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Te Aho Matua

Te Aho Matua is the philosophical base for Kura Kaupapa Māori education for the teaching, learning and development of tamariki and their whānau. Where as alternative Kura and mainstream schools focus on child centre education, although important, Te Aho Matua Kura Kaupapa ensure the development and growth of the entire whānau. Te Aho Matua is the lens with which our Learning Plan has been developed.

Te Aho Matua provides for six core guiding principles: Te Ira Tangata, Te Reo Māori, Ngā Iwi, Te Ao, Āhuatanga Ako and Te Tino Uaratanga. Each part of Te Aho Matua provides for a special focus on what, from a Māori world view, is absolutely crucial in providing an environment that best suits the learning, development and growth of tamariki, their whānau and their communities. 

Te Ira Tangata

Te Ira Tangata is the connection and understanding of the physical and spiritual endowment of tamariki and the importance of nurturing both in their learning and development.

Te Reo Māori

Te Reo Māori is the guiding principle that provides for and enables the achievement of a capable and high level of bilingual competency. Te Aho Matua tamariki are also afforded multilingual learning opportunities and professional development of teaching staff and whānau allows access to quality language expertise.

Ngā Iwi

Ngā iwi makes direct connections and provides for the recognition and establishment of friendships and relationships through whakapapa and socialisation. This principle provides tamariki of Ngā Mokopuna, for example, the opportunity to learn and develop their Mokopunatanga, and their own historical knowledge, relationships and social interactions.

Te Aho Matua provides socialisation opportunities in an environment that resonates within tamariki, whānau and their communities from a Māori worldview. In developing and providing for a high level of working socialisation opportunities, it promotes and environment of respect, trust, honesty, co-operation and collaboration (manaakitanga, whakawhānaungatanga).

Te Ao

Te Ao, is the guiding principle that provides opportunities to explore and investigate in an holistic, organic and fluid manner, those aspects of the world that impact on the learning and development of tamariki, whānau and their communities. Te Ao also ensures the continued connection, maintenance, and sustainability of Te Ao Māori.

Āhuatanga Ako

Ngā Āhuatanga Ako is the guiding principle in respect of pedagogy and or beliefs that are of vital importance to the growth, learning and development of tamariki, whānau and their communities.

Observing, understanding and acknowledging the individual characteristics and skills of tamariki and allowing for the development of those skills is an important part of providing a learning programme that is stimulating, engaging and ensures all tamariki are contributing and participating in a manner that utilises their skillset and seeks to promote their growth and development within a Te Aho Matua environment.

Te Tino Uaratanga

Te Tino Uaratanga is directly connecting to Āhuatanga ako. In the absence of observing, recognising and understanding tamariki, then, that is when kaiako place tamariki in a box. Te Tino Uaratanga ensures that an environment is established that nurtures and promotes the special and individual characteristics developing within each tamariki.


Unit Plan
Tikanga Haumaru-ā-Wai

This draft unit plan is an example only and provides a starting point for kaiako to commence a learning programme that is holistic and organic in nature, that provides tamariki with the ability to lead their own learning and development through observation, investigation and questioning. Read more

Unit Plan Contents


Ika, Tohora, Kai, Pāpaka

Te Timatanga - Starting Point

Kura-Taiao - Manaakitanga

Nga Rauemi - Heei Tauira noa

Unit Plan Schedule

Aromatawai mo ngā wahanga e whā

Watch the video: How to engage tamariki in kia maanu kia ora


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