Tena kotou katoa
Just before dawn on Wednesday morning, we gathered together at the entrance to our beautiful new kura (school). The silence was broken by the call (karanga) of the kaikaranga (caller) and the steady rhythm of the karakia (prayers) from the kaumatua (elder), two of our mana whenua. This was the beginning of our blessing ceremony, the first part of our official opening of Matua Ngaru School. As the sun began to rise, we moved through every part of the school, laying our hands on the walls, doors and furniture, ensuring that our school will be a place where our whole school community are safe, happy and well as they take each step on their learning journey. It was a very special and moving experience to be part of.
Once we completed the pathway through the school, we gathered together in our Whare Tapere (hall), where members of our iwi, eBOT, James - the principal of Arohanui, and Diana spoke to all assembled, and we shared several waiata (songs) in support of the speakers. This was followed by the Matua Ngaru and Arohanui educators, eBOT and mana whenua participating in hongi (the pressing together of noses and sharing of breath, which signifies the 2 groups becoming unified). Once this was complete, we were no longer considered manuhiri (visitors) and became tangata whenua of Matua Ngaru School. To conclude the formalities, everyone participated in the sharing of kai (food), which lifts the tapu (sacredness) from all those involved.
āinga to explore, get to know each other, engage with provocations and become familiar with their new learning space. At 12:00, the last of our learners headed home, and our educators spent the afternoon preparing for the next group of learners who were coming to the open morning the next day.
On Friday, Wendy, Yasmin, Heike and Anoushka were all curious to find out how they can promote well being at Matua Ngaru as they spent the day with other educators learning about Hauora (well being).
Our educators had a busy day on Tuesday setting up their kāinga and getting every thing ready for our 2 open mornings. They were showing amazing creative flair with some of their displays and with their designing of activities for all of our learners.
Setting up Whare Hapori (our library) was the focus on Monday, with some of the team, along with their families, working together to set up displays, prepare and shelve books and work out the best configuration for the shelves and furniture.
While the rest of the team were away learning about well being on Friday, Di, Michael, Kirstin, Kate and Kelly worked together to synthesise and clarify our ideas around our Effective Educator Matrix, Learning Model and Educator Code of Conduct.
It's hard to believe that next week we will be welcoming our learners for their first day of school! We are all very excited and can't wait to meet you all.