Responses from teachers and students reflect the ongoing value of LEOTC programs as key learning tools. Evaluation forms are provided to every teacher in order to gain insight and feedback towards our program outcomes and key learning areas. They provide us with recommendations and guidance towards the ultimate delivery of our programs so we can continue to deliver them, effectively and efficiently.


Please refer to the attached document, Teacher Evaluations, for an overview of our student participation numbers and teacher evaluations from the previous two years (2015/16 to 2016/17). 

Student evaluations were completed with a group of individuals from Makarika School who participated in an on-going water monitoring program with their wider community. The evaluations are collated in the attached document, Student Evaluations

Teacher Evaluations

Student Evaluations


 “The students have developed awareness about life in a freshwater stream. The learners have begun to associate types of invertebrates to the water quality of a stream. Senior students were researching the ecological relationship found in our local freshwater streams. The students all really enjoyed this period. There was a great level of engagement and students were continuing to discuss what they saw and discovered after the class had finished.” Te Karaka Area School, Gisborne

 “The impact on our students has been huge. Murray has provided a scientific base which has enabled the students to not only make comparisons between streams but also using the inquiry approach for investigations. He has helped lift the profile of science. He is great to work with and his passion has inspired the students.” Awapuni Primary School, Gisborne

 “The Discovery students thrived on having a real life experience which was outdoors. ‘Did you know…’ came out of many mouths. It was great to see students were able to recall information they had learnt...they loved getting hands on!” Ilminster Intermediate, Gisborne

 “The students were captivated by the relevant and real knowledge and experiences that they were exposed to. The tutors did an outstanding job of putting conservation needs into a context that the children could relate to. The relaxed but professional approach of the tutors ensured that the children were comfortable and interested at all times.” Te Wharau Primary School, Gisborne

 “To be hands on in a focused meaningful way has helped students develop skills of scientific data gathering. Students’ attitude - 100% positive, excited about findings and tasks, very interested. Teaching and learning in the field is so powerful for children. The questions and engagement from students was at the top level of thinking and learning.” Ilminster Intermediate, Gisborne

 “The children have been able to really solidify their understanding of their local ecosystem. They can now discuss what they are seeing in their river, from living creatures to land features…They are able to employ scientific tools to aid their observations. Where science was once an ‘entertaining’ subject with exciting chemical reactions but little deeper understanding, it has now been linked with real skills and purpose. The project is making science real for students, in a very meaningful and local way.” Tikitiki School

 “We have had 2 years of very positive programs and we look forward to developing this further and adding relevant new knowledge. Students are able to use the SHMAK kit to test stream water, identify and classify ‘critters’ found in the test site and developed collegial support amongst each other. Students have ‘ownership’ of the Kopuaroa bridge area and identify with Penu Marae. They make informed decisions on how to preserve and sustain the work that has been done. Students realise the importance of local Maori expectations, past experiences and how this knowledge assists today’s decisions RE the environment.” Te Kura O Makarika

 “The practical experience has reinforced their pre and post activities – they have a general knowledge of the marine life found in that area. Huge confidence boost to those that overcame anxieties. Positive experience led to increased motivation in class with follow up activities. Would thoroughly recommend to any school- purely form a practical experience this activity created an excellent language experience which was utilised in our literacy program-poetry/descriptive writing, research/presentation/spelling/recount writing.” Te Kainga Whaiora Children’s Village

 “Huge range of curriculum areas covered, a great hands on practical experience that could only happen in this environment, many opportunities for follow up work and extension. Great reinforcement of in class research and enquiry learning. Excellent use of local resources and the local context for learning. Reinforced the aspect of Kaitiakitanga for our local Whangara and other students attending our school. Developing and reinforcing snorkelling skills and confidence of swimming in the sea. Developing leadership skills and safety skills when in and around the moana. Reinforced self-management skills and ability to follow instructions in this environment. The tamariki are keen to get out there again and build on the confidence gained form this experience. Awesome!” Whangara School

