Morning kids, this is your captain, oops, teacher speaking…


Flight ZQN737 is preparing to take off – can pupils please evacuate the playground and make their way to maths class.

Queenstown’s newest school will try what’s believed to be a nationwide first – timetables planned around the deafening sound of jets directly overhead.

Just beyond the end of the Queenstown Airport runway, Remarkables Primary will structure school breaks around flight times of major airlines.

“Morning tea and lunchtime might be a bit different to other schools around so that we’re not outside when there’re three or four planes taking off,” principal Debbie Dickson says.

“We’re just going to work around it. Health and safety and wellbeing of children are really paramount to us so we’re being proactive about it.”

Dickson’s comments follow a site visit last week by Education Minister Anne Tolley, who revealed the timetable twist to Mountain Scene. “There’s been a lot of work gone into the acoustics – and then talk of matching the timetablings up,” Tolley says.

Dickson says Remarkables Primary, opening to Years 1 and 2 on February 4, will be virtually “soundproof” with special wall panels, concrete roofs and floors and no opening windows – instead, there’ll be “climate control” inside.

Dickson will talk to airport officials in early December before working out her new timetable.