TfS at Kelvin Road School

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Dianne Patterson, TfS Field Officer Auckland South reports:

Kelvin Road School Principal Thomas Robertson and Teacher Ms Dawn Taffard inaugurated the Trees for Survival programme at this primary school late last year. Dianne Patterson, TfS Field Officer Auckland South oversaw the signing of a Partnership Agreement, with their Support Organisation representatives at Winstone Aggregates.   See http://www.tfsnz.org.nz/a-new-partnership/

It’s been a very successful year! On Thursday 7August Kelvin Road held their first planting day, planting out 563 seedlings they had nurtured since they were taken over from another school. The site, which had been fenced off from farm stock, was being planted to create a new patch of native bush alongside a stream which is eroding the bank off Kaipara Road near Papakura.

Sporting beanies supplied by Winstone Aggregates, Year 4 pupils from Kelvin Road School start digging the holes to plant native trees.

From left: TfS Teacher Ms D Taffard, Auckland Council Planting Day Coordinator Rata Gordon, KRS parent volunteer, Andrea Cave of Winstone Aggregates, and members of the Schick family behind Year 4 pupils

A day in the countryside offers a broader curriculum than just the lesson on planting native trees with discussion about: conservation, the effects of re-vegetation, problems of erosion, the importance of riparian planting and the value of combined efforts in such a community project. Children may also have their first-ever close encounters with farm animals, leading to endless questions and debate on topics such as: animal husbandry; the welfare of livestock and what a farmer’s career might entail. This hands-on learning in turn gives material for pupils’ creative expression in writing stories, producing art (see image below) and publishing reports about TfS and their personal experiences.

   

Back at school in November, the weekly work of on potting on seedlings and plant care continues, and the 6m PGU is full of about 1600 seedlings, living both inside and below the unit! As they fill potting mix around the soil children reminisce about the fun they had on planting day and ask “When’s the next one?”

Roger Milne observes the children as they listen intently

Recycled milk cartons continue their useful life

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Year 4 artist Olinita’s picture creates an appropriate image for conveying the message Happy Holidays