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Te reo Māori at Three Kings School


Description of the te reo Māori programme

Three Kings School has a diverse cultural mix of students with an increasing number speaking two languages. The school has a commitment to implementing programmes that include the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi and to the teaching and learning of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori. In 2007 the arrival of the draft Te Reo Māori in English-medium schools became the catalyst for change. The school’s Te Reo Māori lead teacher worked alongside the Team Solutions Te Reo Māori Advisor exploring the curriculum document and beginning the journey towards planning a te reo Māori programme in the school.

During 2008 the main focus was to see te reo Māori become part of the culture of the school and to begin the process of consulting with staff. There was an emphasis on becoming familiar with and learning about the Treaty of Waitangi and incorporating this into the philosophy of the teaching and learning programmes. There was also an acknowledgement during this period of the new learning for staff and students involved in implementing te reo Māori in the school, and the way this contributes to the school’s growth as a learning community.

A brief outline of the implementation process during 2008 and 2009


The Team Solutions Te Reo Māori Advisor and the school’s Te Reo Māori lead teacher began the journey together, examining the document and looking at the needs of the school and the students.

They then took their findings to a staff meeting for discussion. At this stage many teachers also consulted students.

Feedback from this led to the first plan of action where a school-wide overview was created.

A trial unit was prepared by the junior syndicate for the junior school.

Implementation of this unit led to conversations between staff, and a desire for the implementation of school wide planning.


At this stage the school reviewed their te reo Māori policies paying particular attention to the Treaty of Waitangi as staff looked at incorporating the Treaty principles into school-wide policy, and using the Treaty as a model for the school’s kaupapa.

The new policy incorporates a mission statement that outlines the desired outcomes for students when they leave the school, and considers a child’s journey from the time they enter the school to leaving six years later. The mission statement was written taking into account how the community would like their children to develop during their time at Three Kings School. It aims to encourage staff to work together to provide opportunities in the school that help to construct and maintain a school culture that demonstrates a school learning community. The teaching and learning of te reo me ōna tikanga Māori is an integral part of this statement.

From this review a te reo Māori school team was formed. The team has members from all the syndicates and is responsible for planning the classroom units. Staff are concerned with sustainability of the programmes, and are working together to develop plans that have consistent school-wide planning as well as continuity throughout the year.

Where to next?

The school plans to provide staff development around te reo which will encourage staff to further their own learning, provide modeling for good classroom practice and continue with the process of implementing te reo me ōna tikanga Māori.

Review questions image.

This story describes the first steps of the journey Three Kings School staff have undertaken together in the development of a te reo Māori programme. Referring to the key documents, discuss the first steps your school might go through in the development of a te reo Māori programme.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa supports a holistic approach to teaching and learning. Values and attitudes are inextricably linked to and influenced by culture. The kura curriculum will reflect the shared values of the whanau, hapu, iwi and kura community.

Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

The school’s next step was to begin consultation with the community. What process could you use to develop a home-school partnership? Can you break this process into stages?

ka hikitia
te reo Māori
treaty of Waitangi

Published on: 01 Dec 2009