English |  Español |  Français |  Italiano |  Português |  Русский |  Shqip

Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Keimpe Wierstra, Mairehau Primary School, Nieuw-Zeeland, mobility for internship, KPZ

address Mairehau primary school:

43 Mahars Road,

Christchurch, New Zealand




During the orientation for an internship abroad, we saw that a student from the KPZ went to New Zeland before. We asked her how it was and where she has done her internship. She told us that she went to the Mairehau Primay school. After we got a 'go', we mailed the school.

They were very positive and the principal told us we were very welcome. A part of his reaction was even in Dutch. Even on our birthdays we recieved an e-mail with his congratulations. 

After that, we kept in touch. The principal arranged the home stay for us. We also mailed the woman where we are going to stay. She was very positive as well. We had to pay around €300,- per month. That's a sort of standard price what every student has to pay. This includes food, wi-fi, etc. Besides that, we also have to pay our mentor.

I've got a exemption for the research we have to do. So I can focus on other things.


We are here now for four weeks. During the first week we were watching a lot how the teachers were teaching. A lot of things are different when you compare it tot the Netherlands. For example the school starts at 09:00. We've got morning tea from 10:30 to 11:00. Around 12:00 there is a lunch which will be eaten outside. Around 13:20 there is a 'Big play' till 14:00 and at 15:00 the children are free to go. The school has around 450 students. Comparing to the netherlands it is more pore. For example there is just one Smartboard on the whole school. There is also less materials to work with.

Every moring the children start on a mat in front of the class. It starts with a 'Roll'. The teacher says goodmorning to a student and the student has to say 'Goodmornig Mr.W'. Then they continue with the subjects. They don't work with methods. During a term the class is focusing on a specific goal. During this first term it's working with graphs with math and writing letters with writing. Further more the children don't have their own places in class. When the children have to work, the children can choose where they're going to work. There are stand tables, a jelly bean table, they can work on the floor as well, or they can work on long tables with chairs. 

Comparing to the Netherlands, the education is really different. We work more with goals and our teaching time is more productive (in the Netherlands). Sometimes the children don't do a lot, but there aren't really consequences. Physical Education is always outside and the children don't change clothes. It's less stressfull when you look at the learning time, a day before camp we spend a whole day about respect. They also spent most of time at reading and writing and math. 

collaborative learning (educational)

In the Netherlands cooperative learning is quite popular. In New Zealand is collaborative learning popular. It means that two classes are working together during for example math. The classes are starting together, than they split up in their groups (we've got 6 groups). The groups are doing three rotations during one lesson. It can be: explenation from the teacher, working on the computer, discovery, basic facts, group work and practice. One teacher is doing the instruction for one group, the other teacher is walking around and helping the other groups. 

respect (cultural)

Mairehau primary school is a low decile school which means that the social circumstances of the neighbourhood are low. Some children have to sleep with nephew and nieces in one bed or that they have to deal with a lot of things. Because of that, there are a lot of behavioural problems. The school is really working on showing respect. That is also why the children have to sue us by our surname. When children are misbehaving, they are ask to show their 'Mairehau manners' and make good choices. Comparing to the Netherlands it is quite strict, but it works. Before going to class they have to line up, in two  nice lines. Sometimes the teacher use a wistle as well outide. 

personal experiences

After the first days three days, the children had they 'year three/four camp'. We went tot the living springs outside of town and the year 4 was sleeping over. It was really nice doing a camp with the children. I've never been on a camp before so you learn a lot as well about what kind of activities the teachers are doing with the children and how they organize the camp.  

In the weeks that followed, I started to give some lessons. Sometimes it is hard to find the right words, but after a couple of days it's getting easier. When i'm not teaching, i'm helping a lot. During reading I've got my own group with who I'm reading with. I also read before moring tea or I'm singing with the children. 

Furthermore I've given lessons around Global Citzenship. Which I had to do for Civics. In six lessons I've learned them more about the world around them. It's nice that you can use ICT like computers, Prezi or other software like Google Earth. In New Zealand there is less money for education, so we had only one smart board in the whole school. Because of that, they don't work a lot with ICT. Also coöperative teaching is something they don't know in New Zealand so it was nice to introduce some cooperative activities like placemat.


- flight: €1300,0

- stay per week: €80,0

Al together, it was a really nice experience. You learn a lot about education in another country, but also how you can teach a different way. Except for the things on school, you learn a lot about the New Zealand culture. It's nice to live with a family. Everybody enjoined their stay. During the weekends and during the holiday (term 1 ended in april, so we had a two week holiday) we've seen a lot of the country. During the holiday we went to the North Island. We drove from Wellington to Auckland. During the weekend, we've seen glaciers, Queentown, Milford Sound, walked a two day track in Abel Tasman national park and we've seen seals, dolphins and whales in Kaikoura. It was an amazing adventure and I would definitely do it again!

There has been error in communication with Booktype server. Not sure right now where is the problem.

You should refresh this page.