach Maths, coach the senior boy’s football team; but most of my time is spent teaching and setting up the new Outdoor Education programme.

How did it come about that you would be involved in the Outdoor Education programme?

I’ve always enjoyed doing Outdoor Education as a component of my teaching. We would go surfing, hiking, survival style camps, collecting bamboo, and harbour floats. It is the type of thing I was engaged in when I was a student and still enjoy now. There are so many valuable skills to learn, challenge ourselves physically and make

connections to the natural world. Raglan Area School is an ideal location for this programme – with a boat ramp to the harbour, Karioi a stone’s throw away, and set within a sustainability-minded community. I reached out to local educator David Williams who runs the WINTEC outdoor education course and we put together a proposal for Raglan Area School. Louisa thought it was a great idea and has been supporting us from day one.

What are the challenges you face as a school setting up the course?

Starting a new course has had many challenges, but I’ve had a lot of help; WINTEC, Harry & Gareth at Raglan Rock and my colleagues at school particularly Te Whaiwhai Ritchie and Briar Heinrich supportingthe9-10course.TJ Pemberton has supported me from the beginning and has

been able to secure funding for the programme to purchase sea kayaks, camping gear and climbing equipment for our students to use. This year I’ve had a lot to learn, doing a fair amount of professional development to earn some guiding qualifications to be able to deliver this course and assess our students. One of our major challenges is with transport. We rely heavily on the school vans to get to our locations but they are in hot demand at the school, so we are beginning to fundraise for our own van. The Year 11’s will be running a ‘taster to climbing’ day in Waitetuna where the students will be the teachers. The Year 9-10’s will be organising a ‘rubber duck race’ raffle. Look out for these events and get involved however you can, or please contact me if you have any ideas, or are keen to support in any way.

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