News and Events

Reflecting in Ngahere Celebrates Mangaweka approach

January 24, 2024

A beautiful sunny day at Mangaweka campground in September made for a great celebration event for Mangaweka School. In addition to the whole school, numerous community and iwi members, Regional and District council staff came along to celebrate the school’s sustainability journey so far.

Fungi play an important role in the ngahere and in our lives.

Unlike most reflection days which are typically held at the school/centre, this event was based at the campground ngahere (forest) where the school spend most Fridays or as they like to call them, ‘Fri-yays’.  Ngahere Fridays are local curriculum in action! All learners participate in their community in meaningful ways that build a sense of connection to the whenua. The ngahere site is really important to them and their forest school programme provides a opportunity for tamariki to take risks, problem solve and learn in, about, and for the environment. They view themselves as kaitiaki of the ngahere, planting trees, protecting and learning about the local biodiversity of the forest and Rangitīkei River which flows nearby.

Learning topics are broad, emergent and student-led. Recently these have included habitats and ecosystems, fungi, birds, and trees, carving and whittling, fire, and bush craft. Younger students are especially intrigued by the bug life in the ngahere while the older students have a firm interest in carving and whittling using different types of rākau. Next term they’ll be learning how to make their own tiripou (walking stick/staff).

Knowing about diversity and interconnectedness so that the local ecosystem is valued.

What makes a pest and what can we do?









Sharing knowledge and understanding.

Manuhiri (visitors) were given a tour of the forest by the students, who shared their learning through crafted display boards dotted throughout the forest. A student whittled away on a piece of wood while we talked about the collaboration they have where they grow kai for the café across the road. This community is small and tight knit with the numerous community members there to celebrate with the school.

The refection celebration was followed by a community BBQ lunch and then it was back to the school grounds to plant some native and fruit trees which they obtained from Horizons’ Pūtea Hapori Urupare Āhuarangi – Community Climate Response Fund.

What a fantastic way to share and celebrate the learning and action of this Enviroschool! We look forward to supporting all Mangaweka learners on their next steps on their Enviroschools journey towards a sustainable Mangaweka!

In, about and for their local ngahere.

Hanging out together.