Thursday, 24 December 2015

Moturoa eco - building imagineers

We have been wondering about and getting ideas to build our own eco classroom.

We went to Hamilton to visit Hukanui School, Rhode Street School, Gold beads Montessori and then we went to Hamilton gardens.

We saw wine bottles, pumice and broken concrete and polystyrene floors! There were portholes in the floor so we could see what they looked like inside.  They had swales and an old bike that they pedalled to pump the water up to the tap!

They had windows in the wall that were wood slats that opened on the inside and outside that could be used to let air into the classroom. There were special slats so that the sun would be blocked out in summer but shine in during winter because of the angle.

We learnt lots on our trip and got lots of ideas for building our own eco-classroom.

We have been doing lots of learning around energy, Donna our facilitator brought in a light machine that helped us to decide what types of bulbs we should use.  The light would go on for ages with an eco bulb and was easy to spin it.  You didn't really have to try - you just had to push it.  For the non-eco bulbs it was really hard to push - you had to put lots of energy into it to make it keep on going.


Zoe wrote to the board - 7 drafts later after lots of sessions of feedback from the class we have been told we can continue our investigations!

By Tapeka, Zoe, Sadhbh and Nevaeh

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Welcome to Opunake Communities Kindergarten

Welcome to Opunake Communities Kindergarten.  This centre has an amazing outdoor environment and won a 2014 Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award for increasing environmental awareness and understanding.  We look forward to hearing more about the great things you are doing. 

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Welcome to Stratford Primary!

Stratford Primary School (SPS) are forging ahead with their enviro - action with the 'SPS TUI's' leading the way! We are looking forward to finding out more about their plans and action via this blog.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Parihaka Day at Frankleigh Park Kindergarten

Parihaka Day was celebrated at our kindergarten last week.  In preparation for this our children have been drawing and painting the 3 feathers of Te Atiawa onto calico flags. 

The story has been shared about Rangimarie- the peace and goodwill of Parihaka.  We lit our peace candle, recited a karakia and then moved outside to see our banner of flags strung between the tree and our Whare Rakau. This was followed by delicious kumara chips.

This story has enabled children to develop an understanding about the concepts of peaceful resolution and negotiation and to learn about a unique historical event which happened here in Taranaki.

This will become a tradition to be shared each year on November 5th. 
Kia tou te rangimarie
i roto i tenei kura
o tatou e tenei wa
Peace be with us all in this kindergarten at this time.


Royal Visit!

Enviroschools Taranaki was invited to take part in the recent Royal Visit to New Zealand, given how interested Prince Charles is in sustainability and empowering youth. A party of around 50 represented Enviroschools in the region near the Te Rewa Rewa bridge.
Katie Sinclair & Bailey Bright from Opunake High School spoke with His Royal Highness and explained what they do within their school and the community to support sustainability within their region. Simon Fuller, Opunake High School’s Principal, was on hand to discuss with the Prince how great Enviroschools is for students and the school in general. In particular, His Royal Highness was impressed with the students’ community work and their recent trip to Bali where they volunteered at schools either teaching English or helping build a classroom.
Kim Waite, Principal, Marie Stark, lead Enviroschools teacher, & Keith Mitchell, BOT Chair, all from Toko School, were able to demonstrate the benefits of having the full support of the staff and Board to create success in an Enviroschool. Toko School is a prime example of this with their recent Silver Enviroschool achievement. Around 35 Toko school students from the Envirogroup were on hand to explain to the Prince the results of their investigations into the differences between rural and coastal waterways and what was required to sustain each.
Lauree Tito, Regional Coordinator for Taranaki Enviroschools & Esther Kirk, Resource and PD Manager for Toimata Foundation, were able to further explain the benefits of the Enviroschools programme to His Royal Highness. Lauree and Esther presented him with a copy of the 2014 national Enviroschools census report.
Lauree is really proud to have been able to showcase the Enviroschools kaupapa and thanks the students & staff for the fabulous job they all did of representing their schools, their whānau, their community & the province. It was an honour to be part of the day.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

New Enviroschools Display

At our kindergarten, we have been brainstorming for a while about the way we'd like to display our Enviroschools information. We feel that Enviroschools has become a huge part of our culture and our programme, and we want parents, whānau, and visitors to be able to see this in our display.

After attending an Enviroschools Hui, our Head Teacher (Alayne) shared her learning that the Enviroschools journey can be represented by a river. There are waves, eddies, distributaries, etc. that impact the direction of your journey, but you keep paddling together in your waka, and you learn and grow together.

