Tag Archives: Te Mahurehure

Masterchef brings smiles to Te Kura o Waima

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Current Masterchef winners Kasey & Karena visited schools around Te Tai Tokerau (Northland) this week bringing excited smiles and igniting the belief that kids from small towns can ‘dream big too’.

Their schedule included a morning at Northland College where their mother Atarangi taught and attended, a visit to Rawene School where Karena’s namesake is the new Principal, and then on to Waima  where mum Atarangi was raised and  went to school.

At Waima the small entourage were met by an ‘all tamariki’ powhiri as the senior students of Waima School took the lead in welcoming the celebrities and their whanau onto the school. The opportunity was used practice putting into place the tikanga (traditions) of their hapu (sub tribe) Te Mahurehure. Young Elyse Williams called their guests on with her first ever karanga (traditional call) after which fellow student Cornelius Fakahua led those gathered in karakia (prayer). Mustering up the courage, young Caleb Thompson delivered his mihi (welcome speech) and the whole school sang with gusto in support.

Excitement in the children was evident as they heard how Kasey and Karena started their educational journey at a small school just like theirs and recounted the series of events that led them to success on the television show Masterchef NZ.  Mother Atarangi shared stories from her childhood about what the school looked like when she lived there and went to school in Waima. Tales of rope swings along the line of pine trees by the river would have made today’s health & safety guru’s cringe but the more Mrs Te Awa-Bird shared, the more  students began to picture the life of a student at Waima School in a time gone by. 

The Masterchef winners were gifted some Waima School apparel and some ‘school values’ wrist bands when they arrived and were farewelled with a gift of some peruperu (small potatoes) that students Nevayah & Moana had dug out of the school gardens that morning. The hope being that the authentic ingredient might inspire more of the culinary excellence the two ladies are renowned for. When asked what they were having for dinner tonight the response was “we’re having a boil-up made for us” which brought forward giggles from  children for whom that is standard fare.

The visit illustrated how celebrities with small town beginnings can bring a sense of wonder and excitement to students who otherwise may not have the courage to dream of bigger beginnings to a life of expression and achievement. In one visit these two exceptional young women have flared the flame of hope in so many children throughout the Hokianga.

Thank you Kasey, Karena, and family for taking the time to visit us in Te Tai Tokerau (Northland).




Creativity Spurs Students On

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Room 1 at Waima School is a haven for new entrants who have creative and expressive flair. Mrs Bawden has hit top gear with her planning & innovative lesson delivery in class which has her students making progress in leaps & bounds.

Recent professional development focussed on the Reggio Emilia Learning Philosophy, coupled with Mrs Bawdens knowledge of the community, and her own passionate personality have motivated the young learners to a place where they are individually engaging in their learning and their enjoyment and pride is obvious as they take every opportunity to show and share about their learning with visitors to the school.

Even the classroom environment is changing in Room 1. Naturally sourced containers made of bamboo, tree stumps, stick & plasticine sculptures, and alphabet friezes made of leaves and sticks are the adornments of choice, and most have been largely sourced or made by the students themselves. This translates into students who have an increased sense of ownership in their learning environment. Everywhere they look they have memories of how they have personally contributed to their special learning space.



The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:

  • Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
  • Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing;
  • Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
  • Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.

The Reggio Emilia approach to teaching young children puts the natural development of children as well as the close relationships that they share with their environment at the center of its philosophy. Early childhood programs that have successfully adapted to this educational philosophy share that they are attracted to Reggio because of the way it views and respects the child.

Kapahaka a success at Waima!

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Students from throughout the Hokianga had the chance to show case their talent at the  South Hokianga Kapahaka Festival on Fridaythe 29th of November, 2013 at Waima School.

The annual event began with a traditional haka powhiri to welcome participant schools and visitors. Kaumatua Taite Renata and Eparaima Hauraki were on hand to give welcoming speeches and to introduce the name of the ‘manu-aute’ or ‘traditional maori kite’ that Waima School families had made to symbolise the aspiring dreams of the children of Hokianga.

Master of Ceremonies, Levi Bristow, kept the crowds entertained in between the eight performances of the day giving away spot prizes and showing great knowledge of local lore and genealogy which linked each school to the next.

Festival co-ordinator Dallas Williams said it was an opportunity for the schools of South Hokianga to come together and celebrate the talents of their children and traditions of their past.

“It really is inspiring to see such beauty and poise coming from our tamariki here in the Hokianga, we have a lot to be proud of, all of us. Kapahaka is more than just performance it is about continuing on the traditions of our past and highlighting that our culture is alive and well”.

On the day stand out choreography, poi, and harmony from Kura Hokianga and the haka from Waima School set a benchmark for the year but throughout the day families watched on proudly as the children from every school bravely took the stage to perform.

The symbolism of the traditional maori kite ‘Te Manu-a-Rangi’ was continued at the close of the day when participant schools were gifted framed artworks that contained an albatross feather to remind them of their part to play in supporting the dreams and aspirations of their students. Young Isla Jean Appelhof Butler from Opononi who had stunned the crowd earlier with her solo performance, fittingly finished the day off when she accepted the hand-over of the festival on behalf of Opononi School who will be the hosts in 2014. In a moving gesture students from Waima and Opononi challenged each other while Whaea Claire Papuni led a karanga or traditional call and MC Levi Bristow prayed a blessing over the exchange.

Acknowledgement must go to all of the participant schools -TKKM Hokianga, Horeke School, Rawene School, Opononi Area School and Waima School for their outstanding performances on the day and to host school Waima for a well organised and produced festival which was enjoyed by all. Nau mai haere mai koutou katoa ki te Kura Takiwa o Opononi I te tau 2014. Welcome one and all to Opononi Area School in 2014.


