Otaika Valley School children's lessons do not end in the classroom but get taken home, where the new-found knowledge continues to grow.

The pupils' families and others in the community benefit from the focus on science and nature studies through vegetables and seedlings from the school's garden.

On Friday, the school celebrated another aspect of its creative green thumb at the official opening of the children's mosaic pathway around the garden bed. The senior children made the pavers and the juniors did the mosaic work on them.

The project was boosted by a Northland Regional Council environmental curriculum award received this year. The school has had similar grants in the past which have enabled the children to discover the magic of butterflies and other environmental wonders, in conjunction with creating a vegetable patch.


Each year the new entrants' class plants butterfly-attracting plants and takes care of them. Environmental teacher Eden Hakaraia said all pupils helped care for the vegetables and the resident chooks.

Last year, the children collected seeds from the vegetable garden, have grown seedlings from them this year and are selling them to parents and others for their home gardens. Funds from the sales go back into the school's environmental projects, teaching children about another aspect of sustainability.