Pupils at Eltham Primary School will start the new term in new classrooms, with the completion of the junior block renovation last week.

A karakia and a formal blessing of the junior block classrooms took place last week, before pupils and their whānau saw inside the new learning space for the first time.

Nine-year-old Decipher Marsh says the new space is "really nice" while his sister Awatea Marsh says she is looking forward to starting her lessons in the new rooms next term.

At five, Awatea has only been at the school for a couple of weeks, but she has already settled in and says she enjoys being a school pupil.

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"I like reading best."

L-R - backrow - Ross Williams, Amy Morton, Daquedin Morton and (front row) Awatea and Decipher Marsh, represent four generations of their family at the school.
L-R - backrow - Ross Williams, Amy Morton, Daquedin Morton and (front row) Awatea and Decipher Marsh, represent four generations of their family at the school.

Awatea is the fourth generation from her family to attend the school, with her great nana, poppa and mother going before her and her two brothers.

As one of the two newest new entrants at the school, Awatea had a very important job to do on the day.

She and fellow new entrant Blair Smith, along with the chair of the board of trustees, Barb Frey, were entrusted with the ribbon cutting part of the ceremony, getting to formally open the new space.

Principal Kathryn Pick says the renovation of the junior block started at the start of January, with pupils in temporary learning spaces around the school for term one.

"They have been really patient and good with moving space, but it is great they will start the new term in their own space again."

Kathryn says while the majority of the renovation was funded by the ministry of education, the school also contributed.

"The ministry budget didn't cover everything so the school board topped it up to ensure our pupils got the learning space they need."

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Unfortunately, says Kathryn, the much-needed renovation of the senior block is unlikely to happen while any of the current pupils are at the school.

"We know they are hoping to have their classrooms done as well, but there won't be funding from the ministry for that anytime soon."

Kathryn says she even had one pupil offer to bring in their piggy bank to help raise money for the senior block to be renovated, and to do some fundraising.

"I think that shows just how excited they are to see changes to the learning spaces here and just how much they love their school."

On Wednesday last week, Jim Turahui (Ngati Ruanui), the school's kaumatua led a small ceremony to bless the new space before the pupils moved in.

He was joined by John Hooker (Ngāruahinerangi) and Tama Turahai (Ngāti Ruanui) who joined him in walking through each new classroom to bless them.

Sophia Perenise and Dubeis Ridzuan are excited to move into the new space next term.
Sophia Perenise and Dubeis Ridzuan are excited to move into the new space next term.

Sophia Perenise (6) was one of the first pupils to see inside the new space and she was very excited by the bright colours.

"I like how it has lots of colour. It will be nice to sit in here."

Dubeis Ridzuan (6) was impressed by the space inside.

"We will have lots of room to do our work here."