Enviroschools - this initiative was adopted in 2007 and caused us to refocus and change direction of where we as a school were heading. This began the envirogroup, an enviro lead teacher and 'buy 'in from staff, community, and students.
It was not always positive as some knew what was going on and others were 'not in the loop'. Often decisions were made where we were unaware of where the consultation had come from. Teachers and students adopted a garden that was supposed to be food grown for the kai festival - this was impractical and difficult to deliver due to the crops planted.
Most teachers got onboard with some finding the new initiatives cumbersome and challenging; finding ways to re-educate students and the community proved a challenging exercise, however we believe we are making inroads in all these areas. During 2008 a new envirogroup, lead teacher and our very capable property manager have formed a new team.
We now believe the concept will be encompassed more favourably as we have a couple of years behind us and now know what to expect, see the ‘big picture’ and we have all been kept ‘in the loop’ thus far. The transferring of this knowledge is one of prime importance where students take this new learning; apply it at school, home and into the community. Students must be able to internalise what they are doing, know why they are doing what they are, who it is helping and realising their small steps of positive action can in fact make a difference.
Since we began this journey we have successfully won the bronze award in 2007, the silver award in 2008 and we are currently aiming for green gold in 2009. All these initiatives, new designs, gardens and sustaining this ongoing project has been through co-constructing with students, staff and the school community. We receive and give feedback to the enviro team via representatives from each class. Vision mapping, consultation, planning, designing and modification is part of our pedagogy.
Due to this focus and change of pedagogy we have also ensured our charter and targets are enmeshed with who we are. This document leads and guides all we do as a school community.
We have designed and created a very successful sensory garden which was supported by a Hamilton City Council grant. This garden is a work in progress and is having things modified as the team reflects on the vision.
Another initiative brought about through vision mapping have seen murals, sayings, quotes and pous adding a cultural diversity to our school environment. Our school culture embraces many different nationalities and we celebrate these throughout our learning centre.
Enviro Schools silver award
2009 Green Team
Opening of the media centre
Theme for 2009