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photosynthesis in action

Hands-on learning about photosynthesis

At Witherlea School, the Term 3 inquiry topic was science: the perfect fit for gardening which is all about science. Students investigated photosynthesis: the process that plants use to make their food. The children learnt why the leaves are so important. They are mini food factories! The leaves use sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to make sugar which gives the plants the energy they need to grow. Chlorophyll is the amazing compound that mixes the ingredients to make the sugar. The whole process takes place just under the surface of the leaves in the chloroplasts.They found that the process of photosynthesis is not only important for the plants but also for us: this is because...

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Kaitiaki for the awa

Blenheim School: Kaitiaki for the awa

Tamariki at Blenheim School have been thinking about how they care for a place that is very special to their school: The Taylor River. The Envirogroup got together to think about kaitiakitanga, and talked about all of the different kaitiaki that care for the Taylor awa.  These include ātua (e.g.: Tangaroa and Tamanuiterā), taonga species (e.g. tuna | eels), iwi/mana whenua, council, and community members.  The students discovered that they can be kaitiaki for the awa too, as the more kaitiaki the awa has, the healthier the awa will be!  They all had loads of examples of why the river is special to them.  It turns out that they have already been doing some things...

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Growing potatoes

Learning about the humble spud

What do you get when you cross an elephant with a potato?  MASHED POTATO! Term 3 is a popular time of year in the Kids Edible Gardens.  For most children participating, they are chitting (sprouting) potatoes, eagerly waiting to plant them into buckets for class potato growing competitions or planting into their garden beds.  There is a lot of discussion as to how they will cook them: mashed with butter and cheese, roasted with summer herbs, added to boiled eggs as a salad or simply boiled with mint and eaten with lots of dipping butter!  The most excitement, however, is digging them up before leaving school for their long summer holiday.There is, of course, much...

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River artwork

Student artwork by the Taylor River

Student artwork will soon grace some of the entrances to Blenheim's Taylor River. Some of the Springlands Go MAD (Make a Difference) students came up with an idea to design artwork with messages to remind people to take care of special reserves in our region.  The students displayed all the artwork in the staffroom window and then asked the school to vote on their six favourites. The MDC reserves team kindly turned these six artworks into signs that will be displayed on some of the entrances to the Taylor River. This was an exciting project that was totally developed by students with a bit of support. Look out for the signs when you are next...

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Green Gold Collective at Renwick School

Renwick School hosts Green Gold Collective

It was a treat for teachers from our three Marlborough Green Gold schools to visit Renwick School this term. Hosted by students in the Green Ferns group with support from their lead teachers, we saw a presentation on some of their actions for this year.  These included their school-wide BioBlitz in Term 2 and their Enviro-week in Term 3.  Students shared the learning that followed on from the BioBlitz, such as entries into the science fair.  The 'Stream Team' took us to see the changes they have been making to protect the school stream, including regular waste clean-ups and weeding sessions.  It was exciting to hear they have seen some fish and an eel...

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Linkwater Envirogroup

Linkwater School’s Green Gold Review

Linkwater School has now been a Green Gold School for 5 years.  Students recently shared what they have done since becoming a Green Gold School as part of their review reflection. There would need to be a lot more pages to share all of the projects that they have undertaken and how they have intertwined sustainability into their curriculum, programmes, and wider community.Led by their awesome students, we got to see their many actions displayed on whole walls around their library.  Projects ranged from a hazelnut living hut through to upcycled swings.

Of note was the way that they had tried new things out: in some cases acknowledging that the things that they had planned...

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Mudfish project

Students study endangered species

The children in Rooms 3 and 4 at Richmond View School worked hard throughout Term 3 investigating New Zealand’s native endangered species of fish and birds. Each student picked a species to study, researching their habitat, adaptations and the issues that have put the species in danger.  Alarmingly, they found that New Zealand has 4000 species currently on DOC’s endangered list.The children also discovered plants, insects and animals are all connected. In te reo Māori, this is called whanaungatanga, and it describes why protecting our native biodiversity is so important. Losing one species has a carry-on effect; if we lose a tree, an insect can lose its home or a bird may lose its...

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Renwick clean up

Enviro week at Renwick School

Ellen Theobald, co-leader of Renwick School's 'Green Ferns' enviro group, wrote this article to tell us about the school's recent Enviro Week activities. Our Green Ferns organised a really fun Enviro Week to coincide with the Climate Strikes and the work done by Climate Karanga and George Varney (Climate Youth Action Team) at the tree planting opportunity that was offered to schools.We also decided that we need to raise the profile of recycling within our classrooms as school systems changed and we needed to educate everyone to let them know what to do.

The Green Ferns ran a competition where classes were encouraged to decorate their cardboard and paper recycling bins (Thanks...

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Canvastown School House plants

Canvastown kids explore their Living Landscape

The kids at Canvastown School have been fully absorbed in discovering what creatures live in the school’s wild places this year. They have poked under logs and in tree-stumps, crawled through long grass, shaken the branches of trees and picked through the edible gardens, seeking out all manner of living things. They used the Living Landscapes kit to take a closer look at the birds, bugs, plants and fungi, finding names for them and learning about their interesting habits.  Angela visited and helped them with some activities from Tiro One One - our Marlborough living landscapes resource.

We flipped over a tree trunk and found heaps of insects on the bottom. - Finn Wendy from...

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NZ Biodiversity strategy

Students have their say on NZ’s biodiversity plan

St Mary's Envirogroup students submit on NZ's biodiversity strategy. Can you imagine what our world would look like if there was only one type of tree or bird or one type of apple to eat?The children in St Mary’s Envirogroup didn’t want to imagine that type of environment.  Healthy biodiversity is important to them.  They know that Aotearoa New Zealand’s biodiversity is amazing! About 90 % of our insects, 80 % of trees, ferns and flowering plants, 25 % of bird species, all 60 reptiles, 4 frogs and 2 bats are found nowhere else on earth.The current Government strategy on biodiversity is 20 years old and expires in 2020.  The Department of Conservation is putting...

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Sustainable Action Ideas

Sustainable Action Ideas | Term 3 2019

Looking for some ideas or inspiration for teaching in Term 3?  Take a look at our list of ideas - there's something for everyone!Tracking tunnels & traps: DOC have confirmed 2019 as the biggest mast event in 40 years.  The rats, mice and mustelids are fat and breeding prolifically.  It’s the perfect time to track what is living in or around your school, set up a trapline, or visit a local trapping programme. Take a look at our ‘Animal Pests’ resources here, and look at this workshop that DOC is running later this term for beginner trappers. In the garden: it’s a good term for learning about the soil and worms!  Visit...

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