Our Cultural Journey
In July 2015 we were able to move into our new senior block. Before this took place, a blessing ceremony was held. This was lead by Rev Tai Wiki, Kaharoa and Lynne Te Harata. This involved Rev Tai Wiki performing the blessing and students singing waiata. Each child wrote their name on a stone and placed this around the base of a kowhai tree planted in a barrel outside the new classrooms. We shared kai (food) in the hall to conclude this ceremony. Students, teachers, board members and parents attended. This was a wonderful experience for all our pupils.
In term 3 of 2015 tutors from the Whakaoranga Trust were hired to teach fortnightly kapa-haka lessons with all students. The programme includes Matauranga Maori e.g History, culture, basic Te Reo Maori, Powhiri and entry level poi.
The senior children learnt a haka powhiri and performed this at the senior prize giving.
During 2015 we held our biannual Māori consultation. This involved an open day so parents had the opportunity to visit learning in action. A meeting was held with our Māori community to gain further ideas on what they would like to see in our school. This was then reported to the board.
New families enrolling at West Eyreton School receive an enrolment pack containing:
- Consultation letter & questionnaire for Māori parents
- School Māori programme of work
- Information about the West Eyreton School Strategic Goals, and the West Eyreton School Cultural Diversity statement
Classes throughout the school include Māori in a variety of integrated ways. These include:
- Respond to and use a variety of basic Māori vocab and simple phrases
- Nga tae – Colours
- Nga ra o te wiki – Days of the week
- Te tenana - Body parts
- Common objects
- Ahua o te rangi - Weather
- Appropriate greetings and farewells
- Stories, myths and legends
- Waiata (songs)
- Karakia (prayer) at morning tea/ lunch
- Whakatauki (proverbs)
- Māori art and craft eg: Harakeke (flax) weaving, kowhaiwhai patterns
- Matariki celebrations
Where to Next?
We are working with the Tuahiwi Education Committee on developing West Eyreton School’s cultural narrative, which will allow us to embed our narrative into our school culture and to develop our physical environment and class programmes to include the cultural history of West Eyreton School.
Early in term one 2016 West Eyreton School will be conducting a Cultural Responsiveness self review with the help of the Tuahiwi Education Committee. This self review will lead to ideas, so that we can develop an action plan that suits our cluster and school.
Kapa-haka will continue throughout 2016. We are aiming to get to the level where we will be able to perform a Powhiri to welcome new children, their families and new staff into our school.
Staff also attend the kapa-haka lessons to up skill their knowledge and cultural understanding.
We are looking for ways to incorporate other cultures, which are represented at school, into our school environment and programmes.
Have a look at our cultural learning blog and see some of the activities we are currently doing within our school.