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Teacher information

Teacher information and resources

All of our teacher information and supporting resources align Trees for Survival activities with a range of learning outcomes for all ages.

We are excited to be working on a curriculum linked teaching guide and video for teachers use to support their Trees for Survival activities - we will be releasing the first stage of this guide in 2024.

Currently the Trees for Survival programme can be aligned with the following NCEA units: Level 3 Unit+22175v2, 27208v2, 27210v2, 29829v1Level 2 Unit+31656, 21556, 2765, 9681, US2803,29493, 29669.


Total native plants planted


Total native plants planted in 2023


Schools involved in 2023


Children involved in 2023


Waterways planted in 2023

Teacher information and support resources

Within the Trees for Survival calender this is plenty of opportunity to align Trees for Survival activities with learning opportunities for all ages around biodiversity, ecology and revegetation. 

Scroll down for teacher information including guidelines and checklists to provide some additional support for teachers leading the Trees for Survival activities such as potting up and planting days.

Planting calendar

Along with year-long watering and tending to plants, here is an overview of the yearly Trees for Survival calendar.

August - September

Potting Up

  • Potting mix and eco sourced native seedlings arrive (approx. 900)

  • Watch potting up video

  • Pot up seedlings as soon as possible and before the end of Term 3

Book your Facilitator in to help you with this!


Great - seedlings are all potted on!

November - December

  • Plan summer holiday plant care and watering system checks

  • Facilitator undertakes pre-summer visit to count plants and check shade house


  • Facilitators post summer visit to count plants and check shade house

  • Pencil a planting day date and rain date into your school calendar

Advise your Facilitator of your preferred dates!


  • Liaise with your Facilitator around ongoing plant care and shade house checks


  • Facilitators are busy liaising with landowners, assessing and monitoring planting sites and will then confirm site and dates with landowner and school

Liaise with your Facilitator about adjusting your water timer to prepare plants for life after planting day - this will vary depending on seasonal conditions

Planting day prep

Lead up to Planting Day

  • Make planting day transport arrangements/ bus booking

  • Send your RAMS form to your Facilitator

  • Your Facilitator will share further planting day details

  • Send out Planting Day invitation to adult help

  • Arrange plant pick up with landowner 1 -2 weeks prior to planting day

  • Watch planting and safety videos

May - August

Planting Day!

  • Typically the planting day is a full day out. Arrange to take about 30 students. This number is manageable for landowner catering and facilitator resources.

  • Please invite adult helpers as they can be a tremendous help. Watch the following videos in preparation for the day: Safety Video and Planting Day Video.

  • Transport arrangements for the day are the schools responsibility and cost however bus subsidies may be available.

Post-planting day

After Planting Day - before new seedlings arrive

  • Ensure the landowner returns all crates and planter bags to school promptly.

  • Clean and tidy up around shade house

  • Apply moss spray to shade cloth while shade house is empty

  • Set timer to run for 1 min per week to prevent sprinklers clogging

Teaching Outcomes

There are two components of the Trees for Survival teaching and learning cycle:

Growing and Planting Native Plants

Growing trees requires ongoing attention – there are lots of opportunities to involve students:

  • Involve the whole class in potting on.

  • allocate watering and weeding teams

  • Make the planting day something to really look forward to.

  • It is best that the teaching curriculum is completed in one year and a planting day planned annually.

  • Most regions  have small seedlings supplied and are able to grow to a planting out size in one year.

  • plan to plant a minimum of 800 trees

  • there are plenty of classroom  opportunities including counting and recording /  identifying native plants / understanding the complexities of habitats

  • planting days should take place from May to August (September in the deep south)

Late planting often results in poor outcomes, as the roots have not had sufficient time to establish before the following summer, and the dry autumn weather which often follows.

Focus in the Classroom

Classroom activities will reinforce the themes outlined in the environmental education curriculum

  • education IN the environment

  • education ABOUT the environment

  • education FOR the environment

The key outcomes of the programme emphasises the role of trees in:

  • controlling erosion

  • improving stream flow and water quality

  • habitat creation

  • biodiversity

  • reducing carbon emissions

Student benefits include:

  • knowledge of plant parts

  • recognition of native tree seedlings and adult species

  • awareness of the basic requirements for plant growth

  • acquaintance with risks to healthy plant growth ( insect pests, weeds, fungal attack)

  • experience in ‘potting up’ seedlings

  • ability  to ‘plant out’ established plants in the field


Guidelines for Environmental education in New Zealand Schools

Living with the river teaching information

Wakatipu Reforestation Trust Native Environment themed Colouring In Sheets

Department of Conservation Experiencing native trees in your green space

I loved watching how excited students were to get involved and to plant as many trees as they possibly could. I really loved the facilitation and co-ordination from Sally – she was extremely knowledgeable and clear about what needed to be done and why.”

– Trees for Survival teacher, Glenbrook School

Teacher information: Potting on

For the best potting on results, please ensure your whole class watches the Lesson One: Potting On from Plugs instructional video prior to your potting on session.

  1. Pot the seedlings into the Trees for Survival planter bags as soon as possible. This avoids stunting their growth and ensures they can achieve optimal size by planting day. 

    Book your Facilitator in to help you guide your set up process to get best results.
    One or two sessions is more effective to complete potting up than many short sessions.
    Don't forget - your partners or school community can help to! Organise a day that suits everyone for best results!

  2. Pack the bags in the crates - 20 bags for each crate. Please keep the same species in each crate.

  3. Place the crates in the shade house, keeping the same species in crates together.

  4. Set the timer for 3 minutes twice a day. Your Facilitator can advise what setting is best for your situation. 

There are lots of opportunities for curriculum based learning!

Thanks for a well organised and inspirational day for our children. It really brought out the best in them and will leave them with lasting memories and thoughts about how to make our community and planet a better place.”

– Deputy Principal, Puni School

What does success look like?

We have a range of criteria to set your school up for success so you enjoy the Trees for Survival programme and your students have a great experience. Here's what we're looking to achieve:

  • The Trees for Survival programme was integrated into the curriculum

  • Seedlings were potted on as soon as possible after receiving them

  • Shade house plants are tended throughout the growing season

  • Planting day dates were set and shared with your Facilitator and Landowner before the end of March

  • By May, all plants were a minimum of 30cm and sturdy enough for planting between May-Aug

  • Your planting day may not go ahead if your plants numbers or size are insufficient

  • If there were substantial numbers of undersized plants or plant losses the reasons for this would be identified with your Facilitator and a plan put in place to prevent this in future

  • A successful planting day was held with your community and sponsors.


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