Art and the environment was the focus when Kiwitahi, Tauwhare and Ngati Haua Schools visited the Sculpture Park at Waitakaruru Arboretum recently. It was a beautiful, sunny day and about 60 students took part in hut building, seed bomb making and … Continue reading →
Last Wednesday was a wonderful example of how children learn by doing, as 250 students from 26 Enviroschools joined together at Hamilton Gardens to celebrate the year’s theme of ‘whanaunatanga’. We were welcomed by the beautiful voices of Hillcrest Normal Kapahaka … 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 →
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
More than 200 children from 13 schools across the Waikato region attended this year’s Enviroschools event at the Mystery Creek Event Centre on November 12. Students were showcasing inquiry and action projects they had undertaken over the course of the year … Continue reading →