Our 2010 Inquiry

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St Clair - Coast to Coast


Our Local community and environment are unique – culturally, environmentally and ecologically. What can we do to maintain this?


  • St Clair has a unique coastal environment and ecology.
  • To understand what is special about St Clair, we need to use scientific skills including: observing, identifying, classifying, comparing, etc.
  • There are natural and un-natural occurrences that impact on St Clair’s habitats and landforms.
  • If we know about the area’s unique bio-diversity and landforms, we are better able to acknowledge which activities impact on them and to suggest ways that we can preserve and protect them for future generations.

Related Issues

  • The different uses of the beach can have impact on each other and the environment.
  • Sea Lions are greatly affected by the way that people use St Clair.
  • The beach community consists of groups of organisms growing or living together.
  • Food chains and webs demonstrate the importance and interdependence of all species found there.
  • Te Marama is used as a guide for good and bad days for activities such as fishing, planting. The Máori have used patterns of the moon to measure time (Matariki – May).

Icon activity.jpg
We are learning to… identify all the different ways that St Clair is unique compared to other parts of Dunedin, places in NZ and the world.
Our school logo for Tuning into the Inquiry
  • Identify places and uses along our coastline that we already know about. Using pictures of places and labels (Esplanade, sand dunes, sewage pipe, surfing, Salt Water pool, Tunnel Beach, Lawyer’s Head, etc, etc…) to stick onto blank map. Provide blank labels to allow children to add any other uses of the Harbour they are aware of e.g clubs, surfing, tourist destinations.
  • Compile a St Clair word list in pairs students’ brainstorm words related to the St Clair Coastline. Explore ways that their words could be classified e.g Tourist destinations, animals, Places, biomes/habitats, recreational activities, etc to be culminated by teacher and to be added to throughout unit.
  • Tell the children the answer is the St Clair Coastline, use the question generator to form as many questions as possible whether we know the answers or not. From here select or develop further questions for the Wondering Wall – to be re-visited throughout the inquiry.