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Riverdale Primary School - Janine McIntyre

2021 | Reintroduction of birds to large landscapes

School: Riverdale Primary School 

Region:  Manawatu

Hosts: Massey University – Wildlife Ecology Group 

Riverdale School delivers an integrated STEAM model where science is used as a mechanism to develop children’s understanding of the world around them and inspire future action. At Riverdale school, there is a focus on localising contexts to make learning relevant and engaging for akonga. During phase two of the Science Leadership Teaching Programme, Janine will be working with Riverdale staff to continue developing teacher confidence and scientific literacy through the Nature of Science. Riverdale sees this development as an important part of providing their tamariki with a rich and diverse STEAM curriculum.

Janine has been working as a primary teacher in the Manawatu for the past 14 years. Her passion for science, particularly linked to environmental sustainability, is demonstrated in her delivery of classroom and wider school programmes.

Janine was extremely fortunate to spend five months hosted by Professor Doug Armstrong and his team in the Wildlife Ecology Department at Massey University. During this time, she was provided with opportunities to develop her understanding of conservation practices while attending seminars and Postgraduate Ecology papers.

The highlight of Janine’s placement was taking part in the translocation and post release monitoring of toutouwai (North Island Robins) into a local bush space. These taonga would have once been a common species found in the area but due to deforestation and the introduction of predators such as rats, they have been locally extinct for a number of generations. 

Being part of this important conservation work along with the professional development opportunities provided by the Royal Society Te Apārangi, also allowed Janine to gain a better understanding of ways that mātauranga can be used to inform and enhance science practice in our schools and communities.This varied placement with a focus on both academic research and practical development has provided Janine with a more in-depth understanding of the Nature of Science. She would like to thank Professor Doug Armstrong and Dr Zoë Stone for sharing their passion for the natural world with her and the Royal Society Te Apārangi for giving her the opportunity to take part in the Science Teaching Leadership Programme.