Exploring Local Heritage, Year 8 students visit Toitū.

Friday 25th August 2023

Ōtepoti / Dunedin's history came alive for our Year 8 students this week during their enthralling trip to Toitū Otago Settlers Museum. The aim of the trip was to enhance their understanding of their current Social Studies focus, migration and colonisation, by offering them a firsthand experience of Ōtepoti’s past.

Accompanied by their teachers and their incredibly knowledgeable guide, Kirstyn, the boys delved into exhibits showcasing local Māori culture and taonga, the journeys of pioneering English and Scottish migrants, and the trading relationships between Māori and European settlers including the whalers and sealers.

As discussions sparked amongst the boys, they contemplated the profound impact of the past on their present community. The trip not only expanded their historical knowledge but also encouraged critical thinking about the factors that shape their surroundings even to this day.

Toitū Museum's immersive displays transported them to Dunedin's early days, illuminating its evolution from Māori Hapū and Rūnaka to early British colonisation. With a newfound appreciation for their city's history, the students left the museum with a sense of connection to their roots - their whenua, making the past resonate in a meaningful way.

This outing stands as a testament to the power of experiential learning, equipping our Year 8 boys with a deeper understanding of their local heritage. By merging indigenous narratives, migrant stories, and cultural exchange, Toitū offered a transformative journey that will no doubt leave a lasting impact.

We’d recommend Toitū to anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of Ōtepoti’s past and discover something new about our rich local heritage.