Waitākiri Primary School is a Green-Gold Enviroschool. We believe that each generation is the guardian (kaitiaki) of the environment for all future generations.
We have many enviro-friendly initiatives in use at school.
Our journey began in 2012 when as Windsor School we became involved with Enviroschools. Through our efforts to make a difference at the end of 2013 we became a Bronze Enviroschool. With the merger of Windsor and Burwood in 2014 we began the journey again and in 2015 Waitākiri School gained the Bronze status. Motivated by this we went on to achieve The Silver status in 2017. In 2019 we worked hard to gain the highest achievement of a Green Gold Enviroschool.
The aim of Enviroschools is to foster a generation of people who instinctively think and act sustainably.
To “Enviroschools” sustainability means living in a country where people work with positive energy to connect with each other, their cultural identity and their land, to create a healthier, peaceful, more equitable society.
It means the regeneration of resilient, connected communities in which people care for each other and the environment.
It means valuing indigenous knowledge and celebrating diversity so that everyone thrives.
We believe this can be achieved if we learn together in empowering and action oriented ways.
The Enviroschools kaupapa is creating a healthy, peaceful and sustainable world through facilitating action-learning; where inter-generations of people work with and learn from nature. It weaves in Māori perspectives, combining traditional wisdom with new understandings. Importantly, our kaupapa reminds us to be in connection: to love, care for and respect ourselves, each other and our planet. We believe that each generation is the guardian (kaitiaki) of the environment for all future generations.
The Enviroschools programme supports our children to plan, design and implement sustainability actions that are important to them and our community. We are supported by a facilitator who is employed by Enviroschools in partnership with Ecan.
A focus on the journey not just the destination supports long-term participation; lasting changes can take many years to become embedded but every step is a change in itself. Enviroschools as a movement for positive change towards a generation of innovative and motivated young people who instinctively think and act sustainably.
At Waitākiri School we have introduced “Nood Food”. Children are encouraged to care about the environment by not using plastic wrap around the food in their lunchboxes and to avoid food in packets. To achieve this all New Entrant children are given a lunch box, from Fresh Choice Parklands, when they attend the welcome to Waitākiri School Powhiri. We have our very own recyclable cups which we sell and a coffee cup library for our school cafe. We planted fruit trees and created an orchard and vegetable garden. Chickens were introduced and now provide us with eggs daily. All children participate annually helping the Travis Wetlands Ranger to plant trees. The Horseshoe Lake area, Travis Wetlands and Ōtākaro River are an important source of learning for our children with the study of water quality and Inaka and a developing appreciation of the plants and living creatures that inhabit these waterways. Our children regularly clean up the area around Horseshoe lake and help plant plants alongside the DOC staff at the Travis Wetland.
“We are Friends of the Environment, We show Respect for Nature and Sustainability.”. We run a Friday Morning Stall where we sell sustainable products we have made such as soap and lip balm. We also sell eggs from our school chickens and food we have baked using ingredients from our garden and orchard.
We also have a “Pack in, Pack out” policy. That is, any food wrappers brought into school must be taken home.