Many schools are exploring their local waterways this year. It’s a rich and meaningful learning area, and a topic lively debate as New Zealand struggles with issues of water rights, what constitutes ‘healthy water’ and the complexities associated with a resource … Continue reading →
Last Friday around 100 students, and 25 teachers and parents representing 9 Enviroschools, came together for an event based around the theme of ‘Everything is Connected – Whanaungatanga’ in the Kauaeranga Valley at the Department of Conservation Visitor Centre. Most of … Continue reading →
Whitebait season is upon us. And around the country people are relishing the thought of delicious whitebait patties, while others are dreading the thought, knowing full well that these tiny critters are under threat of extinction. It’s a sad fact and … Continue reading →
Students at Netherton Primary have initiated a vision to ‘bring back the birds’ to the Hauraki Plains. A milestone was realized this year when children planted out the first of the native trees that they had grown themselves in kahikatea … Continue reading →
Do you know of a young person or a school doing a great job of protecting New Zealand native plants? It is the time of year again when the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network is seeking nominations for its prestigious … Continue reading →
Opoutere School’s thematic learning topic for Term 2 is Matariki. As a part of this, Puriri class ( Year 3 and 4) have been heading out every Wednesday morning, tramping with Matua Ryan (Te Reo and EOTC teacher) and Mrs … Continue reading →
Nearly 800 children at Rototuna Primary School took part in the school’s second annual plant out of their school gully in May. Children and staff alike were gobsmacked by the change and growth that had happen since last year’s planting. … Continue reading →
A cluster meeting was held recently connecting Northern Waikato and South Auckland Schools at Pukekohe Hill School. Fourteen teachers and two Enviroschools facilitators attended and the feedback was to hold these once a term and rotate around the group so they all get to see different schools.
In the past I have experienced clusters as after school for an hour and a half. Usually this seems quite rushed with not enough time to cover much ground or for teachers to really have time to connect and network. Often people are tired from a full days teaching and it can be hard to raise the energy level.
This meeting went from 1.30 to 4.00 pm which gave teachers a relaxed amount of time to share successes and challenges; help each other solve issues; hear, see and be inspired by the host school and have time to chat over some yummy healthy kai.
The feedback was unanimous to keep this up every term and to keep this same time frame. It was also suggested that some meetings might involve hands on learning eg: making herbal skin products, learning about Rongoa, compost making etc… sometimes inviting an outside expert to share their knowledge with teachers.
One of the teachers sent me an email to say “what an awesome cluster meeting last week, it was great to meet all the enviro teachers in the area, I came away feeling really inspired and energised!”
Most teachers got around the ‘time’ issue by asking another teacher in their school to take their students for the afternoon.
One of the activities involved sharing challenges and other teachers offering solutions to these challenges by schools that had ‘been there and solved that’. From this exercise came the following great list:
Challenges faced …. and solutions suggested
“How can we create a workable compost bin?”
Start with kids inquiry using ‘Action Learning Cycle’ from the enviroschools kit – identify current situation
Invite a skilled ‘expert’ to help
Ask community gardeners
Zero Waste facilitator
Botanical Garden Visit/Workshop
A class/enviro team responsible for the upkeep and maintenence
Feed me, Leave me, Use me signs for the bins
3 bins are good, 4 even better
Get caretaker on board
“How do you get and maintain staff buy in?”
Put ‘Enviroschools’ into the stategic planning
Hold an Enviroschools workshop/staff meeting
Put into job description
Put it as though staff think it is their own idea
Add to inquiry planner
School displays – share the load
Assembly items from enviroteam
Ask other teachers to come to a cluster meeting
Each teacher having one area to focus on/look after with their class
Reflection time with staff leads to more understanding and involvement
Ask staff what they are interested in
Pick your battles!
“How can we get whole school buy in?”
class vs class competition with suitable rewards
whole school divided into enviro groups and each fortnight work on projects
once a term hold an enviro day – focusing on different things each time
newsletter – tip of the week
Assembly – greenie given out for litterfree lunch, picking up rubbish etc
links to videos on website
Enviro group performing/modelling skits to promote the idea that everyone is involved
dedicated display area for children’s enviro work
buddy class/whanau group time on ‘Me In My Environment’ theme area activities (Theme area CD found in Enviroschools Kit)
“How can we get more community involvement in projects?”
Create a video newsletter and add it to the enrollment page on your website
Ask for it on community facebook sites/newsletters
Inviting people in – open day
Whanau involvement – making it a welcoming place for the whole family
Create an open door feeling
Any help given from a community member is a gift – make sure they leave feeling valued. Make time for a cuppa and debrief at end of the day, always ask a child to personally thank them for coming
The Hamilton Community Harvest group have been invited to rescue as much fruit as they can on the weekend of June 4/5 from an apple and persimmon orchard in Newstead and Matangi.
WasteMINZ were contacted by the owners of a persimmon orchard owned by an older couple who apparently are not well and were planning to let approximately 25tonnes of fruit rot. They saw the recent pumpkin rescue on Love Food Hate Waste coordinated in Auckland. The apples are from an export orchard but the apples apparently aren’t pink enough!
There are three ways to participate:
Volunteering/or know of people who might be interested in volunteering on one or both days to pick the fruit (registrations close 1 June 2016).
Volunteering the use of a trailer or truck for collecting the fruit and dropping it off at a designated drop-off point
Know of a community group, school, charity, marae, or other place that might benefit from receiving the fruit. They will have 25 tonnes of fruit to distribute!!
If you are interested in supporting, or can put good fruit to use, please email/call Colleen the coordinator to find out more details.
Colleen – Hamilton Community Harvest coordinator
Bugman, Ruud Kleinpaste takes to the mountains to explore how our health, well-being, and survival depend on the health, well-being and survival of our planet’s ecosystems. From the mountains, rivers and forests to the water we drink and the food we eat, everything is connected and everything, from the tiniest of bugs, has a role to play — including us.
A growing number of pollinator species worldwide are being driven toward extinction by diverse pressures, many of them human-made, threatening millions of livelihoods and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of food supplies, according to the first global assessment of … Continue reading →
Stacey Vowles, teacher from Hillcrest Normal Primary shares her experiences with the Virtual Great Walker competition win: Last year the Department of Conservation with sponsorship from Air NZ, ran the Virtual Great Walker competition, aimed at getting Kiwi kids out walking … Continue reading →
As featured in the New Zealand Eduction Gazette in November 2015, Waikino School has been on a journey, along with the community to learn about and celebrate their region: its past, its connection to the water, its birds, its land, … Continue reading →
Our focus for 2016 is Everything is Connected – Whanaungatanga.
“He taura whiri kotahi mai anō te kopunga tae noa ki te pu au.”
From the source to the mouth of the sea all things are joined together as one.
Acting sustainably is no longer a choice: Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively over the last 50 years than any other period in history. This includes high demand for food, fresh water and fuel in the quest for human wellbeing and economic development. “Everything is connected” has the potential to explore connections between and within natural ecosystems. This includes the relationships between natural ecosystems and people. As well as the development of relationships- both local and global, between people, groups, organisations, and communities. It provides opportunities to consider both spiritual and scientific explanations of our world and traditional and contemporary approaches.
‘When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it is connected to
– John Muir
Thekey concepts posterhighlights the big ideas that will act as touch points for you during your planned curriculum for the year.
Butterflies create a sense of awe and wonder in all ages . . . but how much do we really know about these amazing pollinators and what they need to survive and thrive? We all know about monarchs and swan plants, but that’s … Continue reading →