Enviroschools Wellington I Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui update - news for Enviroschools across the region.
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Kia ora koutou,

Arohatia tiakina ia Papatūānuku!

The stories in this issue show how Enviroschools are nurturing this love and care of nature as tamariki connect with, and experience nature in local, hands on and meaningful ways.

Enviroschools teachers - you should have received your Enviroschools Census questionnaire.  Your answers are so important to the future of the Enviroschools programme. The questions will also prompt valuable conversations about the Enviroschools programme in your school or centre.   Please complete these and return them to by 25th November to be in with a chance to win morning tea for your staff!

Thank you for the feedback we received about our newsletter.  We have made some small changes to this edition as a result and will be making further changes from next year.  

Ngā mihi,

Upcoming Support for Schools and ECE

Enviroschools ECE Energiser Workshop
Wednesday 29th November

This full day workshop will be facilitated by Katie Higgins, our National ECE Enviroschools Co-ordinator and is available to all ECE Enviroschools in the Greater Wellington region.
Funding is available from Toimata for teacher release for one person per Enviroschool.

Register here by Friday 24 November

Exploring Enviroschools Workshop
Term 1 2018 date to be confirmed

An introduction to Education for Sustainability and the Enviroschools Kaupapa for schools, teachers, principles or BOT representatives new to the enviroschools programme.

Register here

Reflection for Progress Workshop
Term 2 2018 date to be confirmed

This workshop is an opportunity for Enviroschools wanting to reflect on their Enviroschools journey to learn more about the Enviroschools Holistic Reflection Process.

Registrations will open later this term.
Email Claire at if you would like to attend.

What Enviroschools in the region have been up to...

...Plateau and Mangaroa Schools take action for the Mangaroa River

Two local Enviroschools are getting behind the Upper Hutt City Council’s project to safeguard the health of the Mangaroa River.  Read the full story here.

... Kids Connecting with nature in the Hutt Valley

In August, Micheline and Michelle ran two “connection hubs”.  Each of these were a day for students from neighbouring schools to get together to learn about and take action for their local environment.

Three Stokes Valley schools explored birds and their habitats with Zealandia staff and Chantal from the Stokes Valley Library.  

In Wainuiomata, two schools got together to explore animals in the catchment, assess the quality of the Wainuiomata River and do some planting along the river bank withstaff from Hutt City Council, Greater Wellington Regional Council and Kōkiri Marae.
... Paraparaumu School explore Rongoā Māori
Paraparaumu School’s bilingual class Te Whānau Kōtuku attended a Matariki event at Kaitawa Reserve and helped to plant Koromiko plants. Read more here about the bilingual information panels that have been installed at the reserve to inform visitors of the Rongoā Māori (medicinal benefits) of ten native plant species.  
... Houghton Valley School had a treemendous makeover
Houghton Valley School demonstrated their strong and sustainable community with their treemendous makeover planting day. After a whakatau to start whānau came together with Project Crimson and the Mazda Foundation, local councillors, BOT members and staff for an amazing day of action that the students had been planning for weeks.  See here for more information about applying for a treemendous makeover for your school.

... New Fruit Tree Guardians

Te Puna Reo o Ngā Kākano have become Fruit Tree Guardians / Kaitiaki Rākau Huarākau, in partnership with Wellington City Council and The Sustainability Trust. Read more here


Congratulations to Eastern Hutt School who became Hutt City’s fourth Green Gold school.  It was a privilege for all involved to hear how Eastern Hutt School is growing a generation of young people who instinctively think and act sustainably.
Congratulations also to Aroha Montessori who celebrated becoming a Bronze Enviroschool in September. This was a great way to honour the commitment from the team at Aroha and the many ways they think about sustainability at their centre. See here for the lovely story Upper Hutt Leader.
Facilitator Spotlight - Michelle Ducat

What are your responsibilities as Enviroschools facilitator?

I support schools and ECE in Te Awa Kairangi with their sustainability journeys - connecting them with resources and each other.  I also coordinate facilitation of ECE enviroschools across the region.

What do you enjoy the most about being part of Enviroschools?

I love seeing the sense of wonder that kids and adults get hanging out in nature - and their can do, creative approach to sustainability.

What's the most important lesson you've learned in the last year?

How good the Five Ways to Wellbeing are!

Name one important quality for a successful Enviroschool?   

Creative, authentic integration.

What sustainability issues / aspects are you personally passionate about?

Climate justice - our Pacific neighbours and our children need us to be active citizens now!! There’s no time to lose - and so much good that can come from working together on this.

How do you recharge?

A walk in the bush - I’m a tree hugger (literally).

What characteristic do you most admire in others?

So many!! The courage to challenge.

What super power would you like to have?

The ability to create vegetarian meals my child will eat.

Resources worth looking at and other important dates
Love Food Hate Waste - lesson plans

Love Food Hate Waste New Zealand has created four food waste lesson plans that can be used by primary or intermediate schools to explore the issue of food waste. The focus is on raising learners’ awareness of how their actions contribute to this global issue and the impact of wasting food.

Te Kaapuia o te Waoku education programmes
The Discovery Garden is an amazing living classroom where curious minds can explore and learn about the natural world. The garden has been gifted the name 'Te Kaapuuia o te Waoku'  by mana whenua Taranaki Whānui, which translates as 'we are all connected with nature'.

Wellington City Council are now running education sessions for schools in the Discovery Garden.  These sessions will focus on the fantastic uses of plants - for food, fibre, medicine, and construction.

Predator Free NZ Schools Programme

Predator Free NZ have just launched their Predator Free Schools programme. They are currently offering $1000 for up to ten schools, to put towards their predator-trapping programme.

Schools will need to complete a brief application form, providing some detail about what they would do with funding, which can be used to establish a predator control programme at school and give kids a hands-on experience with predator control and the benefits of it etc. 

For more information please contact Jessi Morgan
Applications are now open and close at 5pm on the 5th of November.

Department of Conservation teaching and learning resources

DOC has a massive range of education resources.  
These are based around learning:

  • About the environment (Resources to support teachers and their students better understand Aotearoa’s unique biodiversity and the interconnectedness of our natural world)

  • In the environment (Resources to support teachers and students connect with and better understand our local natural places)

  • For the environment (Resources to support taking action for the natural world in your local community.)
He Kākano, Seed
Raumati South Primary School worked together with Ngā Manu Nature Reserve and Mahara Gallery to produce an exhibition of artwork exploring the magical life force of he kākano (seeds).   

Read more here about the project and the experiences of the tamariki and kaiako.

These artworks have been published into book, available for purchase at Mahara Gallery for $15
LEARNZ Virtual Field Trips

LEARNZ offer opportunities for virtual field trips with lots of great supporting resources, including links to links to literacy. Some great topics are being offered in 2018 with links to sustainability and the Enviroschools Guiding Principles.  

You can explore the sea, wetlands, garden birds, hazards - and mapping your place. You can also look back at past field trips too like this one on waste.  Login is required. 
The Futureintech programme brings people who already work in technology, engineering and science-related industries into schools. These can include sustainability related topics like using pedal power to charge laptops.

Futureintech also offer a free programme called Hello Café workshops to engage girls with hands-on problem-solving activities, introducing them to engineering concepts in the context of humanitarian issues such as providing clean water, emergency housing and solar lighting.
Contact your local Futureintech Facilitator to find out what great learning opportunities they can arrange for your students
Thank you

to the following partners for their ongoing support of the Enviroschools Programme in Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui / The Wellington Region.

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