Paparore School in Northland to get two new classrooms

By Mikaela Collins

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Paparore School teacher Edwina Stevenson and her Year 3 and 4 class working in the school house. Photo / Peter Jackson
Paparore School teacher Edwina Stevenson and her Year 3 and 4 class working in the school house. Photo / Peter Jackson

The principal of a Northland school which has gone from teaching students in the school house to a pre-fabricated classroom says two new permanent classrooms will make things more comfortable.

An increase in the school roll at Paparore School meant students had to be fitted into whatever free spaces it had until a shed was converted into a classroom and a pre-fabricated room was built about two terms ago, said principal John Windleborn.

"Prior to the temporary buildings being usable we had a class in the school house. They were there for three years. As well as that we had a class in the school library," he said.

Minister of Education, Hekia Parata, announced $650,000 would be invested in two new classrooms at the school, 15 kilometres north of Kaitaia.

Mr Windleborn, who had spoken out in the past at his frustration over the school's situation, said the announcement was "fantastic".

"It certainly wasn't the most ideal situation. The school house is not that big and we had 24 students in there ... We had unhappy students, unhappy parents and unhappy teachers," he said

"This will make it more comfortable."

At the start of 2015, 152 students were enrolled and by the end of the year there were 175 students. Now the roll stands at 180.

"It has been gradually increasing over the years but it spiked last year," he said.

Ms Parata's announcement is part of a second round of investments in new classrooms under Budget 2016, which provides $882.5 million for school property nationwide, including 480 new classrooms to meet roll growth.

It comes after about $7 million was announced for 16 additional classrooms for schools in Northland, including Whangarei Girls' High School, Parua Bay School and Bay of Islands International Academy.

At the same time $12 million was invested for a new site and buildings for Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Tonga o Hokianga.

"Having the right physical environment is an important contributor to educational success. We want students in Northland to learn in facilities that support and inspire them to achieve to the very best of their potential," said Ms Parata.

- Northern Advocate

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