Sunday, May 27, 2012

Serendipity of opportunity… Language, Culture, Identity and its place in Raising Student Achievement

Returning to school after a year’s study leave, participating in NAPP with a specific focus on Maori achievement for my inquiry, attending a CORE breakfast session with Deanne and Whare, all of the stars are in alignment for a special learning experience.  Following up from the session with Deanne and Whare, I ran a staff meeting on Tuesday, again serendipity played a part with the meeting immediately following the amazing re-launch meeting for our Kapahaka group.  Our wonderful Kapahaka leader, all of our teaching staff, a large number of parents and a wonderful group of very enthusiastic Kapahaka participants met in the foyer.  I am soooo excited to see the re-launch of our group which has had a two year hiatus.  We have a vision, we have leaders, participants and we have a focus.  We are travelling to Middlemarch to celebrate with their Kapahaka group later this term, we are preparing for Hui Ako next term and late in term three we hope to be ready for the Polyfest.  Exciting times!  We have only a handful of participants from our previous performances and we have a bunch of enthusiastic young members.
Immediately following this set up meeting our staff met and I shared the wonderful presentation by Whare and Deanne.  

Although I was not able to weave into it the MAGICAL stories that Whare and Deanne shared, I was able to share it with a passion and enthusiasm to a very receptive group.  We discussed and shared and celebrated our current successes and looked to our short and long-term future. 
Our short-term goals are:

  • ·         Learn a little reo
  • ·         Research some local history
  • ·         Find out who the Maori leaders are locally
  • ·         Ask questions
  • ·         Ask our Maori mates
  • ·         Use the Maori language in our RE programme across our school – make it visible!

Watch the edtalk here!

We are working to transfer the skills of kapahaka into the class programme. Learning through waiata, participation, through rote learning, learning the waiata, the sounds, then learn the story of the waiata.  We are using the wonderful resource Hei Waiata – Reo Maori across the school.
By learning the language we are linking to using the mental, physical, engagement, participation.
We are embracing multiple ways of learning, and providing everything around a context.
Context where children can

  • ·         See themselves
  • ·         Relate to an experience
  • ·         Feel part of the big picture
  • ·         See something to be proud of

We are working on the concept of identity – as Maori, as a school/kura, as whanau, as me!
We are moving from consultation to engagement!
We are envisioning our starting point, developing a learning joureny, with a progression across the school. 
During the meeting we went for a tour of our extensive Maori resources.  Discussion around the use of Maori readers led to an initiative to have our fluent te reo speakers ‘read’ the texts onto an audio recording for learners to hear and repeat the text.  Initial recordings are very exciting and we are now moving to have the learners working in teams to extend our audio collection. 

I envisage a very exciting, rich, authentic learning journey ahead.  HUGE thanks to Deanne and Whare for the passion to confidently reignite our journey!

No comments:

Post a Comment