2 Aug 2013

Kura students learn life skills from kaumatua

7:35 pm on 2 August 2013

Students at a Maori school near Opotiki in Eastern Bay of Plenty are learning life lessons from their elders, adding another dimension to the kura curriculum.

For the past five years, kaumatua have from time to time been visiting Te Kura O Torere and teaching tamariki.

The principal, Hilda Patterson, says pupils have been taught traditional Maori games, waiata, history, practical skills and knowledge alongside the standard curriculum.

She says tikanga Maori or Maori culture is becoming increasingly important in the curriculum as well as numeracy and literacy.

Ms Patterson says what students learn is decided by herself as principal, the school board, and kaumatua.

She recalls that in one recent lesson, the children were enthusiastic after kaumatua taught them how to grow and cure kumara.

Ms Patterson says the students are able to pass on the many practical skills they've learned to other members of student's whanau.