Friday, 23 April 2010

Waitati Enviroschool Column

By Jenna Packer

The days are definitely getting shorter! People will be stoking up
their woodburners and cranking up their heat-pumps... Sustainable
energy is the enquiry topic for this term, which seems appropriate
given the amount of it we need to keep warm down here! The new heat
pumps at school have been described as "just like those furnace things
in the engine room of that steamship" (the Earnslaw) which I'd take to
be a glowing endorsement of the classroom comfort levels this autumn.
An engineer will soon be visiting to talk about wind and solar energy,
and the children will be working with solar kits.

The children all came back this term with their own energy levels
topped up, ready to tackle a busy scholastic term. Last term's enquiry
topic of 'New Zealand' led into the work the children have been doing
on the Anzacs – Rooms 2 and 3 worked on poppy wreaths and drafted
'telegrams home' as nurses or soldiers from the trenches.

'In Flanders Fields' was the inspiration for Room 1 which completed
some stunning static images and delved into life in the trenches. "It
was pretty horrible seeing your friends die around you" was one astute
reflection. By May there will have been various visitors to the
school and visits by the school to both the museum (looking at Maori
hunting and gathering methods and our NZ heritage) and the Orokonui
Ecosanctuary. And with Jayne and Munirah continuing their professional
development in literacy, it looks like there will be some hunkering
down with good books, descriptive words and creative ideas in those
cosy classrooms. And look out for some of children's work on climate
change and Blueskin 10:10 elsewhere in this month's Blueskin News –
thanks to the WEP and Meiling!

We hope all Blueskin families enjoyed the beautiful Easter weather and
had a good break. One of our lovely teachers had to extend her trip in
Ireland: Jayne Fitzgerald was held hostage by the volcanic chaos
affecting Europe and was unable to get home for the start of term.

It is great to see such strong interest and so many nominations for
the Board of Trustee elections. We really feel at the heart of a
vibrant, engaged community and look forward to the energy (again!) and
enthusiasm new trustees will bring to the school as it grows and
changes.


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voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
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