It may have happened two months ago but this Press Release about Holy Family School shows what is possible in our city. It was written by Eddie Partsch. Further information can be obtained from Gina Lefaoseu, Deputy Principal, on 027 535 0938 and Chris Theobald, Principal, on 021 908 496.Here is a link to the School's website.

It's headed:

'Career Pathways ignited from young age at Holy Family School' and it shows that children are never too young to be given opportunities to think about their futures.. 

Eddie writes, 'Young students in Porirua enjoyed an exciting and engaging evening at Holy Family School for the inaugural ‘So’otaga Careers Expo’ on Wednesday 29th March.

'More than 40 parents and friends of the decile 1 school volunteered their time to share their career pathway with the Year 1-6 students. Careers that were shared ranged from building and firefighting to architecture and a spinal surgeon.

 'Each child had a passport that had to be stamped by 14 of the guests once the students had asked two questions. A completed passport meant that the student was able to claim a small ‘goodie bag’ which included a bottle of water, book bag, a tennis ball and some information about some of the career pathways on offer.

'The evening was part of a programme – The Family So’otaga – that the school has created to connect with and empower students and families (of whom, 75% are classified as ‘Pasifika’, 19% Tangata Whenua Māori and 6% Burmese). Now in its second year, the programme is showing a positive impact on the academic results of the school as well as the less tangible and less measureable aspects of holistic development of each child.

'While several friends of the school were used on the night to give a wide range of career options, Gina Lefaoseu, Programme Manager, was keen to highlight the many parents who were involved “We have such a wealth of talent at our school, parents were awesome at sharing their careers in IT, mental health, science and so much more”, she said.

'Lefaoseu said that she wasn't aware of any other primary schools that held a career expo,; these are usually the domain of the intermediate and secondary schools. 

'A large part of The Family So’otaga progamme is the development of ‘Aiga (Family) Education Plans, which often centre around career pathways and attempt to give a tangible purpose for education from a young age. Lefaoseu said, “’s about broadening horizons as well as showing the results of hard work and perseverance for our students”.

The Family So’otaga programme is well-liked by parents, evidenced by the more than 80% turn out of students and their whānau for the Careers Evening. Parent, Annabell Malaulau, who has a child in Year 5 at Holy Family, was keen to share the experience with her daughter in Year 8 who finished at Holy Family two years ago.

'“So’otaga is all about family, so all the family is welcomed", she said. "There were lots of kids from other schools present too. I know that my daughter, Melerita, is interested in her future - exposing her to this wide range of careers is great”.

'Malaulau effusively praised the hard work of Lefaoseu and other staff and volunteers who contributed to the evening. “At one point there was barely room to move", she said. "People were so keen to be part of the evening, it was a greatfeeling to be part of a group of people who shared the same desire for our kids, to have bright futures and limitless potential for their careers”.

'It's hard to disagree with Malaulau. The school is clearly delivering a bespoke education for its diverse group of learners that will give them very bright futures.'

And if you want to get a taste of what went on during the evening, you can watch a short video.

We need more vocational pathways

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