Regional road trip to Whanganui inspires teachers

| By Enviroschools Manawatū - Whanganui Team

It had been a while since we ran one of our Regional Road Trips for Manawatū – Whanganui Enviroschools so we decided this year, 2023, we would make it happen! These are so valuable for teachers – to get out for a day, to connect, share and learn about the Enviroschools programme and kaupapa. The events help inspire teachers – from those just starting out on the Enviroschools journey to those who have been on it for many years already.

“It has been a great day out. I have loved seeing other schools projects and what they have achieved, giving me ideas to take back to my own school. Highlight of the day was Bushy Park and seeing a place where I can bring students to deepen their learning, I only wish we had more time!” – Clare, from Bulls School

53 teachers from 33 Enviroschools from all around the region attended this event, held in May. The theme for this year’s road trip was “Reflection and Celebration” and the destination was Whanganui. The aim was to motivate teachers, especially after a few tough years navigating covid. This was an opportunity to celebrate everyone’s success, reflect and discuss next steps.

Learning about the integrated curriculum at Whanganui Intermediate.

Whanganui Intermediate School provided a tour of the grounds.









We began the journey at Whanganui Intermediate School where we were greeted with a mihi whakatau before taking a short tour around the school. We then heard about their two programmes Forest Schools and Te Ao Huri Huri (an integrated curriculum programme). Teachers learnt about how Forest School has been integrated into part of mainstream school and removes barriers to learning. 2023_Enviroschools_Manawatū- whanganui Road Trip WIS presentation This was a highlight for many.

Visitors listen intently to the presentation given at Brunswick School.

Pausing by the fire-pit at Brunswick.









“Today has given me so much confidence to begin this journey. I’m new to Enviroschools and I now have a better understanding of how to implement some projects and what is possible along with new contacts to reach out to for support.” – Roni, from Pahiatua School

We then made our way onto Brunswick School, where the whole school greeted us with a mihi whakatau. Staff and lead enviro students then shared their experience of their sustainability journey and how it’s now embedded into their school charter. Student enviro leaders then took small groups of teachers on a tour around the school highlighting projects such as their new fire pit, vegetable gardens, bike track, eco-friendly playground and koha pantry.

“It’s so important to see other schools to see how they implement projects; I’m still learning every day and I have thoroughly enjoyed today.” – Abby from Mosston School

Participants enjoy lunch together at Bushy Park Homestead.

Educators at Bushy Park give everyone an overview of the bush ecology and management.









The bus then headed off to Bushy Park Tarapuruhi for lunch at the homestead and a look around. The lush lowland forest of Bushy Park Tarapuruhi is 25 kilometres from Whanganui and has rare native bird species such as North Island robin, saddlebacks and hihi resident in the sanctuary. Teachers gathered to hear from educators at the park about the opportunities available for schools to visit the park before taking the time to immerse themselves in nature and experience some of what makes Bushy Park such a special place.

Earlier in the day we had passed out postcards with another teacher’s name on it. Part of the day’s activities included connecting with that person with the intention of hearing about the work they were doing. On the postcards, they were invited to offer some words of encouragement, tautoko their Enviroschools journey and suggest other things that could be explored.

The day finished off with a reflection sheet asking teachers their thoughts on the success of the tour and what they were taking away/taking action on, as a result of the day. They were challenged with recording one BOLD goal they would like to achieve in the near future. These were collected up and will be posted out in a few months along with the tautoko postcard to keep the motivation flowing for the rest of the year.

Banner Image: Teachers are taken around Brunswick School by enthusiastic and knowledgeable students.

“Such an inspiring day! I love how everyone has recognised the importance of Te Ao Māori and how it’ s intertwined into everything we do and is such an important part of the Enviroschools kaupapa.” Colleen, from Mt Biggs School


“Kids now drive the passion at our School for all things enviro. It is part of everything we do and not just a small group of students. We live and breathe the kaupapa” – Jayne from Manchester Street School