READER REPORT:

Chch schools: East needs Chisnallwood

MARNIE BARRELL
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2013
Chisnallwood
Fairfax NZ
UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Chisnallwood Intermediate.

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I've been an itinerant piano teacher at Chisnallwood for some years now, and I say leave a good thing well alone!

That school is a beacon of hope in a struggling area. Children who take up music at Chisnallwood have a clear vision, inspiring examples and a realistic pathway in front of them to what can be achieved with music. Their student bands and orchestras give real rewards and acknowledgement for the kids' work, and achieve a standard I've never before seen in an intermediate school music programme. Children can go on to significant success in music studies, which they would probably never have dreamed of without Chisnallwood and its unique music programme.

It's no good saying all this could be achieved in due course through the proposed merging of primary, secondary and intermediate schools in to one superschool. It simply couldn't. Everyone who hears the plan and knows the schools involved can only laugh with sad incredulity at such a fool of an idea. This is the brainchild of people who know nothing at all about the area and its people.

Chisnallwood is, if nothing else, a highly respected and successful brand which can't be duplicated in another system with different people involved. This is a school that people come from far and wide to attend because of its formidable reputation for excellence and innovation. Don't take that chance away from east Christchurch!


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