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Clark: Upper Harbour Primary School Opening

Address at Upper Harbour Primary School Opening

Thank you for inviting me to be part of the official opening of Upper Harbour Primary School this evening.

Those of us who live in Auckland are very aware of the growth of our region; not least here in the Albany Basin where the suburbs have grown over what, not so long ago, was farmland and orchards.

As we plan for new homes and communities, we must plan for the schools our children need. In the past year I have attended two school opening ceremonies in this wider area - one for a new Catholic Primary School, and one for Albany Junior High. The land for this school was purchased in 1998.

I understand that Joan Titman, chair of the establishment board of the school, also chaired the establishment board of Oteha Valley School.

Thank you Joan for your dedication to education in the area.

Setting up a new school is no easy task. One never knows how many children will walk through the doors on that first day ! And a new school has to create its own culture and ways of working, and build a staff team from scratch. The job of getting the physical infrastructure in place is probably the easy part.

A lot of thought has gone into the design of the school, with its pods of classrooms, teachers' offices, and "think tanks" for extra learning spaces.

Inside the classrooms are some of the most advanced equipment available, including the e-learning technologies which are indispensable these days.

The school also starts with a library, a playing field, and netball courts.

The logo chosen for the school is the koru, symbolising new life and new beginnings - which is very appropriate for a new school.

The school sets out to invite families to share their children's learning journey. I applaud this, because parent involvement in children's education really does help children learn.

This new school also has its very own new programme, Growing Positive Kiwis. It's about celebrating the many good things which happen in the school - and I'm sure other schools will be interested to learn more about it.

I congratulate Joan Titman, the Board of Trustees, Principal Jason Valentine-Burt, and the staff for the leadership you have given in the rapid development of the school.

All the students here are foundation pupils. You are the one who will lay down the path for others to follow.

The school has done exceptionally well to move to an official opening in its very first term.

I wish Upper Harbour Primary all the best for the future and thank all those who have contributed to its successful start.

It's now my pleasure to declare Upper Harbour Primary School officially open.


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