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Marlborough Enviroschools lead the way

6000 pupils signed up across region

Marlborough Enviroschools continues to blossom, with more than 6000 pupils across the region signed up to take part. This means 90 per cent of schools and kindergartens across Marlborough have pledged their support to the scheme which aims to encourage youngsters to think sustainably! Click here to read more. 

Canvastown School celebrate their growth

Canvastown School are now proud to be celebrating their reflection at the Enviroschools Silver level.

Students have been working hard in their flourishing garden at Canvastown School. There is a vegetable patch with thriving broccoli and strawberries next to the school hall, and blooming flower beds inside the school gate provide splashes of colour.

Relief Principal Kate Bowes says the children are very in touch with their environment. This awareness is incorporated into gardening sessions every week, and selling produce by the school gate in summer time. 

"I'm proud of them as they do think about the environment all the time so everything they do takes that into account".

The 33-pupil school joined the initiative in 2008 and have worked hard to create an environment that celebrates the school's outside area. Congratulations Canvastown School!

Congratulations to Mayfield Kindergarten on their silver reflection

Congratulations to Mayfield Kindergarten on reflecting at the Enviroschools Silver level. It was exciting to be part of their special day and was great to see how articulate and excited the children were to share their knowledge and experiences around sustainability. We loved the Mayfield Kindergarten song and the fantastic outside environment that students get to explore and learn in each day. We especially loved the native planting and the Pou.

 

Momorangi Camping Article

Click here to read a great article on DOC's new education programme, being run as part of the Experience Momorangi Bay programme. A teacher workshop was run at Momorangi Bay recently, for teachers to have the opportunity to try out the activities available. Annie McDonald, Regional Coordinator for Enviroschools in Marlborough provided assistance in the running of this workshop. The programme is a great example of the DOC - Enviroschools partnership working well in Marlborough schools.

Renwick School granted 3 year funding to restore local stream!

Renwick School students were granted $30,000 in 2014 to use over the next three years for a development programme for the creek that runs at the back of their school.

After doing the Living Landscape and Water themes over the last two years, the Green Ferns leadership group worked with students and the wider community as well as the Enviroschools lead teacher and principal to come up with an action plan to restore their creek into a thriving living ecosystem as well as a cool place to spend some time. Download their submission to Marlborough District Council here.

 

Photo thanks to Annie McDonald, Enviroschools Regional Coordinator Marlbrough 

Happy Birthday Marlborough - celebrating 10 years of Enviroschools in 2015

Enviroschools, a school programme that teaches children to love, care for and respect the environment, celebrated 10 years in Marlborough last week.

The day involved a planting event at the Taylor River walkway in the morning, followed by a teacher workshop at Blenheim School in the afternoon. The planting event was run by Envirogroup students from Fairhall, Springlands, Linkwater and Waikawa Bay schools, who did a really fantastic job of introducing special guests, sharing the commemorative plaque, and offering a mihi before the planting began. 

But it's not just the anniversary that is being celebrated - the programme, supported in the region by the Marlborough District Council, Marlborough Kindergarten Association and the Department of Conservation, has the largest uptake of any area nationally, and it's growing.

From humble beginnings in 2005 with five schools piloting the programme, 80 per cent of Marlborough schools are now signed on and all Marlborough kindergartens are on board. More than 90 per cent of the schools involved have eatable gardens and fruit trees, 90 per cent of schools have compost collection methods in place, 41 per cent are harvesting rainwater and 20 per cent keep chickens for eggs.

And it doesn't stop there. Thanks to Enviroschools, close to 1000 trees were planted across the Marlborough region in 2014 and the schools regularly go on outings to clean-up their local area. In addition to signing on to environmentally sustainable initiatives, the Enviroschools kaupapa teaches Māori perspectives and is about fostering deep connections within students "to love, care for and respect ourselves, each other and our planet."

Springlands School Enviroschool lead teacher Cathee Wilks says one of the highlights of the school's involvement with the programme has been how it had empowered children to take the lead on projects and use their initiative. "[It is great] seeing the 5-year olds take on leadership and initiate some actions at our school and the fact that they know they have a voice and know it will be listened to," she says.

Installing a sense of responsibility and empowerment within children is what motivates Enviroschools regional co-ordinator Annie McDonald. "We know that over the past 50 years humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable time in human history. "If we are preparing our students to be future focused then we need to equip them with the skills they need for our changing world."

 

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