Putting values of Matariki into action at Waikawa

An invitation to gather.

The students at Waikawa Bay School have been learning about the values of Matariki with a focus on ‘giving back’. In the first 3 weeks of term 2 in 2024, students explored what it means to help and support others, the ways that appreciation can be shown and how in working together as a community everyone is valued.

Ideas came flooding in as to how the school could say thank you to the people and local community groups that had given time, shared their knowledge and expertise, donated sports and classroom equipment, and funding of projects. These ideas were sorted and grouped together into ‘electives’. Children chose which of these electives they would like to be involved in for the following 5 weeks before coming together to organise a Free Fair for their community.

Well, what happened in these electives? It was a jam packed 5 weeks!

A group of students, who called themselves the Furry’s, made dog blankets, cat wands, and homemade dog biscuits for the Free Fair. They also baked and decorated cupcakes selling them at school to fundraise for and “adopt” a kārearea from the Kārearea Falcon Trust.

This group proudly shows off their kārearea falcon adoption certificates.

Clever designs of cat wands that the students then made.









A beach clean-up crew visited 5 local beaches and picking up litter and ‘other’ things not meant to be on a beach (see banner image).

Children gave back to Waikawa Marae by working in and painting signs for their māra kai, helping with odd jobs and making pumpkin soup for kaumatua.

Those that loved creating art chose to work with a local artist collaborating on a community mural.

Installing the trap at Wild Waikawa.

Tahi, the rat detection dog for DOC, visited the school. What a surprise when Tahi found a mouse in the classroom supply cupboard! To show appreciation for Tahi and the work DoC are doing locally, a group reset a trap line and placed blue penguin kororā nesting boxes around Kaipupu Point. The children also gifted a trapping box to Wild Waikawa and were able to see and hear how they are managing the pests on their wonderful property.

Another elective made bird feeders and insect motels were to enhance the wildlife around their school.

Creative musicians, dancers, and writers banded together to put on a talent show for the residents of a local retirement village, as well as handing out homemade bookmarks and treats.

Budding bakers used their time to bake morning tea boxes full of brownies, biscuits, truffles and slices for groups and organisations that had helped the school.

Phew, so many learning opportunities and experiences for the children to connect to their place and actively participate in their community, walking the talk of what it means to be an Enviroschool. Well done to each and every student and their elective group. Those on the receiving end of your hard work were beyond chuffed to be recognised and valued.