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SCHOOL CULTURE

Culture

Faith City School has students from many diverse cultures and ethnic groups.  Students  are actively encouraged to celebrate their unique ethnic backgrounds and cultural diversity.  All 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 students in all classes have Te Reo lessons every week.  The lessons are run for the full school year.

Our students really enjoy learning Te Reo.  Lessons include learning the language as well as cultural lessons such as song and dance.  Students are continuing to grow in their knowledge of the Maori Culture as well as their knowledge of Te Reo.  Students are also encouraged to practice Te Reo in other curriculum areas during the school day.

Kapa-Haka Group

Faith City School has had a Kapa-Haka group since 2017, this group is optional for senior students who learn under the tutorship of Whaea Christine-Rapana.  The Kapa-Haka Ropu derive the content of their waiata from the local iwi Te Atihaunui-ā-Paparangi, and their waiata has biblical content composed by their tutor.  The students also explore different components of Kapa-Haka, such as mau rakau, poi, waiata-ā-ringa and haka.  Kapa-Haka is popular in school and students who start off shy end up leaving confident and disciplined.  They have been fortunate enough to perform at local events within Whanganui and hope to perform competitively in the foreseeable future.

Buddy Programme

This is a fantastic programme where we match Year 7 students to New Entrants with whom they will experience a buddy relationship for up to two years.  The students are matched boy:boy or girl:girl, modelling on the traditional Maori concept of Tuakana/Taina.

Senior students learn about 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 Christian values in friendships with younger people than themselves are also explored.

A senior buddy meets their junior buddy at the latter’s school visits, prior to school entry.  When the younger student 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 student 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’, cheering each other on at cross country or other sports events, buddy art activities, exchange of notes/cards etc.