WMT: Celebrating Māori Language week in ‘The Wellesley Worm’

10 September 2019

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa – Greetings to you all. 

In 2018 a group of Year 5 boys started their own monthly publication known as the Wellesley Worm. With a wide variety of articles, drawings, puzzles, news from around the school and even recycling tips the Wellesley Worm has become quite the publication! In its second year, the boys now in Year 6, have refined their publication and have even added new initiatives and advertising. 

Working during their lunchtimes on a Friday, this week the boys released their first ever Wellesley Worm in te reo. To find out more about what motivates these budding journalists, and to learn about their Māori Language Week publication, I caught up with the team: Eilaan Rasheed, Brynn Pierce, Edward Florentine.

Brynn, Eilaan and Edward with the Ko Te Wellesley Worm

Question: Firstly, thank you for taking time out of your busy editing and writing schedules for this catch up. What made you decide to start the Wellesley Worm?

Well, we all enjoy writing and Wellesley didn’t have any newspaper and we thought it might be a good idea to have a newspaper.

We wanted to give boys a fun thing to read and find out more about what goes on, and with a few activities for rainy days – there are quizzes, crosswords and word finds. We try and mix it up, but we all really enjoy writing the articles, we get drawings and suggestions from other boys in the school. Mrs Stevens proof reads for us. Edward

Q: What made you decide to release an edition in te reo and what was the process like for you?

We decided to do it because it was Māori language week and we thought it would be nice to celebrate Māori by doing a full issue in te reo. We thought it would raise the awareness for the language. 

The process was a little tricky, we used google translate and my brother (Ariaan Rasheed) for some assistance. But we started with a full Worm in English and then translated – that was an interesting process too. Eilaan

A spread of Wellesley Worms 

Q: The purpose of Māori language week is to promote the use of te reo and revitalise Māori language and through this celebrate culture and identity as custodians of Aotearoa, how do you feel Wellesley is doing to celebrate Mahuru Māori?

“I think as a school, Wellesley is doing pretty well. In class during Te wiki o te reo Māori, we have been doing some extra activities including word searches and learning parts of the body in te reo.” Brynn

Also on the calendar, is a trip for the Wellesley Orchestra boys to attend the Lower Hutt Events Centre for a free NZSO concert on Thurs Sept 19: Tuia- An Instrumental Journey  is a new commission written by Jeremy Mayall, exploring the significance of music during the first encounters of Māori and Europeans 250 years ago. Students can learn about the whakapapa of all instruments, hear what they sound like, and how their sound can merge together.

“Wellesley offers a wide selection of extra-curricular activities in the Arts and is committed to providing opportunities for our boys to expand their understanding and broaden their cultural horizons. These include an active Kapa Haka group, that meet each week during Kete Aranui (Cultural Time). We also make sure that te reo is included in our Chapel services with waiata and karakia. It’s great to see Māori Tikanga being incorporated into our learning at school” says Mrs Stevens, Deputy Principal (Teaching and Learning)

Q: And a quick quiz to test your Māori, what are some of Māori words or phrases that we could try and integrate into our discussions this week?

Ka pai 

Kia ora 

Haere mai 

Pai rawa 

And one for the teachers…. Turituri 

He mihi tēnei mō tā koutou tautoko o te wiki o te reo Māori, thank you so much for your initiative in preparing the Ko Te Wellesley Worm.

Te wiki o te reo Māori takes place this year between 9 and 15 September. Kia Kaha te reo Māori – Let’s make the Māori language strong, is the theme for this year’s Māori Language Week. Further resources can be found here and here.

#WellesleyNZ, #TeWikioTeReoMaori, #WellesleyNZCulture