Cultural Experience for Junior ESOL students

Posted on December 06, 2018

Recently fifty-six junior ESOL Immersion students and their teachers went on an annual trip to the Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marae for a noho (overnight stay).

The students spent time in class preparing for this visit by studying aspects of the Maori culture and also learning to sing two waiata to be performed at the welcome and farewell ceremonies.

On the way the group stopped at The Honey Centre in Warkworth where they observed bees at work in a glass-cased hive. A presentation providing information about these busy insects highlighted the importance of them to humans and following this all students made their own candle out of beeswax.

They then travelled to the Te Hana Te Ao Marama Marae where they were welcomed with a traditional pōwhiri. Prior to the delicious kai (dinner) they were shown how to weave flax and play a traditional long stick game, poi rākau which used to be a training game for warriors. Later the tangata whenua performed a traditional haka and sang several waiata for the pleasure of the students.

The following day the group travelled to Sheepworld in Warkworth where the students witnessed a farmer rounding up and bringing in the sheep with the help of the sheep dogs. They then watched a sheep being shorn and a couple of students were able to try their hand at this skill. Bottle feeding the baby lambs was an enjoyable experience too.

The whole trip was a great educational experience for the students and was enjoyed by all.