14 Dec Whānau class in good heart
The whānau class at Te Kareti o Neirana (Nayland College) is in good heart as 2016 comes to a close. This is a form class which any student can opt into when they enrol at the college. It provides an environment and opportunity for tauira (students) to be immersed in Māori language and tikanga during the course of their school day.
Whaea Chanel Ngāruhe facilitates the class with the help of kaiako (teacher) Nigel Lineham. Whānau form times begin with an environmentally-focussed karakia (prayer) to acknowledge the world we live in. It’s an opportunity to hear the reo being spoken, as well as for students to speak it. According to year 9 student Ruby Vidgen, being part of the whānau class is “a good thing to get ready for the day in the morning,” while year 10 student Te Miri Straker says “it’s a nice place to wake up.”
Students from the whānau class are instrumental in enabling haka and pōwhiri to be performed on special occasions. The students learn the tikanga (customs) behind pōwhiri and become proficient in their role of tangata whenua when welcoming visitors and new people to the school. “It’s planting the seeds within them so they can continue the legacy,” Whaea Chanel says. Ruby Vidgen uses the analogy of being in a band to describe it. Just like the drummer of a band holds the beat, without things like karakia and haka, events wouldn’t be able to be held together.
The whānau is fortunate to welcome Baylen Banfield (on stage above) into the role of kaitaunaki (whānau class student leader) in 2017.
Ko te manu e kai ana i te miro, nōnā te ngāhere. Ko te manu e kai ana i te mātauranga, nōnā te ao.
The bird that eats the miro berry owns the forest. The bird that feasts on knowledge owns the world.