Teacher off to Wales for bilingual lessons
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.