We are embarking on a new journey at West Park School. We are now an Enviroschool and we as a school community are now able to set a direction for the future. In 2009 we developed a school vegetable garden, orchard and a garden leaders programme. These have been a great part of West Park School, however as an Enviroschool, we are encouraged to integrate these five guiding principles in all the learning and action we undertake as a school community.
- Empowered Students are enabled to participate in a meaningful way in the life of their schools and community, their unique perspectives are valued for the knowledge and insight that they bring, and they are supported to take action for real change.
- The principle of Learning for Sustainability recognises the types of teaching and learning that foster student empowerment, decision-making, action and sustainable outcomes.
- The principle of Māori Perspectives honours the status of tangata whenua in this land and the value of indigenous knowledge in enriching and guiding learning and action.
- Respect for the Diversity of People and Cultures acknowledges the unique gifts, contributions and perspectives of individuals and groups, reinforcing the need for participatory decision-making in Enviroschools.
- Sustainable Communities act in ways that nurture people and nature, now and in the future, to maintain the health and viability of our environment, society, culture and economy.
… So what does all this mean for our school community?
In 2012 our students came up with a list of areas around West Park School that they liked or disliked and then made some recommendations. This was a great starting point and the first step in empowering our students to lead change. Things we are taking action on include:
We can work together to foster recycling and reuse here at school – we would love your ideas too!
- Lunchboxes – reducing packets in our lunch and making use of reusable bags/containers.
- Reducing our paper waste – emailing newsletters.
- A Sustainability blog and/or Facebook page.
- Vegetable sales here at school.
- The formation of a garden club.
- Building the concept of tuākana-tēina relationships