Appreciating our rich culture and history

blog one hurupaki
Waitangi guide Mukai shares his expert waka knowledge in a hands-on learning experience for these keen kaihoe (paddlers) - perhaps one day some will paddle Ngātokimatawhaorua, seen behind them here

Hurupaki Primary School, Whangārei, recently visited us over a few days with different classes to learn about Māori culture and New Zealand history. Their school is at the foot of a mountain known as Hurupaki, meaning to cover with a kākahu (cloak). Waitangi’s rich stories and taonga weave together to form a kākahu wrapping around us all, connecting us and protecting that which is important and unique to Aotearoa New Zealand.

These Year 4-6 students have been learning about the New Zealand Wars so we spent some time exploring the stories told in Te Rau Aroha museum. As educators, we had conversations with their teachers who feel it’s important to start learning about these darker parts of our history when young, as discovering them when older had been very confronting and challenging for some,  and led to a whole range of emotions from anger to sadness that can be hard to process as adults. New Zealand’s histories are to be taught as part of the curriculum in all schools and kura by 2022.

 

Hurupaki’s Bilingual class put their best foot or “pūkana” forward outside Te Whare Rūnanga after the cultural performance

 

The groups were excited to attend Te Pitowhenua’s  high-energy cultural performance inside Te Whare Rūnanga. Some showed their appreciation after the show by singing a waiata;  being able to sing at our beautiful carved meeting house is a very special and memorable occasion for students.

 

This Hurupaki class enjoyed hanging out with our amazing performers after the show and being able to ask questions

 

A house within a house – students love finding the small details within this Treaty House model found inside the Treaty House

 

“A well-paced informative visit that met all of our learning needs”  was some feedback received from teachers.

Our education team would like to say a big thank you to all the awesome teachers, students and whānau of Hurupaki Primary School.  We look forward to seeing you all again on our Education Experience!

7/12/2020  Imogen Rider