Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae


Māori learners

We're a part of a group of schools in Mangere that just happen to have immersion settings. We're a part of a whole in terms of a region with Tainui schools. We enjoy the relationship with Tainui and, more importantly, we enjoy being a part of this campus.

In Mangere, in general, there were a number of different levels of Māori teaching going on. So, you were either in a kura kaupapa, a kura Māori, or in one class with multiple levels of Māori immersion – where you knew what they were or not. Or you were a school that was embarking on setting up a Māori language programme, or you were a school that had several levels of immersion happening. But, no one really had any idea what they should be assessing their children on.

Professional needs

When we conducted an audit on what was out there, we had seven schools doing seven different things. We had children and teachers in a bilingual situation, but they were testing their children with mainstream tools.

The schools that decided to go into AUSAD (Analysis and use of student achievement data initiative), under the Hui Rāpoi, decided to conduct an audit. And we had an audit held by Iria Whiu and Cath Rau, well known in the Māori world for literacy and numeracy.

We talked about what the findings of the audit were and then the professional development each individual school needed to actually go along their own path. We tapped into certain tools that were out there, been researched and critiqued and looked at.

And we basically jumped on that bandwagon and decided to be a pilot school that would test some of those things. One of them was a reading testing tool for running records in Māori. The other one was a numeracy project, Poutama Tau. What we liked about the two programmes was that they were based and developed by Māori educators who understood the psyche of Māori learners.

Sharing knowledge

When we come together as an area cluster, we shared those things. What it has done to strengthen our area is, with the other Māori schools, we have a camaraderie we never had before. You know, you taught and learned in isolation. A Māori teacher was this person down the back. We now have a network of teachers that can share their professional knowledge and eliminate the prejudice of what level of immersion you teach at. 

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