A celebration for new classrooms 2 min readReading Time: < 1 minute
Prime Minister Ardern watches a cultural performance in the new classrooms
With planning and preparation four years in the making, five new classrooms were officially opened at Oranga Primary School in July by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
It was an exciting day for parents and visitors as they packed the hall for the 10am ceremony, as they waited for the Prime Minister and local MP, Priyanca Radhakrishnan. As they slowly entered the hall, the special guests were welcomed onto the school property with a traditional powhiri and karanga. Matua Wyllis Maihi from Ngāti Whātua opened the day on behalf of the school, and he took time to remember ancestors who have passed on. The Oranga Māori group performed spirited items for the guests of honour, and jubilant songs from students filled the air.
Prime Minister Ardern addressed the young learners, sharing memories of her own time at primary school, and spoke of the benefits of having new, warm classrooms. The group were then ushered into the brand-new building, where they were greeted with cultural performances from Samoan and Tongan dancers. The impressive classrooms’ modern design provides teachers and pupils with spaces intentionally made to enable flexible teaching and learning, and there’s two learning hubs which include open areas for collaborative learning, quiet spaces for independent learning, and areas to explore technology, media, and the arts.
Bridget Lummis took over the principal’s role at Oranga in June 2019, and commended the hard work by the school’s previous principal Diana Peri and the Board of Trustees, who were instrumental in getting the original proposal off the ground.
“The new space will best support teachers to deliver the Oranga School vision of achieving excellence as a community of lifelong learners. These collaborative environments were designed to ensure teachers make the best use of their skills and passions for students to demonstrate the 4Cs at Oranga School; caring, creative, critical and connected learners,” says Principal Lummis.