Life Education Trust is a charitable trust that delivers a health programme that slots into what the children receive as a part of the New Zealand Curriculum, to children in preschool, primary and intermediate schools.
The health programme the educators deliver focuses on teaching children about the wonder of life, themselves, and other people, with the aim of showing them how to reach their full potential. The philosophy behind Life Education is that every child is special and unique, that the human body is an amazing thing, and that we need to respect and look after each other.
The Life Education classrooms visit schools by invitation only and so may not arrive at every school.
The Life Education Trust has a philosophy that underpins their teaching
Here it is word for word from their website“We teach children: 1. You are unique – we aim to make each child comfortable with their identity. In the whole world there will never be another you. You are unique, you are special. It’s OK to have freckles, be tall or short, have big ears or nose, different coloured skin or hair. We keep reinforcing to little children “you are very special”. 2. The human body is magnificent – through technology and state-of-the-art techniques, we show children the magnificence of the human body – its sensory, circulatory and digestive systems, showing how the body functions and what its needs are – food, oxygen and water. We illustrate how the earth provides these needs and teach how we should protect our internal and external environments. 3. We need to support and respect each other – because of the delicate and complex nature of life itself, we need to support and respect each other and every other person, regardless of sex, race, religion or beliefs.”
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How is the programme delivered?
In short, in an inspiring and fun way. There is a huge emphasis on learning through adventure using imagination in the Life Education programme.
The programme focuses on creating a sensitivity to values and an appreciation of human life. The educators teach children about their bodies, what they need in order to live a healthy, happy life. As a part of this they’ll learn that putting substances into their bodies can send them topsy-turvy and upsets the fragile way in which the body works.
A lot of the programme is delivered using technology that is exciting and new for the children and of course is a teaching method they are increasing likely to respond to.
Then there’s Harold the Giraffe, the loveable mascot. Harold lives in the classroom and acts as an aid to the educator while the children are learning.
As a part of the programme each child is given a workbook by their teacher to complete at home.
Who teaches the kids?
The person responsible for teaching your child in the classroom, the educator, is a registered teacher. Life Education educators are chosen for their character, charisma, commitment and competence. They need to be able to engage the children and create wonder and mystery. The aim is for children to be hungry to return.
The educators work closely with your child’s classroom teacher to ensure it ‘fits’ with the overall programme the school is delivering.
There are approximately 40 educators throughout New Zealand delivering the programme to around 200,000 children.
Is it compulsory?
No. You can opt your child out of the programme if you wish. Your school should give you the opportunity to do this when then notify you that the classroom is on site. If not then pay the school office a visit and let them know your reasons for not wanting your child to attend. A word of advice, don’t make this decision without first fully understanding what it is the programme aims to achieve (knowledge you’ll have if you’ve read this of course.)
What does it cost?
You will more than likely be asked to contribute a small amount to the cost of having your child take part in the Life Education programme. This will cover the cost of the workbook they receive and some other minor costs. If you take the opportunity to have a look around Harold’s classroom you’ll soon see there is a need to keep the classrooms alive.
For more info check out the Life Education Trust’s own website, click here.