Schools say goodbye for holiday

Students fly the coop

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 17/12/2013
school ends
DAVID UNWIN/Fairfax NZ

SCHOOL'S OUT: Awapuni School students make a break for freedom.

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The artwork has been pulled down, candy canes have been pocketed and school's out for summer.

Most Palmerston North school pupils have flown the classroom coop and are looking forward to a season of sun and sand.

Awapuni School was one of the last schools in the city to shut its gates for the holidays yesterday, with a few other primary and intermediate schools staying open until later in the week.

Awapuni's 70-plus pupils helped teachers pack up the classrooms so they could finish for the year at lunchtime.

Children off to intermediate next year shared a few emotion-filled moments with friends before they took off to summer freedom.

Among them was year 6 pupil Ariana Lutherus, 11, who is enrolled at Monrad Intermediate.

Ariana said winning the school's academic excellence cup last week was the highlight of her year, but a close second was the school camp, which included completing the Tongariro Crossing.

She planned to spend her holiday in Taupo and was looking forward to spending some time at the lake with her family.

The school also marked a milestone in welcoming back former student Kristina Sue, who is a New Zealand representative in rugby sevens, touch and league, and naming the senior female sports champion shield after her.

Only two of the school's six trophies have been named before, with former pupils Trevor Shailer, who won a bronze medal in boxing at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, and Karl Te Nana, who won a gold medal for his efforts as part of the New Zealand sevens rugby team at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, also holding honours.

For principal Stephen Soutar there were a few more days of paperwork to complete before teachers could sign off too, he said.

Most of the city's secondary schools closed last week, with NCEA exams finishing earlier in the month.

More than 143,000 candidates have sat 120 exams over the past four weeks, with papers being marked by Christmas, New Zealand Qualifications Authority deputy chief executive Richard Thornton has said.

NCEA results would be available for students to access online from January 15.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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