School building handover date set

A new $13 million senior campus at Warkworth Primary School is on schedule to be handed over in July.

The building will house 14 classrooms, three music practice suites, a library, changing room and an administration block.

The classrooms will have a combined capacity of 400 students, which is 120 students more than at present. This will bring the school’s total capacity to 800.

At its peak, the school roll was 650, although this temporarily dipped to 550 following zone boundary changes in 2017.

Principal Cynthia Holden says the Ministry has already earmarked further locations on both the senior and junior campuses for future expansion to meet growth in the area.

“We predict that it will be a fast-growing school, based on the number of subdivisions opening up and new families in the area,” Mrs Holden says.

The school has hired four new teachers for the school’s senior campus and two new teachers for the junior school.

The new classrooms on the senior campus are modelled on the modern open-plan rooms already on the junior campus, dubbed innovative learning environments (ILEs).

They consist of a large central space that houses multiple classes, along with individual glass-walled breakout rooms.

Mrs Holden says the dynamic environment encourages children to be adaptable, self-regulated learners.

The unexpected cash injection from the Government last year, worth $693 per student, has also allowed the school to plan further projects.

The school is investigating building an outdoor amphitheatre for performances and environmental education, as well as maintenance of the school hall.

Mrs Holden says running the school on a single site during the redevelopment of the senior campus has fostered unity, but has come with challenges.

“The junior hall has been modified to be a two-teacher space, but the acoustics have been less than ideal.

“The senior students have also had to walk across the road to Shoesmith Domain up to six times a day.”

Meanwhile, deputy principal Suzanne Donovan Skeens has been seconded to be acting principal of Ahuroa School for eight months from March.

Ahuroa principal Michelle Nell will be absent after winning a Primary Principals and Teachers Study Award, which provides paid study leave.