Semester One 

Somerville Intermediate is proud to be an Enviroschool. You may have seen our Silver Status sign proudly displayed on the stone wall just before the stairs to reception.

Our vision is for sustainability education to be part of our “DNA”, it's just something that we all do as a school. We plan for and incorporate this into all of our inquiries and tech/spec programmes. We also run an Eco-Warriors group for keen students and a garden club.

Activities and Events in Semester One:

Eco-Warriors: Covid has impacted on our ability to meet as Eco-Warriors but fortunately we have been able to work within health guidelines to carry out some worthwhile endeavours.

 

Mangemangeroa Reserve: We continue to utilise our wonderful outdoor classroom, the Mangemangeroa Reserve as part of our specialist Science programme. Year 8 students regularly visit the reserve to carry out ecological health surveys and learn more about our native plants and fauna. It’s wonderful to experience for all involved and much learning takes place.

 

Carex Planting: On Friday, 20th of May, twelve enthusiastic Eco-Warriors took part in a carex planting event at Mangemangeroa Reserve, along with two other local schools: Cockle Bay Primary and Howick College. Approximately three hundred carex were planted; they will form a natural buffer to help shield the manuka trees.

 

Blake Virtual Trust: We hosted the Blake Virtual Trust on May 27th. Two travelling educators came to Somerville with a class-set of virtual reality headsets to deliver an engaging, inspiring and educational one-hour session on environmental sustainability with a focus on oceans. Four Science A & B groups plus our Eco-Warriors were the recipients of this incredible experience.

 

Wearing a VR headset, our students engaged with a number of underwater experiences through 360˚ videos that compared and contrasted different marine environments. They learnt what causes ocean damage and what actions can be taken to protect the marine environment. The students who participated have developed a deeper understanding of kaitiakitanga and practical actions that they can take to help protect the environment.

 

Garden Club: The garden club that has been established this year is in response to the enthusiasm demonstrated by a core group of students. Several key students approached Miss Dubey and Mr Read and this led to this student initiated development. This term, along with a couple of parent helpers, the students have weeded and sown a range of vegetables, such as carrots, beans, radishes, onions and potatoes. Miss Dubey has started a propagation group; it has been fun learning about breeding plants from parent stock.

 

S.T.E.A.M. Innovations Science Fair: Approximately twenty-four students are currently focusing on sustainability as part of their S.T.E.A.M. Innovations Science Fair projects. There are some amazing projects and investigations; some of these include:

  • Stream sedimentation: Which local streams contain the most sediment and how might that be affecting marine life?
  • Alternative “ice packs”: How effective are more environmentally friendly homemade ice packs” compared to shop bought ones?
  • Recycling computers: How much of a computer is recyclable and how much of a computer COULD be recyclable?
  • Biodegradable products: Are biodegradable products such as straws and cups actually biodegradable and how long does it take?
  • Garden Bird Survey: Conducting a Citizen Science bird count of local parks and submitting results to the national database.

Te Reo and tikanga Maori: As a school we have been learning Te Reo and tikanga Maori to help grow and sustain our rich tangata whenua heritage. The students and staff have been enjoying this aspect of sustainability education.