2015 – 2016 Projects

At Leigh School we are constantly working to improve the school and make it a better environment for our children to learn in.

Here are descriptions of some of the projects we have coming up or that we are currently fundraising for (we have a number of other smaller projects on the go too – but these are the big ones).

 New Classrooms

Construction is now in progress of the new open plan classrooms . They will replace the prefab buildings currently used for Room 4 and the art room. This is very exciting with the BOT involved with the planning, layout, furnishing, landscaping etc.

Playground Improvements

Our playground was built in the 1980’s and so there was a need for us to update it and bring certain elements up to contemporary safety standards. As the only playground open to community use in Leigh (and with the Matheson Bay one being more for younger children), this is a vital and much used resource for our whole community. Through fund raising and a kind donation/grant from PUB Charities, the school has installed new soft fall.and renovated the playground equipment, adding some exciting new pieces.

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Library Renovation

We have been working with a National Library Advisor on assessing our library and its use in the school. We have a major library renovation project planned, with three main components – Purchasing more books; Buying and integrating a school-wide electronic information management system (Access-It) and a PC to host it in the library; Purchasing a limited amount of ‘Modern Learning Environment’ (MLE) furniture to make the library an exciting, motivating place where our children will want to spend time reading, researching and learning. A quote from our adviser: “The staff at Leigh are focusing on developing the reading culture of the school : increasing the profile of reading for pleasure, the amount of reading aloud and talking about books, encouraging reading at home and developing teacher knowledge of children’s literature…  Now we need the library to be at the heart of these initiatives – providing engaging resources in an inspiring environment to foster imagination and ideas.”

 

Native Tree Planting

Project name: Environmental-Leigh / Toitū-te-Whenua
Brief description:  We want to plant the edges of our school field (used by the whole community) with natives trees and plants & (eventually) also edibles.
Providing:
* more shade for all users
* an environment for rare native birds moving between the local sanctuaries of Hauturu (Little Barrier) and Tawharanui
* environmental sustainability learning for our children
* unique outdoor-learning spaces
* children cooking, preserving, marketing, selling the edibles
* any excess fruit available to our community
Long term goals and objectives of the project-
To teach our children and our children’s children about the concepts of kaitiaakitanga.
– We hope that this project will engender a sense of connection to the whenua (land) in the young children that are involved with the project.
– We hope that it will inspire them to see that they can make a positive impact on the land and that they will carry this ethos forward with them as they grow into adults.
– We hope that they will develop an interest in the habitat of native birds and insects and a desire to protect the birds, insects and their habitats.
– We hope that the community will come together to work on this project and thereby become a more cohesive and environmentally motivated group of people as a whole.
– We hope that this small space of land will essentially become a slice of regenerated forest, and act as part of a vital chain between Hauturu and Tawharanui, providing food and roosting for native birds, and a home for native invertebrates.
– We hope that this area of bush will be a rich source of learning opportunities for our children and for all visitors to our area.

– We anticipate that eventually rare native birds will be visiting us, avoiding us having to pay large amounts of money to take our children on school trips by bus and ferry to see them!

This project has been awarded Auckland Council Environmental Initiatives Funding and so the first stage will start at the beginning of 2015 and continuing through 2016.

We see it as a long term, multi-stage project and will be carried out as funding permits.