That ability to take in your surroundings and sort out the important stuff, to be aware, to be vigilant. Then take all that information, put it together, and see if it makes sense to you.
- Paul Gleason
We believe that learning occurs anywhere, anytime and that all that is learned at school, is not necessarily taught. In this way, we consider the local community areas of Totara Park and the Botanic Gardens to be part of our learning environment. When students enrol, we ask that a blanket permission is given for these two areas, so that we can take advantage of their close proximity to support our day to day learning programmes. The Gardens School works closely with organisations that support environmental education, such as Waicare, Auckland Council, Enviro Schools and Friends of Totara Park. Our students regularly become involved in this sort of EOTC and we encourage our families to support this environmental education.
When our programmes can be supported by a visit to another venue, we put out permission slips (and associated costs) to our parents, through a notice. This permission slip must be returned for the student to attend the EOTC event. This is becoming increasingly digital, but is currently mostly a paper system.
The teacher in charge of an EOTC event, including sporting events, is required to produce a RAM’s form (Risk Assessment and Management) which is signed off by the Principal for day trips and the Board of Trustees for overnight trips or camps. This consideration is aimed at considering any risks that could be harmful to staff, parents or students and taking steps to not only minimise them, but to also consider what would be done, if an event were to occur.
We regularly ask for parent helpers to ensure we meet our adult:child ratio for an event and if private cars are used, we require parents to verify they have a current licence and that their car has a current registration, WOF and the correct number of working seatbelts. For overnight trips or camps, we also require our parent helpers to be police vetted, as an additional safety measure.
In Year 7 & 8, our students get the opportunity to participate in the Wodonga exchange, with our sister school in Victoria, Australia. This is a bi-annual exchange and has been well supported since 2006 and we encourage our students' participation in this.