Sunday, August 30, 2009

EnviroSchools Achievement

On Friday 14th August, teachers, community members, parents, students and regional and national Enviroschool representatives listened to Enviroschools Ambassadors (student leaders) presenting their case for Muritai School to become a Green/Gold school.

After being welcomed by a powerful powhiri, the speeches on learning for sustainability, community sustainability, empowering students, Maori perspectives and celebrating diversity were delivered with such passion and pride. I believe this sealed our success before we even started evaluating our accomplishments. By the end of the day the decision was made to make Muritai a Green/Gold School.

It has been an on-going project for me, the students, teachers and community for the last four years, since achieving the Silver Enviroschools Award. I am thrilled that Muritai School has achieved recognition as a Green / Gold School, and yet the journey still continues and new challenges face us. I believe that now we have the title of Green/Gold, we have to rise up beyond the title; not only continuing to place environmental sustainability at the top of our priorities, but to also grow and respond to new environmental challenges and be a model for others to follow.

Being an enviroschool has added huge value to Muritai School and is continually being recognized and celebrated, within the school, the local community, the Wellington Region and nationally. The learning benefits, student involvement, purposeful inquiry and action projects that have been the main drive for integrating environmental sustainability learning and practices into our programmes are now part of who we are and what we stand for at Muritai.

Environmental education at Muritai provides the platform to encourage and model new creative approaches to learning which embraces the content of the new curriculum. Ecological sustainability (which includes environmental sustainability) is one of the values of the new New Zealand Curriculum. In keeping with this and other key areas of the New Curriculum we will continue to move forward, Examples of this includes fostering innovative approaches to learning, cooperative learning, inquiry-based learning, higher order thinking & problem solving, experiential learning through real-world contexts, rich discussion, debates, exploration, thought provoking challenges and links the our global community (The concept of global communities is penciled down for the Senior School for 2010)

Well done everyone involved, it’s been a real time effort over the years!

I am really pleased with the result and look forward to the celebrations!