Pare­mata pupils get out of the class­room

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATT SHAND

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.

Photo: MATT SHAND

Hard work: Nathaniel Fyfe, left, Anna Shaw and Stir­ling Gooch do their bit for the Pare­mata School gar­den.

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