Students build own outdoor classroom

TIMOTHY BROWN
Last updated 05:00 02/11/2012
Kaiapoi High School
KIRK HARGREAVES/Fairfax NZ
PRACTICAL SKILLS: Kaiapoi High School pupils enjoy their new outdoor teaching area, which they designed and built.

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Kaiapoi High School found one person's trash is another's treasure when it formally opened an outdoor teaching area.

The outdoor classroom was designed and built by year 12 building pupils who used materials donated by the community, including wooden beams from the old Blackwells department store.

The project gave pupils a chance to gain practical skills, tutor Peter Graham said.

"These guys have been great. I say ‘come in at 5 o'clock in the morning' and they come in," he said.

The class of 15 boys and two girls had put in 10 to 12 hours of homework a week.

Sixteen-year-old Mitchell Hudson-Connelly said the class had reignited his passion for school.

"It's made me want to come to school. I come to school to do building, to do something I want to and love," he said.

Waimakariri Mayor David Ayers, who opened the area yesterday, said he was impressed with the facility.

"It's a real testament to Peter Graham as a teacher and the stickability of the students who built it," he said.

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