The bell rings at the end of morning tea, and the red "On Air" sign lights up at Te Akau ki Papamoa Primary School.

More than 100 middle school students pick up their iPads and tune into 107.6 FM.

Year 4 teacher Grant Cooper was behind the microphone reading out the day's te reo Māori lesson.

There were interactive challenges, pronunciation practice, videos to watch, songs to sing and daily birthday shout-outs.

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Each student, sitting in their classrooms across the school, was actively engaged in the live lesson using the technology.

Students at Te Akau ki Papamoa Primary School learn te reo Māori through their station Radio TAKP. Photo/ Amy Diamond
Students at Te Akau ki Papamoa Primary School learn te reo Māori through their station Radio TAKP. Photo/ Amy Diamond

Phrases like "ka mau te wehi, well done" were said by Cooper across the airwaves as tasks were completed.

Radio TAKP had been a tool to help students and staff learn te reo Māori for the past seven years. It came to life during Te Wiki o Te Reo Māori in 2011 and had gone from strength to strength ever since.

Principal Bruce Jepson said te reo Māori was deeply embedded throughout the school and his goal was to equip every student with the ability to go into kaupapa Māori education if desired.

"Every week is Māori language week for us," Jepson said.

ROTORUA DAILY POST
14 Sep, 2018 3:30am
2 minutes to read

He said embracing all of New Zealand's official languages was important for the school and it was not uncommon to walk around and hear students out in the playground speaking te reo Māori to each other.

Jepson said the radio station and the integration of the language were well received by the students and teachers.

Out of 33 staff members, six were qualified to teach te reo Māori, and a further 12 teachers were studying the language.

Jepson was proud that in 2014 the school won the education award from Te Taura Whiri I te Reo Māori [Māori Language Commission] for the use of te reo Māori in a mainstream setting.

The radio station was led by teachers Heremia Taingahue, Grant Cooper and Darren Kiwi and had become a daily routine for the school.

Radio TAKP has been a tool to help students and teachers learn te reo Māori. Photo/ Amy Diamond
Radio TAKP has been a tool to help students and teachers learn te reo Māori. Photo/ Amy Diamond

Every day at 8.40am, 10.45pm and 1.05pm each teacher broadcasted their lesson to different levels of students.

Kiwi said the use of technology to teach te reo Māori was about "pushing the boundaries" and it was not just the children who were learning.

"We are all in this waka together. We are in a new age, and we are evolving with our tamariki."