Localised Curriculum

On ancestral land of Ngāti Whakaue, our school’s historic buildings honour the past but house incredibly innovative learning inside.  Cultural pride, belonging and identity are vital ingredients in our learners’ success.  

 

Our people have a long history of exploration and innovation and that culture and history strongly influences the school we are today and the school we will be tomorrow.  

 

To really embed these practices within our everyday learning we have developed a localised curriculum that is integrated each term with a different mātau (understanding) of who we are and where we come from.

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Moko kauae  

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Moko kauae - a traditional māori tattoo that represents a woman's whānau and leadership within her community, recognising her whakapapa, status, and abilities.

We were fortunate enough to be a part of Whaea Kath's journey to receive her moko kauae in 2020.

Whaea Kath shared her whakapapa and what that means to her with her class - helping our taonga to understand the importance of tupuna (ancestors) in our lives.

Taonga grew their understanding of moko kauae through a ngā toi (fine art) curriculum lens - understanding and learning to create the patterns and markings that represent tupuna, iwi and hapu.

 

Moko kauae  

Rotorua primary7_edited.jpg

Moko kauae - a traditional māori tattoo that represents a woman's whānau and leadership within her community, recognising her whakapapa, status, and abilities.

We were fortunate enough to be a part of Whaea Kath's journey to receive her moko kauae in 2020.

Whaea Kath shared her whakapapa and what that means to her with her class - helping our taonga to understand the importance of tupuna (ancestors) in our lives.

Taonga grew their understanding of moko kauae through a ngā toi (fine art) curriculum lens - understanding and learning to create the patterns and markings that represent tupuna, iwi and hapu.

Rongoa   

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Rongoa is the understanding of traditional māori medicine. As part of our putaiao (science) curriculum in 2020 we explored how rongoa can offer a more traditional and authentic approach to supporting our hauora (wellbeing).

We researched which native trees and  plants we have in our local area and how these can be used to support our bodies to be the best they can be - exploring the ways we can use plants by making food, ointments and including them in our lives everyday.

 

 

During our whakapapa taiao learning we broadened our understanding of the natural world to looking at eco systems from the perspective of the māori gods.

Increasingly, being able to offer a uniquely te ao māori perspective on traditional learning areas such as putaiao (science) makes it more engaging and relevant for our learners.

Whakapapa taiao  

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Ngā koromatua/Matariki tu rakau/Ihenga

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Our Ngā koromatua learning forms part of our tikanga a iwi curriculum (social sciences) and looks to deepen our understanding of whakapapa and connections for our whanau within the Ngāti Whakauae iwi (tribe).

We explored the connections between the different hapu (smaller groups of whanau) that we have in our school - finding common ground and understandings about our tupuna and what those connections mean to us in the here and now. 

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Celebrating the whakapapa of Rotorua primary, as part of a Forestry New Zealand initiative in 2020 we planted 190 trees in honour of Rotohiko Haupapa who gifted the land the school sits on from Ngāti Whakauae.

Understanding the history of our school in the context of iwi and those who have contributed to the school is a strong part of contextualising ourtikanga a iwi (social sciences) curriculum.

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As part of our tikanga a iwi (geography) learning we looked at the whakapapa of Ihenga - who followed the Kaituna river with his whānau and settled in the whakapoungākau Ranges and discovered Lake Rotorua, Rotoiti and the surrounding areas.

Understanding our tupuna and how they discovered our whenua is key to remembering our past while looking to our future.

 

Matariki - te tau hou Māori

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Matariki signals the Māori New Year. It is a time of renewal and celebration in New Zealand that begins with the rising of the Matariki star cluster.

Each year at Rotorua Primary we acknowledge and celebrate the new year through our ngā toi (arts) and putaiao (science) curriculum.

Expression of learning through arts is a strong way to contextualise the local curriculum for all learners, and offers a uniquely māori tanga viewpoint on what we see as important to our world - embracing the whakatauki:

"Tukua kia tū takitahi ngā whetū o te rangi"

Let each star in the sky shine it's own light

Traditionally the rising of the Matariki stars was used to determine the coming seasons crops. We have incorporated this tradition into our Te Arawa Maramataka (Māori calendar) which offers a uniquely Te Arawa interpretation of the year ahead.

This year we celebrated Matariki with a visit from Spaceward Bound New Zealand.

Inside the planetarium we explored the Matariki skies through Ngā tohunga whakatere - a story of navigation starting from our very own kura.

Braving the storm
Braving the storm

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Matariki from kura
Matariki from kura

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Navigating the islands
Navigating the islands

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Braving the storm
Braving the storm

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Te Arawa Maramataka

 

The Maramataka, which literally means ‘the moon turning,’ is the Māori lunar calendar, and is the traditional Māori way by which time was marked.

Instead of following the movement of the sun throughout the year, iwi noted the movements of the moon over a typical month and year.

Each phase of the moon was named and each typical year was marked by the passage of 12 or 13 lunar months.

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As part of our localised curriculum understanding hauora (wellbeing) through a whare tapa wha lens is important to be able to bring what we have learnt about rongoa, Matariki and ngā koromatua together in a Te Arawa context to be able to get the absolute most out of our day of learning.

In our outdoor learning space we have the Maramataka (calendar) and guide  that shows us the best days to do things based on energy levels and moon phases.

Kaiako (teachers) are encouraged to use te maramataka to inform their planning and learning experiences throughout the year.