This term we have revisited our graphs and our lists and decided on a project that we could really get excited about. Working in pairs, or small groups of three, everyone has been working hard to grow, fix, clean, plant and improve their chosen area. We know that simply doing things works for now but doesn't keep or projects going. 2 of the 5 guiding principles that underpin the Enviroschools kaupapa are Learning for Sustainability and Sustainable Communities. By keeping a record of what we are doing, how we are doing it, what works and what doesn't means that everyone in our school community is able to learn from us making what we are doing more sustainable. "Anyone can pick up where we leave it" Ruby says.
Our projects are ongoing and open ended. If you think you can help we'd love to have you in the classroom/garden/native area with us. Come in and see what we are up to.
Whole School Project - Bring back the Bees
Our bees were buzzing along nicely, giving us our christmas honey this time last year and pollinating our fruit and vegetables. They waged a war with wasps and it seems as though they may have lost. The hives are no longer full with busy bees. We are left wondering how are we going to get them back?
This is where our creativity and ingenuity have come in handy. Ms T was given a great big box, full to the brim with an amazing resource. Stacks and stacks of beeswax coated cotton offcuts, the by product of making food wraps.
Could we use these to attract bees back into school? We were keen to give it a shot.
Students have been developing tuakana - teina relationships with people from other classrooms. These began during our buddy reading sessions and have continued as we find someone who we connect with, who we can learn from and work with. For this project students in Room 1 had knowledge about bees that they needed to share with students in Rooms 2 and 3. In order for bees to be sustained within the school that knowledge cannot leave with our senior students.
We decided to create something with these strips that we could hang up around school to help to bring the bees back.
"The hives are full with wax, it's everywhere."
"I could see honeycomb, yellow honeycomb."
"I can see furry bee bums sticking up at me."
"The middle was darker than the outside."
We also had some questions.
"Shall we clean it for the new bees?"
"Why are there so many dead bees?"
"Where is the honey?"
We talked about what makes a home a home, smells, things that are familiar and decided that bees might like to know that other bees have lived here. Brett said just the same thing on his course so we decided to leave them be and see whether a swarm of bees may just think that they are great new homes.
This week Room 2 have had the job of being on 'scout' watch. Looking for the bees who look for the new homes before they decide to move 'the whole city' as Brett would say. Working as scientists we have been recording the number of bees and their behaviour around the hives every 15 minutes. Fingers crossed, our new 'city' will arrive and call Waikino School it's home.
We'll keep you posted!