 “A definite increase in knowledge. This was not just about organisms and environment, it also included Maori history and legends. Murray was very good at linking this experience to our term concept – Me and My World, How do we learn and play together. Great hands on skills developed. The estuary focus in particular required a lot of practical, mathematical and scientific application. This approach works well for many learners, particularly boys. The facilitators promoted a positive attitude towards the environment. They were very accommodating towards meeting and extending the different skill and confidence levels of our learners. This is very important and was much appreciated." Makaraka School

 “The LEOTC experience enabled the students to have ‘hands on’ learning. This was/is invaluable. The conversations that the learning generated and subsequent work related to their study created an enthusiasm and wish to know more that probably would not have been there without the experience. Their knowledge has certainly increased. The enthusiasm and commitment to the students learning in this unit has been delightful to watch. Engagement is full.” Sonrise Christian School, Gisborne

 “A new experience for most tamariki, therefore exposure to a new range of skills which require mastery and fosters water confidence – very valuable in these terms. Builds confidence, children feel a great sense of achievement following the activity. Respect for the sea developed specifically for its marine life and the purpose of marine reserves. Ongoing interest has occurred and after one student did particularly well with the snorkelling, the family purchased gear and made it one of their regular family activities.” Te Kainga Whaiora Children’s Village

The success of the first students who participated in this endeavour and the interest they generated within the student body as a whole has seen a greater number of prospective biologists in the ensuing years. We are currently trying to extend the biology program to include aspects of our coastal and marine environment and are looking forward to having Murray, once again, help us in developing these programs.” W Ngarimu (HOD Biology), Te Kura Kaupapa Maori O Te Waiu O Ngati Porou (2010).



 “Thank you for giving up your time to help us at Te Tapuwae O Rongokako. Also thank you for sharing your expertise. It was greatly appreciated. If you were not there we wouldn’t have been able to get in the water and that was the whole point of the trip. We couldn’t have done it without you. It was awesome getting away from school. I wish we could do mean things like that every day! You have been a great leader by helping us." Ilminster Intermediate student, Gisborne

 “Thank you for coming to the marine reserve with us while we were snorkelling...we had lots of fun exploring marine life. We wouldn’t have been able to go without you. Thank you also for supplying equipment and sharing your expertise and experience. We have learnt a lot during this time. Thank you for the opportunity and sharing your wisdom that will hopefully be passed along by us for generations to come.” Sonrise Christian School, Gisborne

“Thank you for taking the time out of your day to teach room 11 and 12 about the marine reserve at Pouawa. Thank you for letting us use your wetsuits and your snorkels, we really appreciated it. My highlight was definitely seeing more life than I expected to see. Last time I went to the reserve I saw fish that were abou 10-20cm long, this time the fish were about 30-40cm long. It was amazing." Gisborne Intermediate School student

 “Thank you for taking us snorkelling at the Marine Reserve…I really enjoyed seeing all the species that were safe. I learnt that crabs will eat all the dead animals.” Ormond School student, Gisborne

 “I just want to say kia ora and thank you for what you have taught us about the marine reserve and snorkelling. I have learnt why there is a marine reserve and that is so the fish and kai moana can re-populate. Thanks for the awesome day!” Awapuni Primary School student

 “Thank you for your help had heaps of fun, I learnt how to hold a crayfish and how Te Tapuwae O Rongokako got its name. I also want to thank you for your help at the Three Islands stream. I like it when we tested the water clarity and when we got to scoop with those nets. We found a lot of mosquito fish. I learnt a lot about how to test a stream and I learnt how the mosquito fish eat eggs and fish die.” Gisborne Intermediate School Student

 “Yesterday we went to Nuhaka. At first I thought it was going to be dumb but I was wrong. It was mean. I got the most bugs out of all of us!” Turanganui A Kiwa Activities Centre, Gisborne

 “Thank you for looking after us. I had so much fun. Thank you for letting us wear your wetsuits, masks, flippers and snorkels. We swam to the deep part, I enjoyed swimming around the marine reserve for the day. I think it’s great that the marine reserve protects the sea life. I had so much fun with the other children. I hope we can come back again.” Mata Composite School