The area outside Room 10 and 11 was in need of a makeover. The children in the Poihipi Team took up the challenge to create a child-friendly learning space in place of the bedraggled garden that it was. We wanted a space that would become a ‘special place’ in Wairakei Primary School.
This is what the area looked like before the makeover.
We divided the space into three areas: Fantasy World, Nature World and Decking Fence. The children who decided to work with me were responsible for the Nature World area. We looked at the space for our area, put some designs on paper and came up with an action plan. It was decided the Nature World area would include: a cafe/mud kitchen, fishpond/campfire, bird house/bird bath, bridge/deck/wharf, and flowers.
Having a look at the Nature Team area.
Some of the designs the Nature Team created.
Mr Jackson was co-opted onto the team and he met with us to see if he could assist with the building of some of the structures. It was great fun clearing the plants out of the garden. Anaru, our caretaker, was able to dig out the bigger plants. A lot of the plants were rehomed and Whaea Margo with Room 13 made putiputi from the flax to give to our visitors during our Matariki celebrations.
Discussing ideas with Mr Jackson.
Clearing out plants to make way for the new features.
Part of our inquiry topic was looking at how to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. We were able to use wooden pallets to make the structures and old planter pots that I had sitting in the garage were washed and reused. Kitsets were used to make the birdhouses.
More help was at hand when we had our Makeover Day. Parents came to help with making paving stones and planting plants. Mr Jackson made the structures in his garage and then put them together at school.
The Nature Team is ready, willing and able to do the work on Makeover Day.
Celebration Day arrived and we were ready for the opening of our new improved learning area. Speeches were made and a ribbon was cut. Ever since children have been making use of the area. We are so proud of our efforts and we are thinking of ways to add to this ‘special learning space’.
Thumbs up on Celebration Day.
Children from the junior school enjoying playing in our new learning space.
A big thank you goes to all the people that gave us encouragement and support for our project.
Keywords: makeover, inquiry, special place