Cultural Programmes

School programmes develop our pupils’ skills through the following ways: 

• Weekly Kapahaka lessons for pupils which are led by in-school teachers
• All pupils & teaching staff are able to present their own mihi; pupils perform the ‘haka powhiri’ at  events  
• School Assemblies include waiata and mihi; senior leaders present a whakautauki for each E focus 
• Te Reo Maori language & culture integrated throughout the curriculum & school newsletter  
• Cultural Narrative sets the platform for our cultural responsiveness programmes – 5E’s cultural banners  
• Matariki – star gazing and hangi events; a school blessing ceremony of the new senior classroom block 

In 2017, the children and teachers set up learning teams; they belong to “Rōpū” – meaning groups, teams. Each learning team has chosen a Native Bird as the name of their “Rōpū” and these are displayed outside each learning team’s classroom block.   The Native Birds begin at the Seashore at the New Entrant level, continue on to the Plains with Year 1 & 2, then to the Forest for Year 3 & 4, then to the Foothills & Cliffs for Year 5 & 6 and finally to high above the Mountains for Year 7 & 8 pupils. 

NE pupils belong to Rōpū Kōtare (Kingfisher)  
Year 1 & 2 pupils belong to Rōpū Ruru (Morepork)    Year 3 & 4 pupils belong to Rōpū Kererū (Wood Pigeon)   Year 5 & 6 pupils belong to Rōpū Kea (Kea)  Year 7 & 8 pupils belong to Rōpū Kārearea (New Zealand Falcon)

The continuum of Native Birds illustrates the growth of our West Eyreton Learners from NE to Year 8 as they progress through the school on their learning journey.

Learning Teams (Ropu) Launch Day

On 30 August 2017, the children and teachers shared all the wonderful research, posters & power points, songs and artwork about their new learning team native birds with each other. It was an excellent opportunity for the children to visit each other’s classrooms and also to see the many parents who came along and took part.   
There is a display of the Learning Team Ropu Native Birds in the Admin foyer showing the NE – Year 8 progression across the school. Come in and take a look.   
We are extremely fortunate to have received funding from Ngai Tahu Farming Ltd who sponsored our beautiful 5E’s Special Qualities sculpture (whakairo) for our school.  Shaugn Briggs, artist & carver ( who teaches stone sculpting around the Canterbury area schools, was here for the first 2 – 3 weeks of term 3 carving a magnificent sculpture to be located at the front entranceway into the school.   Pupils throughout the school helped to carve the sculpture into the final 5 E’s Koru shape, which represents Excellence through Effort, Example, Empathy & Enterprise. Year 7 & 8 pupils also carved their own individual sculptures under Shaugn’s tuition.   The Oamaru stone sculpture is truly a beautiful addition to the landscape of our school and is an important part of our cultural narrative.
A blessing ceremony for the sculpture was held in term four. 
We are very appreciative to Amy & Aaron Fisher from Ashley Industrial Services Ltd for their generous donation of the wooden railway sleepers for the plinth that the sculpture will sit on; our appreciation to Ross Mitchelmore Ltd for excavating the area for the plinth and for moving it into its final position.   The sculpture has been an amazing learning & cultural experience for our pupils to be involved with. 
We are immensely fortunate at West Eyreton School to have the support of so many generous parents, families and community members who make wonderful opportunities happen for our pupils.

Our Cultural Journey 2015

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 Kapahikitia 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.

Māori Consultation 2015

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

Class Programmes

Classes throughout the school include Māori in a variety of integrated ways. These include:
  • Mihi
  • Respond to and use a variety of basic Māori vocab and simple phrases
  • Numbers
  • 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

Your Input/ Ideas/ Skills

If you have any queries, ideas or skills that you could offer to help us along on our cultural journey, please feel free to drop us a line at
Ka kite ano.