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Connecting Teachers to Nature

15 May 2019

Thanks to a collaboration between Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Cape to City and Enviroschools education facilitators, teachers wanting to take their students into the environment are making the most of workshops about using the environment as a teaching resource.

The first workshop on 11 April was held on the banks of the Tutaekuri River at Puketapu, led by Sally Chandler, Education Coordinator at the Regional Council.

“Lots of factors can impact the health of our waterways and it was great to be able to share tips, knowledge and equipment with a keen group of teachers from early childhood through to secondary,” says Sally.

“We carried out simple tests for water quality using our Stream Health Monitoring and Assessment kits – we call them SHMAK kits, and this equipment is also available for schools to loan,” adds Sally.

The second workshop was held at Kohupātiki Marae on 9 May, with a Matariki focus.

Sonya Sedgwick, Enviroschools facilitator, commented “It was great to see the participants very engaged in action-based environmental education, which is a very different way for them to consider Matariki.”

“A teacher who came to the workshops said she could organise her whole school year on what she had experienced, which is great news for connecting students to nature!” adds Sonya.

Robyn McCool, Cape to City Education facilitator said “Participants found relevance and inspiration in the way the learning was presented, which was evident through their sharing of ideas and their enthusiasm throughout the group activities.”

The workshops are designed to be “tasters”, only two hours in length and they run after school. There are two more workshops to come. The next is on Thursday 12 September, with a bush focus. This will be held at Dolbel Reserve, Taradale. The final for 2019, on Thursday 7 November, will be an opportunity to meet environmental experts from across the district who will showcase what they can offer to support and enhance learning programmes across all levels.


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