Learning Barefoot at Paekākāriki

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Paekākāriki School have worked with Enviroschools to build on their place-based ‘barefoot learner’ principles to reach a stage where spending time learning in the natural environment is an integral part of their programme. This helps give ākonga a sense of belonging and citizenship – an ideal foundation for a whole school Enviroschools journey.
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A paki (ornamental cape) collaboratively created by the ākonga.

Placed-based principles for learning:

Tūrangawaewae – belonging
Whanaungatanga – connecting
Whakatōmene – exploring
Whakapuawai – thriving

These are the Barefoot Learning Principles underpinning learning at Paekākāriki School. Developed in consultation with their community in 2017, they guide the culture of the school and recognise the importance of keeping our feet connected to Papatūānuku in order to make a positive difference in this world.

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I wonder, I explore, I discover, I share.

Enriching the programme through connections with Enviroschools
For the last few years, Enviroschools Te Upoko o te Ika a Māui have had a particular focus on nurturing eco-literate learners as the foundation for taking action within a sustainable community.

In 2020 Amanda, the Enviroschools Community Facilitator on the Kāpiti Coast, co-led a Kāpiti Teachers GO WILD event with Liana Stupples from Re-Wild yourself. Amanda and Liana supported teachers to be connected to nature for their own well-being and to give them simple ways to share this with their students.

By participating in this event Jess, senior school teacher at Paekākāriki School, gained practical ideas and insights into how to bring meaning to place-based learning for ākonga. She took ideas such as nature journaling and a simple model of mihi from the Enviroschools resources and implemented them in her classroom. This helped her weave together culturally responsive kaupapa, core curriculum planning and innovative new teaching ideas around science, local history, technology, creative arts, mātauranga Māori, maths and well-being all in one meaningful context.

You can learn more about this process and the outcomes for students here.

Enviroschools is privileged to walk alongside Paekākāriki School and support them as they continue to integrate place-based learning and education for sustainability across the whole school.

Holding the vision of Te Aho Tū Roa and Enviroschools