The school's youngest student, Hunter Ngawaka, was responsible for cutting the ribbon. And the Kapa Haka group sang a beautiful waiata before the excited tamariki got to explore their fantastic playspace for the first time.
Linda Allen, the school principal, is delighted with the new space. ‘Our students are very, very happy,’ she declares.
Surrounded by apple orchards at the foothills of the Waitākere Ranges, Oratia District School has a picturesque location. And it's been part of the tight-knit community since 1882, making it one of Auckland’s oldest schools.
Oratia District School currently has over 500 students on the roll in years 1-6. Tamariki enjoy a broad curriculum, including technology, arts and science. And there are lots of opportunities for learning outside the classroom with music, cultural groups and sports firm favourites.
According to Linda, the school’s playground urgently needed a revamp. It had given great pleasure to the students for over 20 years, but its best days were in the past.
The school began a fundraising initiative to replace the playground with a colourful modern design. Keeping students fit, active and healthy is a top priority for the school.
A successful application to the Your West Support Fund resulted in a very welcome $5,000 contribution to the pot. Linda says that the support helped to ignite the school’s fundraising efforts.
All that's left now is the installation of a concrete ramp to allow wheelchair access to the playground.
‘Many thanks to the Your West Support Fund,' says Linda. 'It's made all the difference, and the whole school community is delighted with our new playground,’ she adds.
The joy and excitement on the children's faces at the official opening says it all. 'I love it! This is the best playground ever,’ declared one happy student.