Teaching & Learning

Mō tātou te Taiao ko te Atawhai
Mō tātou te Taiao ko te Oranga
It is for us to care for the environment to ensure its well-being
In doing so we ensure our own well-being and that of future generations

The NZ Curriculum encourages students to value ecological sustainability. Other values to be encouraged are excellence, innovation, inquiry and curiosity, community and participation, integrity and respect for others and themselves. See NZ Environmental Education Guidelines.

Trees for Survival (TfS), through its native tree planting programme, encourage these same values. It also provides students with transferable practical skills of caring for, growing and planting trees which fits well with gardening and other horticultural activities. Another advantage of the TfS programme is that students experience sustainability first-hand, being involved hands-on in maintaining the balance of nature through restoring their natural environment.

The TfS programme includes all three dimensions of environmental education

  • Education IN the environment
  • Education ABOUT the environment
  • Education FOR the environment

Community participation in the TfS programme also demonstrates the power of partnerships and of working together to preserve the natural heritage. Schools also can promote their environmental programmes on their own websites e.g. Point View School and Bucklands Beach Primary School.

In summary, by growing and planting native trees:

Students learn

  • basic horticultural skills
  • how to care for living things, in particular plants
  • to identify native trees
  • the importance of ecological sustainability

Students understand

  • the part trees play in sustaining the environment
  • the importance of:
    – controlling erosion
    – improving stream flow and water quality
    – biodiversity
    – reducing carbon emissions

Students experience

  • working in the field to preserve the environment
  • the benefits of teamwork
  • being involved with their community in environmental restoration

Skilled teachers incorporate the TfS programme into their teaching curriculum to reflect the vision, values and key competencies as well as several learning areas, achievement objectives and principles as expressed in the NZ Curriculum. For example see NZ Educational Guidelines – New Zealand’s Indigenous Trees: Tree Planting – Level 3














TfS Teachers have access to teaching resources including DVDs, videos and posters to assist their classroom and outdoor activities. In a number of regions TfS Field Officers and TfS volunteers may be available to give help and guidance while local Council staff , familiar with the TfS programme, are always willing to assist.

Materials and supplies are available from TfS via an online ordering system with delivery (location dependent) usually completed in two weeks.

Schools wishing to apply to be a TfS school can download an Application Form here. A successful application will require the school to have an established environmental curriculum and in many cases access to funding support from a Unit Sponsor and/or a School Sponsor. For further enquiries contact the TfS Administrator.

It is worth noting that the TfS programme fits comfortably within the Enviroschools concept whose programmes are designed to

  • Encourage positive change and action.
  • Enable the development of skills, knowledge, confidence and experience to contribute to their communities.
  • Integrate Māori perspectives.
  • Encourage awareness and understanding of the ecosystems that we are all part of.
  • Connect children and young people/tamariki and rangatahi to contribute to their communities.
  • Promote respect for the diversity of people and cultures in our communities and world.

You can check out how to integrate a TfS programme within your Enviroschool activities by consulting with the TfS National Manager.

The Teaching and Learning Cycle: 

Getting Involved: 

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