Pictured are (front row, from left) Blair Merry-Ladds (11),
Brin Griffiths (11); (middle row, from left) Morgan
Sargison (11), Holly Wright (12), Blake de Ruyter-Murdoch
(10), Sophie Wright (11); (back row from left) Chaz Palmer
(11), Lily Griffiths (10), Molly Wilkins (11) and Wilf
Griffiths (11). Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Ten Garston School pupils arrived in Queenstown
yesterday, buzzing after a school camp in Wellington - for some
of them, their first experience in a city.
Principal Kathryn O'Loughlin, along with four adults,
accompanied the year 5 to 8 children on the arts and culture
camp, held every four years to ensure every school pupil had
For some of them it was three days of firsts, including plane
flights, train rides, staying in a youth hostel, eating Asian
food and witnessing commuter traffic - an eye-opening
experience for the children, who live in New Zealand's most
inland town, which has a population of just over 100.
Pupil Holly Wright said the first visit was to Weta Workshop,
where they were able to see props and displays from The
Lord of the Rings and District Nine.
From there it was off to the Royal New Zealand School of
Dance, where the children watched auditions for Bird Brain,
in which 150 dancers were vying for just 20 spots.
Mrs O'Loughlin said the children were also given a guided
tour of the facilities, including the stage with its sprung
floor and the costume designers at work, before performing
their own "contemporary dance" routine, Smiling Clock.
Pupil Morgan Sargison said the pupils took a train ride to
the Petone Settlers Museum, where they learned about early
New Zealand settlers, including Maori.
Also on their schedule were visits to the Dowse Museum of
Contemporary Art in Lower Hutt, Trust Bank Stadium, the Bank
of New Zealand Museum and the "Living Cloaks" exhibition at
Te Papa as well as a quick stop at Parliament.
However, the highlight of the trip was being in the audience
at the World of Wearable Art show, the floodlights, throngs
of people and large theatre having an immediate impact on the
children, Mrs O'Loughlin said.
"It was really cool," Holly said.