University of Canterbury

Dr Jayne White -    Nature and impacts of different kinds of transitions on young children as they move through early learning to school

Dr White has moved to the University of Canterbury (still an Adjunct Professor at  RMIT), and hosting of this project is now at that institution.  The beneficiaries of the CET-funded component remain NZ children. The project is part of the Pedagogies of Educational Transitions (POET) project investigating children’s early learning transitions across the world: in Brazil, Finland, Scotland, Samoa, Australia and New Zealand.  The project includes conducting a video-informed study that takes account of the emotional and social experiences of very young children in their earliest encounters in formal educational settings outside of their home.  The project involves early childhood education services in a range of settings in Tauranga and Hamilton.
Contact: Dr Jayne White

Avondale Primary School-Mana Potential

Mana Potential is a strengths based Te Ao Māori tool that promotes and develops children’s emotional regulation and hauora. Avondale Primary School began the implementation of Mana Potential as a school-wide system in 2020 and the CET funding in 2021 is primarily for teacher release and provision of resource material to support the programme.

A brief explanation of Mana Potential can be found on YouTube at Please note it was not Avondale Primary School who created this video, but it succinctly explains the outline and purpose. 

At mid year, there has been a significant drop in behavioural incidents, stand downs and referrals to behavioural and learning support services.

Contact: Cat Wilson

COMET Auckland Talking Matters Koreotia Mai

CET has made a 5 year contribution to this project:

  Talking Matters has been piloted in 3 small-scale pilot projects (Māngere-Ōtāhuhu, Tāmaki and Puketāpapa), identifying what models work and inspire families to talk and can be brought to scale. The project will: that is a key part of the Talking Matters process, as well as internal systems, tracking LENA[1] data on words and interactive turns at home, reading minutes and TV use
Use ‘what works’ evidence to underpin capacity building and resource development
Track the medium-term impact of early oral language on a sample of children in TM action communities. The tracking study research will need to run for at least 4 years (to allow children who are now coming up three to have their language assessed in their first year of school). We have identified some possible measures and approaches (e.g. using MacArthur Bates Communicative Development Inventories) but the study will need further scoping in 2019.
COMET thought that the tracking study would be of particular interest to Cognition Education Trust.
Three phases to 2023
1.  Go deeper and learn (2018-2019): Deepen involvement in our action communities; develop and test model; create strategies for Maori and Pasifka-led initiatives; and future matched funding, scope and start the tracking study; establish strategic partnerships with organisations that can take up TM messages.
2. Expand reach (2020-2021): expand and/or replicate in First action communities; test models of action with at least one organisation/programme of national significance and iwi; support activation in other communities; identify key policy pivot points for early language (e.g. ECE initial teacher education and PLD, child wellbeing framework, foster parenting, access to bilingual reading material, universal public health messages about early language); track impact on children’s language development and whānau; hold Summit 2020. 
3. Share and influence (2022-2023): Replicate programmes; establish partnership and business models that can sustain the work; complete tracking study and publish findings; hold TM Summit 2022; build a advocacy platform for service practice and policy reform; collaborate on technology solutions and broad distribution of public health messages about early language.
[1] Language Environment Analysis tool

Manurewa Kahui Ako- AREA Initiative

AREA-Attendance, retention, engagement and achievement

CET is funding the delivery of a programme, over four years, that addresses the two transitions that occur from Year 6-9 with the aim to see a positive shift in attendance, retention, engagement and achievement in a cohort of students  from about 25 whanau identified at risk of disengaging from school. A coordinator works intensively with students and whanau. Lessons to date, covering the Covid lockdown period are:
  • Overall, the AREA students overcame the obstacles caused by the Lockdown
  • Some struggled to cope with the unstructured nature of home learning
  • Being able to communicate with friends and family online using Zoom, Google Meetings, face time etc. was best for students: parents/caregivers preferred daily phone calls
  • Daily online catch ups with friends and classmates was key in maintaining the emotional well being of students.
  • Coordinator provided PD on practical ways to emotionally engage students after Lockdown
  • Full impact yet to be seen. These are students already with attendance and engagement issues and last year had very supportive and structured conditions
From the original cohort of fourteen students there are still eleven attending school-two left the area and one student left school to start attending alternative education.
Contact :Iain Taylor Principal MIS>

Te Rito Toi

Te Rito Toi helps teachers work with children when they first return to school following major traumatic or life changing events.

It does that 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.

​The Education Hub: Bright Spots awards

Since 2019, CET has had a partnership agreement to fund up to three Bright Spots projects that align with CET’s strategic granting outcomes.

In 2021 the focus of Bright Spots in 2021 will be on effective literacy instruction in the early primary years (Years 0-2). CET will be contributing to the Models of Effective Practice project which aims to  increase the availability of examples of effective teaching by capturing and disseminating proven models of existing and established effective practice in New Zealand schools that are informed by research.

Stewart Germann Grant-Tim Bray Theatre Company-Extraordinary Creative Programme

The 2020 grant was for the development and delivery of a pilot programme of drama classes children and young people on the Autism Spectrum over a 10-week period.

The objectives of the programme  were for participants to develop:

strategies and life skills to support communication and self-expression 

confidence and connection

social skills

strategies for self-regulation and executive functioning