Matariki event brings together pupils from small-roll schools

Pupils from Lee Stream School, Strath Taieri School and Macraes Moonlight School at a Matariki...
Pupils from Lee Stream School, Strath Taieri School and Macraes Moonlight School at a Matariki event hosted at Lee Stream School. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Matariki is strengthening the bonds between three rural schools as Lee Stream School hosted a fun day to learn about Maori new year.

Pupils from Strath Taieri School and Macraes Moonlight School travelled to Lee Stream for yesterday’s Matariki Day event, with about 100 children combined from the three schools present.

There was plenty of traditional fun and games in store for them, with cultural activities like poi and rakau sticks, arts and crafts like flax weaving and making mana tukutuku (Maori kites), and outdoor games.

Lee Stream School principal Rachelle Moors said shared learning experiences were valuable for both pupils and staff at the schools.

The schools had taken turns hosting events, with a farm safety day and a triathlon having been held by the other two schools previously.

Increasing pupils’ awareness around the meaning of Matariki was important with the introduction of a public holiday to mark the event next year, Mrs Moors said.

Strath Taieri School principal Jim McArthur said the schools coming together provided pupils from schools with small rolls a rare opportunity to work with more children their own age.

"We’ve got two year 8s, so for them to interact with other year 8s is really important."

Macraes Moonlight School principal Robin Siataga said the three schools had much common.

Many children from different schools knew each other through sports teams and family, and regular interschool events helped the children establish and maintain friendships with each other.

The principals from the three schools were all relatively new to their roles and working together meant they could provide support to each other, Mr Siataga said.

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