Environmental effort gains silver
by Ann van Engelen
Rolleston Christian School reached silver status as an EnviroSchool recently an achievement accomplished, which enhances the bronze status the school gained in July 2018.
“There is a student-led reflection process that the students worked through with the EnviroSchools regional coordinator Andrea Taylor, and the Selwyn facilitator Matt Stanford,” says teacher Mandy Cleave.
“The reflection group needed to provide evidence through discussion, classwork and a school tour that Rolleston Christian School fulfilled the silver paragraph. That included having a strong vision. The EnviroSchools guiding principles weaved through the curriculum and visible in all areas of school life. We also needed to prove we have strong connections with our community.”
Through action-based inquiry, Rolleston Christian School was particularly strong in the principles of Sustainable Communities, Empowered Students and Learning for Sustainability.
“While learning about ‘Food’ in 2019, the students led authentic action projects to help solve a problem or issue they discovered through their learning. These included building a greenhouse for the school to help reduce food miles and enable organic gardening.
“They rehomed rescued chickens, collected cans of food for Leeston Food Bank and re-established outdoor vegetable gardens. They improved the school recycling system, composted food waste from lunch boxes and worked towards rubbish free lunch boxes. The greenhouse and chicken coop were built from recycled trampolines.
“We are exceptionally proud of our students with their understanding and depth of their answers compared to the bronze reflection. They understood the reasons behind the actions really well and very much felt they were making a positive difference to the environment and the wider community — which is why we do what we do.
“We built up some beautiful community contacts, which gave the children an understanding of networking as well. We are looking forward to seeing how this year’s project goes as we build toward Green Gold.”