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An Auckland Girls Grammar School Samoan language teacher uses the context of Samoan Independence Day for her Year 12 Samoan language class in consultation with the Year 12 History class. This cross-curricular or thematic approach with the same topic means that Pasifika students are able to access this learning in different curriculum areas.
One of the topics In Samoan language at the senior level, is the history of Samoa, and I believe this is also being studied in level two history. So that some of the students taking Samoan and history are also able to draw on their learning and their understanding and I’ve spoken to the teacher of the subject and that we’ve found has been really beneficial not just for those students but for other students in the class who are able to gain more information or knowledge from the students who are taking Samoan language. Throughout the year we try to incorporate different things, of course with every subject with Samoan language there is a main event which is Samoan’s Independence Day. But it’s also an event where student organise the event, they invite other schools, other students of Samoan language to attend to celebrate together. But it coincides with Samoan language week, so then students who are studying Samoan language at the school are able to all in one day practice and use Samoan language. So an event like this becomes not only a chance for students so enjoy and celebrate a historical and significant event, but also it allows students to take control and autonomy of something that they can organise and something that they actually enjoy and a lot of the language, a lot of the activities they use we can also submit as part of their assessments that they have. And it’s really great to hear students feedback after the Samoan independence day in terms of how they felt they organised the day, how they felt students responded and enjoyed the day or not and so this is another great learning opportunity for our students.
For the younger students, the junior students coming up, they know that the year 13 organises programs so they sort of are able to be inspired or are watching or observing how other students run the program and they are looking forward to their time when they get up to that level for them to actually take that control of that the program. So it’s those kind of event that were fortunate enough to utilise and for our students to enjoy the language even more.
One of the internal assessments is where we have to use AFL as a way to show off our leadership. So they say that one of my identifiers is leadership and commitment to excellence. We’re taking the sessions, so the teachers will be there, but it’s mainly on us to conduct how the whole day goes off. Commitment to excellence is also shown by us taking up the role and us having the courage to lead and help the little kids and a few lessons about how to play AFL. Maybe when they’re older they might pick it up and to show them that there’s other things apart outside from school that they can enjoy. Some aspects are interacting you know communicating with the little kids it’s so fun. Their attitude and the atmosphere, it’s quite easy connecting with the little kids, cause they don’t think too much, and they’re so well mannered, it helps a lot to be able to connect with them and relate to them. There are some lessons that will be taught.