KiNZ Mission Heights recently received a Bronze Enviroschool award for their commitment towards creating a sustainable environment and teaching the children at their centre the importance of preservation and sustainable practices.
The Enviroschools programme is network of schools, early childhood education centres and communities in New Zealand whose collective goal is to make a positive difference to our environment.
As their Enviroschool journey continues, the teaching team has shared some of the practices that have been working for them at their centre.
CARING FOR PAPATŪĀNUKU, MOTHER EARTH
The teaching team has taken a holistic approach to creating a sustainable environment at their centre, involving both tamariki and whānau. Māori perspectives have begun to be interwoven within the centre and the children are being celebrated as kaitiaki or guardians of papatūānuku. They’ve made changes in their everyday routines which have empowered children, families and their community.
Reducing the centre’s contribution to landfills by:
- Using We Compost to recycle paper towels, tissues, playdough & left-over food
- Using craft materials made from recyclable and natural materials (which whānau and tamariki help to gather)
- Worm Farming
- Cloth nappies
- Soft plastic recycling
Children at KiNZ Mission Heights have been caring for edible gardens and fruit orchards with food from their compost and worm farm. They have enjoyed being part of the cooking experience and have developed a love for fresh foods. Some families have even been inspired to set up their own vegetable gardens at home.
While working in the gardens the children have nurtured their curiosity for the living world by investigating and rescuing the bugs that live there.
Diversity is embraced at KiNZ Mission Heights and the centre acknowledges and celebrates many different cultural occasions. Families often collaborate with the teaching team to share diverse cultural experiences.
The teaching team has created an environment of sharing, where children bring ideas for sustainability into their homes and, in turn, families take pride in sharing their practices with the teachers. Through shared knowledge and embedded practices, KiNZ Mission Heights is helping to create ‘a healthy, peaceful, sustainable world through people teaching and learning together’.
Our tamariki are the future and their values will shape the future of Aotearoa, New Zealand and the world. We thank KiNZ Mission Heights for sharing their journey with us. Sustainability is a learning opportunity we can all embrace in a range of ways.