My experiences this week have reinforced for me – post-sabbatical – just what a lively and varied world it is here. Before school the Head Girls and I had coffee and talked over the final details for the College Ball tonight, I welcomed the 70 girls and families who had come for the Endeavour Scholarship assessments, had a meeting with the Business Manager and Project Manager on the final countdown to the completion of the Centennial Centre, briefed the Year 12s on guidelines for the Ball, checked out the new curtains in the Violet Wood Dining Hall and then went to the Year 1 classrooms for a very special event.
I had been invited to the 100 Days celebration, to mark the girls having completed 100 days at school. First of all, the girls showed me the things they had created to illustrate 100 days, such as 100 photos from a holiday and a beautiful fish with 100 scales made from cup cake cases. It was interesting to see the way music and action songs were used to help the girls rehearse counting by tens – and how much they enjoyed the process. The girls then had a lovely shared morning tea and it was great to see how happy and calm they were as they enjoyed the party.
After the 100 Days party, I went via the atrium where a number of visitors to the College were admiring the beautiful quilt hanging there. Created by Year 10 art students for an exhibition opening at the Naval Base in Devonport on 16 August, called ‘At Home, at War’, the quilt is made of thoughtfully selected and moving images chosen and created by the girls after learning and thinking about WW1. The girls’ workbooks are set out on a table below the quilt and they give a remarkable insight into the quality and depth of the research and of the thinking the girls did, supported by Ms Ellie Jones and Ms Deb Cullinane. In the College assembly on Monday we reflected on the 100th anniversary of the declaration of war and when I asked the girls who had an ancestor who had been involved in WW1 a sea of hands went up. We described the creation of the quilt and the way in which it captured so many responses to the war and finished our assembly with “God defend New Zealand”.
The Centennial Centre is on target for practical completion in the next fortnight, with interior finishing well underway and landscaping proceeding well. It is clear that the girls are getting very excited, especially after Mr Stewart Allen called for volunteers for the water ballet which will be a central focus of the opening ceremony. We hope that the opening of the Centre will be as memorable as the Performing Arts Centre opening – and that it will be a fantastic start to our centenary year.
100 seems to be a very significant number this week.