Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Christchurch Schools

My thoughts are all a bother today.

I am annoyed at ignorant people who think schools closing is no big deal or doesn't affect them, Nationwide. Yes, its fairly obvious some schools needed to be addressed, but initially on such a large scale for what seemed like no reason at all, absolutely not.

I am sad that our local primary school, Phillipstown School will be merging with another local primary, Woolston school.

I am confused because they are two individual schools, who serve different communities, and are expected to "combine", knowing full well that both of those schools are technically closing and starting again.

I am sad because I live in the hood of Christchurch, although I hate the very thought of the fact we live here, constantly fearful of our lives and belongings I know that Phillipstown School is a beacon of light and hope in many families in this area. It serves needs and supports families in a way many schools don't.

I know that having to go those extra blocks to Woolston school will mean many kids wont make it there. See, kids education really isn't a priority to families around this area. If its raining, people don't have cars, kids don't get to school. If families dont have lunches for their kids, kids dont get to school.

But Phillipstown school changed that. They made a way. And now I am sad because perhaps many families will loose that way having to go to a new school.

I am also confused because right now Woolston school is having 2 new class rooms built because it cannot provide for its current enrolment rate. People are moving here all the time, classes are full, and yet they want to close down a school and double the size of another one.

I am feeling trapped in this low-income area, always hopeful that when it came time when we were able to afford a home of our own we would be moving out of this area. Certain we wouldn't be attending these schools when it was Millas turn. But now I am starting to think "what if we stay here" in this area.

Milla would be going to a brand new school. "They" say it takes about 5 years for a school to fully set up and be completely functioning. With new schools come new faculty, programmes, culture groups and sports teams. Essentially; teething problems. We would be sending our 5 year old daughter to a school that has only existed for 1 year, and for the rest of her primary life will be experiencing so called "teething problems". I am reminded of the shambles of being in the first few years of NCEA. How confusing it was, how many mistakes were made, how I feel like now my high school education means nothing on paper.

So for the first time since our Earthquakes I am feeling rather glum about the future of our area. I am trying to see the progress side, which I usually see all around me, but right now, today, I am stumped.

I am prepared to eat my words, knowing that change can often be good, I am just struggling to see that right now.

Don't mind me, I'll be back tomorrow with a clear head (spending today cleaning, organising and cleaning! ) xx

Phillipstown Principal speaks to media ahead of announcement
"a school is not built overnight, it takes a community to raise a child"
Phillipstown Principal speaks to his school
February Earthquake 
How much I love Christchurch


  1. ♥ hugs from the north. Sucky decision for you guys. Will be voting for a new government.

  2. With you Sophie it's a kick in the teeth for many communities and like you I worry about families that won't get their kids to school when they are on the edge anyway

  3. Ohhh NCEA I forgot all about how messed up that was. I am sad too, it seems like there should be another option. All I hear are amazing things about Phillipstowns generosity to the local community.

  4. So sad -my aunty is having her school closed down as well :(

  5. Thanks for creating a bit more awareness about this. I think I was in the ignorance camp and I completely understand your point of view and share your worries when I think about it a bit more. You have the ability and awesomeness to contribute towards positive change in your community. I am a former low decile school teacher and there can be awesome beauty in those schools despite the huge challenges.

  6. Yep, there are some truly sucky decisions being made. It's so sad to know that there will be kids who miss out on an education because of these closures/mergers xx
    (As an aside, one of the rounds of a quiz night we went to on the wknd was called "Faces of Evil" - and H.Parata was dubbed most evil of all!)


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