TVNZ’s ‘Good Sorts’ segment on One News has inspired students at a Masterton school to be “good sorts”, which in turn has landed them a starring role on a recent episode of … ‘Good Sorts’.
Students and teachers at Douglas Park School in Masterton were showcased on last Friday’s instalment of the show that celebrates ordinary people doing something extraordinary.
For the past three years, the school has watched the programme every week.
Initially, the show inspired conversations about what it means to be a good citizen.
It has since developed into the students regularly ‘giving back’ to their community, including writing thank you cards to people in the neighbourhood, playing games with the local kindergarten children, reading stories to pre-schoolers, and cleaning the local marae.
“Watching the ‘Good Sorts’ clips brings the idea of creating a better future to life and shows children that ordinary people doing ordinary things can make a difference in the world”, Gareth Sinton, the school’s principal said.
The students were “excited and daunted” to have the One News camera crews in school, Sinton said, “but the main feeling was one of pride. We’ve worked towards this kind of learning for some time, always pushing towards the idea that our children can be active contributors to our community.”
Deputy principal Shaun Harkness has been instrumental in the ‘good sorts’ initiative at Douglas Park, seeing it as an opportunity to bring the school’s vision – “together we nurture, explore and create for a better future” – to life.
However, it’s unlikely he would take all the credit for the students’ success, Sinton said. “Shaun would be quick to say that while he may have sparked the idea, the teachers across the school have embraced it fully, and the children have taken on board the kaupapa and are ‘into it’.”
Since the show aired, the school has received “very positive” feedback, with Sinton receiving messages from staff, parents, and fellow teachers to say “they’d seen it and loved it”.
The school’s previous school principal also contacted Sinton to say how proud he was of the school.
One of the benefits of the good sorts approach at Douglas Park is “the children are on the lookout for opportunities to help, to do something for others”, Sinton said.
The school has recently introduced a ‘good sorts’ award. Children nominated for the award by teachers are picked out in a weekly draw and celebrated in the school assembly.
“So, each week the children are hearing about one of their own being a good sort, as well as watching the actual TVNZ clips.”