Knighton Normal School

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EnviroSchool Report


Knighton School is one of a growing number of schools that are committed
to promoting Environmental programmes. 


The Enviroschools programme at Knighton is run by a team of middle school children  called "The Green Caps" who meet at least twice a month.                                                Yana with her winning Green Cap design


2012 The Green Caps begin planting our new orchard.

Our big focus for 2011 was building the school garden that the 2010 Green Caps designed for us. 

   
Thomas and friends prepare
the vegetable beds

Captain compost delivers
about $700 worth of peat
straw, plants and soil for
us free of charge.


During the year we may have visiting speakers talking to us about a range of issues for the Waikato eg. Halo project, Bellbirds. 

Ben from Enviroment Waikato talks to us about the Bellbird release and the Halo project
attracting Tuis to our area 2010

Our committee will help plant trees in the community and near the middle of the year we will do some planting at school to encourage native birds.

We would like to promote zero waste lunches and the Green Caps will lead this.  They will also look after our three worm farms and help in our native area.

One of our Green Caps Tasma, helping plant a forest on Arbor day 2010.







2009 New World Sponsorship Of Our EnviroSchool Projects


Knighton School is one of two schools to be awarded a grant of $2200 from the Hillcrest New World supermarket to go towards Enviroschools projects.

We submitted a proposal to construct more vegetable gardens, as we have had a lot of interest this spring from classes wanting to have a turn planting the one small garden we have in our compound.

The grant was the result of a campaign New World Supermarkets have been running for the last 2 months to try and reduce the number of disposable plastic bags used. This was reduced by 60%, and the money saved could go to community projects.

Our thanks to Warren Eddington and Hillcrest New World for their generous support for our
Enviro projects.


Since 2002 the school has worked on the following projects:

1. In conjunction with parents and other experts the children have developed a Native Bush area using trees and plants derived from the locality. This has been fenced for protection, and is thriving.           




2. For the Millennium celebrations the whole school contributed to the ‘Quiet Area’ outside the library. A gazebo, gardens and sheltered seating were constructed, and decorated with ceramic tile murals and tiles set into paving. Every child and staff member made one of these tiles to mark their presence at the school at this historic time.

3. Special people and events have been commemorated with tree planting and there is a continuing programme of replacing trees that that are no longer safe or healthy. We also have planted more shade trees in the grounds.

These trees have been selected for their beauty at different times of the year eg blossoms in the spring. We are particularly proud of our mature Liquid Amber trees that are the focus of study in the autumn when the leaves are spectacular.

A small collection of fruit trees has been planted so children can see where some of their food comes from and how it grows.
                         

4. For Knighton’s 5Oth Jubilee in 2007, the Junior School decided to give the school a birthday present. Each class designed and constructed  (with help from the Caretaker) sculptures, wall plaques, a birdbath, and ceramic tile murals that every child contributed to.
 As well, a ‘Bright and Beautiful’ garden was designed and planted by the children to enhance the new decks, sunshades, and sandpits. This deck now has tubs and hanging baskets that are adopted and planted by the New Entrant classes with  seasonal flowers.
                     

5. A class had researched, designed and constructed a ‘Bug Garden’ to attract insects and butterflies.           
This had a beautiful season, but was in a hot dry spot outside the Junior Bookroom protected by deep eaves, and needed a lot of watering. Another group of children decided it was more sustainable as a ‘Desert Garden’ which they designed and planted.

  A wildflower strip at the edge of the field may be developed as another habitat for insects and butterflies.
                        
6. The school has staff with worm farm expertise, and we have several worm farms operating. This is helping reduce the food scraps being discarded as they are now being recycled into compost and ‘Worm Juice’ which is used on school gardens.
Several classes have conducted investigations on how to increase recycling, and reduce waste generated at the school including how our worm farms work. A senior school class has looked after mini worm farms in ice cream containers so they really got to know what worms like and need.


7.  In 2008 Room 19 children under the guidance of Mrs Roe designed a raised garden, and planted vegetables for the soup that they make in winter. This ‘Soup Garden’ is totally Organic, and relies on worm Juice for its spectacular growth. In only 11 weeks the first celery was harvested.
 



8. Following the success of this garden, a small space beside the sandpit was enclosed to make another raised garden, and a Junior class planted it with colourful silverbeet, parsley and ornamental kale.      (photo)
This has thrived and will successively be planted with vegetables and flowers. These can be raised from seed so the children can observe the whole process.


9. Children have also planted spring bulbs in an area under a  Liquid Amber tree in the Junior playground. These include Bluebells, Daffodils, Freesias and Crocus. They will help will help with children’s observations of seasonal changes as they emerge each spring.

10. Within the school, environment systems encourage adults and students to avoid wasting resources. There is an increased emphasis on reducing the amount of paper that is collected to be recycled. Each room has a clearly labelled tray to collect paper that is available to be reused, and a box to collect clean paper and cardboard suitable to be recycled. This is labelled with the criteria of what can be recycled. We have paper shredders to produce bedding for our worm farms.
Many classes have lidded buckets to collect suitable food scraps for the worm farm, and children deliver these to the farms. Even the staffroom has a container. All waste materials have designated containers so recycling at Knighton can be effective.

11.To share ideas with our wider school community some of the staff and students’ ideas have regularly been published in the School weekly newsletter as ‘Envirotips’. These can also be accessed on the school website.  Parents are invited to contribute ideas that their family have found useful.

12. A collection of resources to support staff and student investigations about the Environment is being developed and is available through the library.

13.Environmental issues, projects, and information from the wider community eg: Environment Waikato are noted and passed on to the school community to promote the school’s involvement where appropriate.

14. Information that comes to the school about Environmental issues and events is gazetted to staff and students eg competitions and promotions and events.
Displays of projects and student work are available in the library and other spaces so the wider school can access them
Eg:  the worm farm. 

15. A new building currently in the planning stage will incorporate some of the student’s ideas about how to make it environmentally sustainable.

Projects for the future:
1.    Covering the ‘Enviro Compound’ to make a tunnel house for seed raising.
2.    Establishing more worm farms and compost bins (to use some of our copious autumn leaves) and selling what is produced to fund garden projects.
3.    Building further raised vegetable gardens so more classes can be involved in the care of their own garden.
4.    Classes adopting school gardens to encourage an interest in looking after our own environment.
5.    Developing a wild flower strip as an insect habitat.
6.    Planting more spring bulbs to assist students’ observations of Seasonal Change in their environment.
7.    Environmental considerations included in plans for new building and developments.

Enviro Tips
 
*  If you are using zip-lock plastic bags to pack school lunch snacks, get your child to bring them home rather than discarding them in the bin.  They can be washed in soapy water, pegged outside on the line and re-used several times.

*  Aluminium foil is an expensive way to wrap lunch items as it uses a lot of resources to produce.  Instead try waxed or greaseproof paper, or plastic containers that can be re-used.