Warrington School/Sustainable Education

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Warrington Matariki Lanterns

[1]Matariki - Warrington style

  • Using toi toi (pampas grass) [2] instead of Willow withies and old sewing patterns instead of tissue paper make lanterns with parent helpers and pupils.[3]
  • On the best night weather wise around the official Matariki or mid winter, pupils, families and community members meet at the four corners of the village at 7pm.
  • Begin the walk towards the school with lanterns, noise making equipment and repeating chant/song. (15 minutes)

Parade onto the playing courts. Continue with chant and noise making. At a given signal (lots of drumming) all stop and place lanterns on the ground. Children move into their starting positions for a floodlit performance of their Kaupapa Maori items.(15 minutes)

  • At the conclusion children disappear to play with torches in the shadows of the trees and at the edge of the school playing area while parents chat over tea and cake.
  • As parents depart with their children and they collect lanterns to store at home.
  • School cleaned up and gear put away by 8.30.
  • Safety stuff - lanterns need prior check at school for candle wobble, loose paper and wired on stick strength.
  • Children encouraged to wear wool, cotton outer garments.
  • Children to carry lanterns at arms length in front of them and told about the stop drop and roll procedures. [4]
  • If a lantern catches on fire place it on the ground, stand back and watch it burst into flames. At the completion of its combustion all nearby are to clap.
  • At completion of the pupil's performance adults to snuff out candles so children are not tempted to play with the lantern

Equipment - lanterns, parents plate of supper, tea/coffee etc, floodlight, safety extension cords, torches, matches, water bottles, musical equipment for performance and walk

We also combine our Matariki week with a beach clean-up. Collecting washed up junk found on our almost pristine beach that we put into plastic shopping bags and place in or besides the council rubbish bins.