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New Zealand’s next top Modellers?

New Zealand’s next top Modellers?

Children at Riverdale School have spent the last few weeks learning multiple skills by building their own kitset models.

Fifteen children aged between 5 and 10 were given their own model Spitfire to build by Terrace End Books and Toys. Over the last three weeks under the watchful eye of Bruce Stokes from the store and Patrick Buckley from Manawatu Scale Model Club, the children have cut, glued and painted their models as part of the school’s elective subjects programme.

All children at the school are offered the opportunity to take part in activities that they may not normally have the chance to experience - from cake decoration to 10 pin bowling.

Riverdale School Principal, Debra Peck was impressed. “The children have thoroughly enjoyed working with Bruce and Patrick. Building models has provided a level playing field for learning because the children can see, hear and do regardless of their learning abilities. Success speaks for itself when you see 15 boys and girls totally engaged for two and a half hours.”

Along the way the modellers have learned key skills, such as following instructions, patience, cooperation, manual dexterity, recognising their limits and overcoming barriers to learning.

And the learning has been a two way street. Bruce hasn’t built a model since the Beatles toured New Zealand. Neither he nor Patrick have ever tried teaching, so they have had to learn how to pace their instructions, how to get the best out of each individual child and how much fun it is to be back in school.

“I have loved every minute of working with the kids. It’s great to show them that activities such as modelling, away from electronics and screens, are fun, social and rewarding. Terrace End Books and Toys is very much part of the community and it has been equally fun, social and rewarding to play a small part in encouraging children in the community to try something different,” said Bruce.

Four children were presented with prizes for impressing Bruce and Patrick with their modelling prowess and attitudes. But no one went home empty handed, as all of the children received their own model gliders to build at home.


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