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Bay of Plenty students win Top Outdoor Spot competion

Bay of Plenty students win national Top Outdoor Spot competition

A classic Kiwi beach scene and a poetic description of the East Cape township of Te Araroa have taken top honours in the 2014 Top Outdoor Spot competition.

The national competition was run during the first term of the school year and invited students to send in photos and descriptions of their favourite outdoor places for display on the New Zealand Walking AccessCommission’s Both Sides of the Fence education website (www.bothsidesofthefence.org.nz).

Woodlands School student Emma Cloke, 7, won “Best photo” for her photo of driftwood huts on Opotiki Beach.

Another Bay of Plenty student, 12-year-old Sinead Herewini from Opotiki Primary School, won “Best description” for her quintessentially New Zealand poem about Te Araroa.

New Zealand Walking Access Commission Chairman John Forbes said Emma and Sinead’s entries captured the imagination and spoke to the heart of what it was to be a New Zealander in 2014.

“The creative flair shown by Emma and Sinead was fantastic and their winning entries left all of us on the judging panel with a feeling that New Zealand school children are as passionate as ever about the outdoor environments in which they learn and play.”

More than 160 students from across New Zealand sent in photos and descriptions of their favourite outdoor places in 2014, up from 60 in 2013. The overall quality of entries was “simply outstanding”, and it was a credit to the Bay of Plenty that both winning entries came from that region, Mr Forbes said.

The curriculum-aligned Both Sides of the Fence website is designed to help teachers inform primary and intermediate school students about the value of access and responsible behaviour in the outdoors.

The site includes an ‘Explore’ section with engaging animated videos covering topics including unformed legal roads, dogs in rural environments, biosecurity risks, fires, and important cultural considerations when accessing Māori land.

Other resources on the site include an ‘eBook’ that introduces children to the New Zealand Outdoor Access Code, an ‘In My Region’ image gallery where students can upload their favourite outdoor places, and a ‘Teachers’ Space’ with lesson plans for teachers.

The Top Outdoor Spot competition is now over, but teachers and students are encouraged to keep filling the ‘In My Region’ gallery with photos and descriptions of the favourite outdoor spots.


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