27 March 2018 at 9:00 am
Owairoa Primary celebrates Chinese New Year
Auckland’s Owairoa Primary School joined millions of people around the world to bring in the Chinese Lunar New Year at a special morning tea with more than 80 parents of international students.
Owairoa’s Year 6 students met parents at the door with a Chinese New Year greeting (Xin nian kuai le). The parents then celebrated the Year of the Dog with party poppers, a Happy New Year song, a red velvet cake, and a film explaining the customs and traditions of the Chinese New Year.
Several international parents spoke at the event, sharing their experience of coming to New Zealand – particularly to Owairoa Primary.
Principal Alan McIntyre said the concept of tūrangawaewae (‘a place to stand’) is embedded in Owairoa Primary School, with its focus on creating an inclusive place for all cultures to be one Owairoa “family”.
“Our school has a constant flow of Chinese international students throughout the year, and we make a big effort to make them feel welcome and included.
“In celebrating Chinese New Year, we are engaging with our international parents, while also encouraging New Zealand students to think globally and to become more Asia aware.”
Owairoa Primary School has spent the past few years nurturing a sister-school relationship with the Zhongshan Whamposa International Education Group (ZWIE) in China.
"Our interactions have been of immense benefit to our students, teachers and parents."
In 2017, ZWIE Principal Jason Tsui led more than 50 students and staff members to Owairoa for a two-week visit.
The Chinese students joined their Kiwi peers in classes including Kapa Haka, sport, ceramics, art, cooking and ICT, while the Chinese teachers learned about the New Zealand curriculum, classroom management strategies and teaching resources.
“Our interactions have been of immense benefit in increasing the Asia awareness in our students, teachers and parents alike,” said Alan McIntyre.
“A number of our local host families have maintained friendships with the Chinese students, with some even planning to visit them back in China in future.”