East Taieri School pupil Luke Marsden (8, front) reads a book in the school's new learning hub, with fellow pupils (from left) Riley Harris, Jack Hayes, Paddy Smythe, Philippa King, Harry Summers, Kayley Wenlock and Ruby Day (all 8). Photo by Linda Robertson.
A new $280,000 ''learning hub'' at East Taieri School has
given its pupils double the excitement this year.
When the pupils first started using the learning hub at the
start of the year, there was an air of excitement among the
But the novelty had hardly had time to wear off when the
school held its official opening of the facility last
Wednesday, bringing even more hype - and some pomp and
circumstance - to the school grounds.
Principal Jennifer Horgan said the 90sq m modern learning
environment was being used as a ''break-out space'' for
groups of children to go and work independently.
It is also used on rainy days by teachers to do outdoor
activities with their classes.
''It's big enough to fit a whole class.
''It will take a lot of pressure off the school for spaces
for children to go to work independently or in groups.
''It's encouraging children to take responsibility for their
learning, because there perhaps won't always be a teacher in
''It will also provide an opportunity for children to work
together across the classes - there will be buddy work going
on there, where older children can take younger children in
there to work as well.''
The hub was funded by the Ministry of Education, but Mrs
Horgan said the board of trustees had been able to keep the
cost down with help from members of the community who pitched
in with ''discounted'' labour and materials.
The new facility was officially opened by board of trustees
chairwoman Kathryn Brenssell, after an Anzac service and
performances by the school's kapa haka group and choir.
The honour of cutting the ribbon went to the school's
youngest pupil, Daniel Grieves (5), and student council
member Devin Colston (10).