The curriculum focus for this newsletter is Languages, the Languages department consists of Kimberley Rope, the Head of Learning and Keanu Marychurch-Townsend, the teacher of Te Reo Māori. Te Reo Māori is a 9-week module for Years 7 to 10 and the module is split into four key aspects:
- Pepeha is where students research, write, then present their pepeha using digital technology. This gives students the chance to research their family history and gain more mana in their knowledge of self. Students also develop technology skills, and increase confidence in public speaking.
- Mahi Tuhituhi is where students increase their Māori vocabulary and construct and translate active sentences in Te Reo Māori, with a focus on features of the environment. This gives students the opportunity to improve handwriting.
- Mahi toi is a Māori art focus where students are introduced to symbols and meanings used in carving and tāmoko, students increase their artistic creativity, practice and improve pen handling skills.
- Mahi Whakaari is where students learn to practice, and perform the school haka and kapa haka. This gives students the chance to gain confidence in performance.The different types of assessments give all students a chance to express their skills, whether it be literacy skills, artistic skills, public speaking and performing. The students start their mahi in year 7 and this continues through to year 10. This enables continuity and the retention of knowledge learned.
The implementation of whole school haka every second Tuesday has strengthened the department through both junior and senior school here at Ruawai College. This has been a process led by Mr Keanu Townsend and the students can now regularly showcase this unique haka. Special mention goes to Whaea Pirepire Marychurch who helped Mr Townsend with the writing of this. The Languages Department is also currently looking at solidifying the relationships between local marae and the neighbouring Primary School in the near future. We are looking at working on a waiata specifically written for our school, watch this space!