Our Learning

Dawson Inquiry Model

The Dawson inquiry model is used to help students ‘learn how to learn’. It is the process students follow when learning something new. It can be used throughout the curriculum in all subject areas as well as when focussing on an inquiry concept.

The Inquiry Model & Learner Agency

Student agency refers to learning through activities that are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated with appropriate guidance from teachers. To put it simply, student agency gives students voice and often, choice, in how they learn.

In 2022 our inquiry is focusing on 'Innovation and Exploration' and incoporates some of the units pf work by Tamsin Hanly focussing on Te Ao Māori o Neherā and the British Isles.

Check back regularly to see some of the work being completed in classrooms.

Room 2


The children in room 2 have learnt to recite two karakia, one before eating morning tea and the other before lunch. Our goal is to include a different karakia each term so that by term 4 room 2 would have learned four karakia.


Learning action commands such as turn around, sit, stand - We choose waiata with action so that the words and the meaning of each word can be remembered. An example of this is “Paki Paki” help the children to remember commands when we have activities outside the classroom. English words are replaced by Māori action words instead. Another example of increasing Te Reo is during skipping, instead of counting in English, the children count in Māori.


During Matariki, we read stories and created artwork to show the nine Matariki stars. We included the Matariki action song to learn the names of the stars.

Room 4


The Māori world view (Te ao Māori) acknowledges the interconnectedness and interrelationship of all living and non-living things.

Room 4 used the picture book The Seven Kites of Matariki to explore Te Ao Māori. They were excited to hear the names of the seven stars of the Matariki cluster and learn the Matariki Macarena. They are looking forward to learning more about these stars using the MoE Matariki journal next term.

R5's kēmu (game).MOV

Room 5

Room 5 had lots of fun creating their own Te Reo Game. We incorporated Te Reo and Maths, as well as Art (weaving).

We named our game ‘Tahi, Rua, Toru!’ And we made three different coloured woven mats, each other different points (brown - 1 point, green - 2 points, red - 3 points)

The aim of the game is to throw three stones onto the mats and try to score the most points. Whoever scores the most in total is the winner.

We had lots of fun collaborating our ideas as a whole class and coming up with the main idea of the game, as well as creating rules. We worked together in teams to create our game. Some parts were really tricky, but we were resilient, kept trying and made sure to help each other other when we were getting stuck.

Room 7

R7 re-looked at classroom goals during Matariki and created a neat tree and Matariki stars with things that they are grateful for.

Room 8

In Room 8 we looked at firstly at our Otara community, the children learnt about where they lived in New Zealand and drew pictures of their houses, learnt their street names and then also found out about buildings in their community e.g. churches, shops, parks, library. They also drew pictures of these. We displayed these on our Inquiry wall.

During Matariki week Room 8 set Matariki goals, both academic and personal, created Koru designs that depicted each member of their families and Matariki lanterns as a symbol of light to light up their pathways.

Room 10

R10 created a Waka and have been working on their Mihi. They created an amazing display wall including their treaty and work around Matariki.




Room 13

Our class enjoyed learning about the Stars of Matariki. We discussed how the appearance of the cluster was the sign of the Maori New Year and shared information about each of the stars - their names and representation.

We wrote diamante poems and painted our kite shapes. The children used thin sticks to complete their woven artwork. During these sessions we also had a daily quiz where the children worked in small groups matching the stars’ names with their connection.

Rm 12 Matariki Story.mp4

Room 12


During Term 2 Room 12 looked at many different Māori myths, legends and stories. We learnt a lot about Matariki, what it is, how to celebrate it, and the stories behind it.


Here is a short video of the students retelling / acting out one of the Matariki stories we learnt about.

Room 17

Room 17 displayed a particular interest in kites.


Their task was to:

*Work with a partner to create a kite using as many natural materials as possible.

Many students observed that we have quite a few harakeke plants that were perfect to use, so we researched how to harvest flax and the tikanga we needed to follow. Students then gathered their materials and made their kites!


Kite flying was popular with ancient Maori and used particularly during Matariki. Kites were believed to make a spiritual connection with the gods.

Nowadays, The Manu Aute Kite Day is part of the Matariki (Maori New Year) celebrations at many Marae in Auckland.

Here is a short video of our finished kites…

Matariki Kites - 20 – 30 Jun 2022.mov

Year 5 - Room 19 & Room 21

In Term 2 & 3 Year 5 looked at Traditional Maori Origin stories, we learned about the various mythological Gods and their responsibilities. This got us thinking about our own origin stories in which we further explored. We loved watching videos, learning new kupu Maori, thinking about our own personal stories and family values.