Monday, 6 July 2015

Waitakere S.L.E.D. Experience - RNZB’s Ballet in a Box

The Waitakere Regional Team arrange Social and Language Enrichment Days (S.L.E.Ds) for their students which combine social interaction and language development within a creative setting.

On Tuesday 16 June KDEC regional students from schools in Waitakere and Central Auckland had the opportunity to see the dancers from the Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB) warm-up, rehearse and then perform a short programme of ballet excerpts, complete with costumes!

 “I love to dance!” “Me too!” Grace (Year 3) and Angelena (Year 3) were keen to show off their dancing skills before attending the ‘Ballet in a Box’ workshop by the RNZB.

Watching one of the dancers stretch Nikhil (Year 5) said “He looks like spaghetti!”

There were demonstrations, discussion and Q & A sessions with the Artistic Director and two principal dancers.

Francesco Ventriglia, the Artistic Director for the RNZB, has been with the company for 7 months and provides the dancers with inspiration and advice on their technique. He lead the dancers through their warm-up and rehearsal.

Lucy Green, one of the principal dancers, answered questions about pointe shoes. Did you know the box in a pointe shoe is similar to papier mache? It is made by glueing paper and fabric together.

The students who attended this performance are now writing recounts about their experience. They will be attending a workshop later this year.

Targeted social interaction is a wonderful way to enrich language. If you’d like to know more about Social and Language Enrichment Days (S.L.E.D.s) please contact Shirley Kay, Team Leader Waitakere RTDs,

To find out more about the Royal New Zealand Ballet and their upcoming shows visit

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Sports Day 2013

Wow what a blast we had! 2013 Sports Day was held at the Trusts Stadium in Henderson in Term 1. About 250 Deaf and hearing impaired students from Taupo to the Far North attended, along with KDEC staff supporting the students on the day. We had some parents and whanau visit to cheer on the students. 

The Deaf and hearing impaired students were very involved in all of the events and were impressed with the big day. First to third places got gold, silver and bronze wristbands. Some students didn't get any awards but KDEC is very proud of all the students who took part in the challenges and gave their best.

Sports Day offers the students an important opportunity to get together as a Deaf community, regardless of their communication modes, and socialise with other Deaf students. Sports Day also offers the students a chance to try athletics and perhaps aim to take part in athletics more seriously in future.  

Overall, it was a really high-spirited day celebrating the students. 

The Sports Day will be happening again in 2014 so make sure your child registers their interest with their Provision teacher or Resource Teacher of the Deaf. 

Sports Day Co-ordinator

Monday, 19 August 2013

Adventureworks High Ropes 2013

For over 20 years, the Transition students have spent the last week in February at the Adventureworks High Ropes Course.  Adventureworks is now on the UNITEC campus in Mt Albert.

The transition class of 2013 enjoyed the week climbing, belaying, and supporting each other to achieve amazing things.

The level of support, encouragement, enthusiasm and focus shown by all the students in the group impressed the tutors Sarah, Ken and Debs, who look forward to the KDEC week each year.

The Year 2 students, Ben, Ngawaiata, Dan and James, led each activity, receiving NCEA Level 3 credits in Leadership.  The Year 1 students learned and participated under the careful guidance of the Year 2s and the Adventureworks tutors.  They received 12 NCEA Level 2 credits.
It was heart-warming to see the way the group worked together to ensure all students participated fully and pushed themselves outside their own comfort zone.   
If you are a deaf student in Senior Secondary School (aged 16-18), and would like more information about our Transition programme, please contact Kerry Jelicich on


Sunday, 24 February 2013

KDEC Speech Competition


The very first Speech Competition for Deaf and hearing impaired students began in 2005 crowded into the KDEC hall. The night was just as nerve wracking for the first time organisers.  

Jamie Bassett-Burr, from New Zealand’s Shortland Street,  was in attendance as the first celebrity judge. Remember the speeches…. Pia talked about Egypt… Ishrat made his mark by talking about being a Muslim. Remember the famous quote; “the only good possum is a dead possum” expressed by one of our candidates in a later speech competition!