Our new Board of Trustees at Te Kura O Waima

On behalf of the BOT at Te Kura O Waima I would like to congratulate the following members of our school community on their election onto our BOT at Waima Kura and their recent appointments to the various portfolios:

Rebecca Wilcox – Health & Safety Porfolio

Susan Mokaraka – Community Portfolio

Aroha Parker – Student Achievement Portfolio

Julie Fakahua – Financial Portfolio

Dallas Williams – Property Portfolio

Patsy Davidson (Staff Representative)

Jenny Colebrook (Principal)

At our meeting on the 2nd of August we were presented with our latest achievement data showing marked improvements in many areas according to national standards. We the BOT would like to thank our dedicated staff for their continued efforts with our tamariki and encourage our families to continue to build on the support networks for this learning at home. Having a consistent routine that includes quiet time reading to your child, maths games, and just remembering to pop in and look in your child’s books to show your child that you value the work they do at school can create real change in a child’s attitude towards learning.

In addition to this  I would like to acknowledge Jaymee Makiha who was recently awarded the Sir Peter Blake Young Leaders Award. Jaymee has bee a fantastic role model for many other tauira at our school. Congratulations Jaymee and a special thank you to Tony & Maree who invest so much into the continued excellence in their children.

On behalf of the BOT at Te Kura O Waima, nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa, na

Dallas Williams – Chairperson of the BOT

Water Safety Day A Success

The tamariki and parents of many Hokianga kura were treated to a great day out thanks to Sport Northland’s swim safe co-ordinator Esther Hone-Moore and her team of staff and volunteer organisations.

Students were rotated in their school groups through a variety of water based activities which included surfing, waka ama, yachting, stand up paddle boarding, boat safety, survival skills, and snorkelling.

A 1:2 adult to child ratio meant that there were plenty of parents on hand to help and keep our tamariki safe with many of the parents joining in on the fun and getting out on the water with their children.

The day was filled with fun and laughter and a whole heap of swimming but most importantly our tamariki were able to meet people who are experienced on the water and learn crucial water safety skills. Skills taught varied from how to get safely out of a waka, to how to sit safely on a catamaran, how to safely pull someone from the water, how to place someone in a recovery position, and to what types of items are best in a rescue situation as a flotation and retrieval device.

Parents and staff enjoyed the entertainment of watching as our children learn’t through trial and error about what was good to throw to their mates who were playing the part of the person needing rescuing. Some threw bits of wood which sunk or didn’t hold them above water, others threw floating noodles and other light devices that were picked up by the wind and blown away never reaching their mate in the water, eventually things like small chilly bins (with the lid closed) and milk bottles with rope tied to it were used with some success and all followed suit with successful rescues.

All in all it was a wonderful day out with many schools enjoying some fun in the sun and the opportunity to whakawhanaungatanga with other schools from the Hokianga area.

A big thank you to those parents who were able to come and make this day a possibility for our tamariki and to Whaea Merepaea who was our staff member for the day. Nga mihi nui ki a koutou.

Term 3 gets off to a great start at Te Kura O Waima

Stage two of our community development project is off to a great start with news that the Lotteries Grant Board has approved a grant towards the core community aspects of our project. The grant has been allocated by the Lotteries Grant Board into the following areas with specific amounts for each.

1) Sport & Recreation: – Astroturf, & permanent fixtures for multi-sport.

2) Performing Arts: – Stage Construction, Archgola Covering, & Stage Sound System

3) Storage: – 20ft Storage Container

A total amount of $111,698.35 has been approved and every cent will go towards creating a recreational environment tailored to the needs of our community.

THANK YOU to the Lottery Grants Board for seeing how special our Waima Community is!

The environment improvement, sports equipment, & senior playground components were declined but the school will be doing some works included in the overall project plan which are necessary to co-ordinate the works approved in the funding from Lotteries. At this stage those things will be:

1. Improved sand pit surround and cover;

2. Metal bike trail around the school property;

3. Improved playground and garden surround;

Parents and community members who wish to find out more about our project are encouraged to contact Dallas Williams our BOT Chairperson through the school office.

Discovering Maths Together

How often do your children come home with homework that seems ‘airy fairy’ to you? For many parents understanding the vision behind the numeracy project is difficult because there are so many different ways our children are being taught as opposed to the this way or the highway methodology that we were taught in school. Addition, subtraction and multiplication all used the same stacked up on top of each other method and anything else was just pointless to try because teachers would not have marked it correct if you tried something else. There may have been the lucky few who were naturally good with instant memory recall but the rest of us learnt how to work equations out using a pen and paper and after many many years, we became very good at it (or we brought a calculator).

These days maths is called numeracy or pangarau and there are around 6 different ways or strategies for each equation. All six of which are right, encouraged and supported by teachers in the classroom.

Tonight we had 18 parents and caregivers and a stack of children attend a Maths Evening that the staff at Waima School had put together. Parents greeted on arrival by our students who gave out programmes for the evening and escorted them to the staff room where they were treated to wine and cheese. Parents were then shown a presentation by Mrs Bawden which included examples of the different strategies our students are using to solve a variety of maths problems and the differences between the levels of understanding which students are assessed on. Mrs Colebrook then explained the new triangular assessment process involved in introducing the National Standards and then Parents were given packs of cards and some dice along with booklets that have fun games that they can play with their children at home to ‘keep the learning alive’. A black n white video of Ma & Pa Kettle gave us another perspective on maths going hilariously wrong followed by Miria drawing our $50 fuel voucher competition winner which was Katrina Wharerau – CONGRATULATIONS, our Board Chairperson Dallas thanked staff and parents for their effort and Les King closed in prayer.

Another fantastic initiative! Thanks to all the wonderful staff at Waima School!