Making time for te reo

Issue: Volume 99, Number 3

Posted: 27 February 2020
Reference #: 1HA5yQ

Wellington College has tweaked its timetable to allow all Year 9 students to learn te reo Māori.

A curriculum review at Wellington College in 2017 and 2018 saw the introduction of a te reo Māori course for all Year 9 students. 

Principal Gregor Fountain said there was widespread support for a timetable change which meant that students didn’t have to choose between te reo and another language.  

“Our students now study te reo Māori for three hours a week for half of the school year and another language of their choice for the other half of the year.”

The change was one of a range of actions the school has taken in the past few years to grow a more bicultural and inclusive school culture, says Gregor.

“There was an overwhelmingly positive response from the Year 9 whānau throughout the school when we signalled this move.”

Qualified teachers

Gregor says they were delighted to be able to appoint an experienced full-time teacher to join their existing te reo Māori teaching team. The appointment means that all of Wellington College’s te reo classes from Years 9 to 13 are being taught by qualified teachers with excellent language skills.  

“We have also been able to allocate some teaching hours in the department to support the development of staff skills in te reo Māori.”

There is a beginners’ course for staff after school every Wednesday and a before-school class on Tuesdays for those at a more advanced level. Approximately 40 staff members are involved in one of the two courses.  

Although the school doesn’t intend to extend compulsory te reo beyond Year 9 at this stage, it does insist that all students study a language in Year 10.  

“We are confident that the Year 9 course will encourage a larger group of students to continue te reo into Year 10 and beyond,” says Gregor.

Māori Language Week 14–20 September 2020

The Māori Language Commission marked Waitangi Day by formally announcing the dates and theme for Māori Language Week 2020. September 14 marks the day in 1972 when the petition for te reo Māori was presented to parliament.

“The Treaty was first written in te reo Māori, first debated in te reo Māori and first explained in te reo Māori. The Waitangi Tribunal paved the way for the first and later Māori language laws establishing a partnership between the Crown and hapū and iwi for the revitalisation of te reo Māori,” said Ngahiwi Apanui, Commission chief executive.

“Waitangi Day is like every day – a Māori language day. With just 244 sleeps until Māori Language Week starting on 14 September 2020, Waitangi Day is a great day for all to plan celebrations of New Zealand’s first language. The theme remains ‘Kia Kaha te reo Māori!’”  

Te Wiki o te reo Māori 2020: 14–20 Mahuru 2020

Kua whakatauria e Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori ko te rā o Waitangi te rā e pānuitia ai te rā me te kaupapa o Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020.

“I tuhia, i tautohea, ā, i whakamāramatia Te Tiriti o Waitangi ki te reo Māori i mua i tōna hainatanga. Nā te Rōpū Whakamana i te Tiriti o Waitangi te huarahi i para mō Te Ture Reo Māori 1987 me te Ture Reo Māori ‘o nāianei mahi ngātahi ai Te Karauna, ngā hapū me ngā iwi ki te whakarauora i te reo Māori,” Ngahiwi Apanui, tumuaki.

“He rite te rā o Waitangi ki ngā rangi katoa – he rangi reo Māori. E 244 ngā moe e toe ana ki te Te Wiki o te Reo Māori ā te 14-20 o Mahuru 2020. He tino rangi nui tēnei ki whakamahere i ngā kaupapa whakanui i te reo o Aotearoa ake. Ko ‘Kia Kaha te reo Māori!’ anō te kaupapa i tēnei tau.”

(Āe, e mōhio ana mātou he kaupapa motuhake anō hei taua wiki!)

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BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 1:40 pm, 27 February 2020

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