Sunday, 16 October 2011

Waitati School: Silver Enviroschool

By the students of Room One 2011 Waitati School and Sue Roberts-Blyth (teacher)

You've seen it on our logo: Waitati School Enviroschool, but what does
it mean? To be an Enviroschool means that we care about the
well-being of the whole school, community and eco-system. It's all
about learning to support our environment so that it can also support
us.
We want to make our planet a better place.
The Enviroschools philosophy empowers us, the students, to make good
decisions about relationships with others and with our environment.
It is supported by the Dunedin City Council who administer the awards
system.
There are 5 main parts to being an Enviroschool and these are called
Guiding Principles. They are:
Empowered Students – we can make great changes in our school and our world
Learning for Sustainability – we teach and learn in a way that
involves everyone and has on-going results.
Māori Perspectives – we honour the tangata whenua in this land and
embrace tikanga Maori.
Diversity of People and Cultures – we welcome and cherish people and
ideas from around the world.
Sustainable Communities – we participate in our community and help to
make it the wicked, wonderful place it is.
In 2009 Waitati School achieved a bronze award as an Enviroschool.
Late in Term 3, 2011, we welcomed Jenny Neilson from the Dunedin City
Council to our school.
We talked with her about all the things we do, and together we
discussed what it takes to be a Silver Enviroschool. We wrote down on
paper 'leaves' all the things we do that relate to the five Guiding
Principles. Then we glued them onto a tree entitled 'Silver
Reflection'.
At the end of the morning we looked at all the things we are involved
in and agreed together that Waitati School is definitely a Silver
Enviroschool.
One of the things we do is our enviro-Friday rotation in which the
whole school splits into whanau groups. One group works in the garden
and harvests food, another group cooks the food and serves it for
lunch and the third group acts as roving reporters.
We are also involved in recycling programmes, whanau hui, hangi
planting, Matariki celebrations, stream monitoring, and community
events such as the Fireworks Night.
Recently some of our 'empowered students' have undertaken projects
such as reinstating the chicken coop, restoring memorial gardens and
designing new structures for the space where the old office block was.
Look out for our colourful teapots on the fenceposts around the
school. We each painted a teapot with artwork showing our past,
present and future as members of the Waitati community.
We also enjoy strong links with our school parents, our local
librarians, Blueskin Nursery, Ribbonwood Nursery, Orokonui
Ecosanctuary, Play Centre, BRCT, Te Whare o te Whanau Arohanui, DCC
Enviroschool Sector, University of Otago (see link
http://review.mai.ac.nz/index.php/MR/article/viewFile/212/227) and
gardening groups such as WOO.
We celebrated our Silver status at our end of term assembly. We are
so pleased to be recognized as a place that supports the Five Guiding
Principles and also as a welcoming and future-conscious school. A
huge thank you to all the wonderful people involved with us in the
project and especially the students of Waitati School.

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Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
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