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Kaihoe taking part in this year’s Te Wānanga o Aotearoa National Secondary School waka ama champs have the chance to earn NCEA credits while they paddle.

Thousands of students from more than 100 schools will descend on Tikitapu (Blue Lake) near Rotorua this week for the National Secondary School waka ama champs.

And for the first time their hard work can be recognised, after two Level 2 unit standards in waka ama – worth up to 18 credits - were approved late last year.

The credits were developed by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Waka Ama New Zealand and industry training organisation Skills Active Aotearoa, and are registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Programme Developer Lynne Nuttall was delighted the Waka Ama unit standards had been registered after a couple of years work.

The units involve describing waka ama equipment, demonstrating safety skills and paddling strokes.

Students will also be required to demonstrate capsize drills for waka ama.

Along with the standards for students, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has also launched an assessment resource for teachers to help them assess one of the standards.

The assessment and marking schedule has been pre-moderated by the Skills Active Aotearoa and Lynne says it will make assessing the standards a much easier process for teachers. Schools need consent from Skills Active Aotearoa to assess the standards.

“This is a real koha to our kids. They work really hard for this,” she says.

 “Secondary school students do a huge amount of work preparing for the national secondary competition, they do hours and hours on the water for weeks and weeks and now they can get up to 18 credits for NCEA.”

Eighteen waka owned by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa are in Rotorua for the regatta, which this year has about 117 schools taking part.

Te Wānanga o Atoearoa also sponsors the waka ama national sprint champs and the long distance champs.

  • The National Secondary school waka ama champs are on from March 20-23 at Tikitapu (Blue Lake) Rotorua.
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