Frequently Asked Questions
Our presenters use the Launchpad produced curricula ‘Launchpad Champions’ developed by teachers, reviewed by Boards of Trustees, and we follow all Ministry of Education guidelines.
The life applications for the values we teach include:
- Manaakitanga: love, kindness, care and respect for others
- What it means to be a good friend
- Being brave and doing the right thing
- Making good choices and helping others
- Self-control and forgiveness
- Working together and partnership
- Doing your best and asking for help
Our volunteer presenters are selected as positive role models from your local community, often from a local church, who have a heart for encouraging tamariki and helping them achieve their full potential.
Volunteers are trained, police-vetted and sign and abide by our code of expectations.
There is no cost to the school/kura or whānau for our programme. It is presented by trained volunteers who have a heart for supporting tamariki to flourish and achieve their true potential.
All tamariki from years 1-8 are welcome to attend, no matter who they are or what they do or don’t believe. The only condition is that they have the written consent of their whānau.
Principals and Boards of Trustees decide whether to have Launchpad’s Champions programme and when it takes place. If you are interested, contact the Launchpad National Office, who will then connect you with your Regional Advisor to discuss the next steps.
Launchpad Champions can be run in a classroom, hall or library at a time that suits the school/kura best: before or after school, at lunchtime, or during school hours.
The Education and Training Act 2020 (section 56) allows schools to close for up to one hour per week or 20 hours a year, to allow for ‘religious instruction’—meaning Launchpad’s programme can be run during school hours if this suits best.
The Act (section 58) also requires parents must confirm in writing they wish their children to take part. Opt-in forms for schools to send out can be accessed on Launchpad’s website.
Because Launchpad Champions:
- Reinforces school values and key competencies in the New Zealand Curriculum
- Supports health/hauora in the curriculum including the taha wairua/spiritual aspect of te whare tapa wha
- Supports wellbeing, helping tamariki: develop social and emotional skills, feel loved and supported, build selfesteem
and resilience, and connect with their local community and identity
- Supports Aotearoa NZ history, sharing foundational stories with a focus on Māori narratives and te Tiriti o Waitangi
And because children and their whānau love it!
Not simply by having a Launchpad Champions programme, no.
Launchpad is inclusive and welcoming of all tamariki, no matter who they are or whatever they and their whānau believe.
In fact, Launchpad Champions directly supports human rights and teaches children not to discriminate by reinforcing values such as diversity and respect, and competencies such as relating to others and managing self.
Schools are only at risk of breaching human rights laws if they actively discriminate against students, including based on religious beliefs or lack thereof.
Furthermore, recent changes to the law (Education and Training Act 2020) requiring religious instruction to be opt-in has provided another safeguard for schools in this respect e.g. against accusations from pressure groups.
Other relevant recommendations for schools from the Ministry of Education’s guidelines in this area include:
- Providing full and accurate information (included in Launchpad’s opt-in form)
- Ensuring safety checks on volunteers have been completed (Launchpad ensures its presenters are endorsed, police-vetted, trained, and sign a code of conduct)
- Using community consultation to inform your decision
- Offering valid alternatives if religious instruction takes place when the school would usuallybe open for teaching
- Having a school complaints procedure that is communicated to families and whānau anduse that procedure to resolve issues
Schools must obtain written consent from parents for their children to participate in religious instruction (section 58 of the Education and Training Act). As far as the law states, this only needs to be done once. Opt-in forms can be found here on our website.
Schools can run the programme whenever suits them best: during normal school teaching hours, lunchtime, or before or after school.
If you wish to run the programme during normal school hours, one or more classrooms, or the school as a whole, may be technically closed for up to one hour a week or 20 hours a year to do so (section 56 of the Education and Training Act). That means schools can run one or more 30-minute Launchpad Champions programmes concurrently during normal school hours each week during all four school terms.
We’re glad you asked! Because it:
- Reinforces school values as well as values and key competencies in the NZ Curriculum. Values are a foundational cornerstone to inform school charters and strategies, and achieve the latest primary objectives (found in section 127 of the Education and Training Act 2020).
- Supports health/hauora in the curriculum including taha wairua/the spiritual component of te whare tapa whā.
- Supports holistic wellbeing (including the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy) helping tamariki to: feel loved and supported, develop social and emotional skills, build self-esteem and resilience, make healthy life choices, connect with local community/tūrangawaewae, form character and identity.
- Supports Aotearoa NZ History, sharing foundational stories with a focus on Māori narratives and te Tiriti o Waitangi
Launchpad Champions is a weekly, 30-minute presentation using kōrero, multimedia, music and games to equip tamariki from years one to eight with good values.
Our volunteer presenters from local communities are endorsed, police-vetted and trained, sign our code of expectations and follow all relevant laws and Ministry of Education guidelines.
Our Launchpad Champions curriculum, developed by teachers and reviewed by school boards of trustees, uses kōrero from the Bible and well-known role models from New Zealand and around the world to teach and support key values and competencies found in the NZ curriculum. For example: integrity, respect, diversity, equity, community and participation, thinking, using language symbols and texts, managing self, relating to others, and participating and contributing.
An example of curriculum units and the key competencies and values they support can be found at the bottom of this document.
Launchpad, formerly known as the Churches Education Commission or Bible in Schools, has been invited into schools for around 140 years.
Today, Launchpad has the privilege of connecting more than 400 schools/kura across Aotearoa with trained volunteers from local communities to help equip tamariki with good values through our Launchpad Champions Programme.
We like to say we are ‘inspirational storytellers bringing hope and aroha so tamariki have a firm foundation to reach their true potential and become all they were made to be’.