An Enviroschools Holistic Reflection sharing session was held at Nayland College in September 2023. The session, facilitated by Jen Thomas, the secondary school Enviroschools facilitator for Whakatū, was a cumulation of thoughtful preparation and evidence gathering by the ākonga of Nayland College. Supported by Jen and staff, they gathered examples of how the school lived and learned about the Enviroschools kaupapa and used the Enviroschools Guiding Principles to show their growth and progression towards their vision of a sustainable community. The question of being in alignment to the Silver descriptive paragraph was collectively confirmed by the school environment group and teachers and this thinking was shared with the visitors who attended the session.
Nelson City Councillors Campbell Rollo and Aaron Stallard, Enviroschools facilitators, Nelson City Council Climate Change team members and students from other secondary schools within the Whakatū region were invited to the day of reflection and discussion. The school was well-represented by students who belong to the Tautīnei group and staff from the Senior Leadership Team.
“I found Nayland College to be a student-led group willing and committed to improving the well-being & environment they are based in. Their desire to enhance the environment must be congratulated.” – NCC Councillor, Campbell Rollo
From Nayland College, Astrid Sayer, a lead student of the Kaitiakitanga committee, and Matt Robinson, lead environment teacher, talked about their Enviroschools journey. Ākonga who belong to Tautīnei, the student environment group, took the visitors on a school tour to showcase the range of environmental mahi across the school. Some of the highlights included: the system of collecting food waste from around the school and from the food tech class and it being made into compost by the horticulture class in the metal compost bins that students made from leftover roofing; the long-term regular water quality monitoring of Poorman Valley Stream; the student led transport week promoting cycling to school; and a group of students who repair and recycle laptops and devices. On their return, the session concluded with discussion groups where visitors and students reflected and celebrated the growing depth and breadth of the Enviroschools Guiding Principles across Nayland School.
“Nayland students enjoy autonomy in their decision-making and show great passion and enthusiasm in their efforts to lighten our impact on the natural environment. Thanks again for the invitation to attend the sharing and decision-making session. It was fun and informative.” – Dr Aaron Stallard, Councillor | Kaikaunihera
Following the discussion, ākonga and visitors confirmed that Nayland College was definitely a Silver Enviroschool. A few ideas were suggested for their next steps and Nayland College recommitted to progressing their learning and action towards a healthy, peaceful and sustainable community. Ideas to explore in the future include: collaborating with other kura, a more unified school vision, making ideas more accessible, involving more of the school.
“Fabulous, spectacular, respected, making a difference, brave, responsible, proud, useful, valued.” – responses from students when asked about how they feel about the commitment they are making.