Maori the merrier for new school

2nd September 2005 at 01:00
How to make an impression in a new school. The headteacher had just finished his morning briefing at Broomfield school, Southgate, north London.

After the usual room changes, school trips and absence arrangements, he asked if staff had any announcements. The new supply teacher from New Zealand says: "Hi. I'm Luke from Wellington, and I'd like to thank you for making me welcome." He then proceeded to perform a haka, the traditional dance of the Maori. "It was really full-on and scary," says Danny Haley, a special-needs teacher at Broomfield. "Tongue out, eyes bulging, hand-shaking, the lot." And the staffroom response? Open mouths followed by a round of polite applause.

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