Te Āo Māori

At Freyberg Community School, pedagogy and environment will reflect NZ cultural diversity through celebrating and including Māori and cultural makeup of classes. 
The unique position of Māori as tangata whenua is celebrated across our kura through our ongoing commitment to Te Reo Māori, Tikanga Māori and Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
At the suggestion of local kuia we have carried out consultation with kaumatua who were involved with the gifting of the title of Te Pou Hōia to General Bernard Freyberg following his steadfast commitment to members of the Māori Battalion during World War II and have been given permission to incorporate this title as part of our school identity – Te Kura Hapori o Te Pou Hōia. We have extensive bi-lingual signage around the kura and incorporate Te Reo Māori into all communication channels, both community and school facing.
As we grow our school-wide focus on a localised curriculum, we continue to take opportunities to examine local phenomena through a kaupapa Māori lens and learn about the historical and contemporary importance of local areas and resources, such as Te Whau, to our Waitakere iwi.

We have developed a progression matrix outlining key learning outcomes for all ākonga in Te Reo Māori based on Te Aho Arataki Marau mō te Ako i Te Reo Māori – Kura Auraki (Curriculum Guidelines for Teaching and Learning Te Reo Māori in English Medium Schools). In years 0-3 ākonga work through Level One and from Years 4-6 they work through Level Two. We are working alongside our ākonga to co-create a comprehensive digital resource that covers all learning outcomes and can be used to supplement existing in class learning. Additional resources for the teaching and learning of Te Reo and Tikanga Māori are acquired through the Māori curriculum team which is overseen by the relevant curriculum team leader.

Our goal is for all ākonga to leave Freyberg having gained proficiency in all level two outcomes by the end of year 6.

Our approach to specific tikanga has been co-constructed with members of our Freyberg Whānau which has ensured that practices, such as karakia tīmatanga and karakia whakamutunga that have been implemented are appropriate to our ākonga, kaiako, whānau and hapori whānui. In addition to ongoing communication, a more formal meeting is called each year to recognise whānau and whānui as important stakeholders with our kura to discuss all issues relating to Māori within our kura.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is acknowledged as one of the key principles of our community and forms a foundation for the decision making of our kura. This is reflected in both our strategic documentation and everyday teaching practices.

Curriculum and inclusion of cultural diversity – At the beginning of each school year classrooms carry out a Kotahitanga unit that explores Te Tiriti o Waitangi alongside our classroom cultures with a special focus on the place of Māori as tangata whenua. The implementation of this unit is differentiated to meet the diverse needs of our learner body and can include a wide range of cultural elements alongside topical academic work. The official language weeks of both Te Reo Māori and our Pasifika neighbours are celebrated across the school with special opportunities for traditional cultural activities to be hosted by members of our Freyberg Whānau such as Cook Island drumming or Niuean food preparation etc. In addition to these key celebrations, we also host an annual Culture Day that gives all of our learners and community members a special opportunity to both celebrate their culture and learn about the culture of other learners across our kura.

A partnership has been set up with Te Mahi-a-Toi Academy at Rutherford College so that ex-Freyberg ākonga attending Rutherford under the guidance of Matua Jeff Ruha lead kapa haka for our Team Three and Four tamariki in Te Kapa Haka o Te Pou Hōia. As the co-founding school of this initiative it has been a privilege to see this approach successfully rolled out across our Te Atatū Kāhui Ako to further develop this Tuakana-Teina approach to build transitions, role models and the mana of the Kāhui Ako kapa haka students. Te Kapa Haka o Te Pou Hōia perform at schoolwide, Kāhui Ako and community events.

Our Freyberg Pasifika group was formed by members of our Freyberg Whānau and provides learners from Teams Three and Four with opportunities to come together on a weekly basis to learn about and celebrate our Pasifika cultures through tatalo, pese and siva. Our Freyberg Pasifika group perform at schoolwide and Kāhui Ako events.

Tracking of Māori and Pasifika ākonga is carried out against the New Zealand Curriculum and internal assessments as with all learners, but specific analysis and tracking is carried out for these learners. This data is then used to inform targeted intervention programmes as required to ensure equitable outcomes for all of our learners.