Rau Kumara,

Rau Tangata

The bilingual unit was born here at Kawakawa Primary School on the 6th April 1987. The intention was to nurture and grow Te Reo me ona tikanga within Kawakawa Primary School. During its time successive staff of the bilingual unit breathed life and essence into its existence and quite often was faced with challenges and would often have increased scrutiny placed upon it.

This environment our kaiako were faced with led them to becoming strong leaders and motivators towards the longevity of the bilingual unit, known in its early time as Whānau Pīpī and Whānau Pakari. The bilingual unit quickly grew in time to which classroom sizes soared to 35 children with 1 kaiako and ranging from standard 4 to form 2 ( Year 6 – Year 8). Over time this unit within the school led all cultural and sporting achievements in competitions with neighbouring schools. It saw the unit grow, challenging its mainstream counterparts as the demand from whānau for their tamariki to enter the bilingual unit increased.  The demand was such that at its peak it had 5 kaiako, 5 teacher aides with approximately 120 tamariki. 

As the bilingual unit grew, so did the aspiration and desire to have a school marae. Fundraising efforts were regular with the bilingual unit devoting a lot of time and energy fundraising for this. Once financially achieved, an offer was placed on an old Affco building, it was secured and brought to the school property and renovated to become the schools Wharenui – Tumanako and Wharekai – Te Puna Atawhai. During that time the bilingual unit held its credibility having occupied the neighbouring classrooms either side of the marae complex. 

The bilingual unit continued to shine, however was always scrutinised leaving our kaiako exhausted and tired.

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.

Ngā  Tapuwae

The sacred footprints – The recognition of longevity and commitment our kaiako have endured for the survival of our bilingual unit. This collage captures our past and present kaiako. Their absolute relationship to the life essence of the bilingual unit. It was never intended that this bilingual unit be different from the rest of the school, however its true intention was to reflect and normalise the dense populist of Māori tamariki enrolled at Kawakawa Primary School.

Ngā  Rau Rito

Ngā Tupuranga

Ngā  Rau Puawai

Ngā Rau Rangatira