Tuesday, 24 February 2009

WAITATI SCHOOL (column) (definitive version)


by Julie Cook

There has been a primary school in Waitati since 1864 – that's 145
years – and it has been at its current site for the last 128 years.
The roll of 58 children, aged between 5 and 12 years, come from homes
in the environs of Waitati village, including Warrington, Doctors
Point, Mount Cargill and the Silverpeaks.

The school code ("We care about Ourselves, Our environment, Each other
and Our learning") is something that shapes and distinguishes school,
pupils, staff, and even our community and makes it the friendly small
school that it is.

We pride ourselves on being an Enviro School and with the
participation and support of the children, staff, parents, donors, and
the Waitati community (including the local Waitati Edible gardens
Group) we have a thriving cottage garden. The school entered and
secured a Bronze Enviro School Award in 2008 and this year the Silver
Award is set firmly in our sights. Enviro School is also about knowing
our environment and community, and we're fortunate to live on such an
accessible and diverse coastline, in such a compact community. The
presence of Orokonui Ecosanctuary on our doorstep provides a focus for
learning about our natural heritage and wildlife.

The school couldn't provide all its cross-curricular activities
without the parents who lend their experience in music, craft, art,
gardening and sport, contributing to a uniquely Waitati experience for
the children. Workshops and activities include: mosaics, print-making,
flax-planting, carving, native tree planting, caring for chickens,
performance arts, learning to play the guitar and recorder, karakia
and cooking.

Just because we're a small school doesn't mean we don't have our share
of success in sports and outstanding performances by a number of
students at regional and national levels shows the depth of our
children's abilities across the sports arena including individual
events like athletics, gymnastics and swimming, and team events like
softball, netball, rugby and soccer.

Every year the whole school enjoys a school camp which is a great
team-building event fostering caring and cooperation across the
classes. Last year it was Waiora Scout Camp and this year it will be
Tirohanga in Term 2. The Year 6-8 children have an extra camp away
each year with challenging and adventurous outdoor activities.

The Parent Teacher Association has done a splendid job with a variety
of activities during the year and the community can expect more of the
same, including the Annual Fair, Matariki Supper and Lantern Walk,
Book Fair, Spring Bulbs, and also providing catering services to
functions being held at the Waitati Hall. We appreciate the wonderful
support of the community, our local businesses, the Blueskin
Playcentre and the Blueskin Bay Library and we're looking forward to
another great year.

From blueskin.co.nz and 'Blueskin News' published by Blueskin Media:
voluntary/non-profit community publishers in Blueskin Bay (Seacliff,
Warrington, Evansdale, Waitati, Doctors Point), Dunedin, New Zealand.
All material sent to or published by us is "copyleft" in the public
domain and may be freely shared, archived, re-edited and republished.
If you want to credit the source it's "blueskin.co.nz".

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