Plimmerton School has its ducks in a row for an action-packed gala this weekend.
The ever-popular plastic duck race in the school swimming pool is set to thrill the crowds again, alongside perennial favourites like the pupils' decorated mystery jars, the dunking machine, an inflatable commando course and a car to smash with hammers.
The school has also hatched new entertainment, like rides in the Helipro rescue helicopter and a "Wet 'n' Wild" ride on a grunty motorbike and a jet ski.
"Our gala is probably the one that has the most amusements," says parent and gala co-organiser Robyn Boswell.
"It's very exciting - it's the first time we've had the helicopter here."
Ms Boswell is praying for fine weather for the weekend for all the outside activities planned - a beach dig, a spud-gun shooting gallery, jeep rides, and a Toilet Toss of loo rolls into a dunny.
For the less adventurous, there will be cakes, books, toys and bric- a-brac for sale.
A variety show will feature the talents of students and staff, as well as the singing voices of mayor Nick Leggett and Mana MP Kris Faafoi, Ms Boswell says.
The school has held its gala for longer than anybody can remember, but more than 35 years, she says.
Last year more than 3000 people visited and the school raised $33,000.
This year the gala will fundraise for a playground upgrade and the school's swimming programme.
Being by the seaside, Plimmerton School puts lots of effort into teaching children water safety, Ms Boswell says. The school's 500-odd kids get up to 10 lessons from swimming instructors in the lead-up to summer.
"Swimming competency is a really big focus for the school.
"Every child is either being taught to swim or improving their swimming skills."
Water will be a huge part of kids' lives this summer, so safety is paramount, says parent and gala co-organiser Julia Ham.
"The majority of us live around here and if it's not here it's on the inlet. Lots of families might have a boat."
Plimmerton School gala, Saturday, November 24, 11am to 3pm. School Rd, Plimmerton.
- Kapi-Mana News