Water babies give N Shore school an Auckland first
Water babies give North Shore school an Auckland first
December 2, 2005
Windy Ridge Primary in Glenfield is
the first school in the Auckland region to adopt a whole
school approach to a regional water quality,
education and action programme as part of its main curriculum.
Teachers at Windy Ridge, one of North Shore
City's 11 enviroschools, decided that rather than targeting
certain age groups, they
wanted to incorporate a healthy water topic into a school-wide curriculum.
Wai Care, a
community-based healthy water programme linking community
groups, schools and councils with the goal of clean and
healthy waterways, was identified as the ideal programme for Windy Ridge to become involved in.
In the past, Wai
Care has mainly been aimed at the nine to 12-year-old age
group in schools, but North Shore City Council Wai Care
facilitator, Jo Harrison, was keen to come up with a programme that would suit the needs of Windy Ridge.
Ridge is the first school in the Auckland region where the
whole school has gone through the regional Wai Care
is quite an achievement," she says.
"We'd never delivered the Wai Care programme to
children in their first year of school and it was quite a
challenge to find something
imaginative, relevant and more importantly, safe for five year-olds to do around water.
"We took our water babies to the Eskdale stream
near the waterfall in Hiwihau Reserve along with all of the
senior classes. While the older
children tested water quality by looking at temperature, oxygen and acidity levels, the younger children had a ball doing fun activities which
showed them how murky water made it difficult for fish and macroinvertabrates (bugs) to find their way, feed and escape predators.
"Each small group had to pick the
'best bug' that they had found in the stream and tell the
rest of the class about it. On one of our stream
visits, as well as a huge range of different bugs for the children, we caught a common bully and a beautiful koura. The children were
particularly excited by the crayfish, which is a rare find and an indication of good water quality," says Ms Harrison.
Windy Ridge Primary School is continuing
enthusiastically with its environmental activities and is
aiming to joining North Shore City's
Verran Primary School in achieving the Enviroschools prestigious Green Gold Award.