Our Vision

At Ilam School we want to prepare our learners for their futures. Whatever that future brings, we know they must be able to collaborate with others to solve complex problems for a better world. Today’s learners will need to be highly literate and numerate with innovative, computational, critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, good communication and creativity capabilities and cultural competences. In order to achieve this, the Ilam School community has developed this vision, elements of which are reflected in the whakataukī or expressions quoted below. We believe these key areas will enable Ilam School children to thrive as they head into their futures.

‘I Belong/ Kua Whai Turangawaewae Au’ is all about being secure in ourselves as well as the ability to understand & respect others regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion. It is an important part of being a student at Ilam School where we have children attending from over 50 different countries. However it is more than just relating to others from different countries or cultures.  While we want children to be proud of their identity, they must also respect others as well as develop the skills and ability to understand, talk to and effectively interact with people across different cultures. ‘I Belong’  is also about developing the ability to collaborate and co-operate with others. We want our children to show kindness care and concern for others, our community and the environment. With the current global political climate these skills and attributes are needed now more than ever.

Each aspect of our vision has a whakatauki or expression that endeavours to summarise the intent of that particular area. ‘I Belong/ Kua Whai Turangawaewae Au’ whakatauki is;

He tamaiti akona ki te kāinga, tū ki te marae, tau ana

A child educated in their own identity, stands with confidence in their community


‘I Explore/Ka Whakatewhatewha Au’ is all about learning. We want children to be curious learners who use a range of thinking strategies to solve problems and are encouraged to be innovative and creative. We also want them to be adventurous and take risks with their learning.  We want our children to understand how they learn, what they are learning and why. This area is also about children understanding that learning happens everywhere. The whakatauki for ‘I Explore/Ka Whakatewhatewha Au’ is:

Heoi, ko ia kāhore nei i rapu, tē kitea

Those who do not seek, will not find


‘I Question / Ka urupounamu Au’ is about thinking for yourself asking ‘What If?’. We want children to ask informed questions and to actively seek the thoughts of others and endeavour to understand why they are thinking in a particular way. We want children to build trust with others so that they can ask hard questions and debate with each other. We want children to have the confidence to share their opinions with others, but also ensuring they  listen to others opinions actively. We want children to be thinking creatively  and asking ‘What If?’  The whakatauki for ‘I Question / Ka urupounamu Au’ is:


Ko te Manu e kai ana i te miro, nona te nga here,

Ko te manu e kai ana i te matauranga, nono te ao

The bird that eats the miro berry, has the forest,

The bird that eats of knowledge, has the whole world.


‘I Strive / Ka Whakarīrā Au’ is about personal best and having a ‘can do’ attitude. We want our children to aim high and work hard to achieve personal excellence. We want to encourage them to have a positive attitude to learning, showing grit to overcome challenges. We want children to develop a growth mindset, being confident to take risks, reflecting on their own learning and looking for feedback in order to improve. We want our children to be responsible, reliable and motivated to learn independently. The whakatauki for ‘I Strive / Ka Whakarīrā Au’ is:


Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe, me he maunga teitei

Pursue excellence – should you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain


‘I Give Back / Ka Takoha Au’ is about children contributing to their community regardless of age. We want our children to make a positive difference by giving up some of their own time so others benefit from their leadership and experience. We want children to endeavour to leave their world in a better place than they found it. The word ‘world’ is used in a wider sense, in that for New Entrant children this might refer to their classroom and immediate area outside it. For our Year 6’s this might be the waterways in Christchurch or the general Ilam area.


Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your contribution and my contribution, everyone will thrive

Ilam School Grounds