Topic: Education

Wharekura students thrive despite decile rating

By Mānia Clarke
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Decile 1 school in Huntly, Te Wharekura o Rākaumangamanga has matched the best top decile schools with a 100% pass rate of its students who sat NCEA Level 2.

Rakaumangamanga's school is living up to the school's motto by King Tawhiao to unite all strands of learning, to ensure success.

Te Wharekura o Rakaumangamanga board member Huirama Matatahi says, “The King Movement is the only focus of teaching, the focus of thinking and how we bring those aspects together.  Incorporating all subjects under the principles of the Kiingitanga that are valued by the school.”

All Year 12 students were passed their NCEA exams last year.  The school's deputy credits the skills learnt from the Māori curriculum.

Deputy Principal Rangimarie Mahuta told Te Kāea, “We are passionate about immersing the student in their Māori world, to know their language, dialect and customs.  The students quickly grasp performing arts, learning words, understanding them, discussions, with family support.”

Two years ago the school trialed the Year 7 and 8 within a Modern Learning Environment.  The school has opened a new classroom called Korotangi to foster learning for all students within the one learning space.

Matatahi says, “These birds guided the Tainui canoe when it voyaged here from Hawaiiki.  Hokioi is a teaching area we've had for a few years, to support, nurture and teach the "chicks" or children and now Korotangi has been established as well as Poho-i-Tere to support that teaching, to combine the teachings.”

Mahuta says, “Long ago our ancestors taught in a large learning environment like this.  The benefit of this type teaching is that the students get to learn from many teachers.”

The 70 Intermediate students get to enjoy their new teaching environment in the new term.