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Summary Page: Adapting after emergencies - lessons from Kaikōura and Hurunui
Term 2 starting 26 June 2018.



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Two minutes after midnight on 14 November 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook the upper South Island. Shaking lasted for about two minutes, and people as far away as Auckland felt the quake.

Communities in Hurunui, Kaikōura and Marlborough were the hardest hit. Homes were damaged, water and sewerage systems were cut and roads and railway lines were closed. Kaikōura was cut off for two weeks until emergency road access was restored. Just 24 hours after the earthquake hit, New Zealand Red Cross staff and volunteers were on the ground to help.

Eighteen months on, people living in affected communities are adapting to new routines and lifestyles. This series of field trips explores some of the ways unexpected events can change communities and our way of life.

On this field trip you will travel to Kaikōura and nearby rural communities to hear the experiences of people who have lived through a major emergency. They have important lessons to share and stories to be told.

You will also discover what made this earthquake so complex, seeing first-hand how land has moved as a result. In addition, you will gain an insight into the massive reconstruction task that resulted from damage to State Highway 1 and the Main North Line railway.

This New Zealand Red Cross trip will help you explore questions such as what happens when emergencies strike? What do people do? How do communities work together? What can we learn from recent natural events? How do we prepare ourselves for future events we can't control?

To prepare for this field trip, LEARNZ content will support inquiry into:

  • the seismology of the earthquake and the damage it caused
  • how different groups with an interest in the Kaikōura marine environment are working together for its future protection
  • how key transport networks through Kaikōura and surrounding areas were restored
  • the different ways urban and rural communities have had to adapt to changes in lifestyle
  • how New Zealand Red Cross is supporting communities to recover
  • how we can generate wellbeing to assist recovery from a disaster or deal with the pressures of school and life

During this field trip you will:

  • travel on the rebuilt highway into Kaikōura
  • see for yourself damage to the natural and built environment
  • meet people and hear how they are working to rebuild their lives and their communities
  • visit remote locations where help was a long way away neighbours helped each other
  • learn five simple steps to look after yourself and others
  • meet people who are helping communities prepare for the unexpected

After the field trip, challenge yourself to:

Where you will go

New Zealand has a beautiful landscape created by the turbulent forces of nature. We lie on the 'Pacific Ring of Fire', which means we should expect to experience an emergency caused by these forces during our lifetime. You will fly into Christchurch and travel north by car through the Hurunui District and along the rebuilt East Coast highway to Kaikōura. You will listen to stories from rural and urban communities.

Teacher comments about related field trips

"It made my children more aware that floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters don't just happen to other people in other places but can happen anywhere at anytime. Thank you, I am enjoying learning along with my class!" Margaret Cassidy from Kaikohe East School

"It is a great platform for the children to engage with their parents about what they are learning, in this case to get families to talk about how to be prepared. The children love seeing real people in real time. They engage with the learning but also relate it to the people on screen as if they are their friends." Lesley Johnston from Firth School

"Timely reminder of our readiness for an emergency, also tied in our fire drill with the field trip. Gives students access to experts without having to go anywhere, particularly beneficial for our small isolated Y1-8 school." Nicola Evans from Papanui Junction School

Go to more comments from teachers about similar field trips.

Learning Areas/Levels

Health and Physical Education: Personal Health and Physical Development Levels 2-5, Healthy Communities and Environments Levels 2-5; Science: Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-5; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-5, Identity, Culture and Organisation Levels 2-5, Continuity and Change Levels 2-5

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

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    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



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Andrew the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Andrew, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: community involvement, disasters, earthquakes, emergencies, emergency management, extreme natural events, future focus, hazards, infrastructure, landslides, leadership, management, perspectives, planning for earthquakes, publicity, resilience, risk management, story telling, values, viewpoints

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