Otonga School explores what Kaitiakitanga means and looks like in their place.

| By Angela Donlon, Otonga School and Natalie Ridler, BoP Enviroschools Regional Coordinator

At Te Kura o Tihiōtonga – Otonga School, we have a strong focus through our Four Winds curriculum on the values of Kaitiakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Manawanui and Manaakitanga. These values have been extended across the whole school, and for Term 3 2020 the value of Kaitiakitanga was promoted.

Kaitiakitanga was reflected with the senior team beautifying their area of the school with tree rounds from recently felled trees (removed due to safety reasons). They had many large rounds of the tree trunk cut into seating and they reused/recycled/repurposed cable rounds and painted these to make tables for the seating. The students have also constructed pellet (upright) and tyre gardens and planted these with edible plants and flowering potted colour.

The Garden team redeveloped the Butterfly garden at school as we lost access to this area during the hall rebuild. So now this group have planted seedlings and larger swan plants to encourage the butterfly population back to the kura, and have planted other plants and flowers that will encourage insect life back to this area.

The children in Room 8 have made paper, using their recycling skills, then they created posters to encourage the Kaitiakitanga skills and values across our school and community.

Paper made from a mix of used paper sheets adds a great frame to messages shared by the juniors.

I can look after the land.











There were some colourful and imaginative posters made during plastic free July too.

Students proudly show off their plastic free photos.

Messages shared creatively.










Due to covid19 we had to pause the terracycle programme but there are now plans to reinstate this for our school and community – collecting toothpaste tubes/brushes etc and coffee pods, yogurt packs and pouches. This is also in our Enviroschools strategic plan for the school for 2021.

Certificates created to acknowledge positive behaviour showing one of the 4 values.

To help strengthen our Four Winds curriculum and four school values of Kaitiakitanga, Whanaungatanga, Manawanui and Manaakitanga staff have value slips to present to students and colleagues who are seen modelling and showing these values at school. They can post these into their school house mailboxes and get drawn out for a spot prize and recognised at whole school assemblies. Our school houses represent the Four Winds, Hau ā Uru West wind (represented by karaka/orange), Hau Rawhiti East wind (kōwhai/yellow), Hau Tonga South wind (waiporoporo/purple) and Hau Raki North wind (kakariki/green).


We have big plans for 2021 and are looking at really growing our Enviroschools concepts so are keen to attend any the events and gatherings for students/teachers that will help grow our knowledge and connections. We missed the ones that had to be cancelled due to Covid!