School radio station reaches milestone for teaching te reo

By Josephine Edwards

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This week marks five years since a local primary school incorporated te reo Maori lessons into its school radio station.

National Maori Language Week sparked the idea among staff at Te Akau ki Papamoa Primary School to teach te reo Maori through its school radio station, Radio TAKP, said principal Bruce Jepsen.

The lessons are visual as well as oral, with speakers and television screens in all classrooms. With the help of teachers, students organise the content and run the lessons three times a day. The material is also available to the wider community who live near the school.

Students Lui Tuilaee, 6, and Isaiah Jepsen, 9, were regular DJs on the station. Isaiah had been DJing for five years, since the radio station had been established, and Lui said he had been on the decks for two years.

"It's pretty fun, my favourite part is the wa wero [challenge] part, where people win stuff," Isaiah said.

"I win lots of them," Lui said.

Isaiah said the wa wero last week was to call the station and name seven stars in Maori as part of Matariki.

Lui said they answer calls from other classrooms by saying, "Kia ora, this is Radio TAKP. Ko wai tenei? [Who is this?] No te ruma? [Which room?]"

Mr Jepsen said it had been great for the teachers who had learned alongside the students and had become more confident in speaking te reo Maori.

"We're doing something very powerful and very meaningful," said Mr Jepsen.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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