Faith City School has students from many diverse cultures and ethnic groups. Students at Faith City School are actively encouraged to celebrate their unique ethnic backgrounds and cultural diversity. All Faith City students are taught to treat each other with respect and to get along together regardless of which ethnic group they belong to.
Maori Culture and Language
All children in all classes are having Te Reo lessons every week. Te Reo weekly lessons are run for the full school year.
Our students really enjoy their Te Reo lessons. Lessons include learning the language as well as cultural lessons such as song and dance. Faith City School students are continuing to grow in their knowledge of the Maori Culture and their knowledge of Te Reo. Students are also encouraged to practice Te Reo in other curriculum areas during the school day.
This is a fantastic programme where we match year seven students to new entrants with whom they will experience a buddy’ relationship for up to two years. The students are matched boy: boy, girl: girl, modelling on the traditional Maori concept of Tuakana/Taina.
The senior students are prepared for the programme by a number of discussions with the group. Information is shared with the seniors, and their input requested, on some of the rationale behind the programme – how it works and activities they would like to see included.
Each of the senior students sits a ‘buddy license’ test which is used as an aid to explore issues around development of socialisation, trust, responsibility, balance with other relationships, commitment to an unequal relationship, and management of problems within the buddy relationship. Aspects of pre-parenting and Christian values in friendships with younger people than themselves are also explored.
A senior buddy meets their junior at the latter’s school visits, prior to school entry. When the younger children start school, the older buddies are expected to check in with them daily, and are guided in trialling possible approaches to ensure the foundations of the relationship. Once the junior buddy is established in school, the senior buddy checks in with the younger child for around one minute each day. This regular time commitment forms the core of the continuing relationship.
The younger children have the role and relationship of the senior buddy explained to them, and how they can contribute to the friendship in helpful ways. Both senior and junior buddies are asked to pray for each other regularly.
All the children involved in the programme are encouraged to regularly check in with their teachers or support staff in order to let them know how things are going, and to ensure that they all have assistance with any difficulties as they arise.
Occasional buddy activities are also arranged within the school programme. These may include buddy reading or activities times, buddy lunches, joint activities as part of events such as ‘Wacky Wednesday’, the support of each other at cross country or other sports events, buddy art activities, exchange of notes/cards etc.
This programme will continue as a valuable opportunity to contribute to the students’ exploration of relationship and care issues, preparation for parenting and development of role modelling and responsibility.