Cromwell Primary School have recently hosted a visiting team of six people from across New Zealand to conduct a ‘Reflection’ on the journey that the school has made over the last 10 years.
The result of this visit has meant that they are now the first Central Otago school to be granted Green and Gold Enviro School Status.
The reflection focused on school governance and management, as well as on the projects completed and the students’ understanding of what environmental sustainability means on a practical level.
The project has been student-led, but it success has been guaranteed by the whole-school approach – board, teachers, students, caretaker and cleaners all being on board.
The Enviro Schools organisation is co-ordinated by the Otago Regional Council, and principal Wendy Brooks is keen to acknowledge the support of Central Otago District Council facilitator Anna Robinson.
“She walked alongside us through this journey,” says Wendy, adding, “These people are enablers. They link you to places to help in terms of sustainability education.”
The visiting team toured the school, went to Lowburn with the Lake Dunstan Guardian pupils, and then returned for kai made by the students from the school’s community vegetable garden.
Mayor Tim Cadogan congratulated the students, who talked the group through their various projects.
One project was the measuring of CO2 levels in the classroom.
Their new classrooms have air quality sensors.
The students concluded that there should be no more than 4 students in the room if there is no ventilation.
The students also enjoyed having zoom meetings with schools in America that were doing similar study. They had the top NIWA scientists guiding them throughout the project.
This year they are continuing to work with NIWA, monitoring the outside air quality of Cromwell during winter.