Summer arrives as kids return to class

Warm weather welcomes students

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 04/02/2014
St Joseph’s School
CHARLOTTE CURD/FAIRFAX NZ
BACK TO SCHOOL: New sandals, new bags – it must be a brand new school year. Making their way to St Joseph’s School in New Plymouth are Alfie Healion, 6, Freya Stolte, 6, Alex Widdowson, 10, Georgia Prendiville, 8 and Nate Lagera, 9.

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The weather was beautiful yesterday as students in Taranaki went back to school.

"It's Murphy's Law is it? As soon as we are back in the classroom, we have fine weather," Mark Bowden, principal of Spotswood College said.

About 150 new students were welcomed on to the campus with a powhiri yesterday. Mr Bowden said the good weather added to the high spirits.

"We all remember our first day at high school and my challenge to the year 13s was to have each year 9 student leave at the end of the day feeling happy and confident," he said.

While the first day at Spotswood College was a big thing for students, it was an equally big moment for parents, he said.

He remembered when his eldest child first walked through the gates of a high school.

"It's an anxious time for parents too, as their child takes the first steps into adulthood and they are thinking about all that comes with having teenagers," he said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of 5-year-olds enjoyed their monumental first day of school yesterday.

At Bell Block Primary, the new entrants were busy testing the school pool and meeting their new classmates.

"They have had a wonderful day," principal Roz Miller said.

Although Bell Block started yesterday, a few schools had started back last week.

Mrs Miller, who is the New Plymouth Principals Association president, said the earliest any school could open was January 27, and the latest was February 7, "but regardless of when you start you still have to be open for instruction for 386 half days of the year".

She said all schools would have the same holidays.

"Some will just finish earlier."

The start of the school year could be difficult for children as they struggle to get into a normal routine again, Mrs Miller said.

"The best thing parents can do, which I know is difficult when it is hot outside, is to get their child to bed on time and get them up in time," she said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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