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Adding local, placed-based stories

Felt story created by the children.

At Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten, kaiako became aware of ways they could be extending their rich oral storytelling tradition by adding more local, place-based stories to their repertoire.

They have gained knowledge of these through attendance at Early Years Community Cluster meetings, and by using the Ngāi Tahu Atlas, a resource of place names, history, and stories.

This has led to them prioritising the following actions:

  • investigating the story behind how the school came to be named “Te Ara Korowai” – cloak around the school – who gave this name and why
  • telling a story of how the creatures of the awa lived during walks with tamariki
  • creating stories in the Steiner tradition, for example, felt puppets and mats that are built around the people and creatures who once lived in the local area
  • adding these local stories to tamariki “Journey Books” which travel between home and centre, so parents/whānau benefit and contribute as well.

When it comes to evaluating the impact of their actions, kaiako will look for:

  • more reenactment of local stories through the drawings and artwork initiated by children
  • references to local stories in children’s everyday conversations
  • whānau enthusiasm about the focus on local curriculum.

Representing and respecting elements of both kaupapa Māori and Steiner fairytale is bringing challenge, joy, satisfaction, and learning for kaiako.

This story is one of the stories of practice on the Identity, language, and culture page.