Harlow gets warm welcome at school

By Sandra Conchie

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ARTY START: Greenpark School new entrant Harlow Stapleton shows off some of the artwork she has done at school this week.PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
ARTY START: Greenpark School new entrant Harlow Stapleton shows off some of the artwork she has done at school this week.PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Show and tell took on a whole new meaning for Tauranga new entrant Harlow Stapleton when she turned up to Greenpark School this week.

The 5-year-old, who started school on Wednesday, came in for special attention from her classmates after her photograph and story, which featured in the Bay of Plenty Times, had been posted on her classroom noticeboard.

Harlow was among the hundreds of Bay new entrants who started school this week.

Her mother Kirsty Stapleton said that was "quite a cool" welcome for the nervous youngster.

Read more: School year begins for Bay students

There was a few tears when she dropped her daughter off at school but Harlow's two teachers Mrs Harrison and Mrs Ware were "fantastic" in helping her settle in, Mrs Stapleton said.

"They took Harlow by her hand and sat down with her on the mat for about 15 minutes until she was feeling okay. When I left there were still a few tears but she definitely wasn't as clingy as I had expected. I was so relieved," Mrs Stapleton said.

Mrs Stapleton said there was also a few tears when she and her 17-month-old son Mack arrived to pick Harlow and her older sister Shya up, but Harlow just wanted a big cuddle.

It was still early days but Harlow was starting to get excited about going to school, and talked about what she had done each day, and was keen to show off her artwork, she said.

"Harlow loves doing art and reading. Every night I get her to help me make her lunch and she lays out her school uniform ready for the next day.

"I am really proud of her, how really good she has been, it's big adjustment for both of us."

Harlow said she had already made three new friends and liked both her teachers.

"They're nice," she said.

Greenpark School principal Graeme Lind said he had spoken to Harlow's class teacher Mrs Harrison, who told him Harlow had settled into her classroom "very well".

Mr Lind said Harlow was among 35 new entrants who started at his school this week, and she was in a classroom of 15 students studying in a collaborative learning environment.

"It caters for students' individual learning needs. Having two teachers also means if one is away, the teaching programme carries on seamlessly," he said.

Mr Lind said the total school roll this year was 825 - 30 more than last year.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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