Seddon pupils know how to act in quake

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 11:34 30/07/2013
seddon school
Kat Duggan

Back to it: Seddon School students Gabby Forsyth, Kate Orchard, Layton King and Aaron Townend are excited to be back at school, and know exactly what to do if there is another earthquake.

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Seddon School pupils returned to classes yesterday, with a much more positive start to the term than expected, acting principal Nick Raynor says.

"We were prepared for drama and emotion, particularly after last night's [magnitude 5.4 aftershock] but I think they are quite a resilient bunch out here," he said.

Most of the 125 students were back at school for the start of the term, with Mr Raynor saying he did not believe any of the few absences were earthquake-related.

Having endured shakes for 10 days, the children were well aware of what to do if another one hit.

"Drop, cover, hold," 12-year-old student Kate Orchard said.

An example of the resilient nature of the Seddon School kids, Layton King said he took the earthquakes as they came.

"They were OK, not too bad; you cover your head and get under the table," he said.

Mr Raynor said staff had met on Friday to discuss emergency procedures in case of another major aftershock.

"We do have our evacuation drills like we do with fires and things, and staff have reviewed and refined those procedures. This has just crystallised it," he said.

"We're trying to anticipate the unexpected. All the staff came in on Friday, they dropped everything so that they could plan and prepare our procedures," he said.

Staff and students would be going over their evacuation drill yesterday afternoon before returning to normal, Mr Raynor said.

"We're keeping it as normal as possible, so we started with half an hour of holiday news, which obviously included some earthquake stories, and then half an hour of fitness as a whole school.

"It's just business as usual," he said.

"I've been really encouraged with how positive the kids are."

The school received minor damage during the magnitude 6.5 earthquake on July 21, including damage to some light shades, which had since been removed throughout the school, and a heatpump which came off its brackets in the hall.

Mr Raynor said the engineer had decided the boiler chimney had to be removed because of cracks, although when it was investigated more closely, the damage was because of its age.

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- The Marlborough Express

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