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Te reo Māori in English-medium Schools

Te reo Māori in English-medium Schools Professional Learning and Development

Poipoia te Reo is the professional learning and development provision supporting the teaching and learning of ‘te reo Māori in English-medium schools’.

Our work in schools is underpinned and driven by a vision, namely:  'Poipoia te reo, hei reo e ora ana, e kaha ana, e haumako ana' - Secure the future of te reo Māori as a living, dynamic and rich language’.

During 2014, 22 schools in the Central North region have been supported through this PLD provision, and snapshots are provided about the progress being made in four schools, namely:

  • Tahatai Coast School (Papamoa)
  • St Francis School (Thames)
  • Malfroy School (Rotorua)

Tahatai Coast School

PLD support at Tahatai Coast School in Papamoa has focused mainly on developing teacher confidence in the use of available resources, namely, He Reo Tupu He Reo Ora, to implement a quality Te Reo Māori programme within the school.

After initial consultation and strengths and needs analyses with the school’s lead team responsible for te reo Māori (consisting of the Principal, Deputy Principal and the lead teacher of te reo Māori), most teachers were unfamiliar with the curriculum and the resource He Reo Tupu He Reo Ora resource.  

The focus of the PLD was identified to support staff to design and implement a curriculum aligned programme that reflects effective pedagogy in a second language learning context.  The priority outcomes identified were:

  • build an online repertoire of localised teaching and learning resources to support teaching and learning of te reo Māori
  • increase teacher confidence and capability in teaching te reo Māori
  • increase teacher awareness and use of the He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora resource (content and supplementary materials)

The PLD was implemented in-school via:

  • the development of a google site housing teaching and learning support resources
  • 45 minute (after school) workshops 
  • 30-45 minute in-class support sessions

The Google Site

Te reo @ Tahatai

The google site that was developed to be used as a ‘one-stop’ shop to access information and support materials.  The google site provided teachers with streamlined access to the curriculum guidelines, He Reo Tupu He Reo Ora, Te Kete Ipurangi resources and other online resources.  The website included sound files to assist the teachers in developing their own pronunciation skills.  Probably the most significant feedback from one staff member was: 

‘It’s great, it’s all there for us and very easy to access and use’

The site was developed by facilitators in conjunction with the school’s Lead Teacher of ICT who now manages and updates the site independently.  

The Workshops

The after school workshops supported staff to familiarise themselves with how to access and use the resources housed on the google site.  Staff participated in hands-on practical sessions supporting them to use the digital content housed in the site, and the site had additional content posted to it based on staff feedback and suggestions to better support their use of the materials in their classrooms.

In-class Support

Staff were provided with a timetable and signed up to in-class support sessions.  The focus of the support was identified prior, and facilitator/s supported teachers in classes with  modelling a range of  language strategies to teach communication in te reo Māori,  offering teachers the opportunity to observe how He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora could be used and or modified to suit the needs of the learners in their class.

Since establishing links with the school, the lead teacher has further developed some of her own ideas to encourage staff capability within the classroom with positive feedback from the principal and staff on her initiatives.  It is evident that there is:

  • increased teacher confidence and self efficacy in teaching te reo Māori
  • increased awareness and use of He Reo Tupu, He Reo Ora and associated resources
  • increased access to the resources on the Google site to support teaching and learning

St Francis School (Thames)

St Francis School in Thames is a small catholic school, with a small number of teaching staff who are committed classroom teachers.  

IMG_8149.JPGWhen the PLD support was first allocated by the Ministry of Education, the school had a te reo Maori planning document that needed facilitator support to bring it alive in classrooms. Teachers worked hard to build their own te reo capability through personal study and participated fully in all facilitator modelled lessons for te reo Māori, learning alongside their students. Teachers encouraged the students to lead the learning and have worked collaboratively across the school to build excellent resources that support their planning. Teachers’ knowledge and skills were enhanced through professional learning facilitated sessions that focused on building understanding of current theoretical ideals coupled with practical teaching strategies. 

The whole school completed a term long focus on Matariki, where each year level focused on one curriculum area and shared their key learnings with the rest of the school.  This culminated in an evening of whānau engagement with almost all parents and grandparents attending to share in a celebration of learning.  The joy on parents’ faces as they were introduced to the evening with a mihi (entirely in te reo Maori)  from the senior class, followed by a formal introduction from the principal (again, entirely in te reo Maori) who has been learning alongside the children all year and practicing at home lots!  

Each class shared their thoughts and learning on their aspect of Matariki with confidence. The facilitator felt it a a privilege to be part of that learning journey and to share in the success of the evening. Listening to the comments from parents and grandparents of the pride they felt in their children was testament to the positive attitudes these teachers have developed in the children to value diversity and celebrate the taonga that is te reo Māori.

Malfroy School

Malfroy School identified a desire to increase staff confidence in using te reo Māori with their students as well as to develop their pedagogical content knowledge around teaching te reo Māori as a second language.

Malfroy School is an English-medium multicultural urban school with a 70% Māori student roll and two rumaki classes. Professional development sessions were facilitated in collaboration with the Māori immersion teachers and proved to be invaluable for the staff. At each staff meeting, five mini language teaching sessions were modelled and teachers rotated to each facilitator thus maximising opportunities to develop their own learning and confidence in teaching te reo Māori as a second language. 

Staff at Malfroy School are now reporting increased confidence and acknowledging  the value of te reo Māori in their everyday teaching and practice.  

“...feeling better using Māori to speak about camp, traditions at the marae, Māori values...students becoming more at ease...small PD Māori groups are more user friendly and not as intimidating...”

“ ...feel more confident in the te reo I use. Last term we used te reo to associate it with sign language...completely useful learning Māori...”

“ the importance of delivering the kids vocab, commands in Māori, calling the roll in te reo...starting to become aware of the the different levels in Te Aho Arataki Marau...”

“...I’m using more Māori words throughout the day...”

“...not finding enough time for te reo...valuable unpacking the sentence structures...cool resources...really useful...”

In this sound recording below, one kaiako explains new understandings around Māori language, identity and culture for her and her students. 

For more information about this project visit the Te reo Māori in English-medium Schools Professional Learning and Development project page.