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Set for another year of educational fun

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As for everyone in Hawke’s Bay, 2023 was a tough year, and for the education team at MTG Hawke’s Bay Tai Ahuriri, it was no different. We started term one with our calendar full, but in the blink of an eye, a cyclone hit, and everything changed. Our educators had to adjust bookings, teaching spaces, and adapt the way some of the programmes were taught. We took our programmes out to some schools as they were unable to travel to Napier, reaching as far north as Te Pohue and as south as Porangahau.

Even with all the disruptions (adding COVID into the mix too), our educators delivered programmes to 5567 students during the year. Our most popular primary school programme in 2023 was "Pānia and Moremore," exploring how Pānia Reef got its name, who she was, and the kaitiaki role Moremore plays around Ahuriri. For intermediate students, the "Hangarau me te Māori: Māori and Technology" programme delves into early Māori tools and their adaptation to modern tools. Students then create their tools using natural resources. The new programme, "The Great Ahuriri Escape," was a hit with junior high school students, offering an escape room scenario where they solve puzzles to learn about local landmarks. All our programmes align with the New Zealand Curriculum and, notably, the Aotearoa Histories Curriculum, which classroom teachers are required to teach from 2023 as part of the curriculum refresh.

Over the Christmas break, our educators have been busy preparing for another busy year—refreshing old programmes and designing new ones that classroom teachers have requested. Yes, we work alongside teachers to ensure our programmes align with classroom learning outcomes and the localised curriculum – Hawke’s Bay stories.

New programmes for 2024 include "Waka Huia," taught to Year 11 NCEA visual arts students. They get a close-up look at different waka huia, hue (gourd), and treasure boxes from the MTG collection—an amazing opportunity to see primary source artefacts. "Te Wā o ngā Tohorā," the Time of the Whales programme, explores how Māori and Pākehā lived and worked together, their connection to the natural world, and tells the story of the Tohorā whales of Te Matau-a-Maui / Hawke’s Bay through primary source collection images and artefacts. "Art Deco: Rising from the Ashes" looks at the Art Deco architecture sweeping across the world in the 1930s and how the region embraced the style following the February 3rd earthquake in 1931, exploring the symbols, motifs, and meanings behind these different shapes.

Don’t worry early childhood educators - we haven’t forgotten about you. Our educators are putting the final touches on our "Rongokako" programme designed especially for early childhood and hope to roll this out over the coming months.

Now we come to February; schools are back this week, our calendar is starting to fill up, and the educators at MTG are sending positive thoughts out to the universe. We would love to get through a year with no COVID, no cyclones, no disruptions—please!

Published in the Hawke’s Bay Today newspaper on 3 February 2024 and written by Debbie Ormsby, Visitor Engagement Manager at MTG Hawke’s Bay. 

5 February 2024

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