Arts & Culture

At Amesbury School we believe in exploring and celebrating the arts and culture in a range of ways. There is a wide range of opportunities for students.  

Music and Drama

All students participate in singing and music through the year as part of our regular learning programmes. There are also additional opportunities for students to participate in small group or individual music and drama lessons with specialist teachers. These lessons are at a cost to the parents and run through the day on Wednesdays and Fridays. There are a range of options available for students, which are fully detailed on on our co-curricular page.

Te Reo Māori 

At Amesbury School we enjoy celebrating and learning about our bi-cultural heritage as people who live in New Zealand. All students take part in te reo Māori and tikanga Māori sessions weekly throughout the school. Within these sessions students learn about Māori culture (tikanga Māori), protocol (kawa), songs (waiata), kapa haka (song and dance) and te reo Māori (the Māori language - one of the official languages of New Zealand), including knowing our own personal mihimihi (introduction). 

Along with the kapa haka learned by all students in our weekly hub sessions, all students have the opportunity to opt into additional performance kapa haka groups. There are three performance groups, one for each hub, and these groups meet weekly to practice with our kapa haka tutor, Jo Chell. Amaria Picard, our lead teacher of te reo Māori and our bi-cultural heritage, works closely with Jo and our performance groups. The performance groups look for opportunities to perform at various events throughout the year, and also participate in the annual kapa haka festival held for local schools in the area towards the end of each year. 

Every term we hold a school mihi whakatau to welcome all students and staff who have joined our school within the past term. This is our way of welcoming students, staff and whānau into our school community. At a mihi whakatau you are welcomed to the school as visitors (manuhiri) and you leave as tangata whenua (people of the land or people who belong at Amesbury School). Mihi whakatau generally begin at 2:30pm and usually run for approximately 20 minutes, ending with everybody sharing some kai (food). Everyone is warmly welcome to our mihi whakatau. 

Asia Awareness 

Along with English and te reo Māori, the third language our students learn at Amesbury is Mandarin. We believe that an understanding of Asian culture and language is very important for our students; as such all students across the school learn about Mandarin and Asian culture every week. 

In most years, we have a Mandarin learning assistant with us for two or three days a week, thanks to the support of the Confucius Institute. As part of this programme, an MLA travels from China to spend one year in New Zealand schools, and is assigned to our school (and one of two other local schools) for one year. They spend time with all students across the school, helping with the acquisition and enjoyment of Mandarin, and they also spend time in our hubs learning about New Zealand culture and education. 

Due to the disruption in travel caused by Covid-19, we are not able to have an MLA as part of our learning team this year, meaning that we currently do not run weekly Mandarin lessons. This programme will begin again when our MLAs are able to travel from China to New Zealand. 

Hindi Language and Culture Lessons

Amesbury School has recently partnered with Wellington Hindi School to trial after school Hindi lessons for children at Amesbury School and in our local community for the remainder of the 2021 school year. 

The lessons will take place in Koru Hub after school, and provide an opportunity for our community to further develop cultural knowledge which is beneficial for our students in preparing them for tomorrow’s global challenges.

Art Splash 

Every year we take part in the regional Art Splash school choir. This is an opportunity for all Year 3-6 students to participate in this inter-school choir, culminating in an evening performance at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington - always a great evening!

Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

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