Learning how to hangi

East Gore pupils watch as volunteer dads help build the hāngi recently. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
East Gore pupils watch as volunteer dads help build the hāngi recently. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
East Gore School recently hosted an official hāngi evening.

The hāngi evening was a way to show how pupils had learned from Matariki and get immediate and extended whānau to the school to enjoy some kai together.

Pupils were completely involved in creating and cooking the hāngi, from learning about how to cook it, to peeling, chopping and sorting as well as putting kai into the hāngi.

More than 160 meals were made for families of the school and a celebration evening was held in the schools’ hall.

East Gore principal Dana Turnbull said the evening was "amazing."

"We frontloaded the kids with valuable learning experiences and they were amazed.

"They were so involved in the process and excited to learn more at every step.

"We are very thankful to the dads at the school, who provided the help in digging the hole and showed the pupils every aspect and helped to explain why they dug the hole.

"The mums and parents who helped with cutting the vegetables with the kids were extremely helpful also."

"We really put the vision into reality as a community and I think it was very special."

Pupils sang a waiata and performed kapa haka for their whānau and classrooms were open to show work the pupils had been doing throughout the term.

East Gore pupil Manaia Bailey, 10, said he learned a lot about the process of the hāngi.

"It was cool to see the iron bars put into the hāngi pit because it heated up and cooked the kai in the pit," he said.

"We learned about the past, present and future and we got to count the chops for every food tray."

Jaymee Hart, 12, said she learned about hygiene when helping to cut the vegetables and learn about the celebration of the stars during Matariki.

"Our tamariki relished this experience and shone brightly during their special performance," Ms Turnbull said.

"It was evident they are proud of their mahi.

"It was a fantastic way to get everyone together before school holidays and experience something amazing together."