You are logged in as


This website uses cookies to distinguish you from other users. This helps us to provide you with a good user experience and also allows us to improve our website. More information

Facebook Old Cols College

Te Waka

Te Waka is a unique educational, life skills programme which provides Year 10 with an overarching focus and purpose. The programme brings together strands which already exist at the College – The Rite Journey, Health Education, Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award and Outdoor Education.

The backbone of Te Waka is The Rite Journey Programme, which reinvents the traditional process of a rite of passage to assist in transforming adolescents from dependency to responsibility. It is designed to link the hearts and minds of our Year 10 students with ‘rites of passage’ ceremonies, class discussion and self-reflection.

A male and a female Te Waka class is created from each core class. As each will be timetabled together, we are able to make the most of the co-educational environment and deliver the programme, based on need, either separately or together as a core class. 

Each Te Waka class will have a same-gender teacher and in addition to any time given to a specific challenge or activity, will meet for three periods during the week. Consequently, it is expected that a strong relationship can be built between the students and their mentor and teacher. 

Throughout the year, students explore and discover consciousness, connection, communication, challenge and celebration.

Each of these is a focus:

  1. relationship with Self – Who am I really?
  2. relationship with Others – How do I get on with other people?
  3. relationship with Spirit – Is there anything more?
  4. relationship with the World – What is my purpose?


  • to provide a well-structured, authentic and challenging life skills programme;
  • to give Year 10 an overarching focus and purpose;
  • to build relationships between students, families, adult mentors and teachers;
  • to help students better understand themselves and communicate more effectively with others;
  • to contribute to the development of self-aware, responsible and resilient young people who will experience long term success.

The rite of passage for the student is celebrated through key milestone ceremonies (The Calling, The Departure, Challenges, The Abyss and The Homecoming). Information surrounding these ceremonies, and also the activities arranged through our Outdoor Education Department, will be communicated regularly to parents.

To graduate and receive their Te Waka badge, students will need to have completed a mixture of the following requirements (unless unable to because of illness or injury):

  • attended and participated in classes and ceremonies;
  • completed a range of challenges including: connecting with others, creativity, home skills, community, physical, work experience and SOLO;
  • SOLO camp in Term 4;
  • displayed a positive attitude in class.

The cost associated with the workbooks, ceremonies and activities is approximately $240. This will be charged to the student’s account in four disbursements of $60.00 per term.

For further information, please contact Teacher in Charge of Te Waka, Mrs Kate Taylor