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Published: 2004-11-12 00:00:00

More Waikato schools have joined the Enviroschools Programme which integrates environmental education into school life.

Environment Waikato’s Schools Programme Co-ordinator and regional Enviroschools co-ordinator Dean King said that nine new schools will join the facilitated Enviroschools programme in 2005.

They are Nga Taiatea Wharekura, Vardon School, Peachgrove Intermediate, (Hamilton), Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Bernard Fergusson, Tamahere, Te Kowhai (Waikato), Ngahinapouri, Wharepapa South (Waipa) and Tauhara Primary (Taupo). Enviroschools work within the curriculum framework and Guidelines for Environmental Education to make learning a practical and fun experience.

“There is no fixed formula for being an Enviroschool, but there are key values and concepts,” he said .

These values include:

  • a sense of place – the whole school environment is a learning resource.
  • a participatory environment – involving the whole school community, including students, teachers, caretakers, boards of trustees, families / whanau and the wider community.
  • a sense of purpose – students are inspired to create a healthy, peaceful and sustainable school.

A total of 40 Waikato schools are involved in the Facilitated Enviroschools Programme, a three-year process supported by an Enviroschools facilitator, a comprehensive resource kit and network of environmental educators. Environment Waikato works in partnership with Hamilton City Council (19 schools), Waipa District Council (seven schools), Waikato District Council (six schools) and Taupo District Council (seven schools) to fund the Enviroschools programme for schools in their areas.

District councils are required to commit some funding to enable facilitators to work in their schools and there is one self funding school in the Otorohanga District.

All schools in the Region are able to be part of the Enviroschools Awards programme, where schools receive some initial support but are essentially left to develop initiatives independently. 

More information on the Enviroschools programme is on the internet at www.enviroschools.org.nz/.