Monday, 28 August 2017

Flowers for bees & garden to table

We're having a delicious time in the edible garden; watching the bees bumble about the early spring flowers, picking winter veges and creating crunchy stir fries.

What's your favourite carrots, broccoli or sugar snap peas?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Our Marine Metre Square - Citizen scientists in action!

Today our Middle School Enviro Monitors, along with Mrs Venville, Mrs Daniel, three awesome parent helpers and marine biologist Dr Mels Barton conducted a Marine Metre Square survey.
We're helping scientists researching the health of our marine environments.

It was great fun! Sunnyhills families can conduct their own MM2 survey by visiting

Does Your Garden Have Food For The Bees?

A false spring has meant baby bees are starving. Has you garden got food for the bees?

Sunnyhills students have planted rosemary, comfrey, borage and anemonesfor our bees 🐝❤😊🌾

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Pest Free 2050 - Cate & Ruairi Visit - Next Up Our Hosting The Pestival

 Today Cate & Ruairi visited Room 7 to talk about their work to rid NZ of  pest flora and fauna.
 Ruairi bought along traps, tracking cards, waxchews and even a possum, ferret, weasel and stoat to show us.

 Both Cate and Ruairi were blown away with Room 7's knowledge about pests and their impact on our environment. Mrs Daniel was super proud of how much we've all learnt through our inquiry topic this term.
We're keen to share what we've learnt with our families and other schools. Stay tuned for news of the Pestival we're planning!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Travelwise Leaders - Time Zone Mapping

Travelwise Leaders - Time Zone Mapping

Today the Travelwise Leaders worked with Constable Merv, Mrs Venville and Marianne and her team from MOT to create a Time Zone Map.  We split up and walked four of the popular routes to school recording where we were after 5, 10 and 15 minutes.  Marianne has taken the data away and will create a walking time zone map which we will share with the community.  This part of the Travelwise Leaders initiative to encourage our school community to walk rather than travel by car to school.

Our TFS Planting Day - Sunnyhills Enviro Monitors share their planting day experience

Trees for Survival
By Cathy
Year 6
Sunnyhills School

Do you want to be planting trees with a bunch of your friends on a nice sunny day in the countryside? Trees for survival is just like that. I went to a farm in Hunua with my friends and planted trees there, and the farmer even made pizza for our lunch! It was fun and we were helping the environment too!

After we got off the bus, we walked to the planting site. It was downward sloping site and the farmer wanted to plant trees there, as there was a lake next to the site and the farmer wanted to stop the soil eroding into the river. All the trees were laid out for us in black plastic bags and we went to work.

When half of the trees were planted, the boys kept planting and the girls ( Me! ) started mulching the trees. A truck came filled with mulch and we got buckets and mulched the trees. Mulch stops the weeds from growing around the trees and helps keep the tree moist in summer. We also had to make sure that the base of the tree was mulch-free. After we mulched about half the trees, the boys started mulching and the girls carried on planting.

When we finished planting, we had lunch. It was homemade pizza, apples, sausage rolls and scones while we looked at the trees we just planted and mulched( The food tasted so good and the whole group felt so accomplished! ) We had just planted a whole bank of trees!

I think this was one of the best days of my life, ( Being honest here.) and I would DEFINITELY recommend going there.  It was fun, amazing and we helped the environment! Hope I can see you planting trees soon!

Trees for survival is a great opportunity for kids to get into the environment and use a bit of elbow grease. It is a great day with friends to plant new trees and help with environment. The farmers are friendly and provide food at lunchtime. I highly recommend going to the  trees for survival project. Ethan, Year 6, Sunnyhills School

On Friday 4th August, 20 Students from Sunnyhills School school went on a trip to a farm in Hunua. At the farm we were taught how to plant our trees properly. In the end we planted 400-450 plants. At the farm they made us a delicious pizza for lunch and it was great. The day was pretty full on, but it was still very very fun. Morgan, Year 6, Sunnyhills School

Travelwise Parking Survey Results

Travelwise Parking Survey

In Term 2 the Travelwise Group conducted a Parking Survey at both our school gates.  They are happy to report that most parents were parked correctly.   The Travelwise Group handed out positive parking messages and rewards to many of the correctly parked motorists.  Only 19 cars were observed parking on yellow lines which is a pleasing reduction.

The survey did highlight that many parents were parked too close to driveways. The Road Code states that you must not park closer than 1 metre to a vehicle entrance. Another problem is people parking in the clearway section on The Crest.

The results and information about parking is being included in the next school newsletter

                                          Tabulating the results of the survey

Travelwise members collecting data with Mrs Venville

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Sustainability Challenge

Sustainability Challenge

Yesterday the Enviro Group took part in a sustainability Challenge at the Botanic Gardens.  We had to work strategically as a team and complete enviro challenges at stations to earn points.  Points could also be scored by finding clues.  We needed to read a map to locate these which was not as easy as we thought it would be. Matching the stream life to the pictures and description was really difficult.  So was the marine life activity - but we got there.  One of our groups came 4th which was a massive achievement as there was over 300 team taking part.  Fortunately the rained stayed away though our shoes and socks were soaked.  Here are some photos showing some of the challenges we completed.

                                           Planting lavender

                                                     Identifying river creatures

                                          Identifying marine life

                                                    Collecting clues

                                          How seeds are spread


                                          Well deserved rest and lunch

                                                    Ready to start

                                                    Looking for fossils

                                                    Identifying river creatures

                                                    Naming the parts of a flower

                                                    The worm Farm challenge

          Such fun.  Got back with 3 minutes to spare and no penalty point incurred

Sunnyhills Gets It's Travelwise sign!

Sunnyhills Gets It's Travelwise Sign!

Sunnyhills had a special visit on the last day of term 2 from Max the Pukeko and Marianne from the Ministry of Transport. The school was presented with it's very own Travelwise sign.  Some of the students who use walking school bus received merit certificates and special key rings to acknowledge the number of walks they had done.

Pest Free NZ 2050 - Tracker Tunnels & Chew Cards

Did you know NZ has pledged to be pest free by 2050? Sunnyhills students are on board to make this a reality!

But which pests live at Sunnyhills? Room 7, 6, 2 & 1 students made and laid tracker tunnels and chew cards to answer this question.

You can make your own tracker tunnels at home too:

Next week we'll inspect the paw prints and bitemarks....stay tuned for results!!

16.8.17 Update : Today we checked our tracker tunnels & chew cards. Lots of the bait was missing from our chew cards with no bite marks - we blame the rain and ants and perhaps a licky cat. However, we were excited to find one chew card with tiny teeth marks!

Most if the tracker tunnels were untouched except for snails, but one had four distinct paw prints!

Back in our classrooms, we used online resources to identify the teeth marks and paw prints ......both are from a hedgehog!

Mrs Jeans has also discovered evidence of a rat living in one of her storage cupboards at school.

Next week, we're looking forward to a visit from Auckland City Council's Pest Control and creating posters to spread the word about Pestfree 2050.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Trees For Survival Planting Day

 Over 400 trees planted today! Thank you to all the parents and grandparents, who helped to make the day a huge success. Standby for the children's personal recounts of our planting day, to be posted next week. 🌱❤