The Year 5 to 8 students from Kōrakonui School's Bayley and Wharepūhanga classes took parents and visitors on a tour of the Waikato and Auckland districts with their New Zealand Land Wars exhibition on Friday.
The display showcased the students' research of the Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa over the last two terms where each Friday they came together to build a mini model of a significant historical site from the time period.
The purpose of the exhibition was to commemorate the important historical events that took place in New Zealand and the local area as well as celebrating the students' learning through their long-term project.
The display was open in two time slots, one in the early afternoon and one in the evening coinciding with the school's Twilight Gala.
The enthusiasm of the students showed how much they learned over the past two terms, creating the models and researching about each different historical site.
Many of them had not even known about the Land Wars around the area beforehand.
Some students had even produced QR codes for a takeaway slideshow.
The 15 sites recreated by the students were Great South Rd, Rangiaowhia, Ō-rākau, Kihikihi, Alexandra Redoubt, Koheroa, Mangatawhiri, Queen's Redoubt, Te Rohe Pōtae – King Country, Whangamarino/Te Teoteo's Pā, Meremere, Rangiriri Pā, Pāterangi, Waiari Pā and St John's Church in Te Awamutu.
Cooper Andersen learnt about Queen's Redoubt at Pokeno, one of the largest European campaign forts in New Zealand.
"I didn't know that there was an invasion to the Waikato against the Māori and I found out that that's where the deployment was for all the British. That's where Sir Duncan Cameron launched 1500 soldiers from."
Blake Gower was part of the team that researched and modelled Te Awamutu's St Johns Church.
"It was good having something local because we could walk around it. We weren't allowed to go in and there were no pictures of it online. So, we just had to guess what was in the church. We had pictures of one of its sister churches, St Paul's (Rangiaowhia), so we did the similar interior to that. Even though it wasn't the same it was similar."
Blake and the other students appreciated that they were actually able to visit the sites that these events took place.
"It was cool to be learning about things that had happened in our area because everything, like WWII and WWI, it wasn't here. To be able to go to these places like the church in Rangiaowhia, we were able to go to where everything actually happened. So, it was really different."
Taine Drewery worked on the Waiari Pā project and learnt that it's better to have a group of people to help with research than just the one person as you get more information.
"I didn't even know Waiari was a place until I had researched about it. I didn't know the massacre went on; I didn't know what it looked like. So, research does come in handy," said Taine.
"It's better to learn what's around you than something that's far away.'