Discovery Learning

Drop into Whanganui East School on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday afternoon and you will find students engaged in Discovery Learning.  Students are busy drawing, designing, building, weaving and sharing ideas as they learn about the amazing New Zealand bush. Principal, Mrs Barry, explains, “The thinking behind Discovery Learning is to allow teachers to teach to their passion which is focussed on a particular area of the curriculum with a theme to connect the learning too.  The focus is for students to learn a wide range of Inquiry skills while being engaged in all areas of the curriculum covering science, technology, maths, art, health, social studies, te reo and literacy”.


For the next seven weeks students will experience different perspectives about the bush as they rotate classes.  Students work with Mr Tim Waite to understand the impact we have on our environment.  Mr Drew Rennie challenges students to design a trap that can be used in the bush to catch unwanted pests. “It was cool building a model pest trap,” says Year 5 student, Chanelle Reeve, “The toothpick is the trigger and I can see how the possum would get trapped inside.”  Students learn about colour and depth as they create designs based on flora and fauna with Mrs Lysha Brennan.  How birds have evolved to live in the New Zealand bush is investigated with Mrs Susan Walker.  Whaea Jordy introduces the children to healthy food and medicinal plants which can be sourced from the bush.  Whaea May adds Te Reo Māori while looking at mahi raranga (weaving) and traditional Māori use of bush resources.  The students’ curiosity is sparked and they pursue individual areas of research in their own classrooms.  Whanganui East School will round off their Discovery Learning with a school trip to Bushy Park.


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