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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sumner 'adventure' for Redcliffs pupils

Sumner 'adventure' for Redcliffs pupils

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 24/06/2011
 
Redcliffs School pupils are treating a three-week stay at a neighbouring school as an "adventure".

Principal Kim Alexander said six busloads of pupils arrived at Sumner School at 9.15am yesterday to start their three-week stint while awaiting checks on the cliff above their school.

It had been an "exhausting" time for teachers and support staff, who had set up learning centres in a community hall for three days last week after the June 13 earthquakes, she said.

"Then, yesterday, we did this entire move in one day. Staff are totally exhausted. They are pretty tired but again feeling really positive about being here with the children."

Temporary classrooms had been set up around the school for about 300 Redcliffs pupils, using the library, old hall and new school hall.

"It's been set up in teams by age. We have tried to keep them in their teams as much as possible."

Liam Berryman, 8, said it had been sad leaving Redcliffs School but there were perks at Sumner School.

"It's nice to go to a new school in a way because you can meet new kids. It's nice here because we have more space."

Reilly Ward, 8, said the move was a "big adventure".

"It's a big adventure because there are lots of different things here."

Sumner School was better than lessons at a community centre where the pupils were "squishing in" and did not have desks, she said.

"It was hard to do work because we just had chairs."

Alexander said Sumner School and its board of trustees had been "really welcoming" and the school had been adapted for the short-term solution.

"The biggest challenges are the anxiety from parents having to send their children on the road to Sumner where all the rockfall is near the road. They are stressed and worried about further aftershocks, as are our staff."

The move put extra stress on the school, which had suffered a 25 per cent roll drop since the February earthquake. Many families had moved away because their homes had been red-stickered.

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