The Enviroschools programme is a whole school approach to learning whereby students plan, design, and create a sustainable school with the support of their community. Puahue has been an Enviroschool since 2003.
Environmental education is an action focused approach to learning that uses physical, social, cultural and political aspects of our environment. Enviroschools are based on the pinciple of sustainability - a way of being and acting that nurtures people and nature, now and in the future. The key aim of Enviroschools is to integrate environmental education into the whole of school life. Students are empowered to become active environmental citizens for life. Our Puahue Enviroschool care code states: We all care for, and value our environment, so that we can have a future. We will foster and nurture sustainability so we can enjoy all the environment has to offer.
Since Puahue became an Enviroschool we have had many changes to the running of the programme at our school and what Enviroschools looks like for our students. All students are now Envirokids sharing the responsibility that our school follows the guiding principles of the Enviroschools programme. Students participate in a range of programmes to enhance not only the physical appearance of the school, but seeing that the practices are enmeshed in the day to day activities happening in the school and wider community.
Senior students make up 4 teams sharing the workload of activities. The Maintenance team participate in assisting with jobs around the school such as shifting mulch, sweeping paths etc. The Projects team think about and carry out projects such as making passionfruit honey from all the passionfruit we have grown, painting the enviro totem poles etc. The Fundraising team work hard on events such as barbeques and selling produce, and the Recycling Team ensures the school recycling is put out at the school gate and that a total of what we recycle is kept for the Paper for Trees initiative.
Puahue School has been involved since the inception of the Maungatautari Ecological island project. We regularly monitor 2 tracking lines (as pictured below) and we are now the only school to still be involved in this invaluable project, even having our own little area planted in native trees grown at our school.
Our school has a native shrubbery; an area we love as much as all the tuis who flock here when the kowhais and cherry trees are in full bloom. We also have regular sightings of our friend the wood pigeon who has been visiting for many years. We have a school garden where vegetables abound - beans a real favourite. There is a butterfly garden where the monarchs are busy 6 months of the year and the caterpillars can be seen at a good height for all munching on the many swan plants growing. Many activities have been carried out to make our environment colourful and attractive and all students play a role in some way to make this happen.
The school community and wider Te Awamutu community are involved in many of our activities and support from the Waipa District council to fund Enviroschools in the Waipa is very much appreciated. We appreciate the support from the Kihikihi Rotary club who annually sponsor our Potato-in-the-Bucket competition and have helped on numerous projects. Barcodes are kept from Mainland products to help Save the Yellow Eyed Penguin from becoming extinct along with many other projects and initiatives to bring to our students the importance of the role they play in protecting the future of our earth.
Puahue have been recipients of both the Bronze Enviro Award and the Silver Enviro Award. We are now focused on working on the attitude and not the awards in the programme.