In 2011 a parent and friend of the school asked if we would like a few grafted fruit trees. We happily said yes. This turned into a heritage orchard and so our Enviro Schools Journey began.
In 2013 we were recognised as a Bronze Enviro School
In 2013 we received a Taranaki Regional Council Environmental Award.
In 2015 we were recognised as a Silver Enviro School.
Our Schools Enviro Goals
1. To equip our students with the competencies they need to be leaders in sustainability.
2. To develop skills, understanding, knowledge, and confidence through planning, designing and creating a sustainable school.
Links to Strategic Plan 2021 – 2023:
• Create a sustainable school environment.
• Encourage and create opportunities to learn in the outdoor environment.
• Provide environmental education.
• Include Maori perspectives to enrich learning where appropriate
Links to Annual Plan:
• To continue to implement the Enviro Schools Memorandum of Agreement
Sustainability In Action @ Toko School
The vegetable garden will be the main responsibility of Room 4. There will be seasonal vegetables grown which the children can request be grown. The vegetables are for the use of all the Toko children and community to use. Children will come up with different ways the vegetables can be used.
This will be monitored and run by Rooms 1 and 2. They will care for the worms by feeding them and monitoring the temperature for cold. Worm Tea / Comfrey Tea etc will be taken from the Fertiliser Factory and used in our school garden. There will be containers for worm scraps in each classroom which Rooms 1 and 2 will be responsible for emptying and putting into the worm farm.
Room 3 will be responsible for the recycling of paper within the school. This will be done as a class duty every day. Monitors will be responsible for keeping the recycling centre tidy, ensuring paper recycling is carried out correctly, educating others and will inform the principal when the fadge needs to be taken to the town recycling centre.
Recycled Bottle House
This can be used by all classes to grow and carry our experiments. Plants will be grown in the glass house for the school vegetable garden, chicken food and the school orchard. Growing plants from seeds will be used for a Koha when visiting other schools. Plants will be planted and potted to be sold at the Country Fair or on the Enviro Stall.
Room 3 is responsible for the care, maintenance and feeding of our school chickens. The incubation and raising of chickens will be part of the class day to day plan and culture. The eggs from the chickens will be sold within the community as well as possibly being fertilised by a rooster. Laying chickens will be sold at certain times of the year, when new chicks have hatched to assist in the chickens paying for themselves.
Room 4 is responsible for looking after, picking and drying our school lavender. To date we use the lavender to make lavender bags to sell and give as gifts. This is an ongoing task which Room 4 does as well as coming up with other creative ways to use lavender.
This will be organised by the teachers in charge. All money our classes make from their sustainable projects are banked into the Toko School Enviro Bank. Classes can also make withdrawals for environmental related projects.
Room 4 is responsible for the Herb/Distilling garden. We distill Kawakawa, Japanese Cedar and Pine as well. All these plant materials are used to make hydrosols and then these hydrosols are used to make cleaner for the cleaner, and currently looking at making liquid soaps for the schools use.
The signage has been updated. All signs are bright and attractive to attract the eye. Signs will continue to be added as new things appear. There are Wood and Perspex signs which have information at specific areas around the school which explain the journey this area has taken. This will continue to be added as the enviro journey continues.
The vision map, in our school hall, gets updated and changed every year as teachers and enviro leaders see new things that will enhance the learning of the children. This is the responsibility of all classes, Enviro leaders, Enviro teacher and the Principal.
A map will be developed to be used by visitors to guide them around our environment and to share our journey. The enviro leaders will be in charge of taking visitors around the Arts Trail and they will be confident in answering questions around the school’s journey.
A new Enviro leader is chosen each term to add to the team. This also keeps the knowledge up for when the Enviro leaders leave the school. Each child is given an Enviro shirt and they wear this when meeting and greeting people. These leaders are called on if there is anything special that needs the Enviro leaders to go to.
The care code is on display throughout the school. The care code incorporates the Learning Stars already in place within the school culture. In 2021 we will look at converting some of our signage into Te Reo Maori.
Our school participates in this annual Taranaki event. The Enviro leaders and other children are guides during school hours. School products are for sale on our enviro stall outside the school for the festival. The Enviro Leaders will be responsible for stocking the stall and the Enviro Warriors will make preserves etc, to sell on the stall.
Litter Free Zone
Room 1 is responsible for the litter in lunch boxes. There have been signs made and the children have been asked to take their litter home or to use containers instead of plastic for their food. Food scraps can be given to the chickens or worms. There will be no litter bins available for the use of lunch rubbish. Classroom bins are not to be used for putting lunch litter into. The intention is to cut the amount of waste from the school right down to very little. This will save the expense of having the rubbish being collected with the added fact that we will be helping the environment
In 2017 Room 4, a class of Year 7 & 8 children, came up with the idea of having beehives at school and so our bee journey began. We knew nothing about bees so spent the majority of the year researching the types of bees you find in a hive, how bees make honey, uses for honey, how to establish and maintain a beehive and we wrote persuasive letters to the Board of Trustees to explain to them why we should get bees at school. In September of 2017 we were fortunate enough to receive a grant from Fonterra Grass Roots to set up our beehives at school. We purchased a number of bee suits and beekeeping equipment. We were also very lucky to receive the support of local beekeeping company Bees & Trees and their head beekeeper Raul offered his assistance in setting up our beehives. Mid September our first beehive arrived and within 2 weeks we had our second hive.
The beehives are located in the school paddock and are producing clover honey which we have just extracted and are going to sell to our school community.
Room 5 and 6 are responsible for looking after the bees.
Each class is responsible for the care and protection of a certain number of fruit trees. Each class research’s the variety of fruit tree they are responsible for and provide some key information: history, growing conditions, how to look after, what the fruit is best suited for e.g. cooking, eating , time to harvest etc . By the time our children leave Toko School they will have cared for all the trees in our schools orchard.
To view our Enviro Blog and to keep track of our journey please click on the link below:
Toko School Enviro Blog