Having a primary school and an early childhood centre on the same street in Feilding creates a lot of opportunities for sharing of knowledge and taking action together. Find out more about how this has developed and the benefits of this towards growing an Enviroschools sustainable community.
While Manchester Street School achieved their Enviroschools Green-Gold status in 2019, their neighbour Manchester Kindergarten did not officially start their journey until 2021 and in 2022 reflected as a Bronze Enviroschool. We were proud to share stories of the development of food growing, water conservation and waste systems in the kindergarten and know that the installation of our greenhouse will provide even more learning opportunities for our tamariki and whānau.
Being neighbours provides many opportunities for the two education settings to collaborate on ways to support children to gain an understanding of Papatūānuku and sustainable living. Many of the children from Manchester Kindergarten transition over to Manchester Street School. Through these collaborative relationships, the children already share knowledge and practices and their understanding of the Enviroschools kaupapa.
Manchester Street School has four enviro-groups that meet weekly and engage in activities together. These are:
- Wai ora – water conservation
- Rōpu o te Purapura – the green team
- Ngā Kaitiaki Taiao – the enviro kids
- Mātauranga Māori – the bicultural experience
The school also holds an enviro-action day once a term – something the kindergarten has now begun to do alongside them. These enviro-action days provide an opportunity for tamariki from the 2 Enviroschools to learn together and for whānau to come along and participate. The kindergarten children have visited the school to join in with their sessions learning about bees, litter and the impact on the environment. They have also taken part in planting manuka trees around the school field.
The four enviro-groups have spent time with the kindergarten children sharing their knowledge. The Mātauranga Māori group have shared fabulous stories with the kindergarten children of ‘Ranginui and Papatūānuku’ and ‘Rata and the tree.’ Ngā Kaitiaki Taiao have recently visited, and the children worked together to create a friendship tree using leaves with their names written on them.
We know there are still many opportunities for us to strengthen our relationship and the knowledge of our tamariki. These include joining forces for Keep New Zealand Beautiful Litter Clean Up, setting up a combined Enviro newsletter, sharing our expertise with one another (such as the kindergarten children teaching an enviro-group students how to make Kawakawa balm), sharing our produce and seed harvests, and painting our adjoining fence together. We can also share future professional learning opportunities and community expertise which will benefit everyone.
We will continue working collaboratively, modelling sustainable practices and actively reflecting on our daily practices to create new initaitives to support our learning community.
We already have a strong bond between school and kindergarten and our connections, which take many forms, add depth to our respective Enviroschools journeys. We look forward to reaping the rewards of strengthening this further.
“Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa – Let us keep close together, not far apart”
This is a great example of how a School and ECE Centre work together routinely on shared actions and joint projects in their local area. As you read through this sharing, you’ll see how relationships are fostered and supported through a tuakana-teina approach between tamariki, students and the community. Connecting with the Enviroschools kaupapa across education sectors is a valuable process and this piece reflects the values of both Te Whāriki and the New Zealand Curriculum of children and young people growing up as confident, competent lifelong learners, strong in their identity and culture, connected and actively involved in their learning. – Enviroschools National ECE team