Wednesday, 24 March 2010


By Jenna Packer

Picture this charming scene at the annual Country Fair and Clearing
Sale: from behind the laden tables of the 'Kereru Cafe', the Waitati
School P.T.A, bedecked in floral aprons (thanks Ms Burra!) we had a
superb view of the event to which the cafe had previously owed its
name: the Flying Possum! Sweet, bright eyed children rushed forward at
the sound of canon-fire, the smell of gunpowder and singed … say no
Slightly less spectacular, but just as enduring would be my memory of
one of the schoolchildren taking part in the recent Enviroschool's hui
at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. Within my brief visit, one student had
come up three times, face shining, to tell me "this place is so cool"
and "this is great!" Shylo was one of three students from Waitati
School who took part in the hui and who, despite the extreme weather,
had a "really awesome time" tracking kaka, setting ink traps for mice
and learning about the ideas and work that went into the eco-hut
designs. The children loved being shown Purakanui's ecohut, and came
back to school buzzing and eying up hut sites and planning
bird-feeders "to keep the birds alive and safe at our school". One of
the best things about the hui was the forum for children to share,
compare and appreciate what each other was doing. It is exciting to
see the local, coastal schools building relationships, both
competitive and collaborative.
Speaking of competitive, this season has seen the school cricket team,
the Waitati Wanderers, really start to take shape. Thanks to CRT for
the portable practice nets and big sack of grass seed for the sowing
of a future cricket pitch on Bland Park. The team also wishes to thank
the North East Valley Junior Cricket Club, with whom they are
affiliated, for providing kit and administration this season. The
Wanderers are looking to broaden their catchment, so any keen
cricketers in the Blueskin area, do start thinking about next summer
and contact Waitati School or Antony Deaker.
With term two approaching, the children are inevitably going to be
spending more time inside, however there is great excitement over the
imminent arrival of an interactive white-board and a computer
microscope. The P.T.A, with assistance from the Otago Community Trust,
has been successful in securing a grant for these new resources. This
really looks like the best of both worlds for our children, with
science based on observation and research 'in the field' – the field
being the rich environment around us and the extension of this
exploration into the classroom. Gumboots and high-tech!

From and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
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