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Ōtūmoetai Primary School

Region: Bay of Plenty/Waiariki

Art form: Multi-Disciplinary

Project name: Remembering our past

Creative name: Cory Handley

Project information: This project will share the history of our school by creating a mural that integrates achievement objectives from Visual Art, English, and Technology. It will focus on the story of our apology to Ngāi Tamarāwaho in 2020.

Tauira will have opportunities to explore the four aspects of the Arts Curriculum (NZC). They will understand Visual Arts in context by sharing their ideas about how and why their own and others’ works are made and their purpose, value, and context. They will develop practical knowledge by exploring a variety of materials and tools and discover elements and principles of art. They will develop and investigate visual ideas in response to motivation, observation, and imagination. They will communicate and interpret by sharing ideas, feelings, and stories communicated by their own and others’ images. The kaupapa of this project focuses on local curriculum as we have 4 overarching themes outlined in our school’s Local Curriculum Plan. These are Whakapapa, Tūrangawaewae, Kaitiakitanga, and Whanaungatanga - all of these link to the Creative project. 

In 1938 Ōtūmoetai Primary School consisted of 70 students, 47 were Māori and predominantly from the local hapū Ngāi Tamarāwaho. A petition from Pākehā parents was sent to the Ōtūmoetai School Committee in April 1938 asking that all Māori children from Ōtūmoetai Primary School be removed. According to school committee records, the Ōtūmoetai School Committee discussed this and the possibility of making the school European only. In October 1939, the school committee received news from the Department of Education that they had gained permission to remove all Māori children from Ōtūmoetai Primary. On 20 November 1939, 44 Ngāi Tamarāwaho children ranging in age from 6 to 13 years were moved to Te Paeroa (Bethlehem) Native School. At the beginning of 2019, the removal of Māori students came to our attention. Over the next eighteen months, a close relationship was developed with the local hapū, Ngāi Tamarāwaho, and the healing process began. In October 2020, Ōtūmoetai Primary School celebrated its 125th Anniversary. During this celebration, the school publicly apologised to Ngāi Tamarāwaho. Our creative project fits within our school’s Local Curriculum and will benefit both the past, present, and future tamariki as well as the whole community. The project has authenticity, bringing to life the learning that has taken place, to ensure this past event is not forgotten.

Project starting: February 2022

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