News and Events

Empowered Tamariki pave way for a Sustainable Ruawai Community

May 27, 2021

Sharing the aroha from Ruawai Kindergarten – what an inspirational group of people, living landscapes and whare! 

Head teacher Teresa Robertson, Ruawai Kindergarten, expresses her gratitude and pride, below.

Katie Higgins, National ECE Enviroschools Coordinator, guides the decision-making process.

Yesterday, our Kindergarten become a Green-Gold Enviroschool . We had an amazing day and I would like to thank everyone who helps support our Kindergarten. Thank you to my teaching team for following my vision and the vision and Kaupapa of Enviroschools, whānau, community, NKA (Kim Townsend, Gillian, Roimata) Toimata Foundation (Katie Higgins), NRC Enviroschools (Susan Karels) our neighbour whānau Ruawai Primary (Wayne and Serah), parents (Kelly and Karina for supporting us on the day)  and most importantly our tamariki – for they are the reason why we do what we do.

Ruawai Kindergarten is supporting and educating our tamariki in the ‘power of yet.’ That life is a learning curve. Empowering tamariki with the understanding that their abilities will grow with purposeful effort and change therefore not defined by one moment in time, and that there are  possibilities ‘yet to come’. (Whaea Sara’s feedback).

“Here at Ruawai Kindergarten we have a living, evolving vision, where the tamariki are valued and we promote a culture of respect, independence, and responsibility.  Our tamariki are capable confident, competent tamariki that know they make a difference in our wider community.   We view tamariki, kaiako, whānau and community as equal partners in the teaching and learning process (Ako & Whakawhanaungatanga).” – from the Ruawai Kindergarten Green-Gold statement

We will be celebrating this fantastic achievement on the 2nd of July so watch this space. Tūtawa mai i runga, tūtawa mai i raro, tūtawa mai i roto, tūtawa mai i waho, kia tau ai, te mauri tū te mauri ora ki te katoa, haumi e, huie, tāiki e – come forth from above, below, with & from the environment, vitality and well-being for all strengthened in unity. Arohanui.” – the Ruawai Kindergarten teaching team.

“The aroha, learning intention and success ooze out of the sunflower project. Teresa Robertson is a superb leader of an amazing team of kaiako, tamariki and community. – Susan Karels, Regional Coordinator, Enviroschools Northland.

Tamariki enjoy learning about the local kūmara industry at McKinley Kūmara Farm – history, planting, growth, harvest.

Tamariki are fully engaged in the kūmara harvest.









‘The enquiry and action in our Kindergarten is mainly led by children, with strong support from adults and has been an effective part of our curriculum. Our tamariki ensure that everyone knows the importance of no food wrap, no plastics and recycling, upcycling, and reducing waste.  The tamariki are responsible for the well-being of our orchard, mara kai and heihei.” – from Ruawai Kindergarten Green-Gold statement

Keeping the heihei happy with hay.

See the full statement here. 2021_ES_Northland_Ruawai Kindergarten_reflection green gold statement

Ruawai Kindergarten have previously shared its learning journey about pest control here.





Katie and Susan talk to lead teacher Teresa about a learning story.


Connection with Papatūānuku, natural earthy zones, loose parts, art resources that have been brought back to nature is the essence of Ruawai Kindergarten.












Pūrerehua – monarch magic. Children are encouraged to gently observe and learn about these butterflies and their friends.

A wander in the wilderness to observe and wonder.