Visits for Primary & Secondary Schools

Planning a school visit to Te Manawa? We have a diverse range of learning programmes sure to delight and inspire your tamariki. Led by Te Manawa’s knowledgeable educators, our learning programmes cater for Years 1 to 10 and suit a variety of group sizes. Enquire now to plan the perfect day!

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Transported back 300 years through imagination and storytelling, students will learn the traditional importance of harakeke in our rohe. They will each transform harakeke from rau (leaf) to whiri (plait). They’ll also play an inter-iwi ‘trading game’ to illustrate the importance of harakeke as a resource for practical needs, exchange and interconnection. This programme was developed by external experts with knowledge of Mātauranga Rangitāne and active embodied learning.

There are two options for this programme to suit your timeframe. The half-day programme includes the key storytelling and rau mahi. The full-day programme includes the key storytelling, rau mahi and the trading game.

We provide a venue for a lunch break.

Year 5-8 | Max group size: ~30 | Total time: 2.5 – 3.5 hours


Thirty-five generations ago, Haunui-a-Nanaia made an epic journey through our rohe. This engaging and interactive programme will build students’ understanding of the many different ways stories are told and carry important information through the generations. Students will learn the names of awa in our rohe and the meanings behind them. They will also gain a sense of how events from the distant past tie people to place. This programme was developed by external experts with knowledge of Mātauranga Rangitāne and active embodied learning. 

Year 4-8 | Max group size: ~30 | Total time: 1.5 hours

Time Traveller: Destination 1900

Travel back in time to the 1900s and participate in colonial activities characteristic of the period. Experience early NZ school life in the old school house, tour the historic Tōtaranui cottage and play with old toys and games.

This programme can be adapted to suit either a 2 hour session or a longer full-day timeframe depending on your requirements. Longer programmes include additional activities such as butter churning, old-time clothes washing, making pikelets with traditional equipment and dressing up in heritage clothing.

Year 1-8 | Max Group Size ~ 70 | 2 hour sessions or full day programme

Flooding & Erosion

Follow Te Awa o Manawatū from its source all the way to the ocean and learn how the awa has shaped our land. In our custom-built water room students will experience the effects of flooding and erosion first-hand by playing our popular erosion game. After a full group introduction, the group splits for a rotation of two 30-minute sessions;

  1. The Water Room (educator lead, 30 min)
  2. Self-lead with a related worksheet (30 min

Year 3-10 | Max Group Size ~30 | Total Time: 1.5 hours

Te Āpiti Manawatū Gorge

More suited to older students who will discover the fascinating geology of our region, with a focus on the unique Te Āpiti Manawatū Gorge. Students will also get the chance to investigate rocks and fossils close-up and consider the forces of nature that have formed our rohe.

The programme first takes students on a journey through our Te Awa gallery investigating the geological formation of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Manawatū before moving into our Education room for hands-on activities investigating sedimentary rocks and fossils

Year 7-10 | Max group size: ~16* | Total time: 1-1.5 hrs

*If your group size is larger we can discuss options for a two-rotation programme of 2.5 – 3 hrs

Dino Dig & Fossils

Students will become palaeontologists and dig for fossil remains. They will explore how fossils are formed and reflect on what Aotearoa New Zealand may have looked like at the time of dinosaurs. They will learn about the creatures that once lived in our forests and swam in our waters, and perhaps even design their own dinosaur!

This programme has a full group introduction, then splits students for rotations between two educator-led sessions of 35-40 minutes: Dino Dig and fossils.

Year 1-6 | Max group size: ~30 | Total time: 1-1.5 hrs

Hands On Science

Choose a topic that suits your needs or get a taste of two or three with our hands-on science experiments. Discuss your needs with us and we will provide an awesome learning experience.

This programme can focus on either Fizzing & Foaming (FF) or Nano-technology (NT). All students partake in each experiment.

  1. Experiment 1- Dancing popcorn (FF) or Behaviour of Liquid Crystals (NT)
  2. Experiment 2- Super-cold bag (FF) or Never-wet sand (NT)
  3. Experiment 3: Pop make the flame go out (FF) or Exploring nano-fabric (NT)

Year 3-8 | Max group size: ~25 | Total time: 1.5 hrs

Colour My World

Through storytelling, viewing and discussion of different art works and practical colour exercises, students will explore the impact of colour in our lives. Where possible, this programme will be linked to a Gallery Exhibition.

Year 4-10 | Max group size: ~25 | Total time: 1.5 hr

Print It!

This programme offers students different printing experiences, from trying out traditional methods to making cyanotypes, an artform reliant on the UV rays of the sun. A brilliant mix of art and science. Focus on one or have a go at both.

Year 4-10 | Max group size: ~25 | Total time: 1.5 hrs


Book a Visit

Interested in one of our Learning Programmes? Enquire now and we’ll help you plan the perfect day!

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