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Enviroschools stories

Enviroschools Marlborough / Enviroschools stories
Witherlea School Envirogroup

Working with Envirogroups

Our Environmental Education team have been enjoying the opportunity to work with some of our Marlborough school envirogroups this term. Witherlea School’s 'Green Ninjas' have been meeting each week to explore what sustainability initiatives the school already has in place, and to create a map of where these things are happening.  They are now exploring how they can gather ideas from the rest of the students, plus teachers, support staff, whānau and the wider school community to develop a whole school vision for enviro at Witherlea. They are practising some fun activities to help everyone think about how they would like their school to be, and students will share these with teachers at a staff...

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Waikawa Bay Silver Reflection

Waikawa Bay School Reflect at Silver

Students at Waikawa Bay School lead an enthusiastic reflection this term and all that attended decided that the school was, without doubt, a Silver Enviroschool! The school’s vision for Enviroschools is ‘Living and Learning the Waikawa Way: Immersed in our natural world, watch us grow and make a change!’. Students at Waikawa Bay School are certainly immersed in their natural world. Senior students check, clear and rebait the trapline every other day, and record their catch data to measure their impact. Students take part in ‘bush school’ every week: learning and playing at and in their local beaches, rivers and forests. All students spend time planting, weeding, harvesting and learning in the edible gardens....

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Harvest time for students

Harvest time for students

Autumn is harvest-time in our school's edible gardens: a time to marvel at what we grew and to enjoy some tasty garden treats! Grovetown School had a group cooking session using fruit from their orchard to make blackberry and apple tarts for the whole school. Laden trees of plums, apples and pears ensured they shared their mahi and kai with the wider school community. A bumper crop of late potatoes was the harvest highlight at Picton School. Using the tuakana-teina buddy system, older students introduced new children to the garden while digging potatoes. It was a great way to teach how to safely use the garden tools, but it soon became less about the tools...

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Leading change workshop

Enviroschools Student Workshop

Students and teachers attend 'Leading Change' Workshop in Term 1 After a successful teacher workshop with guest expert Bek Galloway, we were excited to welcome 64 students and their teachers to a “Leading change” workshop. The workshop’s aim was to give student leaders skills and activities to take back to their Envirogroups and schools. Bek ran two sessions helping students to learn about purposeful action and perspectives. Our Education Team ran some leadership games and we had presentations from four schools and one kindergarten sharing the process they had used to take action in their schools or communities. Inspiring presentations from local schools and kindergartens Picton Kindergarten gave a presentation on their monarch butterfly project, including...

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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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