Kāinga Pōpoto 2020

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takimano.

~My strength is not that of the individual but that of the collective.


Welcome to Kāinga Pōpoto

We are currently the year 4 - 8 Kāinga. Our Kāinga animal is the Maui Dolphin (Pōpoto). The Maui Dolphin is a highly social, communicative animal that is skilled at navigating. These animals display empathy for others and embody a collaborative spirit. The learners in this Kāinga will exemplify the teacher/guide element of tuakana-teina by caring for and helping the younger learners learn while they play and explore. They are our school leaders - our beacons of safety.

We have 4 Hapū groups in Kāinga Pōpoto:

  • Anderson-McGhie/Davidson Hapū - Learning Coaches: Kirstin Anderson-McGhie and Michael Davidson
  • Carnie Hapū - Learning Coach: Anoushka Carnie
  • Mohamed Hapū - Learning Coach: Yasmin Mohamed
  • Robertshaw/Chase Hapū - Learning Coaches: Amy Robertshaw and Chris Chase

Kāinga Pōpoto is located above Kāinga Wheke and overlooks the Pukeatua mountain ranges that play a significant part in our school's cultural narrative. We are super lucky to have such a great view from the kāinga.

Our kāinga allows BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) which provides learners greater access to learning beyond the classroom. We will teach and learn what it takes to become a digital citizen in order to be safe and act responsibly in our digital world. Our learners work collaboratively alongside one another across all hapū groups and in all curriculum areas.

In Kāinga Pōpoto learners will have opportunities to be Self-Directed Learners and follow their own passions and interests through many different learning designs. Alongside the self-directed learning, students will all be involved in Deliberate Acts of Teaching in order to target specific learning needs.

Feel free to pop in and see our kāinga in action.

In this website, you will find information about our Daily Design. This will include the teaching and learning activities taking place in Kāinga Popoto each week, as well as our time tables.

Our Curriculum Map provides an over arching guide for our lesson design, as we ensure a balance between the 3 core pedagogies that fall under the umbrella of Adaptive Expertise - that of guided, action and experiential learning. What this means in practice is that learners in our kāinga will have opportunities to participate in a combination of learning opportunities including educator guided, inquiry based and those driven by personal interest and passions.

A typical week for a Kāinga Pōpoto learner will include a mixture of deliberate acts of teaching (DATs), Transdisciplinary Projects (TDPs) and Play Based Learning (PBL). Our 4Cs are woven throughout everything we do.

See also our: MNS Curriculum Site

Hello there

Hey everybody! I am Pōpoto. I am thrilled to have a Kainga named after me. I am otherwise known as the Maui Dolphin. I am the world's rarest and smallest known subspecies of dolphin. My friends and I are only found off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. We are critically endangered.

Amy Robertshaw

Kia Ora,

I am Amy Robertshaw and I am super excited for the adventure that’s ahead of us.

I grew up on the North Shore, Auckland and now live in West Auckland with my Border Collie Nike and my Cat Bumper. My learning journey includes a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership, Bachelor of Education and MindLab Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Practice (Digital and Collaborative Learning).

When I am not teaching you will probably find me on the rugby field or exploring one of many underwater reefs in the Hauraki Gulf. I have played women's rugby for 10 years and represented both Auckland and North Harbour. Alongside rugby, I enjoy tramping, diving, geocaching, outdoor cooking and hanging my hammock beneath the stars.

I look forward to being part of the founding Matua Ngaru team and facing the many fresh opportunities that will arise.

Anoushka Carnie

Kia ora,

I’m Anoushka, and I am really excited to be part of the foundation team at Matua Ngaru School. I am still relatively new to teaching, I completed my Graduate Diploma in Teaching Primary in 2016 and before that I did a 3-year Bachelor's degree majoring in Psychology and minoring in History.

Before all of this I had all my schooling in West Auckland where I lived with my mother who raised 9 of us, I'm lucky number 9. This makes me a proud aunt to many nieces and nephews who ultimately inspired me to pursue teaching, as I loved watching them grow and develop their knowledge of the world around them.

Fun Facts: I grew up in Henderson, I live in Riverhead, I love dogs, I have a dog (Zak), and I raised a duck (long story).

I am greatly looking forward to meeting and becoming immersed within the Matua Ngaru community.

Chris Chase

Kia Ora and Hi,

I'm Chris and I am stoked to be a part of the Matua Ngaru team this year! I am from the greater New York City area and have been in New Zealand just over a year and a half. I moved all the way here after reading about how New Zealand was rethinking their approach to designing new schools into Modern Learning Environments and Flexible Learning Spaces. These futuristic looking schools were a far cry from the ones I taught in overseas and I wanted to be able to teach in them to learn how to become a more flexible and confident educator.

In my spare time, I like to get intentionally lost in the woods (some call that hiking :D) and snowboard, along with many other outdoor sports. I enjoy adventure sports photography as a hobby and do a little work freelance, so you might catch me with my camera down at Woodhill Mountain bike park, the west beaches at sunset, or on the side of the mountain at Mt. Ruapehu snapping skiers and snowboarders flying down the hill.

I hope to bring all of my experiences and hobbies into my teaching to show the students at MNS that we can be one with the outdoors and take our sense of wonder and curiosity beyond the walls of the school to explore the world around us!

Kirstin Anderson-McGhie

Kia Ora,

I’m Kirstin Anderson-McGhie and not only am I one of the Deputy Principals, I also have the privilege of being one of the Kāinga Popoto Learning Coaches this year.

A little about me: I was born in Rotorua but moved all over New Zealand when I was growing up. I live in Henderson and share my home with my husband, David; my 23 year old son, Devin; two Cocker Spaniels called Mynee and Jasper, and a cat called Zuko.

My favourite things to learn and teach are Music, Reading, Art, Maths, Astronomy, Biology, History and anything to do with computers and robotics. You might also be interested to know that I am a big fan of Star Wars, Harry Potter and Dr Who. Another fun fact is that I collect Pop Vinyls.

I am really looking forward to my second year in Popoto, and can't wait to get started on our 2020 learning journey.

Michael Davidson


Bienvenue and Kia ora!

I am Michael Davidson and I’m so excited to be guiding all of the MNS learners through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) this year. I will also be teaching throughout the day in Kainga Popoto. I really enjoy building things with Lego and seeing all the cool and amazing things computers and robots can do, as well as looking at all the other amazing aspects of STEAM. I come from Canada and have lived in many different countries around the world, teaching and coaching lots of different children along the way. I look forward to working with you so that together we can explore this wonderful world that we live in!

Yasmin Mohamed

Kia ora koutou,

My name is Yasmin Numan and I am also known by my married name of Mrs. Mohamed. I am very excited to be joining Kainga Popoto this year!

I am originally from Egypt with roots in Palestine, Jordan and Italy. I speak Arabic fluently and have some beginner French knowledge. My parents migrated to NZ in 1994 and I have known NZ to be my home since. I have a 2.5 year old son, Zayn, who keeps me on my toes and I have a deep love for travel and exploration.

In my previous life, before becoming a teacher, I started off working in Finance with a degree in Marketing and Information Management. After a while, I had a change of heart and wanted to pursue my passion for working with children so decided to go back to university and complete the Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching.

Since 2012, I have taught both Year 7 and Year 8 classes at 2 different schools and last year I made the jump to work with our fantastic Y1-3 Wheke learners at Matua Ngaru School during our foundation year.

I am so excited to be working with the older learners this year and look forward to getting to know the rest of the MNS whanau!