New garden beds for St George’s
St George’s School is getting new garden beds, thanks to the support of the school community
The students from class 234JG are fizzing with excitement about their newly developed garden area and busy growing plants from seed.
The development of the garden area particularly encapsulates one of the Enviroschools five guiding principles: ‘learning for sustainability’. This means learning about the environment, in the environment.
St George’s has strong sense of pride in their school. Students are excited about their new garden area and are always eager to get into their gardening gear including gumboots and gloves. Students in class 234JG have been carefully raising seedlings in the classroom from seeds they selected themselves from a catalogue. The first seedlings planted out in the new garden beds were lettuce and spinach, but when asked what else they might like, they all said “strawberries!”. The garden beds were built over a weekend by parents and students with help from “Uncle Colin”. The shed was built by students at Wanganui Collegiate in a previous agriculture course.
Since becoming an Enviroschool in 2017, St George’s has been learning about what it means to be a sustainable school. One of the earliest projects was to run an audit of the waste produced at the school and then implement processes to work towards reducing that waste and help divert as much of it as possible from the landfill. The school purchased a worm farm but it turned out it wasn’t big enough for the amount of food waste generated so they are responding to that by building a larger worm farm out of a repurposed bath tub.
Plans are underway to create a student-led envirogroup that will have meetings to decide on future plans. George and Connor, both year 8 students, have been nominated to lead this group as they have shown enthusiasm and leadership in learning for sustainability. The group will act as a voice for all students and the group will canvas the school to get their thoughts and opinions on all things environmental. Projects will need to be prioritised as the students already have many great ideas but not enough time in the day. An excursion is being planned for term 4 to introduce students to local conservation projects that they may be able to get involved with.
Another one of the guiding principles for Enviroschools is “empowered students”. This includes giving students the chance to have their say and to learn by doing, making mistakes and reflecting on what they have learned. By creating an envirogroup, students will have a say in what they want to learn about and how they want their journey to go. Working in this way will ensure students learn that they can make a difference, the school says.
■ Enviroschools are supported by Whanganui District Council and Horizons Regional Council. Schools interested in the programme can contact Ron Fisher directly at email@example.com
Students from class 234JG with teacher, Jacoba Glenny (at the back) and enviro leaders, Connor and George (3rd and 4th from left) enjoying the outdoors and looking forward to planting up their new raised garden beds.