Starry-Eyed Students: Kaitoke School Hosts Stargazing Sleepover

Above: Ākonga ready on Kaitoke Beach to catch the sunset, kicking off a week of stargazing adventures. Photos / Kaitoke School

In an unforgettable event that united the entire school in exploration and learning, students of Kaitoke embarked on a sleepover this past Wednesday. The evening kicked off with a savory feast from Burga Shak, filling puku for the night’s ako (learning).

The adventure continued with a night walk to Kaitoke Beach, where students witnessed the stunning natural beauty of sunset and moonrise. But the highlights didn’t stop there. The evening also featured an insightful dark sky lesson with Deborah Kilgallon, enhancing the students’ appreciation for the wonders of the universe.

The stargazing sleepover at Kaitoke School was part of a series of events celebrating International Dark Sky Week, underscoring the school’s commitment to astronomical education and appreciation.

Aotea, was officially designated as a Dark Sky Sanctuary in 2017. The status is granted to areas with an exceptional quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected for its scientific, natural, educational, and cultural value.

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Behind this successful event were the school’s dedicated teachers, Maree and Mel, whose commitment to providing enriching experiences for the tamariki (children) was clear. The community has been vocal in their appreciation, with Anneke Missaar-van Den Hoek stating, “The kids loved it so much! Thank you!!” Phoebe Ngawaka echoed the sentiment, calling the event “legit the coolest thing ever “.

Mariela Otoole expressed gratitude towards the educators: “Thanks so much to all that incredible teachers that make this happens. You guys are the best”. Toyah Mitai-Sykes reflected on the blessings for the tamariki, “So blessed are our Tamariki. Thank you all.”, and Stacey Reid shared, “Thanks to all the amazing teachers at Kaitoke the kids had a blast”.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)

As the community heads into the long Easter weekend, the school extends warm wishes to all. “Have a wonderful long Easter weekend everyone- see you all back at school on Wednesday,” they announced, looking forward to welcoming everyone back after the break.

Go here to discover all the stellar activities lined up for International Dark Sky Week.

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Pa Beach Cafe, 82 Blackwell Drive, Tryphena, Great Barrier Island (Aotea)
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