Our tuakana rōpū at BestStart Pipiwai Kindy

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We have recently created a tuakana rōpū (group) at BestStart Pipiwai Kindy, which consists of our ten eldest tamariki. Tamariki who are a part of this rōpū have a great responsibility - they are now responsible for taking on leadership roles within our centre, including leading mat times and other activities, helping to problem-solve any issues that may arise, and being a tuakana to our teina by being a good role model and following our tikanga. 

Each day, we have a separate wā whāriki (mat time) for this rōpū. Some of the activities we do during wā whāriki include saying karakia tīmatanga at the start of the mat time, singing our 'days of the week' song, counting how many people are here today in both English and Māori, reading pukapuka or sharing pūrakau, waiata and kanikani, singing the weather song, Show and Tell, and of course - finishing every mat time with karakia mō to kai. 

Each day is different and what we do at wā whāriki is very much child-led based on what they want to do or what their interests are. Our older tamariki have been absolutely loving taking on more leadership and being able to choose what activities we do each day in a smaller group setting and with other tamariki who are a similar age. 

We also have a physical space set up, which is aimed at supporting the learning and development of our older tamariki. Whilst this space is not limited to our tuakana rōpū only, the activities set up in this space often consist of smaller loose parts and activities that require critical thinking and provide more complex learning, or games that have rules or directions to follow. Our older tamariki love being able to explore this space and are often suggesting activities or resources that they would like to be set up that day.