Sunday, 28 February 2021

Pōwhiri 2021


Weeks of practice and dedication came together on Friday as we carried out our pōwhiri for 2021. Though the weather forced us inside at the last minute, we were so proud of the 'mana' and 'ihi' (essential force) shown by all students while performing haka and waiata. A special mention to our 'kaea' or kapa haka leaders who led from the front and really brought the house down! From the staff perspective, we were also thrilled to have been able to carry out more of the ceremony in Te Reo Māori, while following the 'kawa' or protocol of mana whenua, Te Āti Awa/Taranaki Whānui. If you haven't already, please check out the Week 4 Newsletter for translation and explanation of our pōwhiri.

Here are some of our students' thoughts on pōwhiri:

Pōwhiri was good. I liked the singing and sang with lots of power - Fabian S

I liked doing Taku Manu pōwhiri because you get to do lots of actions - Zen S

I had so much fun at the pōwhiri with all the people we were welcoming to the school - Zoe C

It was great, I felt really good about it because I was quite loud and I am very proud of myself - Aila B

I thought pōwhiri was really good, I enjoyed singing the songs and listening to the speeches - Lucy N

I was a leader for the pōwhiri and I think we gave it our all and gave it lots of power - Eddie B

Well, where to next? As well as mihi whakatau (smaller welcoming ceremonies for later arrivals) throughout the year, our attention now turns to the first kahui ako (group of Eastern Suburbs schools) Kapa Haka festival in Term 2. We are developing some old, new and different haka and waiata for this occasion, so watch this space!

Tuia, tuia tuia anō
Tuia i runga, Tuia i raro
Tuia ki roto, tuia ki waho,
Tuia te Whānau o Whetūkairangi.
Ko te whānau o Whetūkairangi e
Nō reira, e tau nei ki runga i a tātou katoa, te wairua aroha. Kia ora koutou katoa!

Above and below are woven together, as is what is inside us and that which is outside of us. And, we are woven together as a whānau, the Whānau of Whetūkairangi.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Kei te pēhea koe?

Kei te pēhea koe?

Te reo Māori learning is a key part of our programme in Tautoru. We are currently wrapping up our learning unit on "Kei te pēhea koe?" which is "How are you feeling?"

We thought it was very fitting to start the year with regular check ins and practise on saying how we are feeling.

Each week we have a focused, explicit lesson on a particular sentence structure in te reo Māori. This has just been "Kei te pēhea koe?". To support this, we also start each morning with a te reo hotspot to maintain and practise our new learning.

Here is the sentence structure and visuals to support how to ask and answer how we are feeling.

"Kei te pēhea koe?" (How are you feeling?)

"Kei te ____ ahau." (I am feeling __.) e.g. Kei te pai ahau.

"Me koe?" (And you?)


  • Pai - good
  • Harikoa - great
  • Wera - hot
  • Makariri - cold
  • Pouri - sad
  • Hiamoe - tired
  • Hiainu - thirsty
  • Hiakai - hungry
  • Mauiui - sick

Go on, give it a go at home!

Learning how to talk!


It sounds a bit funny, but yes we are learning how to talk and communicate effectively! Twice a week all of Tautoru mix up and head into our problem solving groups. 

During this time, we are learning how to share, explain and justify our strategies. At the moment, we are focusing on listening to our buddy. This is an important skill that we explicitly learn how to do. We must look at our buddy, listen to understand what they are saying and then ask some questions to check we understand.

After we have listened to our buddy share their strategy, we agree or challenge their idea. We talk about how to do this respectfully. In Tautoru, we call it friendly arguing as we are not arguing against the person, but rather discussing whether the strategy is the most effective for that problem or not.

This is the general process that we base our problem solving lessons around.

As you can imagine, there is a lot of learning going on during our problem solving time! Not just learning new maths skills and strategies, but how to communicate, listen and question each other.

To support the kids, we use talk move cards. We focus on one or two cards for a couple of weeks and then start on a new one once we feel we have that card safely stored in our talk toolkit.

Here are the talk move cards we use. Feel free to have a go at using them at home!

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Celebrating the Lunar New Year

 We had so much fun creating beautiful lanterns and fish to mark the Lunar New Year which is celebrated in South East Asia. We invited our buddies from Autahi to join us too. We were very fortunate to have Ling and Huifang come to talk to us and share a special celebration.

The lanterns symbolise the wish for a bright future and are now decorating our new expanded Tautoru space. The fish (鱼 Yú /yoo/ in Chinese) sounds like 'surplus' and symbolises good fortune and abundance as well.

Sharing our ideas through Art

 We have been learning about the importance of Manaakitanga and what this looks like in our world.  

This week we have begun to think about how we can show our ideas using the art of Keith Haring, and learning how to use bold lines and solid colour to show ideas. 

Keith Haring- Untitled (source )

Later on we will be developing our ideas further to create some exciting printed art works. Here we are using creativity and developing our ideas.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

Maths Problem Solving

 During our maths session we worked on problem solving. Students were buddied up across Tautoru and encouraged to share ideas and strategies to solve a problem.

This is a great opportunity for students to teach and learn from one another. There are a wide range of strategies and knowledge that students are keen to develop and share. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

2021 - Manaakitanga

 What a great start to the year! We have come together after the break with everyone ready to learn and enthusiastic to make new friends along with re-establishing old friendships. We are all very excited about 2021.

This week we have been unpacking the concept of Manaakitanga which is about caring for people and the environment. Many of the students are familiar with Manaakitanga through our school Karakia, Kapa Haka,  and prior learning.

Over the course of the coming week we will continue to look at Manaakitanga and how we can encourage students to see it in others and also themselves. On Tuesday we worked in base groups and discussed  the different ways we care for the people around us , at school, and the wider world. We had a range of ideas from picking up rubbish, doing the dishes after dinner, and using our manners when we are out shopping!

We are looking forward to supporting the students in Tautoru in building their understanding of Manaakitanga so keep an eye out for future posts.