Kaiako’s curriculum of culture
Hills will be welcomed onto Omaka Marae with a powhiri on Wednesday, and the marae-based school will hold a dawn ceremony on June 22, ahead of opening on July 23.
Hills said she was ‘‘very excited’’ to take on the role, and had her heart set on it from the moment she saw the job listing.
‘‘I have a vision of my own, in teaching bilingual classes for children and young people. It has been very emotional all week, saying goodbye to my five classes . . . but as far as te reo goes, and my culture, I can’t wait to share it,’’ Hills said.
‘‘I don’t know much about the South Island, but I’m very excited to work with the local people and develop relationships. I’m sure we’ve got a lot of the same visions.’’
Hills loved music and kapa haka, and played the guitar, piano, ukulele, the ko¯auau and the pu¯ ta¯ tara, she said.
She would teach about 20 students in both te reo Ma¯ ori and English, with a self-directed learning style and a Ma¯ ori world view, as a satellite unit of Renwick School.
The Ministry of Education provided $1 million in funding to create the school last June, and Omaka Marae had hoped to open the school in time for term one this year.
But they struggled to find a kaiako, amid calls from education groups to address nationwide shortages of teachers in te reo Ma¯ ori.
Omaka Marae manager Kiley Nepia said the school would work with Hills to develop a curriculum that provided a cultural world view.
‘‘It’s about using their culture to teach them, and validating their culture . . . This allows our kids to be Ma¯ ori during the hours of 9am to 3pm. At the moment, being Ma¯ori is an extracurricular activity.’’
Incorporating a Ma¯ ori world