Training day: The seven new Te Kura Whakatipu o Kawarau teachers who started work this week: front, from left, Dee Brockie, Jo Milne and Alison Walker; and back, from left, Lauren Honeyfield, Nic Beckett, Joe Wearne, Victoria Jenkins and Kim Bartley


Queenstown’s newest school, Te Kura Whakatipu o Kawarau, hit two big milestones this week.

On Monday, seven new teachers and an office administrator arrived to prepare for the Hanley’s Farm school’s open ing in term one next year.

On Thursday, formal enrolments opened.

Deputy principal Lara Kirk tells Mountain Scene one of the seven teachers, Aussie import
Nic Beckett, is still stuck in Tasmania waiting for an MIQ spot, but has been joining them online.

Another’s just come from across the ditch, completing MIQ last Sunday.

They spent the week ‘‘getting to know each other and unpacking what our culture is, our vision and values’’, Kirk says.

‘‘We’re starting with that big picture and then narrowing it down so that at the end of the term, we’ll have a really clear idea of our identity, our curriculum and what the teaching
and learning looks like.’’

The group visited the school site on Wednesday, where construction’s been underway since

On Thursday they hit the lake with Million Dollar Cruise to hear local stories from Ngai
Tahu kaumatua Darren Rewi, before heading up Deer Park Heights for a bird’s-eye view of the area.

Having a whole term to prepare is a unique opportunity, Kirk says.

‘‘When Shotover [Primary] set up, they did not have this, so we’re incredibly lucky.’’