Windwhistle School students Emme, Ayden, Rey, Paddy, Harry and Fergus discover how to harvest flax seeds

Windwhistle’s nature adventures

by Ann van Engelen

Students at Windwhistle School have started the year with a variety of lessons on community, including how to work together toward a common goal and live sustainably.

“Our values focus at present is responsibility, and this includes looking after each other and the world around us,” says principal Bronwen Seaward.

“The children are learning to make good choices with the older students role modelling for the younger ones. They join together at morning tea and lunchtime and play as a family. A lot of quality learning happens when they are left to explore together.”

Part of this term’s lessons is nature study and looking after natural treasures.

“We are learning about looking after the taonga of our district. The students have been to Washpen Falls to explore the local flora and fauna that are our treasures. They were taught how to harvest flax seeds and this week they will learn to weave with items such as cabbage tree leaves, flax and toetoe.

It is teaching them the importance of sustainability and where we live in the world is a very special place.

“The school is also doing a trip to High Peak Station where a lot of conservation work has been completed and we are taking our year five had six students to Wellington to work at the zoo on sustainability. A lot of the things that grow here, you don’t get at other places. We want our children to have a good understanding of the responsibilities we have regarding keeping our environment healthy and sustainable for future generations.”