2013 Environmental Education
News from Ruma Koromiko
We have a class blog on tumblr so we can show the world our amazing projects. If you want to learn about bees or the skink garden check out at hellokoromiko.tumblr.com. There is even a mystery page on our blog. Please visit our blog and send us some messages. If you go to our creative writing section you will see our awesome writing. Try guessing the answers on our mystery page. Enjoy! - James
2012 Environmental Education
Demos Hill Pou
There are 7 Pou up on Demos Hill. Seven, that represent the stars of Matariki. Each pou acknowledges and represents a different continent and the diversity of the cultures in the school. The bottom half of the pou are painted with blackboard paint so that anyone can use chalk to write messages or draw pictures on.
We decided to arrange them in a horse shoe to frame the path of the future gecko garden. They are in alphabetical order beginning with the Aboriginal Pou, African Pou, British Pou, Chinese Pou, Indian Pou, Maori / Pasifika Pou, and South American Pou.
We had to fundraise to purchase the posts. Each post is 3.2m long. We had to paint the post with sealant paint to water proof it. Each team of the Year 6 Enviro group designed a pou from a different continent using icons and symbols they found by using books and the internet.
We painted the pou using exterior paint from the Refuse Centre and a few test pots donated by class members’ families. It was difficult because it was round and painting was tricky because the rough surface made it hard to do tidy lines.
After we finished painting the pou, we were up to putting them on Demos Hill. Graham and Tim Verran used a pole borer to dig 1m holes to place the pou in. We had to put the heavy pou into the hole and hold it steady while one of us poured half a bucket of water in. Then we quickly ripped the concrete bag open and poured it into the hole. Sometimes we had to splash water over the top to make it wetter. While the concrete was setting, we learnt to use the leveller and make sure they were standing tall and even.
It was a hot, sunny day. Perfect for doing such an important feature piece for our garden.
Nau mai, Haere mai ki Demos Hill.
A very long way away in the heavens up above, there were seven sisters, the Matariki. Tahi, was the leader and the eldest, then there was Rua, she always wanted to lead and was bossy. Toru, the third sister was quiet and shy, Wha, the forth sister was strong and powerful looking, The fifth sister Rima was well achieving and thoughtful. Ono, the sixth sister was plain and boring and Whitu being the youngest had sharp eye-sight and could run fast. She was also quite beautiful.
The sisters, being helpful and kind, were worried about their god mother, Papatuanuku’s health. Papatuanuku, the earth mother, was sick and needed strength from the stars.
The sisters could not get down from the sky above because of thier father Ranginui. He was powerful and bad tempered. He would not let the sisters go no matter how they pleaded. Even if the sisters did get their father to let them go there was no way to get down from the chamber of stars. Their father knew this so he said yes. But the sisters soon discovered that they had been out-smarted.
After a lot of pondering, Tahi came up with a plan which she shared with the others. Tahi had heard of a spell that if you combined seven seeds from seven different countries and plant them in June, once a month the seeds should let out leaves and grow sky high to reach the heavens.
So the sisters swooped across the sky to the country of Australia. They travelled fast but even then it took weeks, until they finally found the seed they wanted. It glowed orange only at Tahi’s touch.
From Australia they then visited Africa. There they found a seed that glowed light green in Rua’s palm. From Africa the sisters travelled to Gt Britain where they discovered a third seed – one that glowed dark blue for Toru.
Travelling onto to South America they found a seed that glowed light blue for Wha. From South America the sisters travelled onto India. There they collected a seed that glowed as blue as a sapphire in Rima’s fingers. From China the found a seed that glowed dark green for Ono. At last they searched the Pacific and seed was found in Aotearoa. This last seed glowed red in the palm of Whitu.
Standing in a horse-shoe shape for good luck the sisters dropped the seeds they had found. The seeds fell with such force that they dug themselves into the ground below.
Every year in June the trees grow to reach for the sky and the sisters come down to earth to care for their god-mother, Papatunuku. The stars we see at night are the small holes left each month when the sisters are caring for Papatunuku.
The seven pou up on Demos Hill are there as a constant reminder of the hardworking seven sisters.
The children of Rimu had a superb idea to spice up their school.
In the start of Term 2 2012, the pupils of Ruma Rimu went to search around Te Aro School for things that they could change or improve.
They went on an Amazing Race throughout Wellington. An Amazing Race was 5 groups of 6 people. They were split up to go around town with at least one adult. They had to find spectacular seats, fantastic floor-boards, astonishing artwork etc.
