In October 2020, 24 new(ish) Enviroschools facilitators came together in Wellington for two days of professional development and learning led by the Enviroschools national team. 11 Early Childhood facilitators and 13 School Facilitators from all around Aotearoa were welcomed onto the grounds of the Home of Compassion in Island Bay by members of the Wellington Enviroschools team.
The first day of the workshop focussed on really engaging with the Enviroschools kaupapa, the Enviroschools process and the five Guiding Principles. There was also a session focussing on sustainability in the Enviroschools context, done by unpacking a range of sustainability models. To finish off the first day, participants spent time deepening their understanding of the role of an Enviroschools facilitator and how to grow practice.
“Great value that it was a cross sector hui – some very interesting and productive connections were made. I also really appreciated to role modelling of facilitation methods; this both reminds me of technique and strengthens my resolve to utilise more broadly the resources available to me in my role as an Enviroschools facilitator.” – participant
We farewelled the ECE facilitators at the end of the day 1, and the remaining school facilitators began day 2 with an exploration of the links between the Enviroschools kaupapa, sustainability and the New Zealand Curriculum. After morning tea, the group were joined by Nicky Elmore, experienced Enviroschools facilitator from the Auckland Sustainable Schools team, who led a session looking at ways to utilise the Enviroschools Action Learning Cycle for enquiry learning.
“I really enjoyed the morning session and also the afternoon with Nicky Elmore’s delivery was full of practical facilitation techniques and modelled the energy and outright passion required for meaningful engagement.” – participant feedback
Throughout the two days a large number of different facilitation techniques were modelled, and Enviroschools tools and resources were shared and unpacked. At the end of the workshop facilitators were asked to think about something they intended to undertake as a result of the workshop. They were also asked what further PDL would empower them. This information will help shape future PD hui to the needs of our Enviroschools network.
“Breaking into smaller groups to explore the Enviroschools resource kits was a great way to gain more of an understanding of the information and how we might use those tools with teachers.” – reflecting on facilitation of the event
“The programme really encompassed the values of aroha, manaakitanga, tikanga, whanaungatanga, kotahitanga, reflection, space and time. Healthy kai for the mind, body and spirit, I feel like I am in a very caring space with my new Enviroschools whānau.” – participant feedback