Our Tamariki as Taonga

Room 14 has focused on how tamariki (children) are taonga. We learnt that taonga should be cared for and treasured and why and how we can look after ourselves. 

Through the lens of Te Whare Tapa Whā, students have learnt about the five walls of health and wellbeing.

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We have been focusing on nurturing all five walls, with the understanding that this will allow us to thrive. To help students understand these, there is a Whare Tapa Whā set up in our classroom. Student self portraits are inside the whare, visually representing the class. The five walls are updated weekly, with photos of student work and comments about well being for the week.

Legends wall, which displays student art and writing about Māori legends.

Taha wairua/spiritual wellbeing in our classroom is about connecting to our Tūrangawaewae. It is the idea of where you feel at home and connected to. 

With our Tūrangawaewae being Aotearoa we have been learning about Māori histories and legends. This all started very naturally during lessons about Papatūānuku and Ranginui, the Earth Mother and Sky Father, through Māori myth and legends and how these stories are taonga to people. 

The students’ interest in learning about Māori myths and legends, sparked future lessons and became student-led, opening opportunities for integrated learning. In particular writing and The Arts where we have been creating pieces that tell the stories Māori myth and legends through the eyes of the students.

Tāwhirmatea blew down my fence

Hazel drew a picture

Look I drew Papatūānuku the earth mother.

Before school Hunter often comes up to me and asks what Māori myths and legends are we learning about today, can we learn about this one

Hunter also came in one morning and lay down on the floor, put his legs up to the sky, and said

Miss Wright, guess who I am? I was a bit confused… He went on to say I'm Tane, the Atua of the forest. (In the myth Tane  uses his legs to push his parents apart.)


Taha hinengaro/mental and emotional wellbeing is about how students think and feel about themselves and the world around them. Wellbeing affects how students cope with challenges and stresses. Room 14 has been learning to describe feelings and ask questions about personal needs and wants. 

We began talking about our wellbeing by discussing different ways we feel at school. We talked about what these feelings look and feel like. We then talked about what we need when we are feeling certain feelings. This allowed students to share some ways they can cope and deal with their feelings appropriately.

During the conversation we also discussed what makes us feel good at school

Sometimes a little rest at the end of the day

Playing and having fun

Having a little rest

Room 14 meditating. When the children come in after lunch we spend a few minutes calming down, focusing on our thoughts and breathing. This skill is important for children to be able to self regulate.

Go outside

Room 14 writing outside. We wrote about what we could see and feel
Participating in this pou (wall) of Te Whare Tapa Whā

Taha tinana/physical wellbeing is something that tamariki enjoy. They enjoy moving their bodies and learning about healthy food. When we sit down for morning tea and lunch, the students enjoy their healthy snacks while we discuss how healthy foods make our brains work, our legs move fast and our arms strong. Every morning we participate in a variety of fitness activities. This is not just improving student fitness but also their minds.

It was amazing to get to know some of our families at our picnic night in Kinloch

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