Jenni and Rae have been busy engaging with the school community. Here is a summary of the work they have taken part of. Well done and congratulations for your commitment to the cause.
This year, the school’s application to be a Predator Free School was accepted by Predator Free New Zealand Trust, sponsored by KiwiBank. Every year they select up to twenty schools to be part of of Predator Free Schools programme. This programme has a focus on teaching kids about what makes NZ’s native species special and how introduced predators impact their survival. It also encourages them to take collective action for the care of the environment. Traps, tracking tunnels and other resources are provided to enable successful programmes. Jenni has supported teachers this year through WCMG and Enviroschools.
Other Workshops, related to Kaitiakitanga, have included:
Bird surveys in the school grounds and research about local birds. Related to this was a plant survey.
Tracking tunnels made and baited to analyse what pests are visiting Te Mahia School. These were followed by commercial tracking tunnels. Both showed that rats and mice are the predators to deal to so far.
A bug motel constructed by Juniors, to encourage birds in the school grounds, for a free smorgasbord.
Research about pests and predators and their effect on local birdlife and insect life. A highlight related to this was the visit Bree and her handler, Helen, made to the school, class by class. Bree is a Conservation Dog, trained to sniff out Whio (blue duck). Helen showed how well trained and reliable Bree is.bree modeled her various uniform garbs and Helen answered questions about why Bree is needed.
The years 4 to 8 students visited Electric Village where they participated in a workshop about Energy – sustainable / renewable energy forms compared to forms of energy that contribute to Climate Change or use non-renewable resources. They followed up in class during Term 3 with Science learning on this topic. In November they will participate in the Great Solar Cooker Challenge with other Enviroschools.
Making ruru (morepork) nesting boxes, to be installed in Term 4 on large trees in the school grounds. The students worked in house groups to produce their own ruru nesting box. They will watch closely next nesting season to see if they have made it safe for ruru to feed at school and raise owlets. The technology challenge is to decide how to install the boxes effectively on the trees they have selected. One box is destined for Whangawehi.
Other workshops have been focused on Tūrangawaewae.
Tūrangawaewae are places and feeling where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.
In preparation for the School Gala clay tiles and magnets were created from clay. The children had to make their clay work relevant to Mahia.
At Te Mahia School there are six house groups which have been established at the school for a long time. Over the years the significance of the names of the house groups has been almost forgotten. The students have been researching the relevance of their house group names ( maunga in the area), to them and their whanau, and they are preparing to create murals in Term four for an outside wall of the library.
Tuia 250 is an important aspect of the concept of Tūrangawaewae. Given that Te Mahia is the final visiting point (15 to 19 December) for the Tuia 250 flotilla https://mch.govt.nz/tuia250 the students are preparing for this during Term 4.