Rock and Water in New Zealand schools

The Rock and Water Programme continues to develop in many areas across New Zealand. In the Wellington region, Naenae College, Tawa Intermediate, Taita College, Wainioumata College, Rathkeale College, Corinna Primary School, Kurunui College, Totara College and Hutt Valley High School have developed programmes that have been delivered to their students. The format of the programmes and the different ages that they are delivered to also highlights the flexibility of Rock and Water.

This year the programme continues to grow, with schools continuing to deliver the programme to their students across whole year groups, as well as to more targeted students. Schools are really seeing the benefits of the programme, with more settled, confident students who are able to communicate clearly and confidently, deal with issues positively and thereby create much more harmonious school climates. Social service organisations are also sending staff to workshops so that they can run programmes for the students they work with, in schools or community centres.

Naenae College

The Rock and Water programme at Naenae College is now in its seventh year of implementation across whole year groups. It has become an integral part of the college's nationally recognised rejuvenation. The Year Nine programme has all students participating for an hour per week for the first term (ten sessions). The Year Ten students participate in Rock and Water lessons in Term Two (ten sessions), so completing two terms of Rock and Water in their Junior School life. The Senior Mentors are also given a refresher course as part of their training programme. Rock and Water complements the school's Te Whanau Tahi programme and their use of Restorative Practices.

All the students in the college's Learning Support Unit (mainly High Needs ORRS students) also participate in Rock and Water lessons. For these students there is a real emphasis on developing body-awareness and emotional-awareness and social skills around keeping safe and communicating clearly.

Manurewa East School 

Manurewa East School were the first in New Zealand to undertake a whole staff Primary workshop in 2014. Previously a number of staff had completed the three-day Accreditation training. After observing the results of the programme amongst the students fortunate to have experienced Rock and Water, it was decided to introduce the programme across the school, from the New Entrants upwards. The two-day Primary training was delivered to the whole staff (including the office staff and caretaker) over two separate days, allowing for skills to be developed in the first day, and then reviewed and strengthened some weeks later.

Tawa Intermediate

"Tawa Intermediate School has been involved in Rock and Water since 2010. Over the past four years we have committed to putting eight staff through the three day workshop, as well as running an introductory session for our staff with Rob Schofield. Predominantly, we have delivered the programme to boys groups, but we have also delivered introductory sessions to all students when resourcing has allowed. The programme has been well received by staff and students alike and sits well alongside our other programmes that promote positive behaviours, including our behaviour management plan. We have used the programme to develop a wide range of skills in our students, including  leadership, assertiveness, emotion management, communication, self-awareness, personal responsibility and social responsibility."

Keith Rickard DP.

Taita College

The whole staff at Taita College experienced a Rock and Water session as part of their teacher-only day at the start of the 2010 year. The session was used to highlight what the programme is about, to allow the teachers to experience some of the exercises and to begin to familiarise staff with the language and techniques used.

The new 2014 Year Nine cohort underwent a whole-day Rock and Water programme as part of their orientation programme. The aim was to introduce the programme to the students, equipping them with some fantastic skills for dealing with what can be a stressful time and allowing them to develop strong relationships with their peers and teachers. All Year Nine form teachers and other subject teachers participated in the activities. The programme will be further developed with the year group throughout 2014.

Your school could be next

Why not join these schools in developing the Rock and Water Programme within your organisation? You will be amazed and empowered by the skills and development that the programme teaches. At a time when communities are under pressure and our young people are crying out more and more for guidance and support, the Rock and Water programme is now easily accessible and supported from within New Zealand. The time has never been better to develop this proactive and effective programme within our schools and communities, to strengthen your curriculum and the connections with your students. Contact us.