Environmental Learning


CTMS and Environmental Education

Clifton Tce Model School is a small inner city school, with a roll of seventy students, that has a long history of environmental education. Environmental Education has been embedded in our School Charter for a number of years.

  • CTMS has always valued Environmental Education
  • Take Action for Water Programme was developed through the Regional Council in early 2000 and then revisited in 2012.
  • CTMS became an Enviroschool in 2003 and achieved a Bronze Enviroschool Award.
  • Between 2000-2005 CTMS saw a huge focus on our school environment and biodiversity and initiaied such projects as our school vege garden, a Bank Restoration project, organic compost bins, worm bins, native tree recognition and healthy eating plans.
  • Our school curriculum has always included opportunities to visit eco-friendly sites outside of school including wind farms, Trash Palace and Wellington’s new carbon-neutral solar buildings. This has allowed us to be part of the WWF planting experiences at the Botanic Gardens.
  • Recycling programmes have been set up and Paper for Trees organisation has allowed us to receive native trees for our native gardens.
  • CTMS was one of the first school’s in NZ to be part of the Schoolgen project which allowed the installation of solar panels in 2009. We have an active Schoolgen learning programme (we incorporate the Schoolgen curriculum links) and have a Schoolgen Lead team made up of students across all year groups to develop energy sustainability initiaitives across the school. Our long term vision is to be the first school in NZ to be completely off the grid.
  • In 2013 CTMS gained both a Silver Schoolgen Award (the first school in the country to receive this prestigious award) and a Silver Enviroschools Award.
  • CTMS has active groups within the school that plan and perform projects to improve our environment, the Schoolgen team and the Envirogroup.

CTMS and the Enviroschools Organisation

We teamed up with the Enviroschools Organisation (www.enviroschools.org.nz) in 2003 and have continued to further our involvement with them. We value being an Enviroschool because it provides a philosophy and a sound framework for teachers to develop environmental initiatives across the school. The programme has strong links to the New Zealand Curriculum and offers teachers the opportunity to link their teaching across all learning areas. The Environmental Facilitator has always been available to ‘workshop’ different aspects of the Enviro School’s resource and has worked alongside staff at CTMS to develop environmental programmes across the school. The programme encourages critical thinking and reflection on community and global environmental issues, participation and the skills to take action on real environmental issues.


Enviroschools’ Awards Programme

Enviroschools is a growing network of schools and communities in New Zealand and internationally who want to make a positive difference to our environment.  Schools create an environmental pathway and then move along that chosen pathway.  Each school starts from a unique place and each school’s journey is different.

 The Enviroschools’ Awards  initiative is an evolving framework, providing a structure and a set of tools for reflection, acknowledging progress and celebrating student-led action. 

 The Enviroschools’ Guiding Principles are:

  • Sustainable Communities
  • Empowered Students
  • Maori Perspectives
  • Learning for Sustainability and
  • Respect for Diversity of People and Cultures. 


The four key areas of school life that have an effect on sustainability and student learning are: 

  • Place/Wahi (physical surroundings)
  • Practices/Tikanga (operational practices)
  • Programmes/Kaupapa Ako (living curriculum) and
  • People and Participation/Tangata (organisational management).


A school’s Awards documentation shows how these aspects of the Enviroschools Kaupapa are present in their planning, learning and action.  This provides a flexible means for students and the school community to engage in reviewing their progress, and then sharing their findings with others from the wider Enviroschools network.

CTMS received a Silver Enviroschools Award in 2013, which means that we feel we have fulfilled the following:

“We have a clear, shared Whole School Vision and we are working together creatively to make it happen.  There are obvious signs of all the Guiding Principles in our school, across all the areas of school life. We have a sense of inter-relatedness/ whanaungatanga in terms of our school, our community and our environment.  Our sustainable practices are being kept up and are growing; we are branching into new aspects as well as going deeper with existing ones through student-led enquiry.  Students are fully involved in planning and making decisions about actions.  We are tracking our progress and can show that more change has happened.  Our work has involved lots of people in our school as well as parents, whānau and other community members.”



CTMS A’Green’ments

Our whole school has regular opportunities to re-think our Care Code, or as we like to call them, A’Green’ments.

1. We take action to reduce our energy use as much as possible, and use solar panels to create what we need.

We have been a part of the SchoolGen programme since 2008, which supports us in reducing our energy use with 12 solar panels on our roof! We also agree to turn off lights when we don’t need to use them.


2. We use the city environment to help us learn new things.

We walk to the public library every second week, we walk to Kelburn park for fitness every week, and we do many other trips that support community projects and local businesses. Here we are learning about waste at the Landfill.


3. We work with different people and cultures to connect with the environment in new ways. 

This is a photo of our multicultural lunch that helped us learn all about the different cultures we have here at school. We often include visitors from the community in our learning, for example when we celebrated Samoan Independence Day.


4. We manage our waste responsibly by reducing, re-using, recycling, and composting. 

At the end of last year we had a very close look at our schools rubbish and recycling system, in a project called Take Action for Waste. We are trying to get all the students to bring zero waste lunches, and the Waste Audit showed we made a huge difference! In just one month, we have reduced our rubbish to landfill by 50%!


5. We plant native trees to encourage native birds and animals to come into our school, and to make our school environment more enjoyable.

The Enviro Group practised the best way to plant trees and shrubs at an “Enviroschools hui” last year, where we met lots of other students from Enviroschools in Wellington region. 


6. We consider the impact of what we buy and what we use on other people and the planet, and choose Fair Trade as much as we can. 

Our whole school celebrated “Fair Trade fortnight” last year, and we had a few special visitors who talked about fair trade, which is when people in other countries get paid enough to live. We were all given free bananas by a giant yellow banana!


7. We use our thinking skills to generate new ideas and guide our actions towards making a positive difference to our environment. 

One example of this is Take Action for Water, which our whole school took part in last year. We all created action plans for how to reduce our use of water, and not pollute water. Here are some of our students at Otari Bush as part of the Take Action for Water project.