We loved this image, and decided to use it in our display. One of our teachers offered to paint a mural of a river to be the background of our display, which we had decided would take up the length of an entire wall, over the doors to the office and an entryway.

We incorporated koru-like waves into the painting. This is to tie the Enviroschools display in with the broader philosophy and culture of our kindergarten. We have a unique koru-based background which we use in many of our displays and throughout children's portfolios, so these wave koru are reminiscent of that overarching image.

When it was finished, we fit the painting into the Enviroschools display area. It certainly brightened up the white walls!

We then added our display information, all tied together by the background of the river painting.
This display includes our Enviroschools philosophy, our Care Code, our Enviroschools vision, a picture of our kaitiaki (who protects our gardens), and many pictures of our children engaging in sustainable practices. 

As a team, we are very pleased with our new Enviroschools display, feeling that it is a beautiful and inviting way to express the importance of this programme in our kindergarten. We will keep updating the pictures of the children's involvement (as well as the other items as we review and refine them) to keep the display relevant and interesting.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Uruti School - Sharing our Journey

Uruti school is finally an Enviroschool, we are all very excited and we want to share some of the actions we have already taken. We have made some changes in our gardens and we want to share our Kiwi project.

Here are  some facts about our school. Our school is in North Taranaki and we have two teachers, 16 kids and two classrooms. We even have our own school motto, stand tall and discover. (By Isabella and Macy).

Back in march 2013 Uruti school started the Kiwi protection group, when they heard that 95% of Kiwi chicks die before they reach 5 months of age. We have been running  it since 2013 now it’s 2015. The kids enjoy protecting the Kiwi with the community. 

We now have over 100 stoat traps up Uruti road and on our farms. Each person has a responsibility to check the stoat traps every month and to help out. They also leave the kiwi data in the bucket, then when the children arrive at school they get the data out of the bucket and put it on the computer. We give  the person who helped to check the traps a thank you call. 

We have just won an award from the Taranaki Regional Council (By Ryan and Jarhlia)

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The main predators are stoats, cats and dogs and many others predators.

We planted flax to stop debri falling into the river and causing banks to erode. Our river splits the farmland from the school’s property and we have been working  to help the environment with cleaning the air by planting some trees.  We get our trees from ‘paper for trees’ each school is asked to record their paper and cardboard recycling throughout the year and get a tree for an award that they can plant. (by  Katie)

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In our extremely lovely garden we have a variety of vegetables. When it’s time to pick them we cook them into yummy food! We cook the food ourselves but the teachers are with us when we cook. Then when the food is ready to eat we give the school children the same amount of the food we cooked. Every child compliments the food we cook. 

We are planning to plant an orchard, we have got some fruit trees, here are some fruit trees in the orchard; passion fruit, grapes, lemons and mandarins. Here are some of our veggies we've got in our garden; beans, kumara, cucumber, carrot, corn, lettuce and strawberries. (By Jayden and Korbin)

Thank you for reading one of our first blog posts and we hope you stay to read more...

Created by Jarhlia, Ryan, Isabella, Macy, Korbin, Katie and Jayden

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Congratulations - Winners of Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards

Enviroschools Taranaki is proud to congratulate Koromiko Kindergarten and Uruti School for winning a TRC Environmental Award 2015.  The Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Awards recognise outstanding initiatives in our region to protect and enhance Taranaki’s high-quality environment.

Koromiko Kindergarten — for fostering education for sustainability and respect for the environment

The children and families of Koromiko Kindergarten learn to respect and care for the environment through many daily activities. Since 2004, the kindergarten has had a philosophy of Kaitiakitanga or guardianship of our environment and to develop children’s understanding of the environment and model sustainable behaviour.
Families take part in many activities. The aim is to educate the children and their families on environmental issues through activities at the kindergarten and to encourage change at home. Children are encouraged to reduce, reuse or recycle material – for example litter-less lunch boxes and composting.
Nature is a prominent feature of outdoor learning and activities which involve trees, insects, animals and birds, and flower and vegetable gardens. Children also learn healthy eating.

