Although teaching is done in English, both teachers and students at Paekākāriki use words from Te Reo (Māori language) on a daily basis, including starting the day with a karakia (blessing for the day). Once a week, all students are involved in Kapa Haka, which covers both the traditional waiata (songs) and haka – the form of dynamic challenge made internationally popular by our national rugby team the All Blacks. There is also an optional weekly after school session, in which our students can learn more about the preparation of kai (food), harakeke (weaving flax) and finding out more about our shared history.
We have a performing arts teacher and specialist visual arts teacher. Our students run their own talent show every year called ‘Paekak’s Got Talent,’ where students are encouraged to take risks and come up with their own repertoire. We also take part in the Wellington Region fabulous ‘Artsplash’ festival, where our students sing, dance and showcase their own world of wearable arts costumes they make at school. Our school productions are an opportunity for students to write, design and star in their own production.
We are very lucky to have our own community radio station in Paekākāriki, operating from the grounds of our school. Every lunchtime, students have their own radio shows, that they plan and operate independently, with very little help from their adult helper.
Sport is an important part of Paekākāriki School and includes swimming, hockey, tennis, rugby, football, netball, basketball and athletics. In addition, students are able to come to school with their bicycles, scooters and roller skates and ride them at lunchtime.