Te Reo Māori me ona Tikanga

“The New Zealand curriculum acknowledges the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and the bicultural foundations of Aotearoa New Zealand. All students have the opportunity to acquire knowledge of te reo Māori me ōna tikanga”.

The publication of Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori – Kura Auraki Curriculum Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English-medium Schools: Years 1–13 is an important milestone in New Zealand education.

These guidelines support the Māori Education Strategy “Ka Hikitia – Managing for Success”. For the first time, we have curriculum guidelines designed specifically to support the teaching and learning of te reo Māori in English-medium schools. Te reo Māori has a special place in The New Zealand Curriculum.

At Houghton Valley School we have worked diligently, for a number of years, to ensure that Te reo Māori me ona Tikanga are being acknowledged in appropriate ways and that our students have an appreciation and understanding of the importance of the bi-cultural nature of Aotearoa.

In recent times, based on feedback from the Education Review Office, it has been necessary to develop a programme specifically ‘for Māori as Māori’.  We have revitalized Te Roopu Kahikatea especially for the Māori students from year 1 – 6.  Research has shown that when the cultural backgrounds of students are acknowledged, it can lead to vast improvements in their social, emotional and academic achievement. This concept continues to be a work in progress.  

Te Reo Māori:  Staff are currently in Professional Learning Development with Alice Patrick from Arahia Associates.  Alice is utilizing the resource that she created with assistance from the Ministry of Education, He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora.  She is teaching the kaiako how easy it is to use the resource in their classrooms and what things to focus on to assess the students.  We will then be implementing a more robust programme and monitoring system from 2016.

Kapa haka:  Houghton Valley has kapa haka every Friday with Whaea Monnie and several other staff members who share their musical skills in this area.  It is compulsory for every class in the junior and senior school to participate.  We perform for a number of occasions during the year, when required.  Then, later on in the year, we take volunteers from year 3-6 for an annual inter-school kapa haka festival.

Tapu Te Ranga Marae, Island Bay:  Every two years, Houghton Valley year 5-6 students participate in a Noho Marae, (an overnight stay), at Tapu Te Ranga Marae in Island Bay.  Prior to going to the marae, students learn about what a marae is and its significance to the Māori people, they learn about a hangi and what is involved to prepare one, Māori protocol and importance of a powhiri, they learn kapa haka performance items and participate in workshops offered by parents and how to work together to contribute to making the event a success.  They welcome the junior school to the marae the following day and share the hangi meal together.

Teacher Monica Mercury is the driving force behind this area of work.  Please don’t hesitate to contact her if you have any questions or concerns.