On 19 May, a group of Year 1 students from Gate Pā Primary School spent a fun-filled afternoon crafting and learning, in an event held by the Arts and International Committees called Pukehinahina in the Park. Our girls came up with this event as a new take on the traditional TGC event 'The Teddy Bear’s Picnic', with the goal of being more diverse and inclusive.
This new type of picnic was put into the planning stages by the previous Deputy Head Girl of Arts, Shenazzar Sta. Lucia, but the event unfortunately never took place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Deputy Head Girl of Arts, Nichola Li, said that
“The Arts Committee this year has worked very hard on continuing the planning from last year of having a more inclusive and fun event for Gate Pa. Furthermore, we collaborated with the International Committee to bring about a more internationally diverse event, which was very exciting! The aim [of the picnic] was to promote whakawhanaungatanga. Our children certainly enjoyed the overall event, and being able to give them a chance to do so was our pleasure.”
Our committees did a great job of creating a variety of inclusive activities which all the children enjoyed. With each individual activity “full of fun, food and excitement”. The kids moved between activities such as face painting with traditional Māori patterns, and decorating cookies in the style of the Pukehinahina flag to commemorate the battle of Gate Pā. There was also a South Korean game called Ddakji, which involved using origami techniques to create paper tiles, and a drama performance of how Maui slowed the sun. This allowed the kids to experience different aspects of art and culture that they might not normally get to see in the classroom, with several students commenting that they’d never had their face painted before, or hadn’t heard of the legend.
“[The event] couldn’t have run so well without our amazing prefects, committee members and volunteers. It was about celebrating our diversity and embracing other cultures. I hope that this event has helped open our children's minds that there is more diversity in Aotearoa and so many more cultures to learn from!” Nichola said.
Pukehinahina in the park was a great success, allowing our students to be role models and big sisters for the younger children while also giving back to the local community.
Gate Pa Primary School