Saturday, 8 September 2018


Kia ora Whānau!

It's my favourite time of the year- MĀORI LANGUAGE WEEK! This is a great week because it shows us what New Zealanders can do with Te Reo- news announcers greeting us, supermarket loudspeaker announcements... I'm sure there's more but I'm just too excited and can't think of more examples.

Here's a link to the OFFICIAL Te Wiki o te Reo Māori page. There are lots of cool posters, phrasebooks, and so on to download. Let us know if you'd like something downloaded or printed or whatever, we'd love to support you.

Here is a summary of Birchwood School's Māori Language Week:
  • HAVE A GO.
    • We believe nobody can learn anything without making mistakes. Mistakes are part of learning. People who don't make mistakes don't make much of anything. Mistakes are proof you are trying. If your pronunciation is a bit off, kei te pai- you won't get better without making that effort. We would rather hear mistakes than nothing.

I'm not saying you suck, but this is a fantastic quote by Jake.
    • We modified this from the official slogan: learn a little, say a little.
    • Teachers are committed to introducing, using and celebrating Te Reo in their classrooms. Students will hear, see and say things in Māori. Parents might even read Te Reo saluations in emails. 
    • Open for students, but parents and teachers- you could totally have a go too, if you like.  We used the pikitia rawe from the Official Te Wiki o te Reo Māori site (I'm sure they won't mind).  
    • Download here. But also available through classroom kaiako, or the school office.

    • No, sorry, I don't mean Bingo the dog
    • Birchwood Teachers would like to extend this term's Te Reo challenge with you all! BINGO! There are 9 phrases to use in 'genuine' settings. 
    • Stick to the fridge or some other convenient location.
    • Sign your name on each one you use. Race your whānau to use them all!
    • Download here. Also available through your child's teacher, or the school office.
    • This week at assembly, the school will sing the well-known He Honore. Please join us! Here's a link to an amazing blog-site with kupu/ words, tune, etc
    • For what it's worth, we encourage ALL kaiako and akonga to know what we're singing. It is utterly pointless to sing without knowing what you're singing- you could be singing for your love of cats, promising never to eat cake again, or actually singing a chocolate cake recipe. 
If you have any awesome ideas of ways we can celebrate Te Reo, Tikanga and Whakaaro Māori, please do let us know!

Ka kite,

Damian Hardman

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Updating for Kaiako

Kia ora Koutou!

We have updated te Kete of te Kaupapa Māori- Pepehā unit plan is linked. You can also find it somewhere on this blog.

The following is cut-and-pasted from a slightly modified google doc. Cutting and pasting hates me and doesn't seem to work well. 


The NUMBER ONE thing we can do to improve engagement and achievement for ANY student 
is to say their names correctly. In the case of Māori students, this extends to saying place names, 
class tree names, whanau class bird names, etc.

Listen, Say, See
Goal: To increase students and teacher confidence and competence in use of Te Reo Māori.

Focus teaching and learning on LISTEN, SAY, SEE. Students will listen to our korero, they will 
say what they can, they will see Māori words around the classroom and the school.

Success is if they know what we’re saying when we use Te Reo Bingo. Doubly awesome if they 
know how to reply.

Goal: For each student and teacher to have a pepehā.
How can students keep pepehā with them for future years?

Te Reo Bingo
Goal: To increase authentic use of Te Reo Māori in classrooms and around the school.

Your goal over the next ten weeks is to say all 9 common classroom phrases to your students, 
other staff members and whanau. You must get it signed by the person that hears you say it.

Goal: To ensure whole school has a kete of waiata.

Expectation: sing regularly in class, at assembly, teach students meaning of waiata as well as 
selected key words within each.

Weeks 1 & 2: E I A I E
Weeks 3 & 4: Ko Toku Marae Tenei
Weeks 5 & 6: Tutira Mai
Weeks 7 & 8: He Honore
Weeks 9 & 10: Haere Mai

As well as our “climb the mountain” whakataukī, we also have our “look after the environment” one. 
Both of these are on the Maori@Birchwood blog, but I’ve linked downloads from here for your viewing 

Teachers are encouraged to practise saying each one with their classes “a couple of times” a week. 
Embrace the fact you might not get it right.

Climb the Mountain:
Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei.
GRIT: Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain.

Enviro one: This will be our whakataukī for term 3.
He nui ngā painga o te hangarau mō te tai.
There are many benefits of recycling for the environment.
Download a lovely picture version: He nui ngā painga etc
Hear it: Listen to ‘He nui ngā painga etc’ on the Māori blog.
Suggest: get students to design a picture for this one. Click here for a blank version.

