2011 - Eco Agents Report
This year our learning focus was "Our World Our Water". We began with a visit to our local waterways and identifying ways to act as Kaitiaki / guardians to these.
Projects that developed from our inquiry were
We have been learning about stormwater drains with Sally from Watercare. If we put paint, food, soap or oil down these outside drains it will go to our stream and then out to the sea. This can pollute our waterways and hurt marine life. Only put rain down the drain and some people are painting multi-lingual signs to remind us what to do.
We have been learning about water because it is so important to us and the World. To save wasting water we need to bring a reuseable water bottle to school to save water from going down the drain at the drinking fountains. If you forget your drink bottle you can drink from the drinking side of the fountain not the tap side. This is using water wisely.
We have been learning about how toilets flush and how much water goes down the toilet. We want people to use a brick in the toilet to save flushing so much water and only use a half flush. We told Mrs P the Principal to change the toilets to use less water and when she has money she is going to do this. We put posters up to show others what to do.
WASHING YOGHURT POTS
We learnt that when we wash our yoghurt pots at the drinking fountain the yoghurt goes down the stormwater drain to our stream. This not good for the invertebrates in the stream. Now we collect water from the drinking fountains in a bucket and wash the yoghurt pots in this waste water. We tip this water onto the gardens.
Our aim is to have the whole school bring a litterfree lunchbox. This is because we are an enviroschool and we want to reduce the amount of rubbish going to landfills. Lunchboxes should have food items in reuseable containers, or materials that can be recycled.
We have worm food bins where food for the worms is collected from school lunchboxes. The food is put into the worm farm. The worms turn our food into worm tea which we put on our plants and also we well to our patents and community. We put the worm castings onto our gardens to help our plants grow.
PLANTING ON MOTUIHE ISLAND
The year 5 Syndicate went to Motuihe Island to plant trees. We planted 200 trees that will give homes to birds and insects. We wanted to do this because it is fun and we want to help improve the environment in Auckland. We were lucky to see a dog there named Rua and he hunts kiwi but he does not hurt them. He has a bell on his collar so the owner knows where he is. Last year there were 15 spotted kiwi let go on the Island and the Ranger is using the dog to find out if they are still alive.
Our school has an environmentally friendly lizard garden. It is to protect skinks and geckos from predators and give them a place to live. We want to stop the extinction of lizards. Recently we have put mulch down to make a path and weeded the garden. We have built more lizard hotels which they can bask on.
NATIVE TREE PLANTING
We have begun planting native trees around the back field. The plan for planting began last year with the year 4 Syndicate. We have planted these trees for several reasons. Some are to attract more native birds and insects, for shade and shelter and for us to learn more about the native trees and wildlife. We named the trees and also wrote information about the trees and some of us even adopted and named a tree!
We have created a team that is called the Eco Warriors. Every Thursday we set off with our tongs and gloves to the creek to pick up rubbish and
food scraps. We do this because we don’t want rubbish to go into our creek. The fish and eels and other invertebrates will be harmed or go away. We don’t want our creek polluted.
The year 4 syndicate planted 250 trees for Arbour Day in the Elm Park Reserve. There were leaves all around and we tried to plant as best we could but it was hard because it was muddy and slippery! We planted flax, cabbage trees, manuka and kanuka to attract more native wildlife to our community.
We have been learning about stormwater drains with Sally from Watercare. If we put paint, food, soap or oil down these outside drains it will go to our stream and then out to the sea. This can pollute our waterways and hurt marine life. Only put rain down the drain and some people are painting signs to remind us what to do.
SORTING OUR WASTE
In every classroom we have a paper bin for used on both sides paper, a waste bin for items that have to go to the landfill, a compost collection container and one for worm food too for when it is wet and rainy days. We have to use paper on both sides before we recycle it. This is because we will be chopping down trees and won’t have oxygen or places for animals to live and it costs money to make paper. We have a large green bin for flat clean paper. Parents can put their newspapers and junk mail in it and we get money from the recycling company.
Last year Room 18 class built a compost bin and this year we are making compost. The worms do not like citrus fruit peels so we had no place to put them and also we had waxed paper, pencil shavings and autumn leaves. These will turn into rich black soil for our gardens. This year Room 18 is collecting compost items from each class in a blue wheelie bin and then they empty this into the compost bin. The F.B.I.(Fungi, Bacteria, Insects) help them make the compost with for us.
At the end of the year we reflected on all the actions we had taken throughout the year, the projects we have maintained and extended and all the learning we have done to achieve these. Our reflection group decided that we were a silver school.