Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Puketapu School Prize Giving

We assembled at the school at 1830: about 250 pupils and about 750 parents and assorted other people (like me) to witness the Annual Prize Giving. It's a truly splendid affair and the second that I have attended. The children perform. Dances, songs, drama and music are all part of the evening. Certificates are presented for attendance. Certificates are presented by each teacher for three pupils in each classs who have achieved. They may have achieved academically or socially or in sport but what they will all have in common is commitment to the school, to themselves and, where appropriate, to others. Then trophy's are presented by the current holder to the best of a number of pupils judged by the teachers to be the best of those nominated in various categories. Those categories may be the most improved Canoe Polo Player or the School Dux (being two examples that I can remember).

The Prizegiving is held in the open air. In 2005 for the first time ever it rained on the Prizegiving evening. In 2006 for the second time it rained for part of the time but the show went on regardless. This afternoon it looked as though it would be a hat trick but the gods of weather were kind and the rain held off for the evening. Which is a good thing given that the school hall only holds 500!

Puketapo School is one of the oldest school in Hawkes Bay having been established in 1864. It is also one of the most sought after schools in the area. Housing in the catchment area is scarce (being a rural area) and expensive. So there's no difference in that respect between here and the UK. The school's website is

A 'traditional' school dance

Part of the audience

Fraser presents the Trophy he won last year to this year's winner

Catriona in full swing
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