From left, Daniel Peak from Fulton Hogan, teacher Annette Bryant, AT’s Julie Crook and truck driver Ravinder Singh with Tauhoa students at the recent truck safety day.
Students decided how the new $53,000 playground would look.
Tauhoa School has started the year on a wave of positivity and progress, despite the interruptions thrown up by seesawing lockdown levels.
The tiny rural school just off State Highway 16 has a new school emblem, new colours, new PE uniforms and a new $53,000 playground extension.
Principal Vivienne Goldsmith says the developments have given the school a whole new lease of life, and students have made important inputs in all areas, especially with the new playground.
The school had been fundraising for the new equipment for five years with no end in sight, but Government funding announced at the end of 2019 made the project possible much sooner than expected and it was installed late last year.
“The Board of Trustees decided to utilise the Government funding to get the new playground up and running,” she said. “It was designed and created by the students. They met with three or four different companies and chose the final outcome, so they were really integral with getting it done.”
The Government money will also be used to create a student-designed butterfly garden and a bike track later this year for the school, where the current roll is 48.
The school’s new emblem features Tauhoa’s iconic “twisty tree” – a huge old camphor tree that dominates the school grounds – over a stylised Kaipara moana wave. It was designed by former pupil and designer Amanda Pride and incorporates the new school colours of turquoise and black, with the words “Learning to live, living to learn”.
Turquoise and black are also being used for new school sports shorts, shirts and sweatshirts, which are being provided thanks to a Pub Charity grant and were designed, in part, by children at the school.
“Students have got real ownership of what’s happening here,” Ms Goldsmith said.
Tauhoa School also recently took part in a special truck safety day, organised by Auckland Transport (AT) and truck company Fulton Hogan.
The school’s position on the corner of State Highway 16 and the unsealed Tauhoa Road means that scores of heavy vehicles and logging trucks pass by every day. Staff from AT and Fulton Hogan talked to pupils and then took them on a tour around a truck to show them what drivers can and can’t see and to explain about blind spots and stopping distances.
Ms Goldsmith said it was great to see all the students fully engaged with the day and taking such important safety information on board.