In 2015, the bilingual unit looked tired and worn. Work was undertaken to breathe life into the bilingual unit to which led to the birth of the bilingual unit being called - Rau Kumara, Rau Tangata. The unit's name reflects our hapu and iwi, through the stories shared about the Ngati Hine ancestress Hineamaru and her ability to grow and harvest kai for her people. Followed by that, was the added analogy to name the classes – after listening to an array of kōrero we formulated names;
Ngā Rau Rito – The centre shoot of the harakeke. (Yrs 0, 1- 2)
It is often described that the whānau will present their most precious taonga, their tamariki. Upon receiving that tamariki/tamaiti, our kura, the bilingual unit, the teacher becomes the guardian that nurtures, fosters and ensures that this new Rito (new tamaiti) is safe and stable in its environment and that they have the richness of soil to grow.
Ngā Rau Tupuranga – The growing shoot of the harakeke. (Yrs 3 – 4)
The analogy used here often is reflected by the tamaiti's confidence in its present state and would initiate its ability to demonstrate their understanding or curiosity to wanting to learn or know more. This indicates the speed of growth that the tamaiti has with their learning.
Ngā Rau Puawai – The blossoming/ flowering of the harakeke. (Yrs 5 – 6)
This process is simple, the tamaiti is now demonstrating clearly who they are and seeking an opportunity to excel in their learning. Like a flower, you will likely see the tamaiti and all of their colourfulness that they have to offer.
Ngā Rau Rangatira – The maturity of the harakeke. (Yrs 7 – 8)
As per previous kōrero, here is where they are maturing in this learning environment. The expectations are clear and are of a higher standard. The consistency in this space is always doing better. They demonstrate rangatira (chiefship) and are often our rangatira of the school. But as Rangatira or the matured harakeke of the bilingual unit, they are being prepared to be harvested in their next learning phase.
The intention of the analogy used is that we only grow the best harakeke/korari. We ensure we have the nutrients required to grow the best. We entrust in the environment we place them into being the best. “Kia ū ki te pai” interprets that we hold fast to the best.