World Environment Day Excursion

Pottsville Environmental Park, June 5 2013

Impressed and Proud.

Numerous times throughout today these were the feelings that I felt looking at our Kindergarten to Year Five students who attended the excursion today to the World Environment Day at Pottsville Environmental Park.


There were four schools in attendance today and each rotated in their school groups around the four different activities. I couldn’t help but regularly notice, random students from other schools, wandering around mucking about or just not listening or actively participating in their activities. I would turn back to our students and every single child was sitting or standing facing the presenter listening, hands up and answering questions and just being absolutely delightful. Never in my career to date, have I taken a group of students out of school and experienced such wonderful behaviour. Parent helpers and organisers of the day also commented on how well they were all working at their activity.

Big Day for little Kindergarten students.

It was also such a pleasure to see mixed aged students helping one another and caring for one another. This was a very mixed group from 9 different classes and all were just so lovely. Some students I didn’t know, yet all dazzled me with their friendly smiles and perfect behaviour. Many of the little kindergarten students were on their very first-ever school excursion. They all spoke to me and the presenters with such beautiful manners and never complained, on what must have been a very big and tiring day for them.


The first activity the students went to, was all about recycling and using recycled materials. Students were very keen to answer questions, create very cool and imaginative robots and machines from recycled goods and then present these to the group. The students were videoed in this session by North East Waste, who have promised to send me the link when they have finished creating a recycling educational video for teachers and students. This is due to be completed in about two months.


In the second activity, the students listened to an Indigenous local man explain all about traditional instruments and natural medicines that Aboriginal people have used for thousands of years. Students had a turn playing a didgeridoo and were excited to touch and smell lots of different plants.


In the third activity, students were introduced to the art of Hay Bale Gardens. The presenter was certainly very excited about his hay bale gardens and is VERY keen to come to our school to create a hay bale garden. It is hoped that this will be somewhere for our students to enjoy learning about growing vegetables. Some of our infants students were a little lost in this session but were still keen to get their hands in some compost to shove into the hay ready to plant the seedlings. I can assure you students then all went on a big group hike to clean their hands properly before eating lunch!


After lunch students attended their final activity, with a very funny fellow dressed in orange, who taught students about waste-free lunches and recycling. Students made a pledge to recycle and come “nude” to school. I realised I needed to listen a little more intently and was relieved to hear that “nude” involves using inventive ways to transport food in their lunch boxes without using packaging that needs to be thrown away. I’m just warning you in case students mention they were told to come nude to school! Our kids loved having a turn with some of the recycled musical instruments they had heard other students using throughout the day. Children raced at the opportunity to play the “thong bells” and the “tin-can drums”.

Back to school.

Students returned to school, armed with their recycled creations and were happy to show them off to each other and discuss what we had learnt. We then had ten minutes free time to just play some games before home time. I was just so impressed with their behaviour and their representation of Bogangar Public School. They were the best behaved students in attendance at the excursion. The organiser has offered to come to our school to speak at assembly, and in classes, about the use of the different bins and even has stickers and signs to give us to place around the school to assist students with their rubbish disposal.

Congratulations to all!

It gave me great pleasure to tell presenters, that students had indeed earned their place to attend today, due to their project work on World Environment Day. It was lovely to see their shock and surprise at this news. I think it did make a difference to be supervising students who had really wanted to go.

Please ask your students to talk about their experiences to your class and if you could remind them to bring their projects to my room so that I can display them in the library I would really appreciate it.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you to Mr. Anthony Carney for so kindly taking students from 4/5H not attending the excursion. A huge thank you to Ms. Gemma Fagan who was elbow deep in masking tape, milk and egg cartons and ribbon creating robots and spider webs (and who knows what else) with the students. I really appreciated your support and instant assistance with anything I needed throughout the day.

Thank you to Mr. Lewis Morosini who supported me in the supervision of students and his friendly kind manner with them all. Thank you also to Mrs. Michelle Black and Mrs. Alanna Parker who gave up their day to be parent helpers and assisted the students whenever needed. I know your own children loved having you there.

Thank you to the Tweed Shire Council who completely funded the day and the bus transportation to and from the excursion. It is a rarity for our kids to have no-cost educational experience I’m certain they won’t forget.

Thank you to Mrs. Cath Lalor and all teachers for supporting this whole school competition and giving our students this opportunity.


Lauren Hankinson

Assistant Principal (Relieving 0.4) and Classroom Teacher of 3/4/5H

Bogangar Public School