When they came back to school, they saw a need for helping visitors to find the right classroom.They made a prototype of classroom directions out of real state signs. Then they went to all the classrooms and asked for feedback and things to make it better.
Then Emese McIntosh and Lily Fu cut out black pieces of paper, in the shape of all the classroom names for Billy Firth’s dad, Andy, to cut out a special type of wood with a jigsaw tool. Then Billy brought them back the next day and coated them with polyurethane to waterproof them from the rain.
Graham, our caretaker, told our teacher Philippa, to call his friend for some marine ply to use for the background of the directions. A few days later, Graham asked for some kids to help him put up the snazzy signs. Lucy, Henry, Billy and Te Matariki helped with screwing the signs on to the post
Thus the signs were born.
Mel decided to teach a group of Year 4, 5 and 6s about gardening. We meet every 2nd week on a Thursday afternoon. The school had gardens that her Year 6 group had created last year but no new kai had been growing in them. We also wanted to plant vegies that could be used at the Year 8 banquet at the end of the year.
On week 2 of Term 3, the chosen ones all met up in the staff room, and greeted each other. We decided what fruit and vegetables we wanted to grow. We learned about the food families. There were perennials, root crops, travellers like pumpkin and zucchini, legumes, leafy crops, herbs etc. We put them into groups… we learnt which grow above the ground and which grow under.
It was time to get growing! Mel said cabbages were easiest to grow during winter so we decided to be in pairs and make our own baby cabbages. Harry and Alfie did ‘Copenhagen Market’. Alex Lee, Joshua B, Charlotte and Claudia did ‘Red Cabbages’. And Celia and Alexandra did ‘Savoy’.
Next we went down bottom to plant some potatoes. Each person had to roll 1 tyre where the potatoes were going to go. The actual potato is the seed and the little shoot that comes out of it will become the plant – we learnt that! Planting in tyres means you do not need much space… fascinating.
We then planted more seed ready for spring and built a structure to keep them warm. Seeds need warmth to sprout. We also learnt that the seed size depends on how deep you plant it in the soil.
We interviewed every member of the gardening group. We started with Alexandra: Her favourite part was to pluck out the mint. Joshua learnt how to transplant the seedling into a bigger container. Harry and Alfie learnt how to plant a seed. Planting all the cabbages was Celia’s favourite part. Alex Lee’s favourite part was planting the lettuce.
e have learnt so much this term; little things but important if you want to grow your own food. We hope we can keep doing it next term.
On Daffodil Day at the end of August the Year 6 enviro group had one of the biggest galas in Te Aro School’s history! The Year 6s are raising money for developing Demos Hill. They are planning to redesign the old space into a new garden area.
The Year 6 enviro group are planning to have a gala once every term. At their galas we sell delicious treats like homemade brownies, cakes, cookies and the best seller that vanishesin seconds ……. SHERBET!
Every member of the enviro group contribute s either yummy food or toys that they don’t want anymore. Two out of three times the citizens of Rimu have run the stalls. But their last gala was different as students in Koromiko joined the Year 6s sell food and toys. It was a huge success. The two groups raised over $450!!
Overall the Year 6s have had three galas and have already raised $1040!!!!!!!!! With all this money the Year 6s are going to purchase plants, soil, pou/totem poles and paint.
The enviro group has much more money to raise and fortunately at the art exhibition there is going to be an art raffle and some of the money is going towards Demos Hill.
The Year 6 enviro group from Te Aro School visited Zealandia to get ideas and advice for Demos Hill. Since it was Term 2, the weather was shocking!
The group was greeted by two people who worked at Zealandia. They talked to us about the history and nature of New Zealand, and how the mice, rats and possums invaded our country. The Zealandia workers also showed us the traps that were used and models of extinct animals.
As the group walked down the path in the spitting rain, they were split into two. Whaea’s group marched off to see the native ducks down by the lake. Their group also enjoyed the Takehe grazing on the grass and the Tuatara in the glass tanks.
When the Year 6s arrived back at Ruma Rimu, they brainstormed the ideas they collected from Zealandia. Some of the ideas were weta hotels, bird feeders, planting native plants that would attract certain birds such as Tui, Bell birds and Kereru. The group also talked about interesting New Zealand designs that we could use when developing Demos Hill.
Every Wednesday the Year 6s come to Ruma Rimu to discuss and plan environmental projects for around the school including the development of Demos Hill.
