Auckland English Academy

Auckland English Academy
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Matariki Celebrations at AEA


On the 27th of last Thursday, we joyously came together to honour and celebrate Te Rā Aro ki a Matariki / Matariki Observance Day at AEA with our students. It was a day of meaningful connections and cultural immersion as our students engaged in various enriching activities. These included immersive workshops on poi and kite making, heartfelt waiatas, and exploration of Māori visual arts. This day allowed us to celebrate creativity, foster teamwork, cultivate friendships, and share kai. We would like to extend a special acknowledgment and gratitude to our dedicated teachers who went above and beyond in their efforts to prepare and deliver these extraordinary workshops.

Our dedicated and enthusiastic teachers put together engaging and immersive poi-making workshops for our students. Poi is a captivating performing art form originating from the Māori culture in New Zealand. It involves the skilled manipulation of weights attached to the ends of flexible tethers. The dancers create mesmerising and rhythmic patterns as they swing the poi in choreographed movements. This traditional art form is not only a visual spectacle but also holds deep cultural significance for the Māori people.

We organised an engaging workshop for our students, where they had the wonderful opportunity to express their creativity by participating in a kite-making session. During this workshop, the students were able to immerse themselves in the process of creating vibrant and captivating kites. It’s important to note that kites hold significant cultural value in Māori traditions, particularly during the winter season when they were traditionally flown to symbolize the beginning of Matariki, the Māori New Year. In Māori culture, these kites are known as manu tukutuku or manu aute, with the word “manu” holding the dual meaning of kite or bird. This enriching experience provided the students with a deeper understanding of the cultural significance and artistry behind kite-making in the Māori tradition.

Our students had the wonderful opportunity to immerse themselves in the rich culture of Māori visual arts through engaging sessions. During these sessions, they not only learned about traditional Waiatas but also had the chance to create their own unique artworks. At the culmination of this learning experience, our entire school community, including students, teachers, and staff, came together to celebrate the students’ creativity and hard work. The event featured a showcase of the students’ art pieces, accompanied by the melodic sounds of traditional Waiatas, and concluded with a delightful shared kai/food.


A particularly memorable moment was when our beginners’ class proudly demonstrated their newfound skills in Ti Rāuka, also known as Stick Game. This classic traditional New Zealand game, steeped in cultural significance, has been enjoyed by generations. The game not only promotes the learning of Māori songs but also fosters the development of eye-hand coordination through the rhythmic tapping, throwing, and catching of sticks between two players. It was truly a special time when our students were able to engage in this cultural tradition and showcase their abilities to the rest of the school community.

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