Participants from around Northland gathered at Hukerenui School recently came together for a special Enviroschools workshop for school caretakers and teachers.
The Northland Regional Council played a key role in bringing Enviroschools north in 2003 and there are now more than 70 Northland schools and several kindergartens in the programme, a school-wide approach to sustainability.
Enviroschools Regional Co-ordinator Susan Karels says this week’s free, day-long ‘School Environments’ workshop investigated ways caretakers and teachers could support their school’s Enviroschools’ journey.
It had been held at Hukerenui School, north of Whangarei, because it’s one of the programme’s ‘star performers’ for the way it uses its school environment sustainably for educational purposes.
“Twenty-five participants from as far afield as Kohukohu and Otamatea took part, exploring a range of sustainable practices, as well as sharing problems and solutions to school property management.”
Mrs Karels says beekeeping, waste management, animal pest control, lavender farming, native bush areas and keeping animals at school had all been traversed, as had ways caretakers could involve students in their work where appropriate.
The workshop is the fourth held by the regional council in recent years (the last was held two years ago in Dargaville) and is designed to recognise the value of caretakers and the role they and their work play in the wider school community.
“We also encourage caretakers and teachers to work together to incorporate students’ ideas to enhance their school environment.”
IMAGE: Kohukohu School teacher Kim Wilson, left, Hukurenui School student Kaia Stevens and Northland College caretaker Rob Paewhenua take a hands on approach to lavender farming at the recent School Environments Workshop at Hukerenui School.