Onehunga Primary’s picture perfect sustainability project

Publish Date : 24 Jun 2024
Live Lightly Website Mana Ora Onehunga School
Onehunga Primary exhibits students’ educational carbon footprint murals.

Students are decarbonising their schools under an Auckland Council Sustainable Schools’ climate action programme.

Mana Ora was launched last year to inspire young people, including Onehunga Primary School students, to plan school sustainability projects.

Sustainable Schools team manager Bridget Glasgow says an evaluation has found students were surprised to see how many ways there were for them to act, and how easy it was.

“Extreme weather brought climate change to the fore, and the pilot helped communicate transport and climate connections, and explored energy and food security.”

Onehunga Primary started their own Mana Ora team, which envisioned a series of educational murals, co-created with the whole school community.

Leading this work on the school’s behalf was teacher Jackie Arthur who was delighted with the rich learning opportunities the project presented.

“We hope the murals will be a catalyst for conversation about ways to reduce our carbon footprint, and a resource for years to come,” says Arthur.

The school was invited to consider how to visually communicate carbon footprints and year groups were assigned different themes. Years 0-1 classes contributed ideas for waste and produced a mural that focused on diverting was from landfill with ways to circulate unused goods and materials.

Year 2 students were assigned ‘grow’ and therefore focused their mural content on growing food, flora and fauna and the role of trees.

The energy themed mural by Years 3-4 focused on reducing energy and alternative sustainable energy sources.  

Food systems and a reduced footprint with lower carbon options were depicted by Years 5-6 and the final mural produced by the Mana Ora team portrayed sustainable modes for the school commute and private versus public transport options.

The murals were completed over the course of a term and launched at a full school assembly with ribbon cutting and a Niuean dance performance, acknowledging the widespread participation of students.

More on Mana Ora and the murals can be viewed online here.

Stay updated

Sign up for monthly local E news and receive the latest information and events direct to your inbox here or follow @maungakiekietamaki on Facebook here

Back to News