The group have talked about plants, gardens, hills and measurements to get more of an idea of where everything will go.
We then split into groups for designing and making the models. The Year 6s had to find bark and stones to show the pathway to make the models stand out.
Myfanwy from the Wellington City Council came and told us about her geckos and anything that we needed to change or improve with our designs.
It took the Year 6s four weeks to finish their models. Everyone was very pleased and happy to be finished. Some of the students went around each of the classes with the models. Classes voted for the three top plans which included pou around the path way, seating, dragon hill and the bridge, the native garden and the shape of the pathway.
The classes voted on which models were the best and then three students took them to the Board of Trustees meeting in August. We have started redeveloping Demos Hill and we hope it will be finished at the end of this year or the start of next year.
The Year 6s of Te Aro School began painting the Pou for Demos Hill on the 5th September 2012.
We fundraised by having galas at morning tea and the students bought food, toys and books. They raised enough money to buy seven pou or posts from Carters. Carters were generous and gave us 25% off.
The Year 6s decided on the number of pou by choosing an odd number. Odd numbers are easier to look at instead of even numbers. We chose to have seven pou because when we decided on the number, it was Matariki or Maori New Year.
The students were split into seven groups of cultural designs. They are Pasific / Maori, India, Chinese, European, Aboriginal, South America and Africa. The Years 6s had to find specific designs from each culture to paint the top half of the pou. The bottom half will be painted with blackboard paint so that children can draw on it and when it rains it will wash off.
We hope the pou will be up on Demos Hill by Term 4.
In term 1 the Year 6s of Te Aro School started a perplexing project to modify Demos Hill. Demos Hill is currently a flat piece of grassland out the back of Te Aro School, and is one of the juniors favourite places to play.
On the 1st of August the Year 6 group got a visit from a council representative Myfanwy and her two geckos J.K and Nameless.
On the first part of her tour the Year 6s escorted her up to Demos Hill. They explained to her what they were doing. Myfanwy suggested some jawdropping ideas that they never would have come across like to plant hardy plants like Ngaio around the fence line. She also suggested we plant Rimu after the other trees as it grows slower. Lastly she suggested we put gravel or shingle down for the paths.
The Year 6s then considered these ideas and decided to implement them into their designs. Myfanwy then told us that geckos could grow their tails back if they were attacked by a predator they could detach their tails then grow them back. And they like hot and small places so they can hide from predators.
After they got back from Demos Hill, the students got out their models and absorbed the advice from Myfanwy. They then tried fitting in the brain-straining advice into their magical maddening models.
While they were fixing up their models, magnificent Myfanwy passed around the geckos. “They’re so leathery!” commented Mackenzie. “I’d LOVE to have some of these at my house!” said Emese.
The stupendous students finally came to a decision. They would mix bits of each model to make one big design!
Ruma Koromiko(Year 4/5) at TeAro School has been researching what things they need to have to make their school better, and have created a new range of outdoor seating using only recycled materials.
To begin with we went to have a tour of our Wellington dump and learnt that we need to recycle more. We also had anAmazing Race around Wellington City to compare what environmental features the city had in comparison to the school. We hunted down great examples of art, entrances, signs, seats, shading, rubbish bins and floor cover. The whole class voted on what they they thoughtwas most important. Seating won by a mile!
Everyone thought of a seating option which would be comfy, strong, attractive, recycled and waterproof. Wemade a prototype model and then asked other classes what they liked best. The three winners were the Mosaic Double Chair (two tyres bolted together with a mosaic filling), Surf’s Up(a recycled surfboard on a wooden cradle.) and The Boogie Chair (boogie boards screwed onto pallets).
We made a wish list of materials we needed. We wanted tyres, screws, tiles, polystyrene and some concrete for the Mosaic Chair. Wooden posts, bolts and an old surfboard for Surf’s Up. Finally, 6 boogie boards, some old pallets and some paint for The Boogie Chair.
We were really lucky because we got most of the materials from the dump that was happy to help our cause and everything was recycled and unwanted!
All of the class worked together to assemble the mosaic chairs bolting the tyres together and created two mosaics for the top of the seat. Clare and Chris, Georgia’s parents helped us to make a colourful apple tree and parrot mosaics using tiny pieces of bathroom tiles. We recycled polystyrene into the gap in the tyres so we reduce the amount of concrete we use to fill them and be environmentally friendly.
