Surf's up for keen school children

CHRIS THOMPSON
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2014
MacKenzee Armit
Cedric Armit

SURF'S UP: MacKenzee Armit from Red Beach School has a go.

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Scores of kids have been learning to surf at Orewa beach.

Waves there held out for three days as children from Stanmore Bay School, Red Beach School and Murrays Bay School donned wetsuits and went surfing.

Surfing NZ secured funding from KiwiSport to get 50 pupils from each school to learn about surf safety and have a go.

Development manager Lee Ryan had to scramble together extra boards and wetsuits to accommodate the demand from Red Beach School, which sent 83 pupils.

He says interest was so high the course could have been extended a fortnight.

It was a hit with parent Cedric Armit, impressed with the surf experience daughter MacKenzee, 9, had.

MacKenzee and others had a ball under the guidance of professional surf instructors.

KiwiSport funding meant the all-day programme was largely subsidised for parents.

Surfing NZ, which is based in Raglan, has been running the programme with schools country-wide for four years.

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Kaukapakapa School pupils returning from summer holidays are getting to grips with new technology.

And it hasn't taken them long.

Five senior classes have received 50 new tablets and the junior classes have four interactive teaching stations with touch screens.

The additions have already changed the way children learn, with tablets making it easier for them to access the internet for research.

The junior class loves the dinosaur and pirate learning games on the teacher station, which has also impressed their teacher Gemma Avenell.

The board of trustees has covered the cost of the tablets, and the school parent support group funded the teaching stations, meaning no children in the senior and junior school miss out, with enough tablets to share between two pupils.

Three more classes in the middle school will be fixed up with tablets, hopefully in May.

"We want our kids to experience all the modern technology, but don't want it to cost our families," teacher Caroline Armstrong says.

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Snells Beach musician Lou Lou, who opened for 10cc, Starship and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Matakana Country Park Summer Concert, is teaching singing at Mahurangi Christian School.

She does group and solo lessons for adults as well as school children.

Email lessons@listen toloulou.com for more information.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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