Explore & Enhance is an outdoor based experiential education programme for all junior students that focuses on the environment and sustainability, alongside the effective teaching of: Life skills, wellbeing, positive education, and personal growth through leadership. The inclusion of this year-long mandatory programme to the junior course of study acknowledges the role Huanui College has in facilitating both student learning and student wellbeing. Huanui College is one of New Zealand’s leading schools in Positive Education and wellbeing.
The Explore & Enhance programme aims to instill in our students a sense of belonging whilst encouraging the guardianship (kaitiakitanga) of the natural Taonga (treasures) found within our grounds.
Huanui Taonga include a freshwater spring, swamp area, a stream, and several pockets of native bush. Monitoring of the water quality/stream health is a good example of this type of learning in action, as it spans topical learning from science to environmental care and sustainable action, personal health & wellbeing (spending time in nature), as well as community health, and a global perspective surrounding the importance of clean water.
There is one school camp per year, with each Whanāu on camp together at the end of the school year. We have found the mixture of year levels, staff, and location makes for an exceptional learning environment and a place for students and staff to get to know one another in a different setting than school. Camp is a compulsory event which aims to take students out of their comfort zones in a safe way. During these trips, our students learn skills such as, resilience, how to compromise, adjust, and be adaptable in challenging situations.
Each school year begins with two orientation days designed specifically for Year 7 starters accompanied by our Year 13 students in the form of an overnight camp. The new Year 7 students will meet their teachers, learn about their timetables, where their classrooms will be, meet their senior student team leaders, and make some new friends. The students stay on campus overnight and we rely upon the Year 13 students to run the games and activities to help settle the younger students into their new school. We use the grounds of Huanui College for activities and parents are most welcome to join us at any time.
As part of the Award Huanui College students get an opportunity to learn more about the wider environment, as well as learn teamwork skills, take risks, make decisions, accept real consequences, and gain self-confidence. All activities are fully supervised but are designed to challenge the students. The result will be an experience our students will remember forever.
There are usually two camps; the first acts as a practice run for a later trip. Both camps contribute towards the award schemes.
Huanui College expects all its students to complete the Bronze Award (for over 14 years of age). There are opportunities for the students to challenge themselves to tackle the Silver, and/or Gold awards if they wish.
The Awards are open to all young people between the ages of 14 and 24 regardless of their background, culture, physical ability, skills, and interests and is the world’s leading youth achievement award.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards are a fantastic addition to tertiary education application forms, scholarships, and a CV. Completion of any of the three awards shows a high level of personal commitment and achievement, as well as dedication to a variety of activities.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is a compulsory activity during Thursday Activity Afternoons in year 10. Bronze Award – Years 10 and 11, Silver – Year 12, and Gold – Year 13.