School’s wiki o te reo M¯aori

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

The bell rings and more than 330 ex­cited kids flood the bas­ket­ball court at West Rolle­ston Pri­mary School (WRPS).

While their peers watch, two pupils and then two teach­ers stand proudly to re­cite their mihi be­fore shar­ing a wa­iata with the school.

This wiki o te reo Ma¯ori (Ma¯ori Lan­guage Week), WRPS spent each af­ter­noon cel­e­brat­ing both the reo and the cul­ture.

Prin­ci­pal Sylvia Fi­dow said it was im­por­tant to en­cour­age the use of New Zealand’s first lan­guage and te wiki was a good chance to have some ex­tra fun while do­ing so.

‘‘We’re not full im­mer­sion, but there’s a will­ing­ness to learn and we nat­u­rally in­te­grate te reo into our classes,’’ Fi­dow said.

She said the school also of­fered ex­ten­sion Ma¯ ori lan­guage classes for more flu­ent pupils.

‘‘We’ve got some stu­dents from full Ma¯ ori im­mer­sion back­grounds, so we’re tried to make it work for them too.’’

Or­gan­ised by whaea Re­becca Lam­bert and whaea Leigh Thrupp, the school’s wiki o te reo Ma¯ori ac­tiv­i­ties ranged from ex­tra reo classes, hav­ing a go at weav­ing harakeke (flax), stretch­ing out with yoga and many other ac­tiv­i­ties.

’’All the teach­ers are run­ning a sta­tion, they’re putting in lots of ef­fort,’’ Lam­bert said.

WRPS am­bas­sadors Luke and Zavier, both 12, said they were en­joy­ing the wiki o te reo Ma¯ ori ex­pe­ri­ence at school.

‘‘It’s some­thing dif­fer­ent. Hav­ing as­sem­blies ev­ery day is some­thing we never do and the ac­tiv­i­ties are fun,’’ Luke said.

Zavier said he liked Ma¯ori yoga best, its po­si­tions in­spired by the old gods like Tane¯-Mahuta (god of the for­est) or Ru¯ aumoko (god of earthquakes).

Of the two boys, only Zavier had so far re­cited his mihi to the school, but Luke said they both felt con­fi­dent in us­ing te reo.

As well as teach­ing and us­ing reo Ma¯ori, the school had a weekly kapa haka group of around 100 pupils and held weekly groups de­voted to other cul­tures as well.

The Pasi­fika group learned about the cul­tures, lan­guages and arts of our pa­cific neigh­bours, while a weekly Chi­nese group taught pupils Man­darin.

Last week, the pupils in the Pasi­fika group learned about the Samoan lan­guage, song and dance while work­ing on colour­ful squares to make a quilted tapa cloth.


West Rolle­ston Pri­mary pupils play games with ra¯kau.

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