Teacher off to Wales for bilin­gual lessons

Kapi-Mana News - - EDUCATION - By KRIS DANDO

Stacey Rer­iti- Smith will need to brush up on her Welsh.

The Na­tone Park School teacher re­cently won a lead­er­ship schol­ar­ship through Teach NZ. Dur­ing the Oc­to­ber school hol­i­days she will join three other Kiwi teach­ers on a trip to Wales.

She will ob­serve how the Welsh school bilin­gual pro­gramme op­er­ates and bring her ex­pe­ri­ences and knowl­edge back to Na­tone.

There was a rig­or­ous se­lec­tion process. Fol­low­ing a writ­ten ap­pli­ca­tion, backed by Na­tone’s Board of Trus­tees, Ms Rer­iti-Smith had an ‘‘in­tense’’ in­ter­view. She is un­sure of where in Wales she and her col­leagues will be based.

‘‘I can’t wait to sit in on their bilin­gual classes, see­ing what they can do so I can im­ple­ment it back here. It’s a huge op­por­tu­nity for me, I can’t wait to go.’’

The schol­ar­ship will also see her com­plete as­sign­ments and cour­ses in the next two years.

The 27-year-old, who pre­vi­ously worked at Te Kura Maori o Porirua, has been a huge part of the bilin­gual pro­gramme at Na­tone. The school’s prin­ci­pal Kiri Smith says Ms Rer­iti-Smith has a

Stacey Rer­iti-Smith, sur­rounded by some of her Na­tone Park School students, will head to Wales in Oc­to­ber as part of a schol­ar­ship. lead­er­ship role in her fu­ture.

‘‘We’re lucky to have her and this is an amaz­ing chance for Stacey. We’re on the right track with our pro­gramme and the knowl­edge she will gain in Wales can only help us.

As a child in Wales, you learn Welsh first and English sec­ond, while here it’s English first and Maori as an op­tion. The cen­sus says Maori is be­com­ing ex­tinct as a lan­guage and we’re fight­ing against that.’’

Na­tone’s bilin­gual unit started with one class, now they have three, with 60 per cent of students in­volved. Samoan is also taught.

Ms Rer­iti- Smith will be tak­ing plenty of Maori books and bone carv­ings to Wales with her as gifts and hopes to set up a re­la­tion­ship be­tween Na­tone and a Welsh school.

The Teach NZ schol­ar­ship is avail­able to teach­ers who are in their first five years in the job.

Wales beck­ons:

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