Papatoetoe West School recognises and celebrates the three official New Zealand Languages* and as such Te Reo Māori is integrated wherever possible through student learning. Teaching of  Te Reo is expected  to be taught daily.  Each term a unit plan is provided to develop Te Reo schoolwide with the option of additional learning for those who are competent.   Karakia is used daily in the classroom as well as in Garden to Table before the sharing of food. 

Learning about appropriate Tikanga for Karakia, Whakatau and Pepeha is built into our local curriculum.

Learning languages provides a means of communicating with people from another culture and exploring one’s own personal world.  At Papatoetoe West School students are provided the opportunity to explore language through the planning and celebration of cultural language weeks. These weeks take place throughout the school year.  These celebrations provide a rich learning context that highlights how languages are inseparably linked to the social and cultural contexts in which they are used. 

During each language week all students learn about the specific language through planned activities.  Students lead the sharing of their language to the whole school.  Fono and Hui are held to consult with whānau about what they think should take place during the language weeks and how we can learn from experts within our own community. This often looks like a range of learning experiences organised during break times. These experiences include learning waiata/song, learning dance, learning about cultural artefacts and history.  Students have the opportunity to enter speech competitions for Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, Cook Island, Māori, Hindi and English language.  Members/elders of the community are invited to judge the speech competitions.

Wherever possible expertise is also drawn from our wider school community, involving whānau, and key stakeholders to promote language and culture across the school.

Through language study students will:

  • appreciate that languages and cultures are organised and used to achieve meaning  
  • extend their linguistic and cultural understanding  
  • acquire new skills to live in a diverse world  
  • gain access to broader fields of knowledge  

 *New Zealand Sign Language Week will be celebrated along with other schools nationally.  

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