Raglan Kindergarten earns top Enviroschools Green-Gold ranking

Raglan Kindergarten’s environmental status just went up another notch recently achieving the top Enviroschools Green-Gold status.

In the presentation lunch recently an Enviroschools representative called Raglan Kindergarten “enviroschools on steroids”.

Head teacher Isabel Crawforth says the award is a credit to the wider community’s environmental actions which inspire Raglan Kindergarten on their own journey.

“This is a lovely community to work alongside and the children get to build a relationship with the place. We work in a community that is always evolving and we are able to evolve alongside them.”

Recognition as an Enviroschool comes in three stages – bronze, through to silver and the top award – the rare green-gold.

A nationwide programme, Enviroshools supports early childhood centres and schools in their journey to long-term sustainability. Students are encouraged to connect with and explore the environment, then plan, design and take action in their local places in collaboration with their communities.

One of the ongoing enviro community projects the kindergarten is involved in is Taunga Kereru, a working permaculture farm run by Rick Thorpe and Liz Stanway.

For the past four years a group of senior students visit the farm once a week and spend time getting introduction to food resilience and permaculture in a very hands-on way.

Isabel says the students get to experience the farm in a very unstructured way, see the change in seasons and how that affects the farm, and learn about bugs, plants and growing food.

“We discovered that not only were our children learning new things but our parent and whaanau helpers were also getting a lot of learning out of the visits.”

Raglan Kindergarten have a few current projects on the go – they have nearly finished their rain water run and have started to expand their worm farm capacity – after some community advice and support from Xtreme Zero Waste.

“This is such an inspiring community to be in and it’s so supportive of anything we want to do to help children to learn about sustainability,” Isabel says.

Janine Jackson