Over the years we have established an annual Speech Competition.  This phenomenal event is now lead by Deaf students. Every year the bar is raised and the speeches have become more sophisticated. The MCs used to be young Deaf adults and now we have Deaf and hearing-impaired high school students leading the night. Speaking of which our two MCs for 2012; Nerry and Joseph, were absolutely fabulous presenters and very well dressed. They were a memorable part of the occasion, as was Mojo Mathers - our famous deaf Member of Parliament.

Moments like these, I sure needed the minties! At the earliest inception of the Speech Competition some people were unsure this would be a successful endeavour. It took a lot of hard work and dedication from staff and students to get this off the ground. One particularly memorable occasion was when the co-ordinator’s laptop died just days before the second speech competition, losing all the information necessary for the event! Seeing the students perform on the night makes all the work behind the scenes worth it.

First and foremost – giving confidence and trust in Deaf and hearing impaired students to deliver a speech. This is an intrinsic part of leadership skills – making a presentation and convincing an audience. It will be great to see what happen to our Deaf and hearing impaired presenters in the next 15 years … where will they go and who will they be?   

Congratulations to all entrants in the 2012 KDEC Speech Competition.

RESULTS    2012

NZSL Research  1st place      Dean

NZSL Research 2nd place      Abdul

Oral Research 1st place        Kahurangi

Oral Research 2nd place       Karan

NZSL Storytelling  1st place  Miriam

True Life Story 1st place        Faaiu

Yours in sign

Sarah Cameron
Speech Competition Co-ordinator

To view the winning speeches from the 2012 KDEC Speech Competition, go to

Find out how to enter the annual KDEC Speech Competition from your Deaf Provision teacher, Resource Teacher of the Deaf or email .

Totara Village hosts regional students

In the last week of term three, there was an Intensives Camp for students who are from the Waikato Bay of Plenty region.  There were three students from Tauranga ;Heremia, Hinemoa and Brandy, three from Hamilton; Monique, Felicity and Shania, as well as one student from Tokoroa.  They all attend High Schools in their area. 

We stayed at Totara Village in Matai and Lynwood Cottages with the other students.  That was neat, meeting other deaf students, having a big room and the food was yummy.  Three students made a special effort for us; Kahurangi made the girls feel welcome, Chelsea changed rooms for us and Henare gave us a great karakia before our dinner on Tuesday night.

We had a great time. We visited Auckland Museum, Waiheke Island, had a look around the central city and went up the SkyTower.  It was great to see and do new things, like Claybird shooting and Archery on Waiheke Island.
On the Wednesday night we came back early and cooked dinner for everyone at the Village and some other students from Auckland. It had to be an early meal because we were lucky to be in Auckland for the KDEC Speech Competitions.  The Speech Competition had two students from the Village in it.  Some of the speeches were in Sign Language and there was even a speech with dancing.  The dancing was cool, and we thought all the students who gave speeches were very brave.

The next day we had to go back home. The people who looked after us were so nice that some of the kids wanted to stay longer.
Thank you Totara Village we had a great Camp and we look forward to coming back for another Camp.


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Keep In Touch Day - Rainbow's End

This is now a yearly event in the diary of all KDEC students in Year 7 and above. The trip started a few years ago as part of the KIT (Keep In Touch) programme just for mainstreamed students visited by Resource Teachers of the Deaf in the Auckland area. About three years ago the trip was opened up to students from our unit provisions and the Transition Department at KDEC, as well as students on Advisors on Deaf Children caseload. We listened to students who came to Sports Day and went one step further – they told us they wanted more than one opportunity to meet with friends they have made.  So this year we had students from the Far North and Whangarei, from Taumarunui, Taupo and the Bay of Plenty join us.