Uruti School — for working with the community to control predators and protect local kiwi

In March 2013, Uruti School students began the Kiwi Protection Project after hearing kiwi calling from the bush in the area. Students learned how pest animals are a major threat, with 90% of kiwi chicks dying in the first six months.
They decided to help local kiwi by controlling predators such as stoats and ferrets. Senior students recruited local community members to help them set up, then regularly check, more than 100 stoat traps on 24 properties along 8.5 kilometres of local roads.
The students’ enthusiasm drives the collaboration with parents, neighbours, the wider community and the Taranaki Kiwi Trust, which provides the traps. As well as raising environmental awareness and understanding, the project benefits kiwi and biodiversity.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Welcome to Turuturu School

We are pleased to welcome Turuturu School onboard our Enviroschools Waka.  The staff have been busy exploring the Enviroschools Kaupapa and the Enviro group have been reflecting on all the actions and learning they have already taken for their Environment.  We look forward to hearing more about the great things you are up to in your kura. 

Friday, 30 October 2015

Enviro Learning @ Toko School: Road Side Stall

Enviro Learning @ Toko School: Road Side Stall: Today we set up a stall to sell lots of Enviro products.  We are hoping that lots of people out and about for the Taranaki Rhododendron Fes...

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Enviro Learning @ Toko School: Fun in the sun

Enviro Learning @ Toko School: Fun in the sun: Today we put sheep poo on our fruit trees.  We are on the look out for more of this for our orchard.  All donations gratefully  received. ...

Monday, 12 October 2015

Enviro-School Visitors Day

Kia ora everyone
We have been asked by certain support agencies that work with children in our kindergarten to offer a day where we explain our sustainability initiatives that our children use on a daily basis.
So....if you would like to visit and be part of this day, here is the information.
Date:  Wednesday the 21st October 2015.
Time:  10.30am - 12.30pm
The first half an hour is spent of showing you our environment and sustainable practices, worm farming, composting, rain harvesting system, orchard development, bug hotel, atua play and discovery.
Next is 45 minutes to work alongside local master weaver, Cordelle Rei.  Each participant will get support to create a koru/kono or putiputi.
At 11.45am onwards will be kai and time for sharing and reflection.

Limited to 12 spaces as kindergarten session will be running.
Contact:  Alayne Shearer on 06 755 1366 or email

Friday, 2 October 2015

Welcome to Uruti School

Welcome to one of our newest Enviroschools.  Uruti school are already well involved in sustainable practices and regularly cook delicious meals to share with the community from their well kept garden.  We look forward to hearing the fabulous progress they are making in creating a sustainable school community.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Seedsaving at Stratford High

Jayne Bright from Taranaki Seedsavers visited Jodie Sullivan and her Stratford High students to discuss seedsaving and how to set up a seed bank.  The students were knowledgeable, motivated and engaged in the discussion and learnt lots about food security, types of pollination and the importance of labelling to ensure the seed history is preserved.

Jayne demonstrated how to extract the seed once it had dried and students selected seed from the Taranaki Seed bank to grow in their impressive garden area.

It was inspring to see the depth of thinking and sustainable practices that are happening at Stratford High - we look forward to seeing your progress as you have a go at saving your own seed and starting a seedbank! 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Impressed at Puketapu

The Enviroschools team had the privilege of visiting Puketapu Kindergarten recently and wow what an amazing environment! 

Enviroschools is an integral part of their identity and their plans and community focused vision are evident everywhere you look.

Maori Perspectives ~ Ngā Atua are an integral part of the environment with plentiful opportunities for children to interact with nature and it’s rich resources.

Waste systems are well established and user friendly!

With a flourishing garden area, native garden track and orchard...

A stunning example of what the Enviroschools Kaupapa can achieve!  

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Students with a Vision at Matapu

Exploring Me in my Environment
Students at Matapu are busy creating a vision map for action in their environment.  They have lots of ideas for changing and improving their school including; decorating, planting food, planting for bees and birds and fixing up some areas they have identified around their school. 

Posing in the garden

One of their major projects of late has been planning and redesigning their garden area. To make this idea reality their next step is thinking of ways to fundraise the money needed. 

Plans for a nature trail and pathways

Kapai Matapu school - it was great to visit and see all the fabulous effort you are putting into your environment. 

Making Paper Bricks at Frankleigh Park Kindergarten

Monday, 7 September 2015

Spotty's World of Wearable Arts

During terms two and three, all years 1 - 4 students learnt all about wearable / recyclable arts. The end goal was a fashion parade where whanau and the community were invited to see all the amazing creations.
Each class chose a particular focus and the brief was to use as many recycled resources as possible. Themes included; circus, rangatira, pasifika, native americans, robots, under the sea, super heroes, balloon magic, minions, lego and more.
All the creations looked amazing and it was great seeing all the recycled and repurposed 'rubbish' that was used to construct the masterpieces.
Check out more photos on our school website.