Randwick School in Moera, is the latest school to join the Turning the Tide movement to help to make Lower Hutt one of New Zealand’s healthiest cities. The small school is dedicated to the wellbeing of their pupils, teachers and community. They have been a water only school for more than two years now, have a bike track and also grow and cook their own food through the Garden to Table programme.

One of the parents at the school realised that many of the students didn’t know how to ride a bike, something she took for granted growing up in New Zealand. This spurred action to begin fundraising for a bike track which was officially opened earlier this year by Deputy Mayor David Bassett. Children who did not know how to ride a bike have learned, and all have been given bike safety training. The school has reached half of its goal of 50 brand new bikes and is looking for sponsors for the other 25. More than 40 donated second-hand bikes have been given to students to take home.

As part of the Garden to Table programme students grow fruit and vegetables and then cook healthy meals with their produce. Teacher Mike Tamepo who has taken the programme for two years, said that when it started, “some of the students didn’t know what the vegetables were”. Since then they have made, ratatouille, dahl, spinach quiche and chickpea patties. Principal Simonne Goodall says the programme is great because it teaches kids that, “You can have a garden at home and grow healthy food and eat it”.

Along with the general health curriculum subjects like nutrition and exercise, Randwick’s Year 5 and 6 students had a nutritionist from the Heart Foundation come in and run a programme about food labelling and how to decode it. Over three sessions she went over what are healthy choices and not so healthy choices for lunchboxes by getting the children to read the labelling on groceries.

The decile three school is committed to being a health promoting environment for its students by concentrating on healthy kai, gardening and physical activity.