Paremata pupils get out of the classroom
Getting the hands dirty is all part of learning at Paremata School.
Pupils put the finishing touches on their sustainable garden last Thursday by planting hebes, flaxes and kanuka.
The project was started to help teach children the importance of sustainability and tree care, but students soon learned they were part of building a better school for future generations.
Paremata School Principal Bryce Coleman said he believed children needed more than the standard ‘‘three Rs’’ of school, and sustainable living provided practical, enjoyable learning, outside the normal school curriculum.
‘‘Students are learning how to care for plants, how to plant trees, and that fruit doesn’t just come from supermarkets,’’ Mr Coleman said.
‘‘They are also learning about the value of their work and in years to come children will be enjoying the trees they have planted today and hopefully be allowed to climb them.’’
Students from the science extension class were very involved in the creation of the sustainable garden and helped dig holes and prepare soil for large trees to be planted.
Eva Cockrayne, 9, found that trees were not as easy to plant as she first thought.
‘‘It is hard to dig the holes, and the trees are actually really, really heavy,’’ she said.
Benjamin Carson, 10, and Stirling Gooch, 9, discovered Paremata’s history as a wetland when digging holes.
‘‘It was really muddy and there were lots of rocks and metal in the soil.
‘‘We had to fill in one of the holes because it was too damp to plant a tree there, so that wasn’t so much fun. But I learned how to use a pick axe,’’ Stirling said.
The children were assisted by a team of parents acting as landscapers for the project.
Theresa Ready thought the project was exactly what children needed to be doing.
‘‘We have them growing fruit so they can see how it is made. It will make the area more beautiful, and beautiful areas make beautiful children,’’ she said.
Hard work: Nathaniel Fyfe, left, Anna Shaw and Stirling Gooch do their bit for the Paremata School garden.