End of an era for Christchurch schools

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 10:24 12/12/2013
Manning Intermediate
Dean Kozanic

FINAL DAYS: Manning Intermediate's Kapa Haka group welcomes visitors to a ceremony marking the school's final days of existence.

Manning Intermediate
Dean Kozanic
SAYING GOODBYE: Manning Intermediate principal Richard Chambers speaks at a ceremony to hand over the school's treasures to nearby Hillmorton High School.

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In the next few days, six of Christchurch's schools will shut up shop for the last time.

Rather than approaching the closure with thoughts of doom and gloom, all six are celebrating their last days and making them as fun and memorable for their students as they can.

Under the Ministry of Education restructure, Linwood Intermediate, Manning Intermediate, Branston Intermediate, Glenmoor School, Richmond School, and Kendal School are closing at the end of this school year.

Manning principal Richard Chambers said the outcome was not what anyone had hoped for, but the school was focusing on the community and the students.

Tomorrow at final assembly, every current student would be given a surprise memento. The wind up of the year would be pretty low key, with celebrations already held a few weeks ago at a community fun day.

Chambers had no employment plans for the future.

Branston is following the same path as Manning.

Principal Jennifer O'Leary said the school was hosting an open day tomorrow evening, but things were being kept simple.

On Saturday night, 80 ex-staff and board members are gathering for a farewell bash, and on Tuesday, final assembly will run as usual.

O'Leary had retirement plans and intended to travel with her newfound free time.

Were it not for the school closing, she would have continued her 41 years' service.

Richmond School said their goodbyes in November, with a twilight gala.

Students will be spread far and wide as they relocate for a new academic year.

All staff have found new positions and the transition is being made as smooth as possible for students.

Linwood Intermediate students have had a fun-filled week.

A trip to Hanmer Springs, Jellie Park, and a fun day tomorrow will ensure the memories they have of the school are good ones.

Principal Lee Walker said that the end-of-year timing of the closure made it a clean break for the students.

Greenpark School in Lincoln also closes this year.

>> Tell us your memories of closing schools here.

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