St Peter’s Catholic future-proofing

School principal Grant Stuart with his grandmother Colleen Stuart – a special guest at Grandparents’ Day.

St Peter’s Catholic School is approaching the end of 2017 with a series of festive school functions and news of building projects aimed at meeting long-term needs.

Their November 21 Grandparents’ Day was the first St Peter’s one for Grant Stuart, who took over as principal of the Cambridge school in May.  Making it even more special for him was the arrival of his own grandmother, 90-year-old Colleen Stuart, who lives in Hamilton.

“It all went off really well,” he said. “There was a bit of a liturgy and morning tea, then several performances from the children. Those included the kapa haka group, the choir and the performing arts group, then the students did a big line dance. The visitors also went around the classrooms and saw some of the work done by their grandchildren.”

St Peter’s Catholic is adding a festive touch to its December line-up, with a St Peter’s X Factor planned as well as Carols in the Playground and the regular ‘out and about’ carolling for which the school is well known.

In the meantime, the first phase of a long-term building project set to see the redevelopment of all the school classrooms is underway.

“Building itself started in October. The idea is to redevelop the existing classroom blocks to create learning spaces that are better adapted to today’s teaching,” said Grant.

“Like most other schools, this one was built for a teaching style that has changed little over the past 150 years.  But the world has changed dramatically in that time; technology has made enormous changes to both the way children learn and to the workplaces they need to prepare for.

“By remodelling our classrooms, we will be able to provide our students with what is called an Innovative Learning Environment (ILE), one that involves more group work and flexible learning.”

Grant said two junior classrooms were being opened into one large space, with a couple of break-out areas and a teacher’s resource room.

“The next wave of redevelopment will happen in a couple of years – it might take us a decade to complete the lot.”

Another building project will soon start at the pool end of St Peter’s Catholic, with redevelopment planned to extend the size of the changing sheds and heat the pool.

“We did a lot of fundraising to pay for the redevelopment of the changing sheds, but we are seeking sponsorship to help us get the heating in place as soon as possible.”

Grant said any potential sponsors could contact him at the school.

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