Whānau Classes
Weeks 5 and 10 (or 9) on Friday after lunch, unless there’s a better time for whatever reason, 
eg swimming. The Māori Curriculum team will let you know.

Whānau classes are a good opportunity to say a Māori word- your manu- so please use your 
manu when talking with your whānau class and use it often so they associate whānau class with 
manu rather than ‘you’.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Citizenship Ceremony

7 August 2018

Kia ora Koutou!

A notice will go home this week for students who would like to be considered to perform for the Citizenship Ceremony. Notices are available through me in Tawa / Room 12, via your child's teacher, or by accessing the google-pdf-doc in this link.

Birchwood School kapahaka group- Te Rakau Whakapapa- have been invited to perform two waiata at a Citizenship Ceremony on Wednesday 29 August, starting at 9.30 am and finishing at around 10.45 am.

We can take 12 students who have shown excellence and leadership during practises.

Please indicate below whether you give permission for your tamariki to be considered for this performance, and also whether you are able to provide transport.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Ka kite,

Damian Hardman

Monday, 23 July 2018

Mihi Whakatau

Kia ora Koutou! 
Birchwood school will hold a mihi whakatau at a special assembly this Friday. We hope you'll be able to join us and help us welcome new students and families to our school community. Assembly will be held at the usual time- 9.15 am to about 10 am.
Ka kite,
Damian Hardman

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Matariki Family Event

Kia ora Whānau!

No doubt you've heard about the Matariki Family Event! This is Birchwood School's way of celebrating Matariki. A HUUUUGE thanks to the talented PTA for putting this together.

Whānau Classes
Birchwood School have been running whānau classes for the past couple of years. Whānau classes are where siblings, cousins, etc, can have a chance to mix, mingle and learn together. Whānau classes don't change- a student stays with the same whānau class and teacher until they leave Birchwood. Usually whānau classes meet twice per term, sometimes more, sometimes less. Your child's classroom teacher can let you which whānau class your child is in.

Karakia mō te kai
I hope we will take the time to bless the kai before we eat. There are two main options I have found:
1. Shorty Pants
E whakawhetai ana mo ēnai kai
E whakawhetai ana no ō mātou hoa

Waaaay back in the day, Mrs Saville and her new entrant tamariki recorded this karakia.

We are thankful for the food we share

And thankful that our friends are here

2. Traditional
Nau mai e ngā hua
o te wao 
o te ngakina
o te wai tai
 o te wai Māori
Nā Tane
 Nā Rongo
Nā Tangaroa
Nā Maru
Ko Ranginui e tū iho nei
Ko Papatūānuku e takoto nei
Tuturu whakamaua
Kia tina! TINA! Hui e! TĀIKI E!

Welcome the gifts of food
from the sacred forests
from the cultivated gardens
from the sea
from the fresh waters
The food of Tane
of Rongo
of Tangaroa
of Maru
I acknowledge Ranginui who is above me, 

Papatuanuku who lies beneath me
Let this be my commitment to all!
Draw together! Affirm!

We hope you'll join us in two waiata.

1. He Waiata Matariki

2. Matariki Macarena

This doesn't show the actions, you'll have to work that out for yourselves :) 
P.S. Shrek might help!

Te Rakau Whakapapa - Birchwood Kapahaka
You have some very special instructions I'd like you to follow, which will help with organisation on the night. Click here to go to the Kapa blog for those instructions
Thanks again to the P.T.A. for organising a Matariki celebration for us! Look forward to seeing you all there. Please do ask if you have any questions!

Ngā mihi

Damian Hardman

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Lesson Plans

Kia ora Koutou!

There is a little bit of news to share.

(1) There is a waiata for us to learn. Hopefully we'll be able to sing together at the P.T.A.'s Matariki night. It's one we know: He Waiata Matariki by Rahera Davies. Click here to go the Waiata page.

(2) Speaking of Matariki, here is a new book by Miriama Kamo. It is available in Te Reo Māori as well as English. 

(3) We're developing some special teacher resources, some of which have been shared already. There's a new page on this blog called 'Special Teacher Resources' where you can access them via googledocs. 

Ka kite

Damian Hardman

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Toku Pepeha Book

This is to help you plan your pepeha book. This project was inspired by Arahia books.
Toku Pepeha Book instructions.

This shows you how to say who your siblings are in Māori.

Ka kite,