Our Impact Stories


The establishment of the Toki Pounamu Education Trust is associated with a wider, comprehensive renewal programme for the West Coast, known as the West Coast Transformation Programme, and also an education initiative, known as the Toki Pounamu Programme, which involves schools and the community of the West Coast and the New Zealand Ministry of Education. "Toki Pounamu" is the 'Sharp Edge of Learning", being "Toki" (Maori Adze) symbolising authority, strength and triumph over adversity. The overall aim of the Toki Pounamu Education Trust is to develop the capacity of children and families in the West Coast community through the advancement of learning.

In particular, it is intended that the Toki Pounamu Education Trust will be involved in promoting, implementing and developing, in conjunction with various other stakeholders, learning infrastructure and programmes to be delivered on the West Coast, and will give children, families and teachers in the West Coast community the opportunity to access appropriate learning tools so that they can benefit from such infrastructure and programmes, both at school and at home.

The Toki Pounamu Trust grew out of the group of Westland schools involved in a successful Learning and Change Network in the Greymouth area.

"The Learning and Change Network strategy (LCN) was developed to accelerate achievement for students yet to achieve national expectations for literacy and numeracy through future-focused learning environments. Learning and Change Networks involves networks of students, parents, teachers, and community members from multiple schools to collaborate in developing innovative new learning environments" (source).

Grey Main Mandy O'Sullivan.m4v

Amanda O'Sullivan - Principal of Grey Main School, Convening Principal Toki Pounamu, Lead Principal Māwhera Kāhui Ako 

Chromebooks allow you to present your work in new ways. You have all the information at your fingertips and so you don’t waste time. It’s very handy that you can access your work at anytime and anyplace. We don’t have to miss anything when we are away because of illness or holidays. It helps you learn to take responsibility for your work. 

- Danica, 2017 (student)

Chromebooks have made learning easier. Looking for information is easier - how to pronounce words I don’t know etc. I don’t always need to wait for the teacher to answer my questions. I can watch the videos of things I need to know again after the lesson. 

- Erika-Rose, 2017 (student)

Bev and her students at Karoro School:

Digital Classroom.mp4

"Learning with digital technology provides greater opportunities for research, collaboration and cooperation between students and across schools. The increased level of creativity and problem-solving is evident." 

- Bev (teacher)

"My basic facts have improved because Whaea Katie has been giving us fun tasks to do at home and I never did home learning without my ChromeBook."

- Matiu, 2017 (student)

"Digital technology makes learning easier. I get feedback on my poems, writing and other learning from people commenting on my documents."

- Jack, 2017 (student)

"Everything you need is at your fingertips. It is easier to edit your work and elaborate on your ideas using a chromebook." 

- Netana, 2017 (student)

"The chromebook is easier than pencil and paper. It is easier to edit my work and I can share my work with my friends and family. I like getting feedback."

- Clem, 2017 (student)

Kim and her  students at  Grey Main School:

Learning through the digital platform gives the children's work a purpose. They are able to collaborate not only with their peers, but with other children around New Zealand and they are able to share their learning with a wider audience. Using multi-modal sites gives them more self-confidence to take risks in their learning. 

- Kim (teacher)

Roz, Kylie and their students at St Patrick's School:

Learners, with specific learning disabilities, now have tools to help them be successful. Learners were exploring new ways to present work, by themselves. Work was more meaningful because learners had an authentic audience to share with.

- Roz and Kylie (teachers)

Mel and her students at Kaniere School:

My daughter enjoys sharing her learning with her sister and me. She is excited about the learning she does on her chromebook. 

- Nadia, 2017 (parent)

Having easy access to what my child is doing at school helps me to have better conversations and ask more specific questions about what is happening at school and how her learning is going. 

- Erin, 2017 (parent)

Sue at Kumara School:


Toki Pounamu’s Learn, Create, Share philosophy provides the ability to work collaboratively beyond the school environment and to share this learning. A next step for me is to make global connections with experts which will extend students learning. 

Learning through digital technology allows a multimedia approach, it allows creative ways for students to show their learning and it makes learning more accessible, e.g. through rewindable learning. 

- Te Whaea, 2017 (teacher)

Westland High School - teacher's share

Westland High School - Toki Pounamu yr 1 impact story.mp4

Greymouth High Principal - Andy England

Manaiakalani impact story andy england.mp4

Learning through a digital platform allows more flexibility within a multi media approach.  It provides greater opportunities for collaboration between students within class and across local schools and New Zealand wide.  Students are seeing their learning as more purposeful with a wider audience and are gaining more feedback from a wider audience.  Student engagement and motivation towards learning is huge. 

- Rochelle, 2017 (teacher)

"Using my Chromebooks helps me with my spelling and I like writing now."

- Reid, 2017 (student)

"Using my ChromeBook allows me to share my writing with people all around the world." 

- Hannah, 2017 (student)

"Pretty cool! You get to do things on Google Drive. You get to do things with technology. It’s extraordinary." 

- Flynn, 2017 (student)

"I like getting faster at typing, checking my spelling and finding information about topics." 

- Dakota, 2017 (student)


Sandra - HOD English - Greymouth High School


Angela - HOD Social Studies - Greymouth High School

"Learn-create-share has given us a pedagogical tool to make device use something much more powerful than as a word processor or even as a web research tool.  Our students have been able to experiment with different ways of learning and of sharing their learning. We have all learnt new tools for engaging with web content and presenting our teaching and learning.  Rewindability has been a big winner for students.  There is still lots of challenge in the project for us to keep on learning and expanding our horizons, for ourselves and for our students." 

- Sandra, 2017 (teacher)

"The affordances of digital technology has allowed me to open the world to my small class in an isolated area.  As well as the day to day ability to share work, create links and rewindable learning for my students, we have had real time access to huge range of people, informationa and expertise in areas that students are intersted in and want to learn more about.  Regardless of the devices we’ve had, best practice pedagogy has been the main driver for effective change for me."

- Amy J, 2017 (teacher)

Lake Brunner Impact Story.MP4

Sue - Lake Brunner School Principal

2. Karoro Maureen Truman.m4v

Maureen - Karoro School Principal


Judy - Paroa School Past Principal

"The use of digital devices in the classroom environment is engaging and is developing student agency. Student’s learning is visible, accessible and rewindable. The use of the device as a learning tool supports teaching and learning and promotes collaboration and creativity for both teachers and students."

- Sarah, 2017 (teacher)

"Teaching in a 1-1 digital class has allowed me to develop student agency while also developing the skills that students will need.  It has empowered students to collaborate with each other in ways that I have not seen before and has made it an equal playing field in the class.  Students support each other in their learning so everyone has become a teacher in the class." 

- Mel, 2017 (teacher)

"Learning in a digital environment has allowed children to develop self-management skills and  given them a certain amount of control of their learning. Collaboration within the classroom and across schools is made easier and engagement is high." 

- Roz W, 2017 (teacher)

1. Kumara Vic Hygate.m4v

Vic - Kumara School Principal

Aug 26, 2017 3-23 PM.webm

Caspar - Kokatahi-Kowhitirangi School Principal

"Learning has become more accessible. Rewindable learning has enabled students to engage with learning at their own pace." 

- Philippa, 2017 (teacher)

"Great tool for our children to be creative and fully engaged in their learning. Students are able to learn and work collaboratively and to develop specific digital skills together. Every child now has access to technology and the opportunity to create their own learning environments. All their learning is now organised in one place and parents have access as well." 

- Caspar, 2017 (teaching principal)

Madeline - Outreach Facilitator (CORE)

Impact Stories - Toki Pounamu.mp4

"Spell check helps me learn how to spell things correctly. I can do things faster and all the information is in one place - I don’t lose things."

- Pyper, 2017 (student)

The chromebook makes me much more efficient in my learning. It is challenging when there are time limits for some activities. 

- Emma, 2017 (student)