Surf’s Up required us to make a wooden frame to hold the surfboard at a bench height. We measured the size of the frame and used a saw to cut pieces to the right length. We used large roofing screws to put it all together and secured our surf board to it with wire.
The Finished Chairs…
How has it changed our school?
“It has been a fantastic experience to use inquiry child-centred learning where the children have developed their thinking, creativity, and their problem solving skills to create something of real meaning and purpose for them” commented Claire, their Classroom Teacher.
“I think they have real artistic and resourceful skills. Their teamwork helped them finish the first seat with ease.” explained Graham, the school’s caretaker.
We would like to thank everyone who helped us to do this project and hope that sharing our ideas will inspire others to have a go and make some chairs too!
By Issi Firth, Celia Beaglehole, Lucy Mabbett, Sidney McIntosh, Reuben Smitheram and Jenna Rolston-Larking
Kauri and Nikau were learning about the environment. We left school after the roll and went to the dump shop, crusher pit and landfill. We learnt that seagulls love the dump. We learned that poo is scooped up and put in a shed to dry. A machine turns all the methane gas into electricity and the landfill also recycles and reuses things people might throw out. If we keep throwing out too much rubbish soon the landfill will cut more bush down to make more room for our rubbish… this is not good.
On Friday 11th of May 2012, 2 groups of children from Nikau and Kauri worked with Sue (Finn's Grandma, not the principal!) to plant out flowers and ferns we had kindly been donated by Bunnings. Every child partipated with gusto and were very excited to find little treasures like cherry tomatoes. What really topped the excitement scale was the finding of worms... everyone was delighted with this as it tells us soil is in great condition.
The question of the day was' "When can we do it again?"
News from the Garden
A group of us have taken on the upkeep of the school gardens. At the moment we work together on a Wednesday morning. This week we harvested our first lettuces from the school garden. We enjoyed eating our lettuces in rice rolls which we made with Sue.
We found working with the rice paper a little tricky as once the papers were wet they ripped easily. Rolling and folding them wasn’t as easy as we first thought either!
We each helped to prepare the vegetables and then we each made a rice roll which we dipped in soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce before eating them. Gail, Davina, Amy, Mel, Kristin and Ray also got to sample our rolls and they were really impressed with them!
The rice rolls were crunchy to eat because of the pepper, lettuce and mung beans in them. I think it would be great to have rice rolls as a lunchtime option. Next summer it would be great if we could grow, harvest and eat apple cucumbers. Gloria
It was cool getting to grow and eat our own lettuces. I’ve watched my dad make rice rolls on Christmas Day. It was fun making my own for the first time. I think we need to try growing strawberries and more tomatoes next summer. Stevie
Saving the Earth, what could be more important than that?? Where would we live if the Earth didn’t exist?? Who tries to save the Earth?? Well I don’t know the answer to the first one or the second one, but I do know who tries to save the Earth! The answer would be the Year 6’s of Ruma Kowhai and Rata! Imagine them making this earth a better place to live in by growing plants in our school’s garden! You probably don’t know that every Wednesday we work hard gardening, composting, recycling and believe it or not..... cooking!! Yes cooking, the very first harvest! These are pictures that I took of my other Year 6 friends cooking some Vege Springrolls in the staff room with our amazing principal Sue, while the Year 7 and 8’s were at Technicraft! The lettuce and cucumbers were actually from our garden! We had such fun, and the spring rolls were absoloutely amazing!!! We are actually thinking of selling these as a school fundraiser just like the sausages except they are spring rolls!!
Gardner and reporter – Kintaka Lim
2011 Environmental Education
In Ruma Kowhai the Y6’s have done a project on worms. Now we have a worm farm. During their inquiry they have learnt lots.
First Mel brought in some of her worms and we touched them, smelt them, watched them and from that many questions arose. We then we searched on the internet and through some KCC magazines and started researching about them. We found out all the answers! Then we started to make a poster and other ways to present what we learnt. So now we are the worm experts of the school. Check out our display in the library.
From the kid’s point of view: we really appreciate that most children are respecting our hard work to make Te Aro a greener place. Thanks to all the parents that have contributed throughout the project.
And a special Thank you to Mel for being an awesome and fun leader. We are happy to work along-side you!
From the Enviro Experts Group
|Last Modified 5/12/2013 4:57:45 p.m. by LukePC (luke [at] visionwebdesign [dot] co [dot] nz)|