Big weekend at Waikirikiri

FIFTY YEARS OF SCHOOLING: Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri, formerly Waikirikiri School, celebrates its 50th Jubilee this weekend. Pictured from back left are kaiako (teacher) Kim Pewhairangi, Tru Moon, Heaven Ngatoko Biddle and principal Yolanda Julies. In front are Lucy Moeke, Kaaliah Kennedy-Hogan, Hiria Whati-Haapu, Jordan Puhipuhi, Allundra Newham-Brown and Joelene Patuwai. Picture by Shaan Te Kani

IT WILL be a weekend of milestones for Waikirikiri School, which will celebrate its 50th Jubilee as well as 30 years of its total immersion unit Te Whanau Reo Maori.

Celebrations get under way tomorrow at the school in outer Kaiti and continue through to Saturday.

Events tomorrow will see the opening of a new innovative learning space as well as a reunion of the many faces who have been part of the Waikirikiri community over the years.

The school’s official title is Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri. It is a bilingual school of Maori and English, and also has a total immersion Maori unit.

The school was officially opened by L R Lewis, then chairman of what was Hawke’s Bay Education Board.

Principal Yolanda Julies said the staff, students and community were all looking forward to the celebrations.

“The opening of our new innovative flexible spaces as part of our jubilee celebration is an exciting addition to the aspirational future we envisage for our kura for the next 50 years,” she said.

Mrs Julies made history as the first and only South African principal of the school when she took up the role in May 2005. Also groundbreaking during her era was revitilisation of the school’s localised curriculum.

The kura adapted and formalised its marau-a-kura, or localised curriculum, to be centred around Te Papatipu o Horouta, a renowned patere (traditional Maori chant) of the Tairawhiti region written by Ngati Porou composer Peta Awatere.

The patere was included in the curriculum to create a more inclusive practice and delivery of Maori learning across the kura.

It is relevant to the students because 99 percent are Maori, a majority of them are Ngati Porou, and the patere traces the arrival and history of the Horouta waka.

“This gives effect to our mission statement ‘E Tipu e Rea’, famous words of Ngati Porou leader Sir Apirana Ngata.

“Our priority and vision is to teach our tamariki to be proud of their identity and heritage, while equipping them with 21st century skills.

“Thus enabling our tamariki to walk strong and tall in both worlds, Te Ao Maori and Te Ao Whanui (global).

“The kura continues to evolve into a modern Maori medium learning environment with collaborative practice at the forefront of its learning models.”

Acting principal Lisa Olsen-Brown said the kura had a proud legacy and was looking forward to the next 50 years.

“We have a vision of epitomising the principles of our mission statement by equipping our learners with ‘nga taonga a o tipuna Maori me nga rakau a te Pakeha, the treasures and teachings of our ancestors as well as the tools and education of the modern world’.

“We strive for our tamariki to be sound in their knowledge and appreciation of who they are, and their collective histories, as well as having the tools to become global citizens, to truly become ‘nga rangatira mo apopo, leaders of tomorrow’.”

IT WILL be a weekend of milestones for Waikirikiri School, which will celebrate its 50th Jubilee as well as 30 years of its total immersion unit Te Whanau Reo Maori.

Celebrations get under way tomorrow at the school in outer Kaiti and continue through to Saturday.

Events tomorrow will see the opening of a new innovative learning space as well as a reunion of the many faces who have been part of the Waikirikiri community over the years.

The school’s official title is Te Kura Reo Rua o Waikirikiri. It is a bilingual school of Maori and English, and also has a total immersion Maori unit.

The school was officially opened by L R Lewis, then chairman of what was Hawke’s Bay Education Board.

Principal Yolanda Julies said the staff, students and community were all looking forward to the celebrations.

“The opening of our new innovative flexible spaces as part of our jubilee celebration is an exciting addition to the aspirational future we envisage for our kura for the next 50 years,” she said.

Mrs Julies made history as the first and only South African principal of the school when she took up the role in May 2005. Also groundbreaking during her era was revitilisation of the school’s localised curriculum.

The kura adapted and formalised its marau-a-kura, or localised curriculum, to be centred around Te Papatipu o Horouta, a renowned patere (traditional Maori chant) of the Tairawhiti region written by Ngati Porou composer Peta Awatere.

The patere was included in the curriculum to create a more inclusive practice and delivery of Maori learning across the kura.

It is relevant to the students because 99 percent are Maori, a majority of them are Ngati Porou, and the patere traces the arrival and history of the Horouta waka.

“This gives effect to our mission statement ‘E Tipu e Rea’, famous words of Ngati Porou leader Sir Apirana Ngata.

“Our priority and vision is to teach our tamariki to be proud of their identity and heritage, while equipping them with 21st century skills.

“Thus enabling our tamariki to walk strong and tall in both worlds, Te Ao Maori and Te Ao Whanui (global).

“The kura continues to evolve into a modern Maori medium learning environment with collaborative practice at the forefront of its learning models.”

Acting principal Lisa Olsen-Brown said the kura had a proud legacy and was looking forward to the next 50 years.

“We have a vision of epitomising the principles of our mission statement by equipping our learners with ‘nga taonga a o tipuna Maori me nga rakau a te Pakeha, the treasures and teachings of our ancestors as well as the tools and education of the modern world’.

“We strive for our tamariki to be sound in their knowledge and appreciation of who they are, and their collective histories, as well as having the tools to become global citizens, to truly become ‘nga rangatira mo apopo, leaders of tomorrow’.”

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