Case studies

Te Rito Toi

Supporting the return to school after life-changing events

Te Rito Toi is a body of practice-led, research informed resources that help teachers work with children when they first return to school following major traumatic or life changing events.

At the heart of Te Rito Toi is the understanding that schools must not just prepare students for the future but they also need to help them make sense of the present. After disasters and crises, schools must as a first priority help learners safely explore the changed world in which they live.

Te Rito Toi supports these transitions by providing research informed practical classroom activities and lesson plans to help children better understand their changed world and to begin to see themselves as being part of the promise of new and better futures.  Te Rito Toi seeks to imbue the return to school with the joy, possibility and beauty of the arts to re-engage students with the wonder of learning. Te Rito Toi is based on understanding that the arts are uniquely placed to lead a return to productive learning when schools reopen.

Based on international research that confirms the central role of the arts in meaning making and the renewing of hope, Te Rito Toi positions the arts at the centre of children’s return to schooling after disaster and crises.

Grounded in Papatūānuku, Te Rito Toi is at the centre and soul of healing, for even amongst the chaos of seasonal transitions, elemental effects and changes, Te Rito remains strong as the heart of the kōrari (harakeke).

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