Thursday 13th September was a fabulous day, the weather was just what we had ordered. We all met outside Rainbow’s End – what a sight - almost 150  students, support staff and teachers all catching up with old friends and meeting new people. After a quick welcome we all made our way to the central area and then rushed off to make the most of the day. Some comments from the day...

Chelsea said “It was my first time going on a rollercoaster  ... and my last! I hated the loop. It took me a while to get over the ride. It freaked me out but I really enjoyed my day.

Rhianjuan from KGC  said “It was great fun catching up with my old classmate from Mission Heights, Anushika. I really miss seeing her”.  

Meghan who is mainstreamed at GEIS caught up with her friend Grace from the KIS provision, they raced from ride to ride and had fun catching up.


Tony didn’t know anyone else initially but had lots of fun racing with Mati  on the go-karts and enjoyed sharing an icecream with Michael just before we left. 
Liam spent the day catching up with other friends who are mainstreamed – Michael and Patrick.

It was Shaka and Jarole’s first time at a KIT day and they had a great time getting to know the other teens from Northland, Chakaya, Jordash and Huia. It was an eye-opener to see so many other Deaf / Hearing impaired teens when they got to Rainbow’s End. They were very excited and had a blast! The chatting didn't stop during the long journey home to the North.
If your child is keen to Keep In Touch with their fellow KDEC students, contact their Resource Teacher of the Deaf or their Advisor.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

KDEC Welcomes Mojo Mathers

Mojo Mathers is a Member of Parliament from the Green Party list.  She is New Zealand’s first Deaf Member of Parliament.  On Monday 27 August 2012 it was our privilege to welcome Mojo onto Ruamoko Marae.  As usual our Kaumata, Michael Wi gave very clear instructions about how things are done at Ruamoko.

Dan Te Rupe blew the call on the putarara or conch-shell and Ngawaiata was our whaikaranga.  A small group of KEDC staff and students who had also not yet been called provided whanau support as manuhiri with Mojo

Our Marae was full to bursting with people keen to both welcome and meet Mojo Mathers for the first time.  So many people had assembled that we had to project the powhiri into the wharenui’s office area.

Michael’s whaikorero introduced Mojo to our Marae and frequent use of her sign name ensured the students were clear about the day’s special guest!

Tom Purvis our Head of School, accepted the greeting on behalf of Mojo. 

Mojo and her new whanau added their hands and voices to his waiata. 

Te Aroha, where there is love

Te Whakapono,where there is truth

Me te Rangimarie, there will be peace

Tatou Tatou e, for everyone

Michael always respects the mana of our guests.  He will even find a way to allow women to speak during the powhiri when they are the high ranking manuhiri.  Then it was Mojo’s turn to speak. 

Her speech was colourful – her story is rich in its history, diversity and positive response to the challenges she faces.

At the same time Mojo’s key messages were very much black and white! 

Attitudes have been wrong in the past!

We need to find ways to meet each other for open and honest discussions about a future…

So that Deaf students can aim high!  Deaf students need to be proud of their identity!  Let nothing stand in your way, as you make a positive contribution to the development of our nation!

Mojo was determined to that her message was about Success for All - Every Child!  She proved this by making time to hongi with for EVERY student who was present.

Then it was time for that part of our kawa which is uniquely Ruamoko.  After the hongi… but before the kai… lots of photo opportunities with newest member of whanau Turi!

Our current and future leaders always get their time in front of the flashes of our KDEC paparazzi

We noticed this time that the paparazzi are becoming increasingly high tech!!  Our Board’s investment in information technology clearly being well used.

Papatoetoe High School pupils were particularly pleased to meet Mojo.  They have been using reports of her experience in Parliament to complete ESOL Unit standards in shaping and examining a Point of View.

The final part of any powhiri is thanking our kaiawhina and her team for preparing our food.

It was our pleasure to meet Mojo Mathers.  We are convinced that she is a person who will continue to shape the future of New Zealand with her energy, determination and willingness to share her story.

To see more about Mojo Mathers' visit to KDEC, watch this video