Enviroschools allows both students and teachers to engage in learning and action in local settings. We believe that creating healthy, sustainable communities involves all of us, and that through our work and our lives we each have different skills, knowledge and experience to contribute. Having someone at the helm of an Enviroschool that is responsive to relevant issues, will champion the Enviroschools kaupapa at all levels of the learning community, and facilitate learner-centred strategies makes a significant difference.
With 17 years leading an Enviroschool, Principal Linda Campbell holds a tremendous amount of knowledge of the programme at Kimbolton School. With Linda’s retirement on the horizon, Sarah Williams, Regional Coordinator for the Enviroschools Programme in Manawatu-Whanganui saw an opportunity to capture some of this wisdom.
When Linda first arrived at Kimbolton, she remembers a lot of litter around the school grounds and there was nothing in the playground that children had created or took responsibility for. There was no education for sustainability. Her and a part time ex-conservation teacher both taught conservation and others joined in, to some degree.
Now in 2020, it is a different story, and to celebrate a whole school approach and Linda’s 17 years as Principal, the school held their Green-Gold review in Term 4 2020. There are recycling bins, growing units, worm bins, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, student designed and made playground features such as a large concrete tuatara and the sound ‘garden’, bug hotels, native trees, compost bins, enviro themed children’s artworks, food scrap bins, welcoming features created by students at the front entrance, herb garden, tukutuku panels, forest themed mural on shed wall and very little litter.
What would you tell a principal embarking on an Enviroschools journey? -
“DO IT!! This is important for the future. It is a fantastic way to empower young people. A fantastic way to involve the BOT, the community and other groups. Tell people what you are doing, including your local paper. Talk to other schools already involved and learn about their journey. Think about staffing. There has to be a driver so a teacher who is passionate and inspires others is important. Make sure they have the time to do the job well.” - now retired Principal, Linda Campbell
When asked what she felt was uplifting about her leading the Kimbolton Enviroschools journey Linda replied:
"The amazing enrichment teachers we have had. Their willingness to try new things, their passion and dedication. I have loved seeing the confidence and knowledge of these teachers grow so very much. Seeing both the teachers, Anwyl and Heidi taking on other roles in environmental education has been fantastic. I feel so proud of both of them."
Banner: Linda next to Kimbolton School native plant growing units
Centre: Living Landscapes at Kimbolton that foster a greater understanding of inter-relatedness and a concern for the place.