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Tuesday, 21 May 2019 04:41 am

Thorndon School rebuild expected to be complete by April 2018

Aug 25th, 2017 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

The first stage of Thorndon School’s ongoing rebuild should be complete by April, 2018, says Principal Alistair du Chatenier.

Stage one is a new administration block and a Year 3 and 4 learning studio.

Stage two is the demolition of the main block and construction of three more studios.

The old buildings showed up in weather tightness testing of Ministry of Education stock built around the country in the 1990s.

Mr du Chatenier (pictured) said disruptions to lessons or school events have been managed and mitigated.

“We want to keep our operations running as smoothly as possible,” he said.

The main impact is the reduced capacity the small, inner-city school has, with less space and the same number of pupils.

Development and revision of plans for the rebuild has been going on for five years.

Mr du Chatenier anticipates that, when complete, it will help advance the school’s aim of developing independent and creative thinkers and learners.

Larger studio spaces will enable three teachers to work collaboratively with a large group of students, developing them to be more self-regulating.

“We have to develop in our children the autonomy that they need to be able to make the right choices,” Mr du Chatenier said.

Thorndon School was one of about six Wellington primary schools receiving substantial redevelopments.

“I guess that might be a symptom of a certain amount of neglect over time, but there does seem to be the will at the moment to invest in educational infrastructure.”

“If you surveyed principals as a whole across the country, I’m sure there’d be a lot of them who would like to see more.”

Asked about another current government change, the plan to replace the decile system with a risk index, .Mr du Chatenier was cautious.

“I saw pros and cons to the decile system. I definitely believe we have to create equity within our schools, and that the decile system was a useful tool in creating equity.

“It’s a bit of a blunt tool, but it definitely has an impact on those low decile schools in terms of their funding.

“But it also has the negative consequence of people identifying high decile with educational excellence, which is not the case.”

The new system would not be as explicit, Mr du Chatenier said.

“It is more targeted, but the question is if the targeting is going to be effective or not, and that has to be tested, I think.

“We will see.”

Mr du Chatenier also said stall allocations and committee meetings are underway for December’s Thorndon Fair, which the school organises and runs.

“We’re looking at the vibe of the fair, what we can add to the atmosphere, how we can keep on refreshing it.

“It’s been a good earner for us for 40 years, but we have to keep on refreshing it or it won’t survive.”


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