Cardinal McKeefry features in the Education Gazette
By Education Gazette editors
ISSUE: VOLUME 98, NUMBER 16
Despite an earlier annihilation by rabbits, an edible Dig for Victory garden planted by students from seven Wellington schools in Parliament grounds is now on track to produce a bumper harvest.
Checking out progress at the Dig for Victory garden at Parliament are: Kristian, Ananyaa, TJ, Sam, Eugene, Chloe from Cardinal McKeefry School.
Earlier this year, students from seven Wellington schools, along with supporters from the RSA and local chefs, planted a garden in the grounds of Parliament to launch a new curriculum resource – Dig for Victory.
Rabbits annihilated nearly the whole vege patch, leaving just the beetroot and silverbeet.
The garden has now been replanted, surrounded by a rabbit-proof fence, and the Garden to Table Trust is still on track to produce a harvest for the organisation’s 10th birthday on 14 November.
Permission to establish an edible Dig for Victory garden in Parliament grounds was given by Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“We planted ‘old-fashioned’ World War II-style vegetables in a very traditional garden on the lawns beside the library to show the public that anyone can grow vegetables anywhere and to inspire a new generation to start growing,” explains Victoria Bernard, Trust programme coordinator for Wellington.
Some of the produce will be given to charity when the vegetables are harvested in November. Victoria has also arranged for chef Steve Logan to use the vegetables at Bellamy’s, the parliamentary restaurant.
“I am working on having a rabbit dish on the menu to counteract the stress of it all,” she says.
Dig for Victory curriculum resource
Initially released in time for Anzac Day, the Dig for Victory curriculum resource teaches young students about a World War II programme of the same name. At the time, rationing was in place across the country and many food products were shipped directly to troops, including
US soldiers stationed in the Pacific.
“Dig for Victory encouraged people to grow their own vegetables at home, to be more self-sufficient,” says Victoria.
The curriculum resource was written by Victoria, who is a registered primary school teacher.
She says the resource leads teachers and students through the history of the ‘Home Front’ in New Zealand, using historical photos and newspaper articles.
A battleships game explores the perils of importing and exporting food across enemy seas, leading to the need for rationing. Wartime recipes and newspaper articles are analysed and then the ultimate challenge is set: to grow a Dig for Victory garden for a contemporary cause, such as climate change, obesity, mental health or food security.
A recipe for ‘See in the Dark’ Anzac biscuits has been one of the most popular recipes to be downloaded from the Garden to Table website.
“They are Anzac biscuits with rosemary from the garden for remembrance, poppy seeds for World War I remembrance, and grated carrot because of the ‘see in the dark’ propaganda,” explains Victoria.
“This British propaganda during World War II aimed to trick the Germans because the Brits had discovered radar and they didn’t want the Germans to know.
“They also had a glut of carrots. It’s such a beautiful story for children – it opens up the whole history and intrigues them.”
The Garden to Table Trust hopes to use the 14 November celebration as an opportunity to challenge a mayor from the region to start a
Dig for Victory garden in Wellington and then pass on that challenge to other mayors.
“We want it to catch on around the country, so all these civic gardens get turned into Dig for Victory gardens,” she says.
Education for sustainability
Mō tātou te taiao ko te atawhai, mō tātou te taiao ko to oranga.
It is for us to care for and look after the environment to ensure its wellbeing, in doing so we ensure our own wellbeing and that of our future generations.
The New Zealand Curriculum focuses on 21st-century learning, ensuring learners are equipped to participate in and contribute to their own society and the wider world. An important part of this is encouraging students to consider significant future-focused issues, such as sustainability.
Structuring learning around a unifying theme such as sustainability provides opportunities for students to make connections between learning areas, competencies and values. It requires teaching and learning approaches that draw on all elements of effective pedagogy and focuses on empowering students to take action for a sustainable future.
Sustainability in Te Mātauranga o Aotearoa connects to the principle “environmental health is personal health”. This curriculum endorses a place for the school, the family, the community, the hapū, and iwi groups to focus on the place of the student in their own world. Therefore, the school-based curriculum supports holistic teaching programmes and learning pathways that enable the learner to engage purposefully with the environment.
Root to Tip Competition
Click here to view the online article.
Garden to Table Blessing
On June 12th Cardinal McKeefry School celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Garden to Table with a blessing of our garden and kitchen led by Cardinal John Dew. Garden to Table (GTT) is a nationwide school based initiative that focuses on teaching children the joy and skills of growing vegetables and cooking a meal to share with others. Room 2 takes part in the Wednesday morning programme with the support of Estelle our Kitchen Specialist, John our Garden Specialist, and Bridget, who is the teacher in charge of Garden to Table. GTT is also supported by a group of parent volunteers. We were delighted to have all of those who supported the creation of our Garden to Table programme there to share in our celebration.
Symbols that represented the Garden to Table programme were matched with our Marist Charisms and were placed on the prayer table.
Cardinal John shared with the children his own family’s love of gardening in his homily and linked this to our Marist Charisms of Family Spirit and Presence. He spoke about the power of generosity that can come from sharing produce and a meal. He concluded by reminding us that these experiences are truly a gift from God.
The government is pledging to rid the country of single-use plastic bags by July next year.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage have made the commitment at Wellington’s Lyall Bay beach this morning.
Watch the announcement here:
This year 65,000 Kiwis signed a petition calling for an outright ban, and Ms Ardern said they were listening to those demands.
“Every year in New Zealand we use hundreds of millions of single-use plastic bags – a mountain of bags.”
New Zealand is one of the highest producers of urban waste in the developed world, per capita, according to OECD data.
Ms Ardern said many plastic bags end up polluting the country’s coastal and marine environments and cause serious harm to all kinds of marine life.
“And all of this when there are viable alternatives for consumers and business. It’s great that many people are already changing the way they shop but it’s important we take the time now to get this right.”
She said before entering politics, and the prime minister role, she underestimated the impact of plastics on the environment.
“I also underestimated the strength of feeling amongst everyday New Zealanders around this issue. One of the groups of people that have helped me realise how much people care about plastics in the environment were children,” she said.
“The biggest issue I get letters on from the public are about plastics and it comes from children. I literally get hundreds and hundreds.”
“We in government have a role to play in the way we manage these kinds of issues and the way we respond to the public when they call upon us to address what might seem like a small issue.”
Some of the children who wrote to Ms Ardern were invited to speak at the conference and said: “We all love the beach, it’s New Zealand, we are basically a beach. But we are destroying our beach, we are littering our beach, it’s become a dump. All sorts of fish are dying. We couldn’t believe petone beach looked like that.”
“I would like to tell you what I saw and what I found on the beach … I was shocked … it was sad to see how much plastic we found,” another student said.
I think this is important because it’s not fair for the animals that live in the sea. We are the ones letting plastics go into places where it could get into animals’ stomachs.”
Ms Sage wanted the public to give feedback on the best ways for this ban to be phased in – and has opened consultation until 14 September.
She wanted feedback on all aspects of the change, including options for the date the phase-out is to be complete by, what bags should be included, any retailers that should be exempted, and how best to help people with the transition.
“Public calls for action have encouraged a significant number of retailers, including supermarkets, to move on single-use plastic bags. We want to support their efforts by ensuring the retail industry moves together in a fair and effective way,” she said.
Ms Sage the mandatory phase-out would be developed under the Waste Minismisation Act.
“The Waste Minismisation Act was groundbreaking when it was introduced in 2008, and today’s announcemnet is part of this government’s plan to use that act to its full potential… and to shift the economy to being a more productive and sustainable and inclusive economy.”
She said that New Zealand, as a nation, needed to turn the tide on plastic pollution.
“Given our reputation for adapatability, the strong public call for action I’m confident we can make this change together and we can be proud of it.”
Ms Ardern said the announcement and consultation process were just the beginning of change.
“This first five-week consultation is one of the first steps towards the government’s longer-term plans to be smarter in how we manage waste.”
Ms Sage said many countries and major cities around the world have successfully taken action on plastic pollution in recent years, and she was confident New Zealanders could also embrace the change.
Scientists also estimate that eight million tonnes of plastic enter the world’s oceans every year, and if nothing changed, there could be more plastic in our oceans (by weight) than fish by the year 2050.
Recently 13 local and multi-national companies committed to use 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging in their New Zealand operations by 2025 or earlier.
Retail NZ spokesperson Greg Haford told media at the conference that while in previous times there may have been backlash to change on plastics, customers now were more accepting.
“We know that retailers typically want to do the right thing by the environment and for their customers and it’s true to say that customer views on plastic bags have changed very rapidly over recent times,” he said
“[Retailers] have a huge opportunity to make a difference to the environment.”
Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story wins children’s book award
The non-fiction book, Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, has taken out the top honour at the Children and Young Adult book awards.
A ceremony was held on the marae at Te Papa tonight.
Aoteraroa, by Christchurch-based writer and illustrator Gavin Bishop, won the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award as well as the non-fiction prize.
Judge Jeannie Skinner called the book “masterful”.
“It’s … a work of art that bears repeated and thoughtful reading and viewing of its vibrant and informative illustrations, a book of enduring significance in the canon of New Zealand children’s literature.
“We’ve seen nothing quite like it in New Zealand children’s publishing.”
But before the adults had their fun at the awards ceremony, a group of school students invaded Wellington City library.
They listened to talks by authors and went on a treasure hunt for illustrators who were dotted around the library.
Tino, 11, said he enjoyed meeting the adults behind the books.
“It was really fun. They’re just telling us all about the books and all that stuff, they’re really cool. I love books, I like action ones.”
Ashmi, 8, enjoyed meeting the authors but struggled to pick a favourite book.
“I’m reading lots of books at once but I’m not sure which books I mostly like.”
Cardinal McKeefry School teacher Laura Thomsen said her students were avid readers.
“They love stories that are about New Zealand and that are about important themes.
“You talk to any of the kids in our school and they live in the library really.”
The full list of 2018 winners:
Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award $7,500
Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House)
Picture Book Award $7,500
I Am Jellyfish, written and illustrated by Ruth Paul (Penguin Random House)
Wright Family Foundation Esther Glen Award for Junior Fiction $7500
How to Bee, by Bren MacDibble (Allen & Unwin)
Copyright Licencing Award for Young Adult Fiction $7500
In the Dark Spaces, by Cally Black (Hardie Grant Egmont)
Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction $7500
Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, written and illustrated by Gavin Bishop (Penguin Random House)
Russell Clark Award for Illustration $7500
Giants, Trolls, Witches, Beasts, written and illustrated by Craig Phillips (Allen & Unwin)
Best First Book Award $2000
My New Zealand Story: Dawn Raid, by Pauline (Vaeluaga) Smith (Scholastic New Zealand)
Wright Family Foundation Te Kura Pounamu Award for the best book in te reo Māori $7500
Tu Meke Tūī!, by Malcolm Clarke, translated Evelyn Tobin, illustrated by FLOX (aka Hayley King) (Mary Egan Publishing)