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Where to begin: New Enviroschools explore the Kaupapa

May 2, 2023

Hui framework.

The Waitaha tīma hosted an ‘Enviroschools 101 Kaiako and Staff Workshop’ on the 7th of March 2023 for all new Enviroschools in the region and/or new kaiako at existing Enviroschools. They had 43 kaiako attend from 23 schools/centres across all three sectors. The day was hosted by Tuia Burnside Primary School, an established Enviroschool, in collaboration with the Enviroschools Waitaha facilitation tīma.

The day started with a lovely mihi whakatau to set the scene for what was to come. Enviroschools Facilitator Matt Stanford shared a model of ‘deep sustainability’ through pūrākau and storytelling, with the wero/challenge for kaiako to act, sing, mime, rap, or write a story of their own that demonstrated their understanding of these concepts. At this point, there were a few kaiako who had wondered what they had signed up to!


Participants then explored the resources, with the facilitation tīma taking turns at sharing insights into the Enviroschools Handbook, Kit, and Theme Area folders. A few of the activities were shared with the rōpū throughout the day to support learning and practically experience the Kaupapa.

Looking at the richness with the resources.

Other elements that completed the day were a Q&A panel session with lead teachers Bianca Woyak (Tuia Burnside Primary School) and Mandy Cleave (Rolleston Christian School). They shared their journey of integrating the Enviroschools Kaupapa through the Whole School Approach. This was followed by a tour of Tuia Burnside Primary School to show how some of their enquiries have led to action for their tamariki within and beyond the school gates.

The day was based around the Enviroschools Action Learning Cycle, Identifying the Current Situation for new kaiako and their understanding of sustainability within their own school’s context, Exploring Alternative ways that could be, and then committing to Taking Action by outlining next steps. The visual timeline/ puna mātauranga  captured just a small snapshot of what was covered throughout the day.


Exploring aspect of sustainability using the Enviroschools Big Picture.

Exploring aspects of sustainability through the Enviroschools Big Picture.









Creating special places: Tuia Burnside ākonga enquiry learning has led to action projects such as this pepe parariki/ copper butterfly habitat.

Reflecting on the day:

“Feeling positive we can make a great difference.”

” Using the idea of visual journeys in my class.”

“Re-visit the Enviroschools info and see how I can integrate more Te Ao Māori (views) into my planning and practice. See what I may already be doing.”

“Feeling empowered to implement and encourage kaitiakitanga. Take the learning (from today) and encourage my team to carry on our journey as an Enviroschool.”

“I feel there is always more we can do in regard to enviro at school, but it’s important to go step by step.”


Puna mātauranga from the hui,

A record of what was seen and heard and understood from the tour.

Banner photo: Regional Coordinator, Zoe